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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at www.clsnet.org if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Southern Baptists Phoenix Alt Right Resolution and How it Plays in Bama

      A Catholic friend from South Florida texted yesterday to say the Baptists were in a frenzy in Arizona over an alt right resolution. Rick Burgess talked about it a little this morning on his syndicated four hour radio program so I changed my online routine for the week and caught up on this Thursday cause these types of things have been of interest to me since 1988 when I got on a microphone in San Antonio in 1988 and Judge Pressler himself and Jesse Helms operative Barry McCarty took note.

   Then in March of 1993 there was the discussion outside FBC Bham with Steve Gaines right after the snowstorm that year. about a thousand Baptist preachers and laymen were in town for an Inquisition of then Samford President Tom Corts.

    Steve Gaines is now President of the SBC leaving Gardendale Bama to go to the Belleview Baptist Church where fundamentalist guru Adrian Rogers once hailed sway for his version of Jesus Christ and Ronald Reagan.

   Here is a pic of Gaines and his aging Homecoming beauty of a wife in earnest prayer yesterday in Phoenix

     https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-southern-baptist-convention-alt-right-white-supremacy/530244/?utm_source=fbb

   Think Progress, Baptist Global News, Christian Century and Christianity Today and many others have impassioned stories about this frenetic event the last couple days in AZ.

      Four weeks ago some of this was prophesied in a good piece easily googled at Forbes for Pastors and Republicans. Goes back to Criswell in 56 and Lee Atwater's infamous "nigger memo".

    And some truth and reconciliation is in order for Saint Russ Moore. He would not have this platform for beatification with Rev McKissic if it weren't for the racist, Texas Regulars, left White Citizens council members and Birchers that led the takeover of the SBC in the 80s, folks like Paul Pressler, Jesse Helms, Bircher Albert Lee Smith of Bham whose wido is tight with immigration lawyer Kris Kobach, and Ed Mcateer of Adrian Rogers now Gaines Memphis church.

   Check those dudes out and have Moore explain that history.


     But listening to the alt right Baptist outlet in Bama today, Cliff Simms Yellowhammer News midday day two hours on Crawford Broadcasting with Andrea Tice you wouldn't know anything about it.

   I don't know if Gardendale's Scott Beason said anything before them. Rick Burgess did cover it in passing on his four hours of early morning live call in syndication this morn.

    Jennifer Rash of the Alabama Baptist is gonna have her hands full between now and the Baptist State convention in November.

    Baptist preacher's son Cliff Simms is now in the steve Bannon alt Right White House with Jeff Sessions, Steve Miller and Donald Trump. Simms is an Auburn Grad. An Oxford American or New Yorker profile on Simms and his media empire he took leave of absence from for Trump White House is in the offing one would hope.

   A Greenville SC native has taken Simms place while he is away. And Tony Beam of North Greenville has Simms back for Trey Gowdy in the Upstate for all I can tell.

     And it will be interesting to see how Eric Metaxas, the Trump apologist and Bonhoeffer scholar navigates all this. Metaxas is a darling of Billy Graham and Trey Gowdy's FBC Spartanburg SC Truth for a New Generation Conferences.

   Pulitzer's Marilynne Robinson essay Value spotlighting Bonhoeffer in the Age of Trump is a challenge for Metaxas to say the least. And on June 15 two Duke scholars have a little something for the world of Metaxas and Trey Gowdy as well.
https://baptistnews.com/article/violence-atonement-racism/#.WURYSnkQWM9


  Also late Friday, Yellowhammer News says this blog may be part of the conversation for a US Senate Primary debate in Oxford Alabama on Tuesday, or some reference to the Alt Right Resolution in Phoenix. Hopefully I have given YHammer and Cliff Simms in the White House something to think about

     

     Follow the evolving conversation in the SBC Forum of Baptistlife.com cause it looks like the cat has jumped out of the bag this time and may not be going back in of its own volition.

   Bible says we have all sinned and have things to confess. In some ways proud of these lagging fundamentalist brothers for a step in the right direction even if their brothers of color in the room had em by the balls and their hearts had to follow.

