Saturday, January 27, 2018

"As an ordained pastor with advanced theological degrees and years of spotty service, I can speak expertly on the hypocrisy of the Southern Protestant clergy."

In the box of mail waiting for us when we got back was the January issue of The Sun.  This is a gem of a magazine with no ads.

Each month the magazine has a Readers Write section based on a topic identified in a previous edition.  This month it was Bad Habits.  Here's the link.    They're all pretty good, but the fourth one really grabbed me.

This writer chooses from his many bad habits to focus on hypocrisy.
"The highest form of hypocrisy is hating the hypocrisy of others, and I do judge my fellow hypocrites. As an ordained pastor with advanced theological degrees and years of spotty service, I can speak expertly on the hypocrisy of the Southern Protestant clergy. In the pre–Civil War South many pastors defended slavery and cited biblical justification for it. Later, Jim Crow laws had the full support of most Southern Protestant pastors. Too many also endorsed the oppression of women — at least, until women became baptized by immersion in the workforce and had enough money to pay tithes and give offerings. . ."
He goes on to say these pastors do this because their jobs are on the line if they don't.
"Who can blame us? We all want to keep our jobs, our health insurance, and our retirement programs. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor,” but no one in his or her right mind wants to join them. . ."
I started thinking:  This can't be real, can it?  This sounds like a liberal, anti-conservative setup.  But at the end he actually signs his name and location.
"Doy Daniels
Milan, Tennessee"
The Sun is a pretty special magazine and I have to believe that they check on things like this.  In any case, I would check.  I googled "Doy Daniels Milan, Tennessee."  The first google hit was a forum on for Milan, Tennessee, in 2010.  It got straight to the point.

curious (Martin, TN) asks:
what is up whith [sic] the preacher at the milan cp church. he is rarely ever in milan?
There are various answers, and then crazy old man (Rogersville, TN) writes:
"Doy Daniels Sr ran a drywall company for years, sometimes with his brothers, most times not. Doy, Sr. was a straight up man who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, but would run you off if your were faking or just looking for handouts.
Doy Jr did some time years ago, seems to me he got mixed up in some investment fraud, can't remember for sure, but has kept his nose clean since then. He worked with his dad for a while, then kind of dropped out of sight. Can't tell you much about him now, haven't seen him for years."
A bit later comes disturbed from Memphis:
"Doy Daniels is a con artist. He served ten years in federal prison for his crimes against six families, though there were more. He also had charges against him for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill the person who ratted him out, right after he fled to California. Though that charge was dropped because there wasn't enough evidence, he plead guilty to it as part of his deal. I saw the plea deal. This isn't just a bunch of rumors.
He was a leader in the Latter Day Saint/Mormon church, and he used his position to gain the trust of people. Then he stole obscene amounts of money from them. I personally know some of the victims. He was court ordered to pay the money back once he got out of prison; he hasn't paid a cent. Instead, he went on to another faith and now hides behind God; hard to get a job with a criminal record.
I feel awful for the people he continues to deceive. God knows."
Here's what I get out of it:

  • The letter is real and the guy is not dumb
  • Its credibility - in terms of other protestant pastors - is probably shaky since rather than taking responsibility for his actions, he's indicting every other pastor and saying they all have no choice because they'd lose their jobs if they followed Christ's teachings
  •  He could get another job and stop being such a huge hypocrite
  • There's more going on here for him to make such a public confession for himself and condemnation of his fellow pastors
It would be interesting to hear how his congregation reacts to this.  

But there are other absorbing 'bad habits' submissions as well, many are signed, like this one.  People are outing themselves - bravely or foolishly I can't say.  One starts in a crackhouse as the writer describes the scene that ends with him shooting up.  Another is about being overly aggressive with the truth, and where the habit came from.  Sounds like she's telling her world she wants to change and figures this piece will explain her bad habit to them once and for all.  Another is chronically late for which she gives lots of excuses, but not the real one.  Until she does in this piece.  And then there's the cat lady.  All of them signed their names.  

There are, of course, some anonymous submissions as well.  That section is well worth reading, as is the whole magazine.   "Queen of Hearts" and "Dark Houses" are haunting, glimpses into other people's lives.  I'm not sure how much of these articles one can read online, but you should be able to find The Sun at your library, or you can even subscribe.

Future topics for the Readers Write section, should you want to submit a story, include:
Taking Your Time . . .  due February 1 (sorry, you have to hurry for that one)
Prejudice . . .                due March 1

Thanks, Jim for leaving copies of The Sun in the guest bedroom when we were there years ago.  


  1. Subscription is quite high, imho. $42 for 12 issues. But you get access to 40 years worth of archived materials by subscribing. Looks interesting. Thanks.

    1. They don't have any advertising, so the subscription is higher. Try the library, and also look for special offers with lower prices.


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