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Removal of Texas seminary president over comments about abused women sheds light on changing attitudes among Evangelicals towards idea of 'wifely submission'

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson.
Paul Moseley/Star-Telegram via AP

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The president of a Texas seminary is being removed from his job the institution’s board of trustees following past comments he made about women in abusive relationships.

Paige Patterson will become president emeritus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary following revelations about past statements he’d made about women in abusive relationships should stay with their husbands and an instance reported by the Washington Post in which he counseled a woman in 2003 who said she had been raped to pray for and forgive her assailant instead of going to the police.

The move comes at a time when more and more Evangelicals are re-examining how their faith views the idea of “wifely submission” as it’s laid out in Biblical scripture, for example, in Colossians 3:18 which says  “wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord,” and what the limits of that idea are.

How are attitudes towards the idea of “female submission” in relationships changing, especially among Evangelicals, in light of the #MeToo movement?


Deborah Jian Lee, journalist, author of the book, “Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians are Reclaiming Evangelicalism,” (Beacon Press, 2015) and host of Kaleidoscope Podcast, a podcast about identity, faith and social engagement in dangerous times; she tweets @deborahjianlee

Rev. Jennifer Crumpton, freelance journalist and author of “Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl’s Guide to Good News” (Chalice Press, 2015); she tweets @JenniDCrumpton