John Proctor does not support Reverend Parris and views him as a selfish, materialistic individual who leads his congregation through fear by preaching nothing but hellfire and damnation. In act 1, John Proctor travels to Salem and visits Parris's daughter, Betty, who suffers from a mysterious illness. Once Proctor arrives, he discovers that Parris has called for Reverend Hale from Beverly to investigate possible supernatural forces throughout Salem. Proctor is critical of Parris's decision and believes that they should have voted before calling upon Reverend Hale to investigate witchcraft. When Mr. Putnam criticizes John for not attending church, John responds by saying,
I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr. Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God anymore.
John believes that Reverend Parris is a callous, insensitive man who does not appropriately lead his people or instill hope in the congregation. Reverend Parris then begins to complain about his salary, and John says,
Mr. Parris, you are the first minister ever did demand the deed to this house.
Proctor goes on to say that at the last meeting, Parris spoke so long about mortgages and deeds that he thought he was at an auction. Proctor recognizes that Reverend Parris is a superficial hypocrite who is materialistic and selfish. Proctor does not see the light of God in Reverend Parris and refuses to allow him to baptize his children. Proctor understands that Parris's primary goal is to remain in a position of authority at all costs and that he is not concerned about others. Proctor vehemently opposes Reverend Parris, and his negative feelings toward him continue to grow as the play progresses.