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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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Steve Spurrier and Me

      I knew Spurrier and I had a few things in common, Preachers sons and roots in East Tennesse but till this afternoon didn't know how closely our paths crossed. Spurrier was born in 44 and me in 53. I thought Spurrier's Dad Graham was in Bristol Tenn, but turns out Spurrier as a fifth grader was in NEWPORT Tenn in 53 just down the street when I was born in the Hospital there. My Dad was a Baptist preacher going to Carson Newman and had a church, Bethel, outside of town. One of his best deacons, Paul James and family was in the tannery and furniture business there. And it mighta been their son Freddie was playing some pickup games in Newport then with Steve as according to a new bio Spurrier was all over town with his Dad as his big sponsor.  In fact the bio alludes Graham had something of an ego like Stevie; or the Presbyterian preacher network wanted Steve in Johnson City cause he showed promise of taking a High School team o state championship. Fact is this is very interesting part of Stevie's origins and reads like a good novel.....And the rest of the story is how Steve blewout UTenn as QB at Florida and all the hometown pride in Newport and JCity came down off the walls and he is not all that popular in those parts anymore. Good read,right off the presses

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bonhoeffer, Jeff Sessions and Immigration Reform

    President Obama will make an announcement tonight on immigration reform. There is a long and storied history to this matter, but www.theatlantic.com says the GOP will never act and that leaves Obama with this announcement tonight.


     Jeff Sessions claims to be a Christian yet he has not engaged the thinking of Will Willimon, former UMC Bishop of North Alabama and long time chaplain at Duke on the matter.
      Sessions is a Methodist. He can see what Willimon thinks in the easy google for Willimon Repents, ethicsdaily.com


   And Sessions is not the Constitutional scholar nor statesman Judge Frank Johnson was. If he thinks he is let him come to the University of Alabama and make the case in front of Hugo Black's grandson and some folks who know the real deal.


      US Reps Lankford and  Trey Gowdy wear their so called Christian World View on their sleeve. Lankford an ordained Baptist minister and son in law of former President of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tom Ellif. Gowdy worship at FBC Spartanburg SC where Billy Graham is a member. They seem to be on same page as Ted Cruz, a product of 2nd Baptist Church Houston Texas academy; 2nd Bap pastor Ed Young a long time associate of Billy Graham and the Nixon administration with roots in Gowdy's district at FBC Taylors, S.C. These Baps response to Obama has major implications for Baptist missions witness in Central and South America. Thomas Powers in October 9 www.nybooks.com examines the flaws of their "Christian" ideology".


   Locally this calls for a town hall meeting, seven years overdue in Collinsville, Alabama. Would be great if Mark Wilson from Auburn and or Dave Matthews, the former President of the UBama would moderate. We could examine the thoughts of 35 year pastor John Morgan and his local Baptist church historian and town librarian Jennifer Wilkins on the matter to see if they are up to snuff to decide if grand Hispanics who have done due diligence in the classwork and character development are worthy of US Citizenship upon graduation from High School.


    Some want to play semantics with Obama's Constitutional authority and the plotting politics of it all. Dietrich Bonhoeffer called for a better way in the 30s in Germany. Let Sessions, Gowdy, Lankford and Obama's detractors bone up on their Bonhoeffer.


   I called Congressman Aderholt and Gowdy and Lankford's office today. None of the staff knew the three Christian martyrs in Bust in Westminster Abbey.


  Bonhoeffer is one of them. He talks about the "politics of stupidity" on page 341 in the recent bio of himself by my friend Charles Marsh, a fellow Baptist preacher's son.


    Let's Hope Sessions and the politicians and local folks above don't find this an opportunity to wallow in stupidity!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sellers 42%; Furman celebrates 50th Anniversary of Desegregating campus

