Story of Woman's Black Eyes Roils Southern Baptists

They're calling for the ouster of seminary president Paige Patterson
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2018 12:02 PM CDT
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A Southern Baptist church is seen in this stock photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – In 2000, Paige Patterson told a story, and 18 years later, it's coming out of the woodwork and fomenting outrage. The Washington Post explains Patterson is the head of the Fort Worth-based Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, described as one of the biggest seminaries in the world. He's set to grab the spotlight in June, when he's slated to give the main sermon at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, America's second-largest Christian denomination. But a tape of his 2000 interview was posted online on April 28, leading thousands of Southern Baptist women to call for his ouster. In it, he recounts counseling a woman whose husband was abusing her; Patterson's recommended course of action was for her to pray for the man. She subsequently returned to him with black eyes. "She said: 'I hope you're happy.' And I said 'Yes … I’m very happy,'" because her husband had gone to church for the first time in the wake of the beating. More:

  • Patterson has been steadfast in saying divorce is "always wrong counsel," and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram mentions a 2013 sermon in which he elaborated on that point by saying a congregant who seeks a divorce could end up dissuading the judge from becoming a Christian.

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