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Who is the Blessed Jonathan Myrick Daniels? Have you ever heard of him? Well, if you're an Episcopalian you have, because his Feast Day, August 14, just passed. He's a major hero of the civil rights movement, and he's...white.

He grew up in New Hampshire, the son of a physician, and served in the military before going on to Seminary, at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a zeal for Anglicanism and the civil rights of all persons.

Then, things took a turn. He found himself in a position to become a martyr, one of the the handfull of martyrs and "contemporary saints" of the Episcopal Church...

...over the fold...

Let's see what Wikipedia says about our Saint:

In March 1965, Daniels answered the call of Dr. Martin Luther King, who asked that students and clergy come to Selma, Alabama, to take part in a march to the state capital in Montgomery. Daniels and several other seminary students left for Alabama on Thursday, and had intended to only stay the weekend, but Daniels and friend Judith Upham missed the bus home. Forced to stay a little longer, Daniels and Upham realized how badly it must appear to the native civil rights workers that they were only willing to stay a few days. Convinced they should stay longer, the two went back to school just long enough to request permission to spend the rest of the semester in Selma, studying on their own and returning at the end of the term to take exams. Daniels stayed with a local African-American family, the West family. During the next months, Daniels devoted himself to integrating the local Episcopal church, taking groups of young African-Americans to the church, where they were usually scowled at or ignored. In May, Daniels traveled back to school to take his semester exams, and having passed, he came back to Alabama in July to continue his work. Among his other work, Daniels helped assemble a list of federal, state, and local agencies that could provide assistance to those in need. He also tutored children, helped poor locals apply for aid, and worked to register voters.
And he did that. He went down to Selma. He believed, as contemporary Episcopalians do, in freedom and self-determination.

I'm going to let Wikipedia continue, because it's perfectly written--better than I could do--and an open source:

On August 14, 1965, Daniels, in a group of 29 protesters, went to picket whites-only stores in the small town of Fort Deposit, Alabama. All of the protesters were arrested and taken to jail in the nearby town of Hayneville. Five juvenile protesters were released the next day. The rest of the group were held for six days; they refused to accept bail unless everyone was bailed. Finally, on August 20, the prisoners were released without transport back to Fort Deposit. After release, the group waited by a road near the jail. Daniels with three others—a white Catholic priest and two female black protesters—went down the street to get a cold soft drink at Varner's Cash Store, one of the few local stores that would serve nonwhites. They were met at the front by Tom L. Coleman, an engineer for the state highway department and unpaid special deputy, who wielded a shotgun. The man threatened the group, and finally leveled his gun at seventeen-year-old Ruby Sales. Daniels pushed Sales down to the ground and caught the full blast of the gun. He was killed instantly. The priest, Richard F. Morrisroe, grabbed Joyce Bailey, the other protester, and ran. Coleman shot Morrisroe, wounding him in the lower back.[4] Coleman was subsequently acquitted of manslaughter charges by an all-white jury.[5] Richmond Flowers, Sr., the then Attorney General of Alabama, described the verdict as representing the "democratic process going down the drain of irrationality, bigotry and improper law enforcement." [6] Coleman died at age 86 on June 13, 1997 without having faced any further prosecution. [7]
The Blessed Jonathan Myrick Daniels took a bullet meant for a young black girl. He did it willingly, no, bravely. The man who made him a martyr was let off. At the time, I suppose that was not unusual.

But what happened to that young black girl he saved? Her name is Ruby Sales, and this is what she's up to: The Spirit House Project. She went to EDS herself to honor the man who saved her life.

I weep when I tell this story. But it says a lot about the moral compass of the Episcopal Church in making Daniels a saint. My family is racially integrated, and I'm gay. We have a vested interest in the civil rights of everyone. I don't know that I'd have the courage of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, but I'd like to think that I would do what he did.

That "Dream"? It's all of ours.

Originally posted to Anglican Kossacks on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Support the Dream Defenders, Street Prophets , and Barriers and Bridges.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'd Like to Share This, Too (14+ / 0-)

    A wonderful program about James Baldwin. I saw it years ago on PBS.

    Watch James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket on PBS. See more from American Masters.

    The life, works and beliefs of the late writer and civil rights activist are recounted: what it is to be born black, impoverished, gifted, and gay in a world that has yet to understand that “all men are brothers.” James Baldwin tells his own story in this emotional portrait. Using rarely-seen archival footage from nine different countries, the film melds intimate interviews and eloquent public speeches with cinéma vérité glimpses of Baldwin and original scenes from his extraordinary funeral service in December 1987. His close friends and colleagues — even critics — illuminate the narrative, among them writers Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka and William Styron, plus entertainer Bobby Short. Originally broadcast August 1989, AMERICAN MASTERS presents this special encore broadcast 25 years after Baldwin’s death and 50 years after the historic March on Washington and publication of his bestselling essay The Fire Next Time. 90 minutes. link

    Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue - A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma

    by JekyllnHyde on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:38:36 PM PDT

  •  Thank you so much for the diary. Re-published to (13+ / 0-)

    Support the Dream Defenders.

