March 27, 2014
To the editor: I am disappointed by the lurid front-page article regarding a religious leader receiving a DUI (and related citations) that appeared in the March 27 edition of the Daily News-Miner.
As a state-certified substance abuse counselor with a degree in the field, I am well aware that “men of the cloth” (just like professional writers and journalists) often develop substance abuse problems. Regrettably, this is hardly front-page news.
I, of course, am not condoning the abuse of alcohol or in any way indicating that the facts should not be reported. I am concerned, however, that a person who dedicates his life to serving people should be singled out for high-profile humiliation because he is a member of a helping profession.
Substance abuse is a disease that attacks people of all walks of life. If this religious leader had been an automobile mechanic, salesman, construction worker, and so forth, his transgression would have appeared in the police report section of the paper (where such information belongs). Because he dedicates his life to others, however, his indiscretion gets front-page treatment. Shame on the Daily News-Miner for having done so.
I hope that, in the future, the Daily News-Miner will treat all people with parity and equity when substance abuse problems are reported. If not, I guess we can welcome your paper to the world of the National Enquirer.
Dr. Alf H. Walle