Rick Patrick, the publisher of SBC Today and the pastor of Alabama’s large First Baptist of Sylacauga Church, has issued an apology for a making a really twisted joke in a Facebook group.
In the post, he targets several notable Christian leaders who have been critical of Paige Patterson—the SBC leader who was just removed as the president of Southwestern Theological Seminary for making several disturbing comments about women. He has also been accused of covering up the rape of a female college student at another seminary.
In Patrick’s Facebook post, which he has since deleted, he posted a picture of a donkey, and an incredibly offensive “joke” about bestiality and sexual assault and named Wade Burleson, Ben Cole, Russell Moore, Ed Stetzer and Jonathan Merritt. We are choosing not to publish the actual text because of its disturbing nature, but it can be viewed here.)
He later apologized:
In a comment on Rod Dreher’s blog (Dreher is a prominent Christian writer), Patrick reportedly made another extended apology, which said, in part (you can read the whole thing here):[lborder]
I am grieved beyond words that I made the sarcastic comment. I took it down about two minutes after making it, but someone had captured a screenshot and sent it all over. Serves me right. It was wrong and inexcusable …
My sarcasm was aimed at the men I felt were attacking Patterson. I see now that many have construed my words as attacking the poor women who are many times, most of the time, genuinely victims of abuse. I am so ashamed that I have given this perception. It does not represent my beliefs in the least. I was myself a victim of physical and verbal abuse in my childhood. I would never want to add to anyone’s pain …
I would probably not have overreacted if not for the timing of the release of the Washington Post story [which outlines the rape cover-up], right as Patterson’s fate was being determined by the Trustees. It just had the ring of a “hit job” and it bothered me that we did not really know very much about the charges.
In any event, I am truly, truly sorry … My hero in the ministry was taken down, and I lashed out. I am ashamed. I will learn from this. And it will never happen again.[/lborder]
Wade Burleson, one of the individuals mentioned in the tweet, later replied via tweet:
— Wade Burleson (@Wade_Burleson) May 23, 2018