“Dr.” Raleigh


It seems that every Christian leader needs a doctorate and then he or she insists on the honorific. Sometimes these Ph.D.s come from unaccredited schools and sometimes the degrees are honorary. “Dr.” Alveda King is a prime example of this pretension. She uses “Dr.” wherever she can get away with it.

King and others would have people believe that they have an earned degree. It is not only pretentious, it is deceitful.

Peter Montgomery at Right Wing Watch wrote a first-rate piece about Promise Keepers’ rather militaristic rhetoric towards both same-sex marriage and reproductive choice. “Dr.” Raleigh Washington is president of Promise Keepers.

According to the organization’s website, “Raleigh was awarded Doctor of Peacemaking by Westminister College. He
was the third recipient of the award; the first went to Mother Teresa
and the second went to Bishop Desmond Tutu.”

This is an honorary degree, if that. I found three Westminster Colleges; Missouri, Pennsylvania and Utah. None of them offer doctoral programs (that would not preclude them from offering an honorary doctorate). Wikipedia offers an extensive separate section for the “List of honours for Desmond Tutu.” Tutu has dozens of honorary degrees. None of them are a Doctor of Peace and none come from Westminster College. By the way you would think that he would know that the correct form of address is Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Similarly, Wikipedia notes that Mother Theresa received an honorary doctorate from the University of Scranton but nothing from Westminster is noted. Perhaps she did not know that she was thus honored.

Last night I filed, on-line, a DBA for Liberty University of South Beach. When I woke up this morning I decided that the school should award me a Doctorate of Bullshit. It’s the least that they can do. So from now on it’s Dr. Hart, thank you very much.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.