Swanny River asks:
So if I am understanding you and Dalrock correctly, that third story, and Patterson, are complex because Patterson may be lying? That sounds like a leading question, but I do just want to see if I understanding what is being talked about. That is, I don’t understand why that third example is complex, but that could be because I didn’t listen to it.
He shouldn’t lie, if that is the case, but his accusers didn’t even care if he did lie, that is how strongly they feel about that excerpt. That is scary in its own right.
I don’t know that Patterson is lying when he tells that story. All I know is that it strikes me as very improbable, at least in the way it is told. However, my BS detector isn’t perfect.
Here is the excerpt in question, for reference:
I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.”
And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.”
And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy.”
And what she didn’t know when we sat down in church that morning was that her husband had come in and was standing at the back, first time he ever came. And when I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first one down to the front. And his heart was broken, he said, “My wife’s praying for me, and I can’t believe what I did to her.” And he said, “Do you think God can forgive somebody like me?” And he’s a great husband today. And it all came about because she sought God on a regular basis.
And remember, when nobody else can help, God can. And in the meantime, you have to do what you can at home to be submissive in every way that you can and to elevate him.
There are a number of aspects to the story that cause me to wonder if it really happened as described. The biggest one is how glib Patterson seems when talking about a husband repeatedly punching his wife in the face when he found out she was kneeling in prayer. This kind of thing creates a powerful visceral reaction in men, at least men in our culture. I find it very hard to believe that Patterson witnessed such a thing and yet feels so detached and glib about it. Along the same lines, there is (or was) a fairly common TV and film trope of using black eyes to represent off screen violence, very often in a glib or even humorous manner. The character appears in the scene, revealing a tell tale black circle around their eye. I assume it was used because it is easier to replicate effect wise than a busted lip, etc. And if one black eye is funny, two are hilarious. This seems to be much less common now than a few decades ago, but Patterson is older than I am so he would have been more exposed to it than I have been.
This glibness makes the charge more complex because I don’t think Patterson really feels so glib about wives being repeatedly punched in the face. I think it is more likely an embellishment, something to enhance the story. But I can understand why feminists would be disturbed by the glibness, even though I don’t think he really feels that way about real cases where women he knows are repeatedly punched in the face for kneeling in prayer.
Another part of the story that I find hard to swallow is the complicated machinations of the husband’s public-yet-unknown-to-his-wife repentance. Somehow the husband managed to show up at the same church the wife worshiped at on the same Sunday she showed up sporting two black eyes, and repent in front of the whole congregation, yet she was totally unaware of this. It is possible that she showed up late (or later), and didn’t notice that her husband was already there with a broken heart. Or perhaps he went to the early service and she went to the later one, and all of the ladies in the congregation didn’t want to seem like gossips by mentioning it to her on her way in. But either way a series of unlikely events had to have transpired to make this story into a humorous anecdote about how the wife didn’t know her husband had earlier that same morning publicly repented.