Is This the Most Racist Pastor in America?

by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, Weekend Contributor

Since February is Black History Month, it seemed to me that a local story was worth discussing. I first became aware of the story when it appeared in the Johnson City (Tennessee) Press last Tuesday . A little further digging revealed the story originated when a member of the church sent a copy of one of “Brother” Donny Reagan’s sermons to The American Jesus blog. The American Jesus blog is run by the Rev. Zach Hunt, who is currently working on a graduate degree at Yale Divinity School. Zach published a brief story and posted the seventeen minute long sermon on The American Jesus blog last week.

“Brother” Danny Reagan is pastor of the Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ, located between Johnson City and Elizabethton, TN.  He records and archives all his sermons on the church website. Or at least he did until a couple of days ago. Now look what you get when you click the link.

In the seventeen minute sermon, Reagan rails against interracial marriages and biracial children. He says he doesn’t consider it right for white people and black people to marry. He calls such relationships “hybreeding.” So one might know this neologism is not a slip of the tongue, he says it repeatedly.

“Hybreeding, hybreeding, oh, how terrible, hybreeding. What white woman would want her baby to be mulatto, made by a colored man? Let’s stay the way God made us. I believe it’s right.”

Local media contacted him and he did not back down. He released more statements, and the more he talked, the deeper the hole he digs for himself.  He says the main thing he regrets is that some folks might think his statements reflect badly on his congregation. No kidding!

He added that he would not conduct a marriage for an interracial couple.  He added,

“This doesn’t have anything to do with race, I don’t think it would be right or fruitful.”

He claims to know who sent the video of his sermon to The American Jesus, but has not identified who he suspects sent it or why.

Then something curious happened. The video, which had been posted on several web sites, was deleted by YouTube on a claim of “copyright violation.” Not only the sermon in question, but all his other archived sermons as well. Gone. Deleted. 404 Error.

His archive of recorded sermons had been available online until the past day or so. I didn’t get a chance to view them before they were deleted, but there were a number of responses to the article when it appeared in the Johnson City Press. From the comment section we learn the following factoids:

….he preaches against homosexuality much more than mixed marriages.

He doesn’t think women should vote…. Called women “dogmeat” in one sermon. I thought we were past all of this.

It’s as if we have traveled back 50 years. I can’t bring myself to call him pastor or preacher. Maybe Grand Wizard but not a man of God!

We can thank those who watched the sermons and reported on them before they were deleted. It occurs to me that if he believed so much in what he was saying, he is cowardly for not having the courage to keep them online. Copyright violation, indeed! Can we add hypocrisy to the list of this preacher’s sins?

One thing Mr. Reagan forgot. This is the internet age, and nothing ever truly disappears. His seventeen minute sermon has been excerpted and some of the juiciest parts where he talks about “hybreeding” presented on news programs. Here is the clip from The Young Turks with hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian.

His church is a rather large one, and according to local accounts, about 500 people show up for services every week. That sounds like a large number, but given the fact the tri-cities area of northeast Tennessee has a total metro area population well into six figures, 500 people are not representative of the community at large. It was gratifying that the local populace was outraged, horrified and vocal in their denunciation of the video and its creator. This is a conservative area of a conservative state, but this is racism, not conservatism. And as the comments in the newspaper suggest, he is not only racist, but sexist and homophobic as well.

According to a Gallup poll cited by the Johnson City Press,

“A 2013 Gallup poll showed that 87 percent of Americans approve of interracial marriages, as opposed to just 4 percent in 1958.”

Looks like everyone is out of step but Donny Reagan.

More here:

News Australia.


80 thoughts on “Is This the Most Racist Pastor in America?

  1. raff,
    I particularly liked the comment by a veteran in the comment thread below the Johnson City Press article:

    Is “brother” his first name?
    This jackass is no brother of mine.

