Fired Southern Baptist leader stripped of retirement benefits after creepy comments about underage girls
Now-fired Southern Baptist leader Paige Patterson.

The leader of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary was fired from his position as "president emeritus" and stripped of his retirement benefits after scandalous comments he made sexualizing teen girls and appearing to dismiss rape came to light.


Sarabeth Caplin of Patheos' The Friendly Atheist wrote Thursday that now ex-SBTS president Paige Patterson's removal from his office came after an initially-mild rebuke from the school's board of trustees that included shifting him to the emeritus position and allowing him to still be paid by the school.

Earlier this week, the board reversed that decision, announcing that effective immediately, Patterson would no longer have access to "all the benefits, rights and privileges provided by the May 22-23 board meeting, including the title of President Emeritus, the invitation to reside at the Baptist Heritage Center as theologian-in-residence and ongoing compensation."

The decision to remove the leader from his cushy exile came just over a week after a female graduate student at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary came forward in a Washington Post exposé alleging that in 2003 — while he was president of the North Carolina seminary — Patterson urged her not to report that she'd been raped. He and other authorities failed to notify proper authorities as well, the Post's report noted, and the woman said she was placed on academic probation following the assault.

Patterson's removal by the seminary's board also came after months of controversy surrounding resurfaced comments and allegations he'd made, including an instance in which he encouraged an abused woman to forgive and go back to her husband.

Earlier this month, a "joke" Patterson made during a 2014 sermon about a "very attractive young co-ed" who "wasn’t more than about 16" led to an open letter signed by more than 1,000 Southern Baptist women calling on his expulsion from the seminary.