   In 1968 there was a disturbance at S.C. State in Orangeburg and several students were killed. Cleveland Sellers was arrested and designated a radical. Laurel Mississippi Baptist minister's son Charles Marsh celebrated Seller's struggle in his remembrance of 60's Civil Rights Era in God's Long Summer.
    This past April Marsh published his biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer--one of the three greatest Christian martyrs of the 20th Century as Busted in Westminster Abbey--A Strange Glory. In that book this author who celebrated the struggle of Sellers has a chapter "I heard the Gospel preached in the Negro Churches" about Bonhoeffer's 1931 stay in America. On page 341 Marsh has a segment on Bonhoeffer's NY's Eve of 1943 lament on the "politics of stupidity". Shortly into 44 Bonhoeffer was arrested.
     Nov 4th, Last Tuesday Cleveland Sellers son, Bakari, a gifted scholar and politician, lost his bid for LT Gov of S.C. with only 42 percent of the vote.
   With the confusion of nation or the South's lost Cause with the religion of Jesus, South Carolina and the tea party across the region has a problem similar to Bonhoeffer's concern in Germany in the 1940's. Matter of degree for sure, but Andrew Sullivan saw a similar problem with Bush 43 invasion of Iraq with all its fundamentalist backing saying how could he condemn Moslem extremists, "while winking at milder versions in his own constituency."
     
    Ten years after Bonhoeffer's death in 45, in 1955 Furman University students and most of the faculty were understanding Brown Vs Brd of Education was the right direction for the country but folks like Strom Thurmond and leading Southern Baptist pastor WA Criswell had other thoughts in mind. Criswell gave a speech to a joint session of the SC legislature where he said "you wouldn't call a chigger a chiggerow" now would you and the Cracker Baptist Preachers and the state legislators just howled.

   In Gaffney a Doctors house was bombed on College Drive about a half mile from where I was to move in 1962 by a cell of the KKK. It got written up in Jumpn Jim Crow.

     Furman did integrate in 1965, two years after Marshall Frady graduated. Steve Oneill of the History Department has written an excellent history of those days about the intrigue among the trustees of the University and the Baptist State Convention. With Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America as a larger frame they were interesting days indeed.

    But go wider to the heart of Baptist fundamentalism and Thomas Powers recent piece on Texas in NY Rev of Books and it doesn't look like we've come very  far. A Christian doesn't have to vote for somebody in the South just because he's black, but it looks like all the good efforts of Furman and Wofford, Converse, Erskine, College of Charleston even Limestone and few pockets of Clemson and USC Columbia have come to much. Rough estimate is Sellers son, a gifted young politician only got ten percent of the white vote. Ten percent after 50 years isn't much. There aren't as many wise discerning Christians as one would hope by this point with all the efforts, the energies to produce leaders of better influence.

    Fox news and the Tea Party right wingers were fuming the last few days of the midterm elections about Ferguson ads in Georgia and NOrth Carolina to get out the black vote. They may have a point. But Molly Worthen of UNC and Jason Zengerle of the New Racism piece in the New Republic have the larger point. Lee Atwater's race card is strong and folks like Trey Gowdy and James Lankford whose Southern Baptist credentials are stronger than Jesse Helms ties to the White Citizens Council go mute when time to speak straightforwardly to these matters, or with substance and virtue on immigration reform. Here in Bama House Speaker Mike Hubbard whose Bleaching Strategy is most insidious keeps on plugging along making money off people of color on the Auburn football team.

    Hubbard's son Clayte is a Freshman at Furman. It would be a travesty if he graduates from Frum Furman with the same headset he went in with, or anything close to his father's on race.

     The Black Mormon woman from Utah and Tim Scott in South Carolina; God Bless their Story but lot more going on than their story.

   So lets bring Joe Crespino and Condi Rice, Thomas Powers and Mike Hubard to Furman this spring and lets talk about this after everybody does the remedial reading. 50 years after the fact, in light of Bonhoeffer and Texas Fundamentalism, Ed Young and Harry Dent, Bleaching and Immigration strategies of deportation of some of the finest High school students in my Mother's hometown of Collinsvillle, Alabama; lets look at this one more time at Furman, and see if it has come to anything.

  And next fall Charles Marsh and Molly Worthen.

     Marshall Frady, Martin England, T.C. Smith and L.D. Johnson seems to me expect no less.

Molly Worthen on the Fundamentalist Takeover of the SBC

      As in Southern Baptist Convention.

      As I've said in other places there has been a lot of chatter at the site baptistlife.com/forums about the takeover that has been slugged down into a thicket over the loaded term inerrancy.