  2. Over/Under on when Pat Buchanan writes an article saying that this statist is in line with traditional values that were lost during the “culture war”

  3. That’s one heck of a good statistic for 87% in favor of interracial marriages in 2013 versus 4% in 1958. Let’s just do what you’re doing & ridicule the looneys who want to hang on to racism & bigotry. Its better than prosecuting them as that gives them sympathy.

  4. I drive past this place often, and it is a fairly large building. It is up on a hill higher than the street.

    Copy and past the coordinates below into Google Earth or Maps, and it will take you to the location. There is also a street view of it.

    36°19’38.11″ N 82°16’23.99″ W

  5. Raff,
    It would be hilarious if it weren’t so serious. This in 2014, not 1914. He has his defenders. Personally, I think the best cure for stuff like this is the tincture of sunlight. He tried to wipe his history because he is now toxic to all but a shrinking number of true believers. I want people to be embarrassed to admit they attend services at his church.

    People like this are dangerous, in the same way that Jim Jones and other cult leaders are dangerous.

  6. “Every race has racists.”
    True, and that is also a red herring logical fallacy argument. It is also true that every racist has a defender. What does that make them?

    This article is about one in particular.

  7. There is a lotta hate in this world. It knows no race, religion, sex, etc. The ONLY way to conquer racial hatred is for white and black people to socialize w/ one another in an honest and open friendship. Try it folks. You’ll have to leave your comfort zone. My experience is black folk are more comfortable than white in socializing. They live in a culture dominated by white people. They know us better than we know them. There are no magic wands. There are no sensitivity groups. There are no laws or regulations that will work. It takes individuals reaching out to one another.

  8. On the church’s main website page it reads:
    “Archived Services Are Unavailable At This Time”
    Unavailable? rather curious use of the word. Sounds like a backlash is arriving.

    What is rather amusing also is how Brother Donny says how he would not conduct an interracial marriage and then “This doesn’t have anything to do with race.”

    He might as well say in his videos “I am not a racist, but I play on on TV”

    Hopefully this church will see the light and send him packing.

  9. To anyone saying that I am defending the bigot in the original video? Kiss my ass.
    The sad part is you cannot see how ignorant YOU are by only speaking out when racism is applied in one direction. You are nothing more than idiotic hypocrites.

    I just showed you several videos of blacks beating up white men tbecause they are dating black women. I show you black people speaking out against interracial dating. And what the only time you say a damn thing is when its someone white being a bigot.

    So either put up or shut up.

  10. nick, its stupid, it really is. What kills me is how anyone that points out racism from non whites is immediately labeled a racist. The irony is incredibly insane. It takes serious practice to become that ignorant.

  11. truth, There was a time, not long ago, where you would have been jumped on and called a racist, etc. I haven’t seen that happen on this thread? If so, please point it out. Believe me truth, I know your frustration. Just keep your venting civil is my only suggestion. I sense you may have been here previously? The tenor has changed for the better here. You may not get through to some folks, but you won’t be attacked for trying, as long as you keep it civil.

  12. So Truth, you must have theses videos right at your fingertips. Ready and eager, a bit too eager to post them. Feel better now? That’s right let it all out.

  13. annie, they are not difficult to find. It took all of 30 seconds to get off of youtube.
    Are you new to the internet? There is a web site called youtube. You can type things in the search box and come up with all sorts of videos. Its pretty easy. You do not even want to try and compare white vs black violent crime. I could throw up a 100 videos for everyone 1 you can find.

    Btw since its Black History Month as pointed out as the inspiration for this article. Lets also look at this video.

  14. I do not agree with this pastor in any way, shape, or form. Interracial children, in my opinion, have fewer rough edges. Just because I disagree with the pastor, doesn’t mean I believe that he shouldn’t have the same civil liberties and freedoms that I enjoy. Denying the pastor his free speech right, is no different than fighting bigotry with bigotry. Leave the man alone to fade away on his own. There’s a reason why interracial marriage is more acceptable today — the 96 percent against it a half centry ago, are mostly dead by now.