   Like Donna Gaines, we all need to be much in prayer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

An Open Letter to SEC Commisioner Greg Sankey

     First, Mr. Sankey, I got to ask you, are you any relation to the legendary Methodist hymn maker, Ira D. Sankey. I understand you are a native of Upstate New York, so I had to ask.

      In October of 2012 I had a brief on air conversation with Paul Finebaum and Bama's Rhodes Scholar QB Greg McElroy about Howell Raines 84 piece in the New Republic, Farewell to the Bear. Finebaum volunteered it was the best piece he'd ever read about the larger world of Bear Bryant's influence.

   I commend that piece to you as I think we are in similar times now in the era of Donald Trump, and all the Bama input in his administration from Stephen Miller and Jeff Sessions, to Cliff Simms of Yellowhammer News and their religious right base here in Bama. That includes Rick Burgess and Andrea Tice and their network of Baptist mega churches.

    Don't want to get too deep in the woods on that but do invite you and Condi Rice and Archie Manning and the Playoff selection committee to take a close look at this provocative conversation I watched over the weekend on BookTv

      https://www.c-span.org/video/?428726-1/becoming-ms-burton

     I think the implications are obvious for the players and extended families of the overwhelming population on the field on any given Saturday in SEC Football.

    You talk about athletics and academics as the spotlight for your tenure as SEC commissioner.

    Lot to talk about here framed in the New Republic piece and this conversation of May 18 at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in NYC. Even more so as you learn about the connection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Abyssinian and 16th Street BC in Bham.

     See the chapter Value in Pulitzer Winner Marilynne Robinson's collection of essays The Givenness of Things.

    And Condi Rice has that great story about her Uncle Alto. Condi also was recently on booktv from the Reagan Library to talk about her new book Democracy. She had a glorious anecdote about passing a voting station in Bham in the 60s and seeing blacks lined up to vote against George Wallace. She had the wits even then to mention to her Uncle Alto don't they know our votes don't count?

   And he replied, maybe not now, but someday and sooner than you think.

   I don't want to overwhelm you, but will share this blog widely for your conversations. Among places I will link this invitation for conversation are the Student Ministry of St. Francis Catholic Church in Tuscaloosa to which Nick Saban and his wife contributed a million dollars within the last year, the New Baptist Covenant initiative of President Carter and Progressive Baptists, General Krulak, retired president of Birmingham Southern; and I hope to bring it to Paul Finebaum's attention if he takes a call in the next ten days or so.

    And while I don't have direct contact with Condi Rice and Archie Mannining, everybody has friends of friends. Scott Hunter's daughter on the Bama state school board should be reading this afternoon.

    I hope we can exchange emails soon.

   Thanks

  post script. Chat with Finebaum and McElroy Sept 2012

     http://foxofbama.blogspot.com/2012/09/bama-and-jets-greg-mcelroy-one-rhodes.html

Friday, June 09, 2017

Furman embarks on year long study of Founders and Slavery

     Been an interesting conversation last few days on Furman's facebook wall about this iniative. As I understand the Furman inhouse article a lot of panelist will be called in to discuss the matter in the wake of monuments coming down, the Confederate flag removal at Statehouse, and a petition to rename Wade Hampton HS in Greenville to Max Heller High.

    Wade Hampton was big front page controversy in Greenville News a few weeks ago. I'm of mixed opionions on that specific idea, though no fan of Wade Hampton. So far I think Furman grad Vernon Burton (FU 69) has the high ground in the larger conversation as I blogged a few weeks ago in the Proud to be a Paladin blog.

     Desmond Vesey, the leader of the slave revolt and spiritual founder of Mother Emanuel Church of the Charleston Nine is certain to be a part of this conversation at Furman. It was his revolt that stoked the founding of Pat Conroy's Citadel, and provoked a reaction from Richard Furman for whom Furman is named to preach some sermons Bruce Gourley among others say was pivotal  a "tipping point" in hardening South Carolina culture as a buttress for John C Calhoun's Civil War.

   This iniative will come to nought in my opinion if it doesn't work its way through Jim Crow and talk about Lee Atwater and WA Criswell in the frame of the easily googled Pastors, Republicans, Forbes Magazine piece; and follow the way in which the politics of slavery and race has morphed its way into the Truth for a New Generation conferences of Trey Gowdy at FBC Spartanburg.

   That's getting right down to the Real Nitty Gritty.

