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.

Gawker

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

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

    Hubert,
    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. “What?” — jay352

    This —

    http://www.racefiles.com/2014/01/08/social-media-anti-racism-101for-white-people/

    “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.”

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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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