    But Thomas Powers has updated and cleaned a lot of that up in a recent (Oct 9)  piece in the New York Review of Books for anybody who wants the truth on the matter. It remains what it was 40 years ago when Paul Pressler walked off the documentary set with Bill Moyers for a PBS special, a Birch Society, White Citizens Council, Texas Regulars ginned up controversy to advance the right wing out of Texas. Like the Koch brothers today, Pressler and Jesse helms network specialized in primaries where just a small percentage of the voters showed up to do unseat President Carter--before him some of the best of the last half of the 20th Century in the 78 midterm--and altered the country's trajectory after some remediation and progress toward the more perfect Union of the 60s.

     Race became abortion, became prayer in schools became inerrancy; whatever hat trick Pressler and Atwater and Helms and the right wing gunk the gurus  could run on.

     After a chapter on Rousas Rushdoony of the Christian Recons, Barton's abuse of American history, the charlatan Francis Scahefer,  Molly Worthen has this choice passage to conclude her tenth chapter of The Apostles of Reason "God's Idea Men"

   Quoting Worthen:  

      Just as Yoder had protested Frances Schaeffer's account of history and politics, moderate Baptists flailed against the conservative juggernaut. Neither succeeded in halting the conservatives rise to cultural and institutional power, but in their fight they made the vital point that the Christian Right--in the Unyielding and ABSOLUTIST form that the movement had taken in the late 80s, was NOT synonymous with American evangelicalism. Instead the CR was the product of a long struggle WITHIN evangelicalism in which leaders with very different opinions and priorities vied to convince believers of their duties to God and to their fellow man. In a tradition in which no single authority had ever reigned for long, in which sola scriptura, had released a cascade of quarrels and no single faction could resist issuing a creed, a declaration, a call, or a list of fundamentals, to define itself against its kin, Schaeffer, Falwell and other Self appointed spokesmen of the CR appeared, to casual observers, to reflect some kind of consensus. ONE MUST NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THIS KIND OF ILLUSION OF SOLIDARITY--BUT ONE MUST NOT TAKE IT FOR REALITY EITHER.

    Caps Mine.

        

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Gaffney Spartanburg, October 17, 1969

Feature
Cherokee Chronicle
Gaffney, South Carolina

     Friday, October 17, 1969 was just three months shy of the end of the first year of the Nixon Administration. But in Gaffney South Carolina nobody was thinking much about Nixon, Vietnam or even Woodstock just a couple months before. Gaffney and Spartanburg were both undefeated and were playing that night at Wofford Stadium in Spartanburg.

     An intense rivalry, Spartanburg had beaten Gaffney the  year before in steady rain 27-7 for the first time in the decade after the two team hadn't played for three years. A Gang attacked a Spartanburg student after a Basketball game in the winter of 65, one assailant alleged to have brandished and made contact with blows with brass knuckles. There was always tension, an element of social class differences and resentment in this meeting.

    It was also an end of an era. Legendary Gaffney Coach Bob Prevatte, and his charismatic Line Coach Wayne Whiteside were in their last fall on the sidelines for the mighty Indians. It was the Second year of full integration of Gaffney High School--just two years before the school sponsored its annual "Confederates Ball in full regalia for the Lost Cause; the last year of Mr Seaborn as High School Principal and the final year of Gaffney's noble School Superintendent J. Paul Beam. It was the end of a decade though a case could be made the 70s didn't start in Gaffney till the class of 72.
    As Bob Dylan said, The Times They were a Changing.

   But,Gaffney was "all in" in one accord against Spartanburg and ready to display mastery on the field.

    In Eight years from 1960 through Billy Ray Rice's fall of 1967 Gaffney had only lost 8 games. They won the state title from 60-65 though Greenwood disputed the title in 1961, though Gaffney had no losses and Greenwood had one.

