Leaders of a Southern Baptist seminary dropped a bombshell Friday night about why they two days earlier fired their president, a longtime leader of the huge denomination: He lied about his treatment of an alleged rape victim, according to a new statement, and he tried to isolate another woman from the seminary’s chief of security so he could “break her down.”
Paige Patterson, who until a few weeks ago was a towering figure in the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination with about 15 million members, set off a firestorm among conservative evangelicals in recent months after comments were revealed about counseling a woman to go back to her abusive husband.
Last week, the 75-year-old was demoted from his position as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, a decision that upset many Southern Baptists who considered the decision too lenient because he would have remained on paid staff as “president emeritus” and been able to retire on campus.
The Washington Post reported on May 22 that a woman who was a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003 said she had come to Patterson, then president of that school, and was encouraged by him not to go to police and to forgive the man she said raped her.
What else do we need?