Unpleasant character, unpleasant demise


Pope Danny Ray Johnson was a blustery, cocky, unpleasant dude: a racist, Confederate-flag-wavin’, Bible-thumpin’, struttin’ caricature of a certain kind of toxic Southern masculinity. Of course he had a church — the kind of church centered around a cult of personality, where the pastor could call himself Pope (and have a hat that spelled out “POPE” on it), where the choir would pose with their guns on display, where Rebel flags hung from the walls, a church with a bar (which isn’t a bad idea…) but no liquor license, but they’d try to get away with selling alcohol with the excuse that it was for communion. Johnson was happy to post memes to Facebook calling the Obamas “monkeys”. That’s just the kind of good ol’ boy he was. He also got elected to the state congress of Kentucky, because that’s the kind of horrible person who can get elected in the benighted counties of the regressive South.

Oh, and he was also a child molester. I’ve put the 17 year old victim’s account below the fold, because it’s a bit detailed and unpleasant, and the story just gets worse and worse.

That night, she woke after settling in on the sofa. She was groggy, unfocused. But she saw Johnson kneeling above her. He gave her a kiss on the head. She thought it fatherly, nothing out of the ordinary, simply one last goodnight gesture.

Then he started to stroke her arm. He slid his hands up, under her shirt and bra, and groped her. He stuck his tongue in her mouth. Then, he forced his hands down her pants, underneath her underwear, and penetrated her with his finger.

She begged her pastor to stop and tried to force him off, quietly. She remembers not wanting to awaken Sarah. But Johnson was a big man, roughly twice her weight.

He told her she’d like it. She said no, she didn’t. She pleaded with him: go away, go away.

Eventually, he did.

She lay on the sofa for hours, those moments running through her head, over and over. She remembers feeling frozen.

“Every little sound that I heard I was terrified that it was his door opening up and he was coming back out,” she said.

And now Johnson is dead. He killed himself in a bizarre frenzy of denial, recriminations, guilt, and God. He left behind a suicide note on Facebook.

The accusations aren’t from NPR, but from the young woman he assaulted. “Fake news” seems to be the rallying cry of every conservative whose offenses have been outed. It’s nice that he proclaims his love for his wife and family before dropping his bloody corpse into their lives, but I think there are better ways of demonstrating that.

I have no idea why he’s babbling about 9/11 in a suicide note. He wasn’t there. He claimed to have been doing rescue work in the aftermath of the terror attack, but no one remembers seeing him there, and all he’s got are some celebrity shots with people like Giuliani — and that he somehow managed to wangle workmen’s compensation from the state of New York. So he’s one of those stolen valor guys, and also a deadbeat grifter.

It’s really hard to feel any pity for him.

By the way, before you start pointing out that he’s a suicide, so he can’t go to heaven — the Christian Bible is a complicated mess on the subject. There aren’t any explicit threats about being damned if you commit suicide, but only vague and ambiguous statements about your life being in the Lord’s hands, which is interpreted to mean that you will be punished if you don’t let God decide your fate…but you’d think then that it would be even more furiously against people who kill others, but there’s a lot of genocide and murder in the book.

Danny Johnson is not at home in heaven right now because heaven doesn’t exist. He’s just dead.

Comments

  1. birgerjohansson says

    …, but, to quote Cat from Red Dwarf attempting to cheer up Arnold Rimmer, on the other hand, now it’s party time for the worms.

  2. says

    To quote a few people;

    “Finally a good use for guns”
    and
    “Good”

    The only bad part about the afair is that his victim won’t get to see him in jail, but considering how the courts work with assault and Christian Good Guys, now he’s assured of no longer harming others.

  3. says

    By the way, before you start pointing out that he’s a suicide, so he can’t go to heaven — the Christian Bible is a complicated mess on the subject.

    That’s a catholic thing, suicide is a mortal sin, yadda yadda.

  4. says

    What happens to the republican majority? Did one of their votes just blow its stinking brains out?
    It sure would be interesting if, between Moore losing in Alabama, and this guy executing himself, they couldn’t shove the tax bill over the line.

    By the way, I don’t think innocent people shoot themselves in the head over being accused of something they didn’t do. Maybe they shoot the other guy, but themselves? Nah.

  5. johnhodges says

    In the Catholic tradition, you would go to Heaven if you died in a “state of grace”, and you were in a state of grace in the time between when you confessed your sins and were absolved by the Priest, and the time you next committed (or thought about committing) another sin. Some poor miserable peasants took advantage of this by committing suicide immediately after being absolved. Since dead peasants contribute nothing to the coffers of either Landlord or Parish, something had to be done to stop this, so they simply declared suicide itself to be a mortal sin. You can’t win, you can’t break even, you can’t get out of the game.