     Some reports were the crowd was at ten thousand but others onsite talked about it being the most packed game they ever played in. It was likely there were 12,000 there or more. Both teams were undefeated coming into the 7th game into the season of 69, though Gaffney was ranked Number one in the State and Spartanburg was fourth due to a tie in one game.  It was billed as the number one offense in the state (Spartanburg) vs the Number One Defense (Gaffney.). But Gaffney was to turn every thing on its head except a disputed final score.
       Spartanburg scored on its first possession with the fortunes of the number one gainer  Ray Monroe. Gaffney knocked Spartanburg QB Sanders out of the game for the entire 2nd quarter and mounted a 70 yard drive ending in an eleven yard scamper by the Indians Johnny Dawkins to tie.. During that assault Gaffney QB Parker got the wind knocked out of him--Robb Sartor remembers going to Parker and in colorful language, saying get up, We need you; but backup Richard Spencer came in for four downs. 
  .
      Gaffney Blocked a punt and was back in business at the Spartanburg 26, got the 15 where Richard Spencer hit a 33 yard field goal to go up by three. They threatened again and with 11 seconds to go at the four yard line Spencer attempted another field goal and missed.

     Spencer remembers the field goal attempt before the half. He was lined up on a hash mark, a difficult situation short range and counted just ten men on the field. He said rather than chance a blocked attempt Sburg coulda possibly run in the distance of the field right before the half he missed it on purpose, the only purposeful miss of his career. 
     As an example of the "integrity" of the contest, here are notes Fender Brown, then a writer for the Gaffney Ledger sent me: Quoting:  Gaffney, late in 4th quarter, Gafffney deep in Spartanburg territory 4th down short. Donnie Ray Littlejohn lines up at right end gets clearance from line judge that he is ok and is not offsides. Ball snapped, first down made,but flag is thrown by same official for offside. All hell breaks loose, but Gaffney is penalized 5,yards. Coach Prevatte calls for the punt team...... End Quote

     Spartans QB Sanders came back in the game about the 8 minute mark of the third period. After a couple exchanges of the ball, Ray Monroe fumbled on the Spartans 46. Several plays later mostly on the running of Leonard Blackwell and Johnny Dawkins, Gaffney found themselves  on the goal with a fourth and one. Dawkins scored but it was called back. Several players say the refs said Donnie Ray Littlejohn lined up in the backfield, but they also say it was uncharacteristic of him. The ball was moved back, then QB Danny Parker scored keeping the ball the play called for him to hand off to Dawkins. It was called back as well. And somewhere in there a Parker pass into the end zone was broken up.

    And then on a play that will live on as one of the biggest misshaps in Gaffney football lore happened. With a minute thirty-three to go in the game, Gaffney leading 10-7 Jerome Moore hiked the ball to punter Lynn Mabrey. The hike went over his head and a Spartanburg player whose name doesn't deserve to be remembered picked it up and ran it in 30 some odd yards for a score.
        Robb Sartor, who played both ways in the contest, later became friends with Danny Pearson, the safety for the Spatans who was back to receive Mabry's punt. Pearson 35 or so yards downfield said he saw the rush, then looked up in the sky for the ball and kept "waitin on it...waitin on it...waiting on it... and it never came". Finally he looked back downfield and saw everybody going the other way.
      The report in the next Days's Herald journal called it a "Storybook Ending" for the Spartans.
        Trying to resolve what folks saw on the sideline before the long snap  and remembered over the years  of Moore's demeanor is like trying to resolve the differing accounts of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Synoptic Gospels. Some say he was visibly distraught even muttering to himself, while others said it was routine for him. But something went awry.
        Gaffney's worst side came out as Fender Brown points out in a few sentences to come.  A couple years ago there was an active discussion on the Gaffneyites facebook wall about the number of celebrated bars in Cherokee County along 85 and 29 and various pockets throughout the county. The number came to upwards of 30; point being there was easily a goodly population of the crestfallen and misbegotten basking in the dives and denizens where evil combusts who coulda concocted the  ill will. It was well known in the community Moore and Mabry got death threats, even some saying Moore's family was harassed.

    Fender Brown had a distinct memory  of Moore "Catching pure hell from some malcontents even that very night". He said the Ledger came to Moore's defense the next week in a piece on the "kid from Second Avenue."
    For sure Mabry and Moore had to be shaken for a while. But both had the character to move on. Moore was chosen as one of three players from that squad to be a South Carolina All Star; and Mabry went on to a celebrated collegiate career in track at College of Charleston.
          Gaffney was to come back and play in the state championship against Sumter--C.A. Wilson  and Freddie Solomon  --after beating Wade Hampton.  Spartanburg had another regular season loss after so Gaffney moved on in the playoffs.
 
