There are certain truths in this business of ratting out bad actors in churches. One of those truths is that a church is in dire trouble when it starts pushing puff pieces. And that is nowhere more the case than at St. Paul’s, Oakwood, OH, which just released a warm-and-fuzzy piece on Living Church titled “Keeping the main thing the main thing.”
The move appears to be an effort to counteract our ongoing coverage of rector Dan McClain’s dismal conduct, as well as that of the church’s wildly dysfunctional vestry.
Indeed, the article in Living Church is so disingenuous that countless failed dot-coms from the telecoms bubble spring to mind.
In the case of the dot-coms, a sure sign that a specific company was about to implode was the obligatory press release, usually on a Monday, which invariably said something like, “Contrary to rumors and speculation in the press, StickyFingers.com remains a viable business and a leader in online innovation.”
Invariably, the news that StickyFingers.com had failed to secure additional funding and was “suspending” business hit the following Friday at 5:00 P.M.
For the record, the St. Paul’s piece is just as bad as the worst moments of the dot-com debacle.
For example, McClain tries to overcome concerns about an exodus of members by blaming change. But appropriately handled change, with discussion, buy-in, and kindness towards others, rarely results in people leaving.
Nice try, folks.
Similarly, McClain babbles on about keeping the main thing the main thing.
Just what are those main things?
Jesus tells us the main things are: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. And the second is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thyself. On these hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
So, with those words in front of us, we are left wondering why the Stephen Minister’s program got axed.
From there, we go to the issue of “by their fruits you shall know them.”
On that score, we have several problems:
- McClain’s efforts to avoid supporting his wife and kids required the local courts to order the church to withhold the money from his paychecks.
- McClain’s myriad fabrications.
- McClain’s bullying/manipulative behavior toward family and friends.
So, help us understand: How do any of these comport with even a basic notion of Christianity? What sort of lessons do these actions teach to onlookers?
Nor are things any better at the vestry, with its lies to the congregation about how an investigation is required any time a Title someone files a Title IV complaint or its claim that the current Title IV complaint was made anonymously.
To reiterate, Anglican Watch filed the complaint. We put our name on it. And while we were diligent in our research, no one put us up to it or helped us.
As for claims that the vestry loves McClain, those claims are irrelevant.
Narcissists by definition attract flying monkeys.
And people like all sorts of unsavory characters, including Charles Manson, Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jeffrey Epstein, Episcopal priest Bob Malm, and alleged child rapist and Episcopal priest Richard Losch.
Friendly is not the same as faithful, and some of the friendliest people are also the most abusive.
So spare us.
The reality is that if St. Paul’s is such a slice of stained-glass paradise, folks should be lined up at the door.
But the reality is people are leaving in droves.
Why are people leaving? In no small measure, the answer is that Dan McClain is a bully, a liar, a master manipulator, and a truly ugly human being. Ugly, on the inside, where it counts.
The vestry is just as bad and comprised of sycophants, enablers, flying monkeys and witless wonders who ignore McClain’s misconduct.
Oh, and speaking of the main thing, why did the courts have to order the church to deduct support from McClain’s pay? What does that tell us about McClain’s personal integrity? And why are members of the vestry not paying attention to this egregious violation of the baptismal covenant?
And why did McClain go to court in an effort to reduce his already meager support payments, even as he has discretionary funds for a new tattoo? And what kind of asshole/fake Christian goes around telling members of the congregation his wife has a mental illness? Or has an affair while still married?
Folks, if this is your idea of Christianity or appropriate conduct for a priest, no thanks. You can keep both your Christianity and your priest. And we’ll take a pass on the parish and the diocese as long as this great crock of goo, Daniel McClain, is around. (BTW, if you want an earful, call folks at his last parish and ask for an off-the-record conversation. Our hair is still standing on end.)
As for St. Paul’s, let’s cut to the chase: It’s time to close. At this point, the church is doing more harm than good. Figure out what to do with the remains in the columbarium and sell to the Baptists.
And to parents bloviating about how much they love St. Paul’s, you might want to do a little digging. While we are not yet ready to publish specifics, there are issues in the parish that should cause you great concern about the safety of your children. And you don’t have to dig to ask what lessons your kids are learning from a priest who has to be forced by the courts to pay child support, even as he’s getting another of his nasty tattoos.
Repeat: Parents should NOT bring children to St. Paul’s. We’ll leave it at that for now.