  15. raff,
    Racists have always been with us and always will be. However, like all such things, they are increasingly marginalized. I had a discussion some time back with a cultural anthropologist regarding this phenomenon, and the way social psychologists believe it will be solved. Cultural and social pressure will be exerted slowly but inexorably. We can use smoking as an example of how that works in the real world. At first, it was having no smoking sections set aside in restaurants. Then workplaces. Then eliminated altogether.. Recently my daughter filled out a job application that asked if she had EVER smoked.

    The biggest medical center in the area, which owns a major teaching hospital and as fourteen hospitals in two states, has just outlawed smoking anywhere on hospital property, even inside your own car in the parking lot.

    The Gallup poll result quoted in the JC Press is telling and encouraging. The same kinds of results are obtained in public acceptance of same sex marriage. There are always going to be those who won’t accept anything, fearing the different “other.” Our best hope is to marginalize them, just as was done with smoking.

    I was introduced to Mr. Bill, the wonderful storyteller from McCook, Nebraska, a couple of days ago. I think one of his stories might be both informative and entertaining.

  16. Bemused by the hue and cry about undocumented workers coming to this country, those same types of folks did not seem to have a problem with undocumented workers sneaking into this county in the manner shown in this picture:

  17. And oh yeah, truthiness guy and nick. And Donny Reagan (his name should be a pun, but it’s not). Wanna see what one of those horrible “hybreeding “mongrels” looks like? Let me introduce you to my cousin Carl.

  18. Charlton’s title instantly reminded me of the article posted at , a not-so-subtle study of the use of rhetoric (and sarcasm) in public speaking, presumably to communicate a message which contradicts the more literal interpretation of the text itself. “Wright” appears 14 times in the address; “Constitution” only three. (Huffington Post referred to it as “Obama’s Race Speech.”)

  19. I looked at the church’s website, hoping to quickly find information about its governance. Nothing, though it states on the homepage the “Archived Services Are Unavailable At This Time.” I notice they refer to their congregation as “diverse” and, based on the fact that the Deacons, Staff and Trustees have all but disappeared, they seem to be rallying their support for Pastor Reagan’s style of preaching “what you need to hear and not what you want to hear,” if any, in private.

  20. If this guy is an idiot & needs to be called out, how did Obama get to be president listening for 20 years to some pastor who was a Jew-baiter & general anti-semite?

    While nothing Donny says can quite match up with an ordinary diatribe from 50% of our beloved American Imams, Pastor Reagan’s words are a good example of the First Amendment at work. The facts no government can stop Rev. Reagan hardly excuses anyone who steps foot in his church. Each one of those people needs to face up to the fact they are paying the salary of a minister who looks at history and hasn’t learned a GD thing.

    But, is this minister’s imprimatur on racism any different than the Obamas’ minister plying his trade out of an anti-OT church in Chicago? Having spent time in Johnson City, a guy like minister Reagan doesn’t surprise me. It does, however, surprise me at how many people for so long turned a blind eye to Rev. Wright. Is Obama going to give a speech placing Rev. Reagan in a “historical context”, a la Rev. Wright? You remember, glossing over questions such as how the White Man set up Pearl Harbour to allow a war, framed Nelson Mandela, developed & spread the HIV virus to kill off Blacks, how the Jews of today are not the same as those in the OT, etc., etc.

    Rev. Wright was not exactly Duke, Princeton or Yale Divinity material. Nor is his “PhD” from a respected Evangelical seminary such as Fuller, Knox, Dallas, Beeson, etc. He picked up a PhD from a school that pumps out plenty like him, though life is always easier for a “civil rights” based preacher when he can skip 95% of the OT and periodically but regularly drop in a “them Jews” comment.

  21. People like Charlton are idiots. Not once did I ever say anything about interracial children.
    However here is some delicious irony in his effort to stamp out racism against blacks and bigotry against gays.