   But we shall see. To paraphrase Robin Williams line at the Oscars some ten or more years ago. As Adam said to Eve, get back, there is no tellin how big this thing is gonna be.

     Here is a can opener with the Furman official notice link embedded.

      http://forums.baptistlife.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10354&p=168637#p168637

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

The So Called "Biblical (?) Worldview" of Andrea Tice and Rick Burgess Sux

     This blog will evolve and refine over the next few days, so some back later. Should be some pristine resource links embedded and footnoted at the end, so do the remedial education.

    Andrea Tice has the midday slot on Yellowhammer News and Crawford Broadcasting WYDE out of Bham and Cullman. I have written about their network to the White House through Cliff Simms, and many spiderwebb entanglements with several influential fundamentalist Southern Baptist mega churches including the 14 campus Baptist Church of the Highlands.

   Yesterday I heard Luther Rice grad Tice--her husband on staff at Church of Brook Hills--talking about the evils of the Moslem faith. I called in and the screener, said: "Brother, we aren't taking your calls anymore".

    Tice out of ignorance she shares with Rick Burgess--they announced Burgess endorsement of some Dawson fellow for Governor, to the right of Mike Huckabee they say--she at best whitewashes "Christian" history in Bama.

      George Wallace had 80 percent approval by white Baptists in the 60s in Bama. Somehow that, nor WA Criswell's remarks at the 56 SBC pastors conference in Columbia SC doesn't register with Tice and Rick Burgess when they want to excoriate the menace of Jihad.

     I'm no fan of what happened in London two days ago, but I will submit the Mayor of London is a better American than Donald Trump, Rick Burgess and Andrea Tice. He understands the vision of Democracy shared by Condi Rice, Obama in his Profiles in Courage Acceptance speech, and Azar Nafisi in her Introduction to this Republic of Imagination.

      I talked to Jennifer Rash of the Bama Baptists where I will link this blog on facebook, right after I got the blackball notice from Crawford Yellowhammer. Also left a message for Wendy Davis, assistant to the pastor of FBC Gardendale, Alabama.

   This discussion needs some light. I hope Samford and or Bham Southern will host some conversations this fall.
  
    Google, Pastors, Republicans, Forbes; and Wayne Flynt on Alabama religious politics at Financial Times. I'm with Harper Lee and Atticus Finch on this one.....Andrea and Rick, we'll be talking about you in a couple weeks at the Convo of the of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta.

   Post script. Apparently my ban was just for the local branch of the Woolworths, the Andrea Tice show, as Weds I was back on air in a call in to FBC Gardendale's Scott Beason morning show on WYDE. Had him looking at the Forbes piece but as we know Comey testified on Thursday and I imagine Beason got distracted.

     On Thursday I called in the Finebaum show and had good chat about the Bear and Frank Deford

Friday, June 02, 2017

Our Shooger Booger turns 44 today

     The Prince's Wife, the Shooger Booger, aka Susan Weaver now Morgan has birthday today. Hers is always 15 days after mine and a day of the week later.

   SWM has been a dear friend since she was in 8th grade. Time flies but I have known her for two thirds of her life now about half of mine.

   She is key player in a film script that has been read as far away as the state of Washington, but it is not in production. Set in a fictionalized version of Collinsville Alabama, late 90s, early 21st Century, let's just say it's something. She comes out best of the four key roles, all fictionalized versions of the founding members of the Collinsville Film Society.

    Her Mother made perfect on ACT in 65 in Math and Sbooger likes a good sunday school class.

   She crossed over to the Baptists from the Methodists circa 94 and what follows are some memorable shared history events many of which she's probably forgotten as life does go on.

      The dipstick incident 2am in the morning 2 blocks south of the Historic Iconic 16th Street Baptist church after City Stages. Two Cars. Ms Weaver Morgan was driving the Honda with four 8th graders, Jojo Morgan, Oliver Hall II and the kid, later QB whose name I will remember shortly.

   I was in the Malibu with Andee, Brett and Matt Morgan, the latter now Yale Div School grad helping the Homeless in Connecticut.

    The Rip Shinn tour of Thanksgiving circa 93 or 94. Full Van, The Prince driving. My sister Marsha was in town and in the second row. I think Ross was in the car somewhere and I had shotgun.

