2 thoughts on “Apropos…

  1. What a dearth of comments around here. I guess most people *don’t* love the smell of napalm in the morning, do they, Ben?

    As an act of mercy, let’s actually make your blog interesting again.

    As a blueshirt who is no doubt targeted for imminent assassination (according to you), I thought I’d speak up for just a moment in defense of my warden.

    According to Klouda, she was promised that Patterson’s hiring wouldn’t affect her job status. But how exactly is she going to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law? After all, it was just an oral conversation. No records of it exist, correct? Without written evidence of what exactly was said, who’s to say she didn’t just *misunderstand* Patterson’s comment? Are you telling me the lynchpin of this entire lawsuit comes down to a he said/she said situation? Not very hopeful for Klouda’s side, since she obviously bears the burden of proof here.

    Speaking of possible misunderstandings, there’s a difference between Patterson saying, “Your job is secure *for the time being*, because there are no immediate plans to end your employment simply because I’ve been hired,” and Patterson saying, “Your job is secure, because thou art guaranteed six full years of employment followed by tenure review.” What, exactly, did Patterson confirm to Klouda in this meeting, and is it possible that Klouda misinterpreted it? As a matter of fact her employment *was* secure for a number of years after this alleged conversation (2004-2006, in fact). So for all *you* know, the promise was impeccably accurate.

    As a matter of fact, no elected faculty at SWBTS — and this includes those elected to tenure-track positions — has any guarantee whatsoever that they will come up for tenure review. While it may be true that if they serve in their position for six consecutive years, they may be entitled to a review, this is *not* the case if the service is for any lesser period of time. *Any* elected faculty can have their employment terminated up until those six years are served. There is no *guarantee* of tenure review, simply because you’re hired for a tenure-track position. BTW, any elected faculty member is keenly aware of this; just ask them.

    What federal law, exactly, was broken by SWBTS’s decision to decline Klouda tenure and thus limit her years of employment at SWBTS to the four she served? Was it the fact that this decision was “solely because she was a woman”? But that isn’t true. There are countless women faculty at SWBTS, and they still have their jobs. As a matter of fact, it was “because she was a woman teaching men in the theology dept.”, a designation that obviously includes three distinct criteria, not just one. Now then, what does the federal law have to say about *that* combination? Not much, I would imagine.

    Indeed, there have been duly elected members of faculty in the past who were dismissed “solely because of their beliefs”. Ordinarily, federal law would equally prohibit *that*, but as you of course know, there are special exceptions for religious institutions. If SWBTS can dismiss someone because of mere *belief* (and they can), why couldn’t they dismiss someone because of gender-related issues? Why is federal law any more applicable to the one situation, rather than the other, when we’re talking about a seminary?

    Here’s something else quite interesting. You’ve raised quite a hue and cry over this issue, but you’re just a weathervane spinning in the political wind. About a month ago a fellow student forwarded to me an email in which it was pointed out that in your position paper on the Claude Thomas incident (distributed to the trustees in a hotel in October 2004, and downloadable on your blog entry of 2-14-2007), you said (and I quote):

    “If it is improper for the seminary to hire persons for posts because the biblical requirements with respect to gender roles, as it surely is, then it must also be improper for the seminary to hire those persons to pastor-model roles whose character and integrity are not ‘above reproach’ or ‘blameless’ as stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-2.”

    Wow, Ben, there you state it in black and white: “it surely is” improper for the seminary to hire persons who would conflict with the biblical requirements for gender roles! And the clear context in the surrounding paragraphs is the Klouda incident! But wait a minute. Your Star-Telegram editorial of February 2007 says that, “The suggestion that the New Testament precludes a woman from teaching in a seminary classroom rests upon a foolishly anachronistic interpretation.” Ah, who is right? The Ben of 2004, or the Ben of 2007? I guess Ben’s theological convictions depend on which political agenda he’s pushing at the time?

    As for Patterson’s alleged opulence, where shall we begin? It is atrocious indeed that he’s currently enjoying that gigantic house expansion in Southeastern. Except that he isn’t. Danny Akin is. Gosh, I guess you can’t take seminary property with you when you leave. Why didn’t Patterson think of that? Could it be that he was enhancing seminary property *for the sake of the seminary*, including future generations? Likewise for Pecan Manor. It’s not his property, Ben. He can’t take it with him. He can’t sell it or enjoy its equity. It’s the seminary’s, and it will be the seminary’s when the next president comes around. I’m astonished that you aren’t apprised of these elementary distinctions. The celebrities you name can take their houses with them. Patterson can’t. So this is much ado about nothing. The real people benefitting here are future seminary generations. I would think the trustees know this. Duh.

    BTW, I’m not so sure the Vietnam analogy bodes well for your side, Ben. Those helicopter runs sure were impressive at the time. But where were these same armed forces five years later? Ah, that’s right: lacking support and withdrawing from the field. See you in five years, Ben. Hope it turns out well for you.

    I’m so sorry I can’t identify myself. Anonymity helps prevent assassinations, you know. Rest assured, I’m no Joe Breshears. I just play one online.

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