    Matthew 7:5
    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.


  22. All this uproar about people being against gay marriage in America and how gays are treated in Russia. But damn…… they light em on fire in Africa!! Not a freakin peep out of the leftwing zealots.

    Btw, I am FOR gay marriage. I just hate hypocrites.

  23. Have they acquired their AR-15 rifles yet, to fight the enemies of Jesus, and get their white robes all bloody with their enemies?

    The Lord is a warrior and in Revelation 19 it says when he comes back, he’s coming back as what? A warrior. A mighty warrior leading a mighty army, riding a white horse with a blood-stained white robe … I believe that blood on that robe is the blood of his enemies ’cause he’s coming back as a warrior carrying a sword.

    And I believe now – I’ve checked this out – I believe that sword he’ll be carrying when he comes back is an AR-15.

    Now I want you to think about this: where did the Second Amendment come from? … From the Founding Fathers, it’s in the Constitution. Well, yeah, I know that. But where did the whole concept come from? It came from Jesus when he said to his disciples ‘now, if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’

    I know, everybody says that was a metaphor. IT WAS NOT A METAPHOR! He was saying in building my kingdom, you’re going to have to fight at times. You won’t build my kingdom with a sword, but you’re going to have to defend yourself. And that was the beginning of the Second Amendment, that’s where the whole thing came from. I can’t prove that historically and David will counsel me when this is over, but I know that’s where it came from.

    And the sword today is an AR-15, so if you don’t have one, go get one. You’re supposed to have one. It’s biblical.”

    (Hypothesis: The Cultural Amygdala – 4), quoting U.S. General preaching at a church).

  24. As horrible as what the pastor is saying is, I think the sound of the congregation all shouting “Amen!” after he says each horrible thing is worse.

  25. No doubt religion can be a vehicle of hate, but it is not limited to one segment of society.
    Reverend Wright, Al Sharpton, Black Liberation Theology thrive on that which is vile. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter to those who view through one lens and there will be no articles written here.

  26. So many logical fallacies, so little time. Defending the indefensible is really hard work.

    “People like Charlton are idiots.” That’s an ad hominem of the first order. If you have no argument, or if your argument is weak, attack the messenger.

    Then we have the straw man, the red herring, and my personal favorite, the Tu quoque fallacy. That can be translated as, “He did it, so it’s OK for my personal bigot to do it too.”

    My mom used to tell me that if little Johnny jumped off the top of the barn, did that make it OK for me to jump off the barn too.

    And as for the slaves, how about this great piece by Rev.Wintley Phipps explaining the origins of the five-note pentatonic melody for Amazing Grace. Rev. Phipps is an ordained Seventh-Day Adventist minister as well as musician and music teacher:

  27. There is racist, and their is racism.

    Racist is the individual, with his own opinions and actions. Anyone can be a racist.

    Racism is racist attitude coupled with institutional power. It takes a village and its leading idiot like Bro. Danny.

    There is very little if any institutional power backing black racists. There is no black racism. White racism — think voter suppression, the prison-industrial complex, the drug war — is still thriving in white society.

    The vapid comparisons to individual black leaders making legitimate observations and complaints about actual racism is but the thrashing of challenged white privilege.

    So, yeah, in ‘Merica it is a one-way street. And that’s the Truth, truth.

  28. Chuck

    Is the taking down of the videos on the Happy Valley Church’s website possibly indicative of a schism developing in this church? Someone mentioned earlier the staff of the church has left but I wonder if this might be the end of this congregation as it is known today.

  29. Darren,
    I don’t know. I will try to find out.

    When looking for an image to put at the top of this story, I came across a poster that said something similar to what Morgan Freeman is saying. I would have used it but it is copyrighted. Thanks for posting a great interview.