 
     Legend and postscripts Part B
 
      In 1992 I became acquainted with a documentarian that was ten years later on a future project nominated for an Oscar. He said he learned early on in film school, between legend and fact, go with the legend.
      After 45 years as Jack Nicholson's character said in Ironweed, it's all true.
 
     Though I was in the the Band Stands that night playing my trombone its been great these last three months communicating on the phone, facebook and email with players on the field that night and folks in the stand. One thing everybody remembers is how crowded it was. Both the trainer Barry Sparks and his best friend in high school Richard Spencer, had a felleing of being intimidated by the cvrowd that night when they walked out on the field.
     There was one story of a fellow getting knifed about halftime and being carried out in an ambulance in a bloodsoaked white shirt. Spencer remembers the police having to part the crowd so the Indians could get out on the field for pre-game warmups.
     Robbie McCraw was a freshman at Clemson that year. He had a late class, got to the game late but before the opening kickoff. Had it not been for his  Bobby Osment and his folks he would not have had a seat.
     Tommy Jones, my Senior class President, worked late that afternoon at a gGaffney grocery, got there about2 minutes into the game and found himslef about three deep along the fence. My Mother's brother and sister came up from Alabama to see me in the Band. Apparenly, they got a seat in the stands, got there early enough.
      Barty Sides says he remembers being on the top row on the visitor's side. Could hear the Lonesome Souther Rail cars and train whistle behind him out in the dark near distance behind the Wofford campus. said he remembers later that night the annual fall Limestone Prez Youth retreat at Caesar's head.
      Jimmy Phillips who just two years earlier was on the Gaffney roster,   said he clearly remembers about three more touchdowns than I could ever come up with being called back. The median score in an honest contest I could come up with from all my respondents was something like 27 to 7. Conensus Spartanburg only got one honest score.
     Johnny  Dawkins said he remebers some kid coming into the Locker Room before the game, and it not fazing Whiteside or Prevatte one bit. Nobody knew the kid, but it stood out in Dawk's mind all these years. Said he thought it was funny with Gaffney's remaininng 90 seconds after the disaster, there were two attempts by Gaffney to stop the clock but twice Parker threw the ball in the direction of Donnie Ray, but Donnie Ray jumped up and caught both inbounds.
      At one point Robb Sartor and I played a little what if in regard Tommy Brittain and Ray Lark who left Gaffney before promising days on the Varsity. I think Lark played some QB at Duke, and Brittain became all conference in the SoCon at Wofford. But Sartor said in his mind, his great friend Danny Parker was "predestined" to be the Quarterback at GHS in those waning days of the 60s.
    He summed it up best: "It was the biggest game I ever played in.!"
 
    Postscript


    Jimmy Baker's picture was in the Herald Journal October 18 for the story, his number 40 in full sight running the ball. Baker who went on to play at Appalachian State died in the early 2000.

   Danny Parker was in the Shrine Bowl his Senior year, as wall Tommy Brittain who moved away to Beaufort after 8th grade. Parker who his great friend Robb Sartor said woulda been a starting pitcher for the Clemson Tigers had an injury in the 9th grade not have have hindered his foot plant coming off the mound, passed away after Christmas, 2012.
 
     Barty Sides got his doctorate in rhetoric from MIT
    Barry Sparks, "Sparkie"; all the drama registered with him. He is now one of the best lighting and set designers in the Little Theatre community of Columbia, S.C.
     Johnny Dawkins ended up in LA by the early 80's where among other efforts he wrote early script for Denzel Washington.. In 79 or 80 he had a piece on national network television, an episode where he named a high school coach Bob Prevatte.
      In 1986 Wayne Whiteside brought a group of men from the brotherhood at my Dad's former church, Bethany in Gaffney, down to Alabama in the Old Activities Bus of the Gaffney Indians, The "Whoop Em " bus. They worked on an old farmhouse in the family for 6 days and got it pretty much up to snuff. I've lived in that house for the last 25 years during and after my folks passed.
    Though like all families, Gaffney took a chunk out of our hide in 16 year stay. But I remain indebted to the Gaffney Indians.
     Thank-you.
 