     Jekyll trips with Collinsville Youth. Andy usually left a day early cause he had things to do and I rode back with him through Surrency. We has Rusted Root on the sound system and it cost him 200 dollars when the the state trooper stopped him. Another time just me and Andee and the Boog and Matthew. There was a picture taken but I was not in it.

  And who could forget The Cedar Bluff game of fall of 92 and all the ensuing drama. I went to Rome Ga with Mark Delk and didn't get there till half time and picked up some fried apple pies from My Dad and Edna. The next Friday booger and I hit some tennis balls on the parking lot with a net on it in Collinsville and there were some miscommunications that followed before the homecoming game.

      The Trail. I forget the official name. That's where late teens come to the substitute teachers house at 2 am and blow on the horn and shine the lights through the window. If you go outside to see if it's the KKK they say get in the Van, and then they take you through a pasture you don't know about across a ridge and under the interstate. One time they took a truck and Andrea bounced out of the bed and as they say at the end of the  novella Train Dreams, That time was gone forever.

       Ride to Auburn with Leah to see Dodd, and Janies Got a Gun with with the Mayor's daughter after the Montgomery slow pitch finals in 94. Andee checked out of class early. Transport by the Malibu a good car.

   And just last night the lime green suit, John Travolta special, pumps and all when Dodd came down to the house, Pam Hall brought that up just last night and got a big guffaw. Oh, Brett and the Rolling Stones on Cable AXS this Sunday at 5 pm bama time

    And that day in 2006, March I think it was when David Ryan and another city council member and I strolled through town talking about the direction of the city and I dropped by the waterboard there by the Levee and you had gone to lunch. That is one of Lori at City Halls faves.

   And who could forget that day when you came through town when I was hitting tennis balls against the flower shop and you stopped at the car to see if I had an extra can in the backseat. Our friend Jeremy Higginbotham liked that one and it was the best laugh at my expense I remember from the Dawg Nine

       Early Sunday morning devotions the morning the Booger got baptized.

    Summer of 2000 when Dr. Gorgeous and her friend from Cullman came to town with Pacers.

    My last time in the choir loft with some members of UVA's Jubilate to sing gloriously on April Fools Day for the Booger and Prince wedding. I remember David Ryan was in the balcony as was Laura, the tax collectors daughter in law. Full House. Raymond was there and Aunt Katie and the whole deal. Becky Kennedy director.

   Prince and Boog came to my 50th Bday party in SC cause I was kicked out of about everything in Collinsville by then. LOLOL. They broke my sister's coffee maker but that's okay cause they helped with Cotton Patch Gospel choir tour starring the skinny preacher and my nephew Andrew and everybody got to see President Carter in 2014.

   And what Ms Rowan, the good Librarian said.

   I could go on and on but the Booger is kinda quiet and public and is tired of all the fuss by now I'm certain.

   God Bless and Happy Birthday the booger. Your Mom is holding the two dollars for the present best I know. Still working on the Crowd Source funding.

   Don't forget the free blackberry cobbler and scoop of vanilla bean at the Cracker Barrell.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A Gaffney High Tennis Team Blast from the Past

  From a March 1971 Gaffney Ledger, Coach Roger Smoak, a classmate of Marshall Frady at Furman 63 speculates on his squad and their upcoming season.

   I think the first sentence got chopped from the end, But I believe he is talking about the left hander and Number two John Greene at first and gets Rajesh at the end. Other than that this piece reads pretty much as the original best I can figger:



