Protestia (formerly Pulpit & Pen) has been around in some form for the last decade, publishing over 12,000 articles since 2002. For years we’ve served as a repository for discernment and polemics, garnering tens of millions of page views for people looking for information on the latest false teacher or the respectable leader who has some scurvy theological beliefs. We are a ministry of a local church, where polemics is only a small portion of all we do, and we are deeply committed to being a tool and resource for the believer wanting to navigate their faith in a world full of hucksters, heretics and bible-crooks.
We’re also very, very independent.
While Pulpit & Pen always had writers, JD was the face of it, banging out zingers on the daily and bringing down empires with his giftings and flair, crafting the ‘wrecking ball” method of writing that would shape our identity for years. Over time he saw what was happening to his state, dominated by liberal news sources, and identified a niche and need for an organization to start punching back, and therefore Montana Daily Gazette ( MDG) was born.
As JD got MDG up and running, and as it gained in popularity, it took more and more of his time away from writing for Christian polemics. He brought on a writer that would be able to focus on Pulpit & Pen while he turned the scrappy upstart paper into a force to be reckoned with. Over the years Pulpit & Pen became throttled and shadow-banned into oblivion – seeing our traffic drop 80% nearly overnight, and so we changed our name and website to Protestia, to escape our social media overlords and get a bit of breathing room, which was in early 2020. During this time, JD’s direct involvement in Protestia waned considerably.
Of the 2500+ articles that we’ve written over the last two years, JD has written less than 20 of them. Not 20%, but 20 articles in total. He has entrusted the direction of Protestia to the Managing Editor, who writes 95% of the articles, creates or sources all the thumbnails, clips all the videos, transcribes all the audio, and oversees all social media, including Twitter, Gab, two Facebook pages, and a couple of other minor sites. Regarding any of Protestia’s social media sites, JD doesn’t have access to any of them and is not listed as an admin or editor, having entrusted them to capable hands.
We also have several people who work in the background helping to source articles and moderate the bunker, as well as two new writers who post once or twice a week. JD has hosted the Polemics report for years- something he enjoys doing as a relaxing endeavor, but over the last few months that has been taken over by David Morrill, who has been affectionally dubbed ‘the pope of polemics’ and who has likewise written for Protestia.
All this to say that for the last two and a half years JD has been pouring his literal blood, sweat, and tears into his church his family, and his company, to the point that he’s broken down his body and has been worked over in ways few will ever experience, at great personal cost. He’s done that, but he hasn’t been active in creating written polemical content or its distribution.
We have. Faithfully so.
Last month, JD announced that he was quitting polemics to focus on the pastorate. This is something that needed to happen and we were glad for it. Then weeks later, he was stopped and charged with a DUI, which we’ve addressed here, but whose gist is that he blew 0.00 but was so medically unwell, that he was exhibiting symptoms similar to drug use, forcing law enforcement to take him in. Once out, and with the support of his church, he was put on bed rest, where he has been since, his wife and doctors taking care of him as he recovers.
True to his word, he got a new phone and gave the number to a small handful of people, none of which are us.
Now he’s in the news again for issuing a retraction for an article he wrote about trans activists, with folks blasting tweets like “Hate-preacher admits he made-up false accusations against queer politician” after he acknowledged he got portions of the story wrong, and that certain segments were untrue. Consequently, some people are asking how it affects Protestia and our ministry here.
The long and short answer is that it doesn’t.
We’re our own thing and are in very good hands. We are supported financially by our beloved and loyal Patrons whom we love the most and thank God for their sacrifices and gifts, followed far behind by our filthy freeloaders who we barely tolerate, and who likely spend half their time “going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it” when they’re not listening in to the free part of the podcast. ; )
JD is the publisher of both pages, Protestia and MDG, but they are run very differently.
Now we have this new retraction story from Montana Daily Gazette, a perfect storm of circumstances for folks to drop a couple of kicks in his belly with their boots, after JD issued a ‘Mea Culpa’ for a story he wrote more than a year ago, apologizing for errors in the article which got him sued for $250,000 and now facing bankruptcy.
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There are a lot of people with old scores to settle leaning into what it doesn’t say in ignorance of what it does. The Lord will deal with them. For us, we’re anxious for the day JD will join us for the Polemic report once again, healthy and recovered after a long and deep slumber.
May the Lord be with you all.
Dustin and David.