     Stephen M. Fox
 
    Collinsville, Alabama
     Fox is a graduate of GHS, 71. A freelance writer, his essay on his Pilgrimage in the Baptist Church will be published  by University of Tennessee Press in January, 2015 in an anthology in the "Exiled" Trilogy, Carl Kell, editor.
    

The Georgia Runoff that didn't happen

      I went to vote yesterday with a letter prepared in my head to submit to the Rome Georgia News Tribune to support Jill Nunn in a runoff. She was defeated outright in the election.

    Kay Hagan also lost in North Carolina.

     It was a sad day for America and sad for the South--See Hal Crowther Review in Love with Defeat in the summer 2013 Oxford American Magazine.

     A friend of mine attended Sunday School class with President Carter Nov 2 in Plains. In a rare Q and A session he obliquely expressed his hopes for the daughter of his friend Sam Nunn, and his grandson Jason Carter, running for Governor.

    By now Georgia should be at a better place. My friend Randall Balmer's recent bio of President Carter reminded me Nelson Price of Marietta was Carter's prayer partner when Carter was Governor of Georgia. He gave the invocation in Washington D.C. for Carter's inaugural. But Price got caught up in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and now trustee emeritus--he pretty much calls the shots--at Shorter College in Rome. They went through a torturous takeover of their own a couple years ago.

      Thomas Powers in the October 9 New York Review of Books tells a scorching tale of how fundamentalism--with a focus on the Baptist takeover--has morphed into Ted Cruz and Rick Perry power in the state. The tentacles reach to Ed Young who was tight with Nixon's Southern Strategist Harry Dent and is now in the pact with Fox News and the Houston ministers that have a prediliction for being on the wrong side of history. Powers is quite perceptive in how the Southern Baptist mind finds itself inadequate for addressing immigration reform and simple justice matters of inequity the Tea Party Right and Koch Brothers and ALEC were able to demagogue into a Wave Election yesterday.

       The shared history of Nelson Price and Jimmy Carter over the last 40 years is an excellent parable to gain insight into the elemental forces in evangelical history of the South that was a key aspect of the eruption yesterday. It laid the groundwork for Nathan Deal, and Tillis, even eggregious resurrection of the disastrous experiment in Kansas.

    The Georgia Runoff was  not to be. Here is what my friend the novelist and ordained Baptist Minister Lamar Wadsworth of Rockmart Georgia had to say about the vote yesterday in Georgia:

 
Once again, Republicans have ridden to victory on the backs of working people who vote against their own self-interest. Here in Georgia, child welfare will continue to be the red-headed stepchild of state government. Our paltry 1% raise this year was the first since gas was $1.29/gallon and groceries were half of today's prices. The state will continue to balance its budget on the backs of state employees. We will continue to lose good DFCS workers as fast as new ones can be trained and certified because of low pay and workers carrying two full caseloads. We will continue to have backlogs on CPS cases, and permanency for children will be delayed because we don't have enough people to do what we are tasked to do, and the state is not spending the money to reward longevity and experience in order to retain the best workers. In other news, we will continue to see small-town hospitals close their doors because Deal refuses to expand Medicaid, and more Georgia citizens will die before the ambulance can make it to that more distant hospital 40 miles away. The war on poor people, which replaced the war on poverty, will continue, and the crusade to abolish the middle class and drive down wages for working people will continue as we race to the bottom.

    It is the predicament expressed above President Carter with experience and the Scripture as his guide was hoping to avoid in his Sunday School class two days before this election.

     Here in Bama I voted for Baptist Deacon Governor Bentley. I think he has a good heart but his 19th Century headset limits his vision for the poor, and hampers his politics in what should be done. Even so I think I have befriended some people on his staff, so I will appeal to them and what remains of the conscience of his former pastor Rick Lance who is now the Ex Dir for Bama Baptists.

    I don't have much hope for House Speaker Mike Hubbard. I do hope his son, a freshman at Furman University can learn something from the experience of our New President Elizabeth Davis--I'm of the class of 75 and Marshall Frady of the class of 63--and maybe can help his Dad over the holidays understand how Davis worked with Ken Star. Maybe young Clayte will find an extra issue of the Fall Furman magazine to take to his Dad for Christmas.