  6. says

    BTW, not at all important but just for the record, NPR didn’t even report the story. It was a local radio station. NPR didn’t pick it up, for some reason.

  7. says

    @Marcus #6,

    By the way, I don’t think innocent people shoot themselves in the head over being accused of something they didn’t do. Maybe they shoot the other guy, but themselves? Nah.

    Recently we had in CZ a man who hung himself after being acused of sexually abusing his five years old daughter. The child made some pretty normal remarks during speech therapy (about liking to sleep in the bed with her parents and about her father joking with her when bathing her), which the speech therapist overinterpreted as being proof of her sexual abuse. Without any input from actual psychologists police vere called. This has lead to him being arrested, immediately denied all contact with the family and threatened with jail.
    No trauma in the child was confirmed and absolutely no evidence of abuse was found. The girl was just very beloved by her father and he, oh the horror, was really only bathing the five year old. Which, by the way, do all people who have children I know, of multiple genders. Many five year olds are not yet capable of washing themselves competently and completely.
    The result – two orphans, one widow and a social worker who thinks she is Freud.

    This specific case is of course different from the one mentioned by me. The accuser here is the victim herself not some overconfident wannabe Freud. So in this particular there is no reason to doubt his real guilt.

    But no, you are not right. Innocent people can fel overwhelmed, being betrayed by the system and pushed so far in the corner by an unjust accusation to the point of commiting suicide. However rare an occurence that might be.

  8. Athaic says

    have a hat that spelled out “POPE” on it

    You don’t say. Was it misspelled, by any chance? Maybe an extra ‘o’?
    I know this magic dude, bit of a coward, also has a special hat, red, pointy, with letters on it. Much more sympathetic, too.

    Um, speaking of hats and religious leaders, I discovered recently this quote from George Carlin:
    https://zenpencils.com/comic/23-george-carlin-on-religious-hats-explicit/

    before you start pointing out that he’s a suicide, so he can’t go to heaven — the Christian Bible is a complicated mess on the subject.

    That it was. As Caine pointed out, Catholics may be more decided on this, to a point. It was supposed to be the rationale behind the usual judiciary verdict in 19/20th century – “killed himself in a moment of insanity”. See, he was crazy when he offed himself, it was as if someone else did it, so no point in adding grief to the family by refusing a religious burial. Let’s forget it could be a sin. There were a few examples of this verdict in Agatha Christie’ novels, IIRC.

    OTOH, at other times, it was definitively a no-go-to-heaven. The local priests were actually making sure of this by having the corpse beheaded and buried outside of consecrated ground. A crossroad was a nice place. There is a cross, and the soil above the unmarked tomb will soon be trampled over.
    At the start of the movie “Kingdom of Heaven”, there is such a scene taking place. The then-dead woman took her life in grief because of her still-born child, and the priest was busy seeing to her special burial (before going on to taunt the husband, but I digress). When I discussed this scene with my mom, who took history study as a hobby since her retirement, she was just like “Oh yeah. Standard practice. Especially since her baby died, so obviously there was something wrong with her.”
    (I hasten to precise, the last bit was sarcasm – my mom knows painfully well that pregnant women and newborn babies could run into many health issues)

  9. says

    Charly @ 10:

    But no, you are not right. Innocent people can fel overwhelmed, being betrayed by the system and pushed so far in the corner by an unjust accusation to the point of commiting suicide. However rare an occurence that might be.

    I agree completely, and I don’t think it’s all that rare of an occurrence.

  10. says

    @11, Athaic

    You don’t say. Was it misspelled, by any chance? Maybe an extra ‘o’?
    I know this magic dude, bit of a coward, also has a special hat, red, pointy, with letters on it. Much more sympathetic, too.

    Stercus, stercus, stercus, morituri sum!

  11. busterggi says

    says it all –

    On the death of Joan Crawford- “‘My mother told me never to speak badly of the dead. She’s dead….Good” — Bette Davis

  12. some bastard on the internet says

    He seriously called himself ‘pope’?

    Well, then I guess Tim Minchin’s pope song applies to him, too.

  13. abusedbypenguins says

    The republican party
    Setting on a park bench
    Eyeing little girls with bad intent

  14. Jeremy Shaffer says

    I’m just going to note that he encouraged “Conservatives take a stand” as he was telling everyone he was Outie 5000.