Don’t call it a comeback. Paige Patterson has been here for years.
After being fired in May from his post as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for a history of misogynistic comments and mishandling of sex abuse allegations, Patterson returned to the pulpit this week to offer a pair of sermons at a revival in Pisgah, Ala. But rather than offer a statement of humble contrition, the 75-year-old Southern Baptist leader body-shamed an unnamed woman and decried women who falsely accuse men of sexual misconduct.
In his first of two sermons, Patterson told a story of evangelizing a former church member’s mother whom he wanted to meet after being told she “could whip” him. Upon visiting her for the first time, his parishioner’s mother didn’t knock him out but, according to Patterson, “she filled the door.” After being invited into her home, Patterson said he was finally able to persuade the woman to convert to Christianity, and when she came to his church for baptism, he joked, they had to “fill the baptistery half full.”
The crowd erupted in laughter.
“She was not just fat. I mean to tell you what: I think she pumped iron probably an hour or so a day,” he said of the woman. “She literally could have played guard for the Green Bay Packers.”
In American evangelical Christianity — the powerful religious movement that is led predominantly by white men — body-shaming women is not altogether uncommon. . . .