May 24, 2018
Patterson headline doesn’t tell the whole story
To the editor:
The article, “#MeToo controversy takes down Southern Baptist patriarch,” is very good, with balanced coverage on the back story. It is a little shallow on the action taken by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary board of trustees, but makes up for that by linking to their statement. Hopefully further investigation will be done by BNG, Christianity Today, Religion News Service or others to reveal the specifics of the retirement package offered.
What I take issue with is the headline, which is currently “#MeToo controversy takes down Southern Baptist patriarch.” I believe this does not accurately portray the action SWBTS has taken, as it implies that there is a consequence for Patterson’s actions. A 75-year-old man being allowed to retire in accordance with his own plans (if not exact timeline), while settling into a new position at the seminary with housing built on his behalf, is not a “take down.” For reference on Paige’s retirement, see here.
If I may be so bold, perhaps a more moderate headline would read “Southern Baptist patriarch made to retire (or retires) amidst #MeToo related controversy.”
Also, from a social media standpoint, I understand wanting to promote the biggest story of the moment. However, by making a picture of Patterson preaching your header photo, a tacit support for him is implied. From what I understand of Baptist News Global, this would not be the intention.
Chris Crowley, Richmond, Va.