There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Patheos is a left-wing religious website. The ecumenical outlet hosts a range of viewpoints from various bloggers ranging from atheists to Anglicans to United Methodist transgender priests. Well, actually I’m not sure if they’ve crossed that last line yet–but they’re on their way to that point.
Nonetheless, when such an outlet demonstrates more integrity than the largest so-called “conservative” Protestant denomination in the world, the Southern Baptist Convention, you know that something is wrong.
Ed Litton, you’re probably tiringly aware by now, has been embroiled in a plagiarism scandal that was exposed–largely by us here at Reformation Charlotte–since he was elected president of the denomination in June. Since then, his right-wing foes have been calling on him to repent and resign his post as president while, on the other hand, his left-wing enablers have been spending the vast majority of their time making excuses and running cover for him.
Ed was elected to oversee an investigation into sex abuse cover-ups in the denomination–a scandal of which there is scant little evidence to even suggest exists. Of course, while we believe that sexual abuse should be dealt with, if the problem exists on the scale the leftists say it exists, allowing an unrepentant, untrustworthy serial plagiarist to oversee the investigation only sounds like a good idea to people who don’t really have any actual moral convictions–to them, Litton was a means to the end of their own agenda.
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The fact that Litton’s sin is being handled with such disregard by the leaders of the denomination who supported him and got him elected should speak volumes about the agenda they’re trying to push.
That being said, when left-wing organizations like Patheos can see the problem here while those on the inside are blinded by the light at the end of their tunnel vision for their cause, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate.
Esther O’Reilly writes in an article titled Ed Litton’s White Collar Lies at Patheos:
Yet even now, in the face of this overwhelmingly damning public evidence, Litton resolutely continues to deny any wrongdoing. The best that could be said of him at this point is that he is unconditionally committed to his own bulls**t. In this latest interview, he insists that he didn’t plagiarize but reluctantly confesses there might have been “sin” in “not crediting J.D. [Greear].”
Of course, this is what we’ve been arguing all along. Litton’s scandal has now inflated far past the original scandal of plagiarism and has now reproduced and given birth to an even greater scandal of lies. O’Reilly acknowledges in the article that it is likely that Litton will get away with it because he has enough “blue sky” and “crony cred” to get away with it.
This is the crux of the problem in the Southern Baptist Convention–it’s uncouth to speak out against fellow Southern Baptists unless, of course, you somehow got into a leadership position without the approval of the elite circuit that controls the denomination. In other words, if you’re a conservative who was rightly elected–yet, you have demonstrated that you’re not going to walk in lock-step with the establishment–this rule, also known as the 11th Commandment, does not apply to you and you’re fair game for criticism.
On the other hand, those who do demonstrate their willingness to toe the line set forth by the powers that be, as long as you’re useful to them, they’ll protect you. The politics of the Southern Baptist Convention are eerily similar to the politics of our nation. This isn’t about doing what’s right, it’s about advancing a social justice agenda and Ed Litton was elected to do just that.