To the Editor:
The recent Daily Chronicle article on Michael Dickey is nothing less than destructive. Dickey is the man who verbally abused a Muslim woman at the DeKalb Walmart, and, when she tried to defend herself by filming him with her smartphone, he tried to remove her head covering.
In the course of this full page-plus article, Dickey, with the aid of his 91-year-old mother, repeatedly minimizes the hurtfulness of his actions.
“I didn’t mean to hurt in any way,” Dickey said. “I’m too open and too honest.”
His mother claims all the attention to the incident was “kindergarten stuff” and “blown out of proportion.”
Dickey himself even repeatedly tries to make himself out to be the righteous victim.
He said his desire to go back to doing chaplaincy work at the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center has been thwarted because officials there “got really paranoid,” adding that “the incident got all this publicity, and it just crucified me.”
The article does mention the disappointment of the victim of the assault and her family over his light punishment, but the weight of the article certainly gives the impression that Dickey is a saintly man whose reputation has been unjustly and cruelly tarnished by an insignificant incident.
Dickey said he is a Christian and a Lutheran.
If so, he should try to demonstrate true repentance by acknowledging and turning away from the great pain he has caused others, not to mention the destruction he causes the reputation of the Christian faith.
Neither he, nor the Christian church, are being crucified when they are rightly called to account for bigotry.
To truly repent is to face up to the pain we cause and the pain we excuse.
It is to deny ourselves and take up our crosses by acting to end the oppression others experience when they are judged to be unworthy.
The Rev. John R. Seraphine
Offended by article
about disgraced chaplain
To the Editor:
We are mystified about the front page article that appeared in the Chronicle on Saturday, March 31.
Why did the Chronicle choose to write a long feature story about Michael Dickey? Was it because he calls himself a devout Christian, who is fulfilling “God’s work,” as the headline declares? Or because he pleaded guilty to hurling an anti-Muslim insult at a woman as he tried to pull off her head scarf at Walmart in November?
Dickey offers lame excuses for his behavior, but nowhere in the article does he apologize to the woman. He said that he’s been hurt personally and that the incident “got all this publicity” and “it just crucified me.”The article gives considerable space to his plans to work as a chaplain at homes for the elderly. Seriously.
We are offended by this article, both on behalf of his victim and the many people in DeKalb who believe in the right of people to express their religious beliefs and customs without fear of being accosted.
Deborah and Colin Booth