             Page 8A-The Gaffney Ledger-Wednesday, Mardh 10, 1971 GHS Tennis Team
His experience and cunning, along with his lefthanded serve should give him an edge in most of his matches," Smoke said. Bruce Adams, a junior, is playing number 3. Adams is a rea
l determined player who doesn't take to losing lightly. He is a big strong boy and this helps him at net and on his serve. "Bruce only needs a little more experience and consistency to be a top notch player," according to Smoke. Playing number 4 is another junior, Timmy Gregory. Gregory is a player with fine form and this should help him develop into a fine player. He and Bruce Adams form a fine doubles team that is tough to beat. "Timmy is one of the keys to a good season. If Timmy becomes a little tougher mentally and improves a few of his strokes, then he will be a very tough player to beat." Stephen Fox is currently playing number 5. Fox last year became the first Gaffney player to reach the state semi-finals, eventually losing to the state champion in his bracket. "Stephen has the strokes but must learn to bear down and concentrate in order to reach his full potential. If he does, then he'll be a fine tennis player," Smoke said. Harry Poole is playing number 6. Poole, a junior, will be trying to fill the shoes of Steve Taylor who graduated last year. Poole is the only player without much experience as he only began playing tennis about a year ago. "Harry has a wonderful attitude and really loves the game," Smoke said. When he develops his confidence and gains some experience and consistency, then he'll become a very steady player." The remainder of the squad consists of Bob Graves, a junior; Ricky Poole, Jay Hammett, Charles Smith, Robert Stuart, sophomores; and Jerome Williams and Billy Cox, freshmen. These boys have fine attitudes and could develop into good tennis players if they continue to practice and improve. The team is off to a good start this year, having beaten Shelby 5-4 last Friday. This is the first victory over Shelby which traditionally has a fine tennis team. This should give the team confidence for the tough The Gaffney High School Tennis Team, in its fourth year of existence, expects to field its best team this year. It takes a while to build a good tennis program because tennis is a difficult sport to learn, and it takes several years' to develop a competitive tennis player. "I feel that this is our best team by far, but it may not be record-wise since we are playing the best tennis teams in this area," said Coach Roger Smoke. "Shelby, Wade Hampton, Spartanburg, Rock Hill, and J. L. Mann all have very fine teams which will be tough to beat, but for the first time, we feel that we can be competitive with them." In three years, the team has progressed from a 3-6 record the first year to 9-4 the second year and last year's record was 9-6 against some of the best teams in this area. Last year's team also finished sixth in the state. There are 13 members on this year's team which is being built around 3 seniors. These seniors, all lettermen, are Rajesh Mehta, John Greene and Stephen Fox. Behind them are 4 juniors, 4 sophomores, and 2 freshmen. Playing number 1 at present is Rajesh Mehra. Mehra had a fine 8-5 record last year in his first year of regular varsity play. He is a dedicated player who works at tennis year round and has worked very hard to develop his serve and volley, and this should make him more effective this year. "Rajesh has improved more over the past two years than any player I've ever seen. He only lacks tournament experience to rank with the best players in the state," Smoke said. John Greene is playing number 2. Greene has played as a regular since the 9th grade when the team was first formed, and his experience will certainly be an asset to the team.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bama politics and Ailes and Trump bad for the nation

  This will be a little scattershot and random but these last ten days have been confusing to say the least. Even so some great items need to recognized lest they be overlooked.

   One just in Sunday afternoon May 28 from New Yorker. Gets the pairing correct. Roger Ailes and Donald Trump bad for America.

      http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/05/the-world-that-trump-and-ailes-built

   Chris Ladd has a great piece in Forbes on Baptist Pastors that maintained Southern cultural politics more than the strategist. Ive been working on that assertion for 25 years and delighted to be ratified. And he makes great and proper use of Atwater's "nigger memo".

       US House members from Mo Brooks to Mike Rogers in Bama, Jeff Duncan to Trey Gowdy in SC need to take that one to heart. Luther Strange senate campaign in Alabama is beneath contempt in the state of Harper Lee and Judge Frank Johnson and Carl Elliot.

   Time for Nick Saban's wife to denounce Luther Strange and the politics of Yellowhammer News and Rick Burgess

     Great profile of Sallie Yates in the May 29 New Yorker, interesting segment on Winder Georgia and her Methodist roots, though I think they get the dynamite story in the Gainesville Well a little off.

   Thomas Fallon has remarkable review of several recent books on JFK and kinda puts him in new perspective. Google in. Memory and politics pay tricks on all of us.

    Inerrancy works as poorly for Scripture as it does for remembering JFK. WA Criswell never figured that out, or he did and played the devil with it. See the Ladd piece.

  Will have more to say about that later.

   Children are graduating from High school and elementary school. Lot going on.

   And Kudos to Hillary Clinton commencement address today at Wellesley. In the parlance of the jockocracy of DeKalb County Alabama and Gaffney SC, she kicked ass and took names.