  30. Chuck,

    Brother Donny is a man of God. His God is a racist. Pastor Donny is just following his Lord’s wishes, doncha know? His God don’t want no stinkin’ hybreeding going on in the Land of the Free and the Home of his Happy Valleyites

  31. What doesn’t quite sink into the skulls of someone like “Truth” is White folk were not and are not the target of hundreds of years of discrimination in America ranging from slavery then, to voter disenfranchisement now. To his ilk, everything is now level and discrimination ended long ago. That is also the GOP position.

  32. “What?” — jay352

    This —

    “I’ve recently started noticing an unnerving trend on my social media accounts: articles and videos about white people being the victims of racism. It reflects an incorrect understanding of anti-racism that places racial bias outside of the historical forces that shape today’s racial constructs. The people who post these links are not particularly political, but their online actions are. They imply that instances of individual racial hostility are somehow equal to the systematic and institutionalized effects of white supremacy. It is a reminder that addressing racism without confronting white privilege is a perilous path.”

  33. There seems to be a gross misunderstanding of racism. Bigotry is the dislike of individuals who are part of a negatively stereotyped group, e.g. skin color, national origin, sexual orientation, etc. Racism is when those with the power institutionalize their bigotry that’s based on race, e.g. red-lining as practiced by George Romney and FHA and others denying returning AA vets mortgages that were readily available to white vets, racial profiling by cops, media that uses statistics to “prove” a greater propensity for committing crimes b/c more Blacks, Native Americans, and Latinos are imprisoned relative to their percentage of the population.

    It’s fair to say that some Blacks, Native Americans, and whites are bigoted. But only the whites in the US can be racist. Only they are the ones who have the power to institutionalize their bigotry.

  34. truth, I know your anger. I too was just labeled as hating “hybreeding mongrel” children by this man w/ letters after his name. I’m a godfather for an interracial boy. He likes to make implications w/o a shred of evidence. I saw it coming and that’s why I warned you about being civil. As best you can, ignore this relic and those who try and bait you. They have an ax to grind. Don’t let their bitterness influence you, because to be frank, I think you have enough!

  35. Bettykath, I’m glad you’re back and hope you stay. However, your definition of racism does not comport w/ the OED or any other reference book. So there’s that.

  36. Darren…

    I meant the listing of the Staff, Deacons and Trustees was removed from the church’s website; not that there had been a mass exodus; although, I don’t know that didn’t happen.

  37. Religious zealots are so so so irresponsible! There are two rather silly books called the bible & the Koran and people who call themselves religious will ignore their own godlike & spiritual qualities & instead quote or misquote from these badly translated uninspiring books to the point that torturing to death is something they can do without a true conscience or any real responsibility.

  38. Perhaps I have missed something.

    I have never encountered a person who was actually white (100.000… percent reflectance of the visible electromagnetic spectrum), nor have I ever encountered a person who was actually black (0.000… reflectance of the visible electromagnetic spectrum.

    Every person I have ever encountered has had a visible electromagnetic spectrum reflectance less than 100.000… percent and more than 0.000… percent, and no person I have ever encountered has had a perfectly uniform visible electromagnetic spectrum reflectance across the wavelengths of the visible electromagnetic spectrum.

    I have only met variegated colored people; therefore, I have never met anyone who was not of the colored race,

    I am a colored person; therefore, I am a member of the colored race?

    I learned that while looking at pictures in LOOK magazine in the late 1940s or early 1959s, when I saw a picture showing pair of water drinking units, one labeled, “Whites Only” and the other labeled, “Colored.” There was no water drinking unit labeled, “Blacks Only.”

    Even then, it occurred to me that, were I to be thirsty and want to get a drink of water from one of those water drinking units, I might be misunderstood.

    Come to think of it, whenever I make an effort to be rigorously honest, I tend to be misunderstood by many, but not all, people.

    Could it be true that I am blind to people who are white and blind to people who are black because I am black and cannot see color accurately?

    Or, perhaps I have a rare form of vitiligo?

    Or, perhaps I have a peculiar form of blindness?

    Or, perhaps, I am simply ignorant?

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