Friday, June 01, 2018

Time to call the exterminator

One problem is that most folks who have the goods are Patterson are SBC/SWBTS employees, so they haven't been at liberty to divulge all the incriminating evidence. Those in the know are afraid to speak out because their jobs or employment prospects are on the line. It's like the Syndicate. His power protected him. Now that he's fallen from power, we'll see if more accusers come forward.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Kinda like getting Capone on tax evasion. Much more serious problems with Patterson than what got him booted, but it gets the job done. I don't really care what the "official" reasons were. Patterson is an extortionate bully. Good riddance!

No doubt "Progressive Christian/evangelical feminists" are bilking this particular allegation against Patterson as a pretext to advance their own social agenda. That's an unfortunate consequence of thugs who bring a legitimate principle into disrepute through flagrant abuse of power. Thugs like Patterson make it harder for good people to defend a legitimate principle. 

Patterson has given the "Progressive Christian/Evangelical feminists" an opening. They blame it on "the Patriarchy". Patterson's their current poster boy for "toxic masculinity". Sure, that's a non sequitur, but it makes it harder for the good guys to defend complementarianism with Patterson around. That's one more reason to call in the exterminator to clear the rats out of the attic.

Patterson apologists like Gagnon and Geisler are perpetuating the SBC culture of corruption that made these scandals possible in the first place. A microcosmic parallel to the clerical abuse scandal in Catholicism. 

Ironically, Patterson apologists as well as "Progressive Christian/evangelical feminist" critics are two sides of the same coin. Both treat the message and the messenger as if they're inseparable. His "progressive" critics act as though his misconduct delegitimates complementarianism. Yet when apologists like Gagnon and Geisler stick up for him, they, too, are acting as if the message and the messenger are inseparable, only they reject the characterization of the messenger. 

The fact that complementarianism is a hill to die on hardly makes Patterson a hill to die on, just because he's complementarian. Not to mention that he's detrimental to the cause. We shouldn't act as if these individuals are indispensable to the cause. By removing corrupt Christian leaders, that provides an opportunity for better leadership to take over. Patterson is far from irreplaceable. God isn't stuck with Patterson. We need to periodically cleanse the temple (as it were). We need to oust corrupt Christian leaders even when they back the right policies. We need to oust corrupt Christian leaders even if it hurts the cause in the short-term. It can't be moral blackmail where we support immoral Christian leaders in exchange for them supporting our agenda. That doesn't even work at a pragmatic level, because they discredit good policies by association. The positions become unfairly tainted if spearheaded by scoundrels. 

Patterson is like Marshal Pétain. Pétain was a WWI war hero who became a WWII war criminal. From patriot to Quisling.

Likewise, many people remember Patterson's role in helping to reverse the liberal drift in the SBC. But a good start doesn't mean you can't become a villain. 

And the fact that he spearheaded a worthy cause doesn't necessarily mean his motives were ever pure. He used that to march through the corridors of power. The noble cause and self-aggrandizement conveniently coincided. 

The Christian race is a marathon, not a sprint. What matters isn't how you begin or how you're doing on the backstretch, but whether you cross the finish line. 


  1. I can't believe I'm saying this given my dislike of conservative hardliners, but I'm not sure I'd describe his administration as "corrupt". That implies intentional wrongdoing and willful evil. This seems more like gross errors in judgment and ignorance as to the damage sexual assault has on its victims.

    He should be removed from his position but given a reasonable severance package.

    I think much of this is cultural. American evangelical pastors in the South seem to be very rigid and uncompromising when preaching from the pulpit, but they seem to be a bit lax when it comes to enforcing those ideals. I think some call it "cheap grace". So you've assaulted a woman. That's horrible and you deserve Hell, but meh ... the Lord forgives and so shall we.

    1. My position isn't primarily about how the sexual assault case was mishandled.

  2. Why do you say that "Patterson is an extortionate bully?"

  3. Unfortunately, I have information that I'm not at liberty to disclose. But in terms of what's already in the public record:

    i) There was the kangaroo court treatment that Dembski received.

    ii) Patterson stealing archived records, which suggested an effort to conceal incriminating evidence.

    iii) A lawsuit accusing Patterson of colluding with Judge Pressler to cover up Pressler's activity as a homosexual predator.