    Still the Dixie headset is suffering, bad case of post traumatic political syndrome from the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In  addition to what Thomas Powers explains that brilliantly, without mincing his words in the October 9 New York Review of Books is the cover story by Jason Zengerle on how MIke Hubbard plays the game with the fetus and football under Auburn's skirts--see New Racism, New Republic. And what they miss Garry Wills explains in an earlier issue, review of Bama Grad Joe Scarborough's book on the GOP.

     So here's to Mark Cooper who ran Phil Williams GOP State Senate Campaign in my NE Bama district; Daniel Sparkman, the Senator's grandson now on staff with Governor Bentley, Boone on staff with Mike Hubbard, Clayte at Furman and Zach, the Methodist minister's son also with Governor Bentley. Have your bosses do the remedial reading.

    In my friend Charles Marsh's new bio of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, page 341, Bonhoeffer muses on  New Years Eve 1943 on the "politics of stupidity". He had a year and three months to live. Here 75 years later the Southern Red States committed a crucifixion of the righteousness and wisdom one of the three great Christian martyrs of the 20th Century tried to share.

   Kiergegaard says each generation has to learn for itself. Still in an attempt to keep cyncism and resignation at bay, I grieve for the "stupidity" we self inflicted yesterday.

    Postscript. My friend Jeff Patton lost by 188 votes for School Board in the Southern District of Dekalb County Alabama. When he lived in Rome Georgia, on the East side of Town near Sherwood Forest Baptist church, he was a friend of Matt Rose.
     Mark Colby, Sandra Killian's son in law for a time was on staff at Sherwood Forest. The Reverberations of this setback yesterday are wide indeed. 

      

Friday, October 31, 2014

Megyn Kelly, Senator Landreu, Texas Fundy Baps and RAce Politics

      Last night Megyn Kelly on Fox News devoted her opening ten minutes to distort a conversation between US Senator Mary Landreu of Lousiana and NBC's Chuck Todd. By the Fox News Christian Sexxy blonde's take race politics started this election cycle and the dems and Al Sharpton are to blame.

       Here's some news for Miss Pageant and her busty New Jersey housewives on The Five of Fox News. Jesse Helms, a leader in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, with firiends hardwired in the John Birch Society, White Citizens Council, Texas Regulars, politicial ancestry of Uncle Bozo the harmless Preacher Mike Huckabee and the whole cabal have a long history of it.

    Shout out Number ONe. Have Roger Ailes, Anne Coulter and Dick Cheney's straight daughter Liz do a close read of the October 9 print issue only of Thomas Powers take on Texas Baptists in the New York Review of Books. Google the online teaser at nybooks.com

    I'm tired of Fox News prime time Oreilly and Kelly half assin recent American Bible history. Here in Alabama our good Methodist Mike Hubbard spews the same ridiculous illiterate poison as Fox News. Just see and google the New Republic New Racism article about how this friend of Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker would let the rest of the extended families who man the SEC off which he's made his small fortune with the Auburn Tigers fend for themselves. That's where Mr. Guillory of LA gets it wrong in his reply to Senator Landreu.

   I've found some of the Ferguson ads and other race attempts by the tempts this last weekend a little less than Christlike, but the current GOP is tawdry in how they play the halftruths and forget, regional amnesia on Helms and Atwater for starters.

    My friends on the Diane Rehm show disappointed me this morning. I waited for 20 minutes after I'd gotten the screener and thought I was gonna go national with my comment. Clarence Page didn't go back for enough to the Hands ad of Helms in the 84 Senate Race against the Charlotte Mayor who integrated Clemson. And he coulda invoked Garry Wills great deconstruction of Joe Scarborough's recent amnesiac history of the GOP in NY Rev Books.

     Here is the kicker. I hope the Diane Rehm show can have Thomas Powers and Emory's Joe Crespino--Strom Thurmond's America-- on for the hour, well versed in Jason Zengerle's New Republic piece on Bama Speaker Hubbard in some post election analysis on Race and the Tea Party.

     I called Bama Gov Bentley's office this morning and talked to Senator Sparkman's grandson Daniel. He's a nice guy; and I have respect for Gov Bentley. I think he has more mah fyburr than say my friend Lowell Barron. But here is the filament, the fine particle that means a great deal in the character of the Southern GOP just now. As Crespino and Powers point out, Southern Baptists who breed like rabbits all over the Southeast are stultified, get go out of the cradle with their inerrancy doctrine. It leads them to a political rationale, short sightedness, that tilts toward a Birch mentality and the kind of fodder Fox News feeds on.

