Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why We Love Those Wacky Southern Baptists

News from our Baptist neighbors across the Red River:

The Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth has told a female theology professor there to leave the school because women are biblically forbidden from teaching men, the Associated Press reports.

Professor Sheri Klouda taught Hebrew at the school, but says she was told she would not be granted tenure there because she is female. Seminary President Paige Patterson would not respond to the AP's requests for comment, but Trustee Van McClain told the wire service that the policy was a return to the "traditional, confessional, and biblical position."

Fortunately, not all Southern Baptists share this view, even in Oklahoma. The AP story quotes Enid's Wade Burleson, a Baptist minister and blogger. Burleson said:

The extraordinary belief that women should be forbidden from teaching men the Bible, or 'doctrine' is held only by a handful of Southern Baptist leaders…. Unfortunately, the majority of Southern Baptists let them dictate policy for the entire congregation.

Well put, Rev. Burleson. We're with you. The female half of humankind—and very likely more than half of the Southern Baptist congregation— deserves to be more than second-class status in the Kingdom of God.

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