Paige Patterson hasn’t just enabled abusive men through his careless words stretched over decades. He is an abuser himself.
Today, under increasing pressure, Patterson has issued his fourth statement in two weeks. First, he was being attacked. Second, he only meant “non-injurious physical abuse.” Then, he had nothing to apologize for. And now, he offers a partial apology.
He wants to keep his job. So he’s going through the motions. Last night, Patterson slept in a house paid for by Southern Baptists. On a bed that is made by servants paid for by Southern Baptists. Across campus, Southern Baptists are building him another home.
Meanwhile, there’s a student worker who still doesn’t have a job.
Paige wants to be forgiven for dragging the Southern Baptist Convention through weeks of turmoil. He’s the typical abuser who wants to be forgiven for everything he’s done, but he can’t quite tell you everything he’s done.
But a Tweet? That’s enough to cost a twenty-something student his job and his scholarship. A seventy-five year old man who’s been forced into a public apology for his actions and words twice in the last four years, however?
He deserves to keep his houses and servants and cars and expense accounts. And his wife gets to keep her car and driver too.
Even when Paige apologizes, it’s twisted syntax and nuanced deflections.
“Please forgive the failure to be as thoughtful and careful in my extemporaneous expression as I should have been,” Paige now cries.
Hand me my hanky.
Southern Baptists will walk into the Dallas convention, not after weeks but years of Paige Patterson’s abuse of power, influence, and institutional resources.
That kind of abuse is grounds for divorce.
Oh, that’s right. The Bible doesn’t allow divorce in Paige Patterson’s world.
Then again, maybe what he’s done to the public witness of 15 million Southern Baptists … what he’s done to the institution entrusted to his care … what he’s done for so many years, is only “non-injurious abuse.”
So let me offer Southern Baptists the advice Paige Patterson would never give to a battered woman.
Change the locks.
It’s what he advised another group of Southwestern trustees to do not many years ago.