    History is important. Bonhoeffer says Theology matters. The Governor and his Pastor Rick Lance, head of Southern Baptists in Bama need to do their homework with some tutoring by Diane Rehm, Powers and Crespino; then pick up the phone and Call Gov. Jindahl  of Lousiana and then call Fox News and tell them to Get Right with Jesus.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Morgans, Phil Williams and Justice for the Collinsville Soccer Team

http://www.ethicsdaily.com/methodist-bishop-repents-on-immigration-calls-for-action-cms-18965

    

     Click on the link above. The former Bishop of the UMC takes a different stance on Immigration and justice for the Collinsville Soccer Team than apparently John and Gloria Morgan who have done ministry in Collinsville for 35 years or more.
     Google Self Deportation in Mother Jones Magazine. Kris Kobach worked with Phil Williams and Mike Hubbard in the Bama House and Senate to draft an immigration bill former Asst School Supe for Dekalb County Donnie Myers says was conceived in malice.
     Three of the Morgans sons if you ask them the right questions I'm convinced are disappointed in their parents brandishing a yard sign at their house on South Valley Avenue.
     The Morgans are intelligient folks. I doubt I could score as high on College Entrance Exams as did three of their four sons. The Pastor is near expert on the writings of J.R. Tolkien.

    So surely they know, understand the Bible well enough to get what Williams immigration bill means for the Soccer team and Hispanic community in Collinsville, the same ones they tell Jesus about in Sunday School and Children's Choir.

    Look at these articles. Ask the preacher and his wife and the Senator and his operative Joseph Morgan about them.

    Talk to Jesus about it and then vote November 4.

    Also get a working conversational knowledge about bleaching. The Cover story on the New Racism, New Republic will help you.

    And check the Collinsville PTO site for a link to the NPR story on the Hispanic vote in North Carolina. Collinsville could've easily been as good or better story.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Coke Stevenson and Texas Baptists warp the world

     Friends:

     Before I get to steamrolling click on this:

    http://forums.baptistlife.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=11451#p155533

     Copy and paste whatever it takes.

     I have several links there and a history of my conjecture on this matter which roughly is:

     The Birchers and the whites citizens council to Civil Rights in the cauldron Of Exxon Oil and Paul Pressler's Texas Regulars were more of a driving force in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention than quibbles over the Nature of Scripture.

    Pressler had more in common with the Bircher that split the Missouri synod than he had in common with R. G Lee. I don't know what Adrian Rogers was thinking, but it appears Ed McAteer was doing his thinking for him.

     Inerrancy was a Ruse, to paraphrase W. A. Criswell on the priesthood of the believer.

     And now we got Benghazi Trey Gowdy and Ted Cruz fronting for the legacy of Billy Graham.  Thats how bad things have gotten messed up.

     It is imperative Roger Paynter, Chandler Davidson, Daivd Currie, Lee Berg,  Bill Moyers, Jimmy Allen, Randall Balmer have a focussed chat on Thomas Powers review of Robert Wuthnow's new book on Texas fundamentalism and how it became Ted Cruz and the Tea Party.

  Sidney Blumenthal and his rejoinder to Robert Caro on LBJ in early 90s needs to be in this chat too. And Tom Edsall about oil strategic financing of congressional races. I asked President Carter about that one in 93 

    Current issue print only is at a Barnes and Noble Near you soon. Reading the easily googled teaser online won't cut it.

     I know this is sketchy, but stay tuned. We're just starting on finally gettin this story right.

Excerpt from review:

  Ken Chafin said: "I'm not gonna roll over and let a group of Frank Norrisite Texas fundamentalists stea; the institutions of my denomination."

   But the Pressler-Patterson faction did exactly that; an unbroken string of fundamentalists were elected to head the denomination for the next decade and with power of the presidency they systematically packed every committee and board, pushed out anyone who did not agree, and gradually purged the Baptist seminaries of all the moderates, defined by Pressler as anyone 'who believes the bible does or could contain error of any kind".