For the second time in 16 months, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee has been called out for crude and sexually charged social media posts.
Guy Fredrick is a pastor and associational leader from Sheboygan, Wis. In October 2021, he was roundly criticized for a Facebook post that made a crude joke about workplace sexual harassment. That happened while the Executive Committee, on which he serves as a trustee, was weighing serious legal concerns about allegations of sexual abuse in SBC churches and agencies had been mishandled and ignored.
Fredrick’s insensitivity then appeared to illustrate the very kind of “boys will be boys” attitude that got skewered in the subsequent investigation by Guidepost Solutions — an investigation Fredrick as a committee member had questioned.
Now, Fredrick is in hot water again — sweaty hot water, it seems.
In response to a Twitter user’s public question of “conservative men”: “Is AOC hot?” Fredrick publicly replied: “Like boob sweat hot or like sexually desirable hot?”
AOC is U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, who conservative men in particular love to hate. This week she went to the floor of the House of Representatives to blast the removal of Ilhan Omar — a female Muslim politician from Minnesota — who was removed from service on the House Foreign Affairs Committee by the House’s new Republic leadership.
For the second time, other conservative Southern Baptist leaders called out Fredrick for his crude comment. But this time, some demanded that Fredrick be removed from the powerful Executive Committee.
While Executive Committee leadership might agree with that necessity, it isn’t so easy, according to Mike Keahbone, an Oklahoma pastor who also serves on the latest iteration of the SBC’s sexual abuse response task force.
Keahbone tweeted: “As a member of the @SBCExecComm I am aware of the inappropriate tweets made by one of our members. Our leadership is aware and is currently walking through the biblical process of confronting a brother. Organizationally, our bylaws only allow removal from the board by the messengers at the annual meeting. Our next meeting is in June. Our board has the option of censuring or issuing a reprimand of the offending action. This will come after the biblical process has finished its course. There is no debate: the comments by our member were awful and will not be tolerated.”
Likewise, Jared Wellman, an Arlington, Texas, pastor who chairs the Executive Committee, denounced Fredrick in a tweet: “There is never a proper context to objectify another person. This is especially true for the Christian, who knows by God’s Word that people are made in God’s image.”
After Fredrick had been roundly criticized online, he issued a series of tweets to explain himself and apologize. He said he has consulted “trusted advisors” and has “prayed for forgiveness and repentance” for his tweet that was “demeaning and inappropriate for one bearing the name of Christ.”
Then he turned to extolling his 50-year marriage to his wife as evidence that “I am not the man portrayed in the tweet stream.” He also referenced the upcoming Valentine’s Day.
One of the critiques of the SBC’s governance system is that the Committee on Nominations relies on recommendations from others to place people from all over the nation on a set of highly influential boards. Internally, some have charged that there is not a sufficient vetting process.
However, it is this same nominating process that today’s conservative leaders used in the 1980s to gain control of the denomination and flip all its trustee boards to do their bidding — resulting in the firing or exodus of institutional leaders, seminary professors and denominational leaders.
In the case of Fredrick, his views are on full display on both his Twitter account and Facebook page, which are full of anti-vaccine, anti-Democrat, anti-“woke” and white supremacist content.
After the October 2021 dustup over his Facebook post — a meme showing a man inappropriately embracing a wary woman with the message: “Why is it that if your boss says ‘Have sex with me or you’re fired’ it’s considered coercion but your boss says ‘Take the shot or you’re fired’ and it’s not coercion? They both want to stick something in you that you don’t want.” — he justified himself with this explanation: “Sorry, all. I’m a man from a different generation and I still understand the concept of humor.”
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