    It is always wonderful when people stand up for justice, not just for their interests or group, but for everyone.

    “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it … we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    by DefendOurConstitution on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:42:26 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for doing that, it definitely belongs there (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Ojibwa, bastrop

      as this man was definitely a prophet that died on the streets.

      “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it … we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:27:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jonathan Daniels was at the March on Washington (11+ / 0-)

    Nobody knew until a recent photo was discovered. A Keene Sentinel article adds to the story of Jonathan Daniels. There's more in my comment I just posted at C&J.

    "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 05:54:36 PM PDT

  •  Oh, it just gets better: (4+ / 0-)

    http//">The Keene NH paper weighs in...

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:12:07 PM PDT

  •  No wonder the GOP leadership ducked out on the (8+ / 0-)

    50th anniversary of the march on Washington.  They had to realize they would be on a public stage with men and women who lived to tell the story of the experiences which killed Jonathan Daniels.  Want to look small?  Try that -- even in your best suit.  Earlier this year I had the privilege of having my sons meet two local men who shared the most instense civil rights struggles in the deepest South.  It was an evening without pomp or ceremony, but one they will never forget.  

  •  I am glad to know about (10+ / 0-)

    Jonathan Myrick Daniels. The UMC doesn't have the same sort of history that other denominations do when it comes to issues of race and civil rights. While we had a great many individuals taking part in the civil rights movement, and in efforts throughout history for equality and justice, the denomination as a whole is still in a place of deep repentance for our past attitudes and actions.

    The challenge to United Methodism stems from a tempestuous history unique in U.S. church life: In its early years, the Methodist church spawned three black denominations because of racial inhospitality.

    Those three denominations-African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and Christian Methodist Episcopal Church-have a combined membership of nearly 4 million people. Talks are underway now, through the Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation and Union, to seek ways toward meaningful unity between those three church bodies and the United Methodist Church.

    The other wounding United Methodist Church memory involves the treatment of black members after 1939, when the northern and southern branches of predominantly white Methodism reunited to form the Methodist Church. African Americans were organized into a separate administrative entity called the Central Jurisdiction, with its own annual conferences and bishops. The arrangement gave blacks a voice in the larger church but minimized contact with whites. It was administrative apartheid-official segregation-and it was not dismantled until 1968.

    The UMC was dragged reluctantly into the civil rights movement and it still an area of needful focus and effort today. We may not be where we were, but we're a ways away from where we should be.

    You should be very proud of your saints and martyrs, Brother commonmass. Very proud indeed.

    If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.-Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s

    by left rev on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:32:00 PM PDT

    •  If I remember correctly, the Episcopal Churh (10+ / 0-)

      was the only one that refused to split during the Civil War, and did something else, too: expected General Convention to meet in South Carolina during it.

      We are such scamps, we Anglicans.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 06:35:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We All Love You Commonmass (4+ / 0-)

        I live almost next door to an Episcopal Church. Such nice people. I always go to their Christmas Bazaar.

        Trinity Episcopal Church The Windmill Alliance Inc

        Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

        by rebel ga on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:36:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. My particular parish (5+ / 0-)

          is nearly--not quite but nearly--lilly-white. But they are deeply committed to social justice. As is the one I serve (I'm a member of the Cathedral Parish, not a member of the one I serve).

          You might recall that my late husband was Mohawk, and also an Anglican, and related to the great Mohawk leader, Anglican (and like Terun and I, a Freemason) and statesman Joseph Brant.

          I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

          by commonmass on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:42:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My Brother In Law Was A Freemason. (5+ / 0-)

            I didn't know that Terun was a Mohawk.

            New Jersey Tribes

            Just between you and me, this diary took over 25 hrs from start to final edit.

            I have a lot of the info on other diaries. I keep putting it out there because I've learned a lot about how bad off Native Americans are since joining DKos and I wanted them to see my links so they can get help.

            Most of my links are federal govt or some recognized agency.

            Some crabby guy taught me to use good sources. He complained about a link I had one night.

            I learn from everyone. I'm old, 63. It's something I figured out along the way. Learn from everything.

            A lot of people helped me in my life. Taught me to help others.

            I have a lot of time on my hands and I just learned the computer in 08'. After the typewriter it's like a toy to me.

