SBC Outpost has reported that Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary rented facilities to the Tarrant County Republican Party (insert horrified gasp here).
I just completed an email conversation with the person who first handled these arrangements for SWBTS. This person no longer works at SWBTS, and in fact, no longer works in Southern Baptist denominational life at all. This person is not, to my knowledge, a close friend of the Pattersons and has no personal or professional reason to tell anything other than the truth about what happened.
Here's what I learned, for those actually interested in the truth.
- This SWBTS employee personally made it known to the Tarrant County Democrat Party that the facilities were available for them to rent as well.
- Not only did the seminary not promote the GOP event, but SWBTS also sponsored its own competing election watch party in a separate part of the same facility, advertising it in the newspapers inviting all of the community to attend.
- The idea to rent the facility to the GOP did not originate from the President's office and initially met with some skepticism from upper echelons of seminary administration.
- One condition of the rental attracted the notice of local media: The Tarrant County Republicans had to forego alcohol in order to use SWBTS's facility.