September 25, 2007

The SBC's Home Economics program revisited

H/t BDW forthis interesting take on Paige Patterson's new home ec program.
Southwestern President Paige Patterson was formerly president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the USA. Under his leadership, Southern Baptists in 1998 reaffirmed that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands, and in 2000 issued a declaration that only men could be ministers in the denomination.
Right, because...Oh hell, I forget why.
According to the same logic, only men can teach other men to be ministers. When he took over as Southwestern's president in 2003, Patterson declared, "The New Testament is crystal clear that pastors are to be men." There was a problem, however, in that a woman named Sheri Klouda had been hired by the seminary in 2002, in a tenure-track position, to teach theology. Patterson fired her. In a still-pending federal lawsuit against the institution, Klouda's attorneys contend that she was terminated for being "a mistake that the trustees needed to fix."
Ah, good old gender discrimination. But as the column points out, if you have said that women belong in the home, what the hell are they doing in seminary learning how to be housewives? And who will teach them? Patterson feels quite strongly that the women belong in the home, and not teaching in the Seminary with big strong men like himself (and his bodyguards). So will Paige teach them how to cook and sew? Or will he hire women...oops, dammit, can't do that.

This is what happens when misogyny masquerades as theology, and when someone like Patterson can't tell the difference.

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