More on Homemaker Degree

August 24, 2007

CNN ran a segment yesterday about the controversial new homemaker degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (you can watch the clip below). Ethics Daily has an article today about the segment. The funniest part comes near the end. The reporter tells how many people are expected to enter the program but has inflection that seems to be leading up to a dramatic number. That big number? Fifteen. Baptist blogger Ben Cole does a good job in the segment of pointing out problems with the degree.

The Ethics Daily piece also mentions a recent Reuters interview about the program with Southwestern's president, Paige Patterson. At one point they asked him:

Your view is that it's best that women should stay home when they have children?
The "answer" that Patterson gave was:
I am wary of the crusade against mothers ... who choose not to have a career but to devote themselves entirely to their homes. That's noble and our society is worse for not maintaining it as a noble cause.
Notice how he did not answer the question but instead attacked his critics for supposedly crusading against mothers. Critics like myself believe that women should have a choice. But the question is does Patterson really believe that? It seems that he believes women should stay at home and that this degree is designed to teach that one interpretation of a woman's role.

For some background on this story, check out my two articles last week at Ethics Daily:
Parham, Patterson Discuss Role of Women on Fox News
Pattersons Defend Homemaker Degree, Attack Critics




UPDATE [8-24-07]: NBC's "Today Show" also had an interesting segment about the program. You can watch it here.

5 comments

  1. Chuck7:41 PM

    Brian,

    Again, you do a good job of reinforcing the impression that you think stay-home wives/mothers are victims of a false biblical model, and should not be encouraged or supported in their choice.

    If Patterson, as you judge him to, doesn't believe a woman should have a choice, it seems like the course would be a required one, or the degree the only one offered, not elective.

    I'm grateful my beautiful, talented wife felt the leadership of the Lord to stay home while our children were there, and has since put her gifts to practice in the work place. She could teach the course, and would certainly support it!

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  2. Chuck: You apparently did not read my post closely enough. I wrote:

    "Critics like myself believe that women should have a choice."

    I believe that women should be allowed to stay at home or work outside the home or both at various points of their lives. It should be a decision between the woman, God, and their family. I would completely affirm your family's decision and it clearly sounds like it was best for you all. I hope that clarifies where I stand.

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  3. Chuck2:24 AM

    Brian,

    Fine. But note that I said you reinforce with this second post the impression you made in your previous post on the homemaker matter. By jumping on Parham's bandwagon, you adopted the "victim of a false biblical model" as your own stance.

    Further, why be a "critic" whose words and tone betray him? Can you conclude Paige Patterson really feels differently than what he said without judging him in the process? I've pointed out to you this similar tendency when you criticized and questioned Bobby Welch's motives.

    Why all the cynicism, belittling and vermin in the posts about Southwestern's course offerings?
    If you're not against women who choose to be the best homemaker wives/moms they can be, then perhaps you harbor such ill-will against Southern Baptists, their seminaries, Paige Patterson, Christian fundamentalists, etc. that you can't or won't subject you own words to the same standard you champion with the title of your book and blog.

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  4. Chuck: I'm not sure why you seem to misunderstand where I stand on this issue. I'm sorry if my tone has been inappropriate or over-the-top. My adoption of Parham's "victim of a false biblical model" is this: saying that women should stay at home is a false biblical model (just as it would be to say they shouldn't). I am all for choices.

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  5. Chuck4:19 PM

    Brian,

    I hear you and believe you. You're all for choice. So then, what is your objection to Southwestern offering the course, as explained by Patterson in the video clip?

    Is your criticism grounded in anything other than your suspicion that he isn't telling the truth about his motive--to support and hold as noble a woman's choice of homemaking? . . . That, secretly or indicated in prior statements, he thinks there is only one right(eous) choice for all women to make?

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