            And I have a computer friend who set up my software, blogs etc. That's how I got my name.

            Georgia was already taken. He said describe yourself.
            I said I'm a rebel (school of Abbie Hoffman type) and so I'm rebel ga.  

            And this is what I leaned in school. BA Sociology, Minors in everything.

            I loved College would have stayed there forever.

            Have half a Masters. But I was 28 when I first enrolled. And I was there 12 yrs full and part time.

            I worked-studied, in our Art Dept. The Artists taught me so much.

            How to write especially. I typed everything for the Professors.

            State College. The Secretary was worn out trying to do the work of two for 20 years.

            The Art Professors used to chase me down the hall when they saw me.

            Saying; we love you Georgia, I need something typed.
            So you see I'm just giving out love.

            I typed all their stuff for $5.75 an hr. So now I do it for free. Getting paid in love is much more rewarding and pays better too.

            I'm from NJ but am temporarily (5yrs) in New Hampshire *White Mountains. I was injured in NJ and have had back problems ever since.

            The first year I was here. I hitched to a Pow Wow.

            I had about $10 to my name, (maybe a little more).

            Everyone was so nice to me. They sold me a beautiful little dreamcatcher for only $3. I saw a smaller one marked for $5.  

            I hobbled around the Sacred Circle when invited to dance and bought a little green glass stone for 50 cents.

            I saw lots of American Flags and POW Flags. And lots of Veterans. That reminds me I have to go put a link on my diary.

            So I walked around and it was hot that day.

            By the time I left I was tired. As I left there was a canopy with chairs so I sat down. A lady asked me if I would like some water and gave me a bottle of water for nothing.

            Then, a couple came out (they didn't know me) and asked me if I would like a ride home! They said they were from Boston.

            Dancing in the Sacred Circle really affected me.

            And I shop in A Native American store. The only place to buy incense. I use incense as a mood elevator and it's healing too. I only use natural incenses. It's worth a dollar more.

            The lady in the store and everyone who works there are so nice. And Native American Kossacks are so cool and wise.

            Some Kossack bought me a lifetime subscription, like on Christmas Eve last year.

            I didn't think I would get one. The ads weren't so bad.
            I figured someone with a slow computer could probably use the subscription.

            But then on Christmas Eve I saw it. I was like, Wow!

            After doing this diary I realize that all the Native Americans in the US could use all the help they can get.

            Especially the Lakota Sioux. I get it now. US govt has been after the Sioux forever. So pretty much up until Obama became President, the govt still broke all treaties.

            I saw the movie Billy Jack, years ago.

            Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

            by rebel ga on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:03:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I forgot what diary I was in. (5+ / 0-)

            In the other comment, I was referring to my new diary.    
            I published it tonight.

            I think I'm a little tired. But I'm happy to help people. That's how I have my fun, helping people. I'm a Sociologist.

            School Supplies Drive ♥ For The Okiciyap Community A Links "Information-A-Thon"

            Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

            by rebel ga on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:16:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I preached on JMD (6+ / 0-)

    6 years ago.  What an amazing witness to the power of transformation!  A true martyr to the faith.

    Obama/Biden 2012 Leadership - not lies!

    by thunderchi on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 07:05:59 PM PDT

  •  In order for Mr. Daniels to take the stand he did (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he had to overcome not only the biblical texts, which endorse slavery, and the lack of condemnation of slavery by Jesus, but also his own church's history on the issue.

    "Bishop Meade, an Episcopal clergyman of Virginia, cited in American Slavery and Colour by William Chambers 1857, pointed out that a slave out to regard his master as God himself:

    Having thus shewn you the chief duties you owe to your great Master in heaven, I now come to lay before you the duties you owe to your masters and mistresses here upon earth. And for this you have one general rule, that you ought always to carry in your minds, and that is, to do all service for them as if you did it for God himself. Poor creatures! you little consider when you are idle and neglectful of your masters' business; when you steal, and waste, and hurt any of their substance; when you are saucy and impudent; when you are telling them lies and deceiving them; or when you prove stubborn and sullen, and will not do the work you are set about without stripes and vexation-you do not consider, I say, that what faults you are guilty of towards your masters and mistresses, are faults done against God himself, who hath set your masters and mistresses over you in His own stead, and expects that you will do for them just as you would do for Him. And pray do not think that I want to deceive you when I tell you that your masters and mistresses are God's overseers, and that, if you are faulty towards them, God himself will punish you severely for it in the next world, unless you repent of it, and strive to make amends by your faithfulness and diligence for the time to come..."

    So he actually deserves accolades not only for his deeds, but for his recognition of and application of his own inner humanism.

  •  thank you for witness on religious left (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to know all those stories of brave regular people.

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