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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 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, October 26, 2006

Nov 7, Voting Day Update; Concerns with Both Barron and Stout

I am out of the region on this rainy vote day. Though I like Lowell Barron as a friend, have never met Stout, I could not vote for either man with any conviction.
Below you see some of my concerns long about Halloween with Barron. Today my worst suspicions about Stout are closer to confirmation.
It looks he has taken the worst of the legacy of FBC Ft. Payne, is captive to what remains of the muddled ministry of Dan Ireland there, the man who baptized Bobby Welch.
Welch's controversial friend Jerry Boykin gets wide discussion in the Faith Based War section of GArry Wills reservations in this linked NY Rev. Books article.
It now appears Stout and his wife are in the thick of a cabal of moneyed Christians of influence in Ft. Payne who are captive to the religious right ideology, even foot soldiers for such bunk as
That's a shame for a church of such promise. You have to wonder what kind of witness they are to Regional GOP power couple Randy and Kelly Owen.
Tammany Hall or a Paige Patterson/Bobby Welch Theocracy; not much of a choice for the 2nd most powerful position in the state of Alabama.
Some of you may want to see how it plays in the wider Baptist world as I have the sentiment expressed at
On the RAiny Day America votes in Dub's last midterm

October 31
I get a taped message from Lowell himself last night on my phone about 6:30 announcning his ralley today at Noon Bama Time in the Kmart Parking lot beside the Cracker Barrel denouncing the operatives from "South Alabama" who are trying to sabotage his relection campaing and Hank Sanders and Roger Bedford as well.
On another front Anniston Star and Bham News Sunday laid a lot of the problems with Alabama at Barron's feet, the News in its endorsement of Riley and Luther STrange saying:
"Folsom says he wants to heal rifts in the Senate. That won't happen as long as Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyffe, is Senate pro tem. STrange hopes more Republicans are elected to the SEnate, which could shift the balance of power away from Barron. It can't happen soon enough."
So Says the Bham News, Sunday Oct 29
Anniston STar's Bob Davis had a strong oped piece sunday for Constitutional Reform, something Barron continues to pooh pooh. But what most excited me about Davis was his review of of Michelle Goldberg's Kingdom Coming I hope you will be able to google up. Some body needs to bring the instate review to the attention of the staff at the Alabama Baptist and, not to mention my new friends Martha Stout and Mary Anne Cole. Martha Barksdale may be a lost cause, but wouldn't hurt her and the Collinsville STudy Clubs to do a group read of it as well.
Meanwhile I had a letter published Friday in the Gads Times. If I can't cut and paste it here, look for it in the comment line. I am proud of it.
The STate would be better off if either Stout or Barron could implement the Fox/JimEVans/Alarise Plan or even had the good sense to know what it is.

The Editors
Gadsden Times
Letters for Publication

In his recent syndicated column in the Gadsden Times, Rich Lowry of the National Review accuses much of mainstream Christendom of being "emotional, self righteous, and close minded" for their concerns about a burgeoning cauldron of theocracy stewing in the religious right wing of the GOP.
He doesn't know what he is talking about. Among others who share the concerns he dismisses in his column are Tom Corts, the knight in shining armor called on by the Governor of Alabama to fix it's morass of a two year college system, and most of the better lights Baptists in Alabama have to offer. That would include Wayne Flynt at Auburn and his pastor Jim Evans.
These mainstream Baptists know how the courtship of fundamentalist takeover artists in the Southern Baptist Convention with theocrats in the Christian Reconstruction Movement have threatened the academic status and viability of institutions like Samford and sister institutions Baylor, Samford,Furman and Mercer over the last 15 years.
It has been highly documented and Bill Moyers, an ordained Baptist minister, has written and lectured extensively, about how theocrat tainted fundamentalists posing as Baptists have worked with others on the right to knock the pendulum off balance, to reconfigure the center in America.
So Lowry is wrong, in my experience and wide reading on this subject. He cavalierly dismisses Michelle Goldberg in his column. What he doesn't say is Goldberg's take has traction in the Baptist community who have observed and experienced the theocrat mindset the last 20 years in their denominational tradition.
Twice Dotson Nelson lecturer at Samford, and I am proud to call my friend, Randall Balmer, has titled his 2nd Chapter is his highly acclaimed recent Book Thy Kingdom Come; titled his second Chapter "Where Have All the Baptists Gone?"
Another sterling antidote to Lowry's bunk is Tom Edsall's Building Red America.
From Baptist Governor Riley on down to Baptist Layman Don Stout challenging Lowell Barron in my state Senate District, I commend these works in particular to all of you who are susceptible to the half cocked, foreign assessment of Lowry in this matter.

Stephen Fox

Afternoon Update. Mary Anne Cole, hope you and Ms. Stout's community get wind of this link
See my thread on Truett Cathy and Chic Fil A at
The upshot for Don Stout and the good folks at FBC Ft. Payne Alabama if they are earnest in seeking to do God's will on earth more wisely, to work for Justice, Not Charity, to employ Hugo Black's Grandson Stephen's phrase; if they are serious and just not trying to use religion as another way to stay on top, to keep the money flowing their way no matter what it takes; then I encourage them to educate themselves to and engage the wider discussion at
Take my word for it. Doctor John Morgan's son Matthew, the recent Yale Div Grad is hovering around this community, as it seems are his brother and new sister in law John III and Susan Weaver Morgan.
And for the deacons who jump when irritated women at Collinsville Baptist say jump; they are lost in ignorance and self deception if they think that kangaroo courting me out of the congregation where my Mother was baptized will stifle this movement.

Original post
I like Lowell. He has a good sense of humor and I had to laugh with him when Senator Shelby cracked us both up on a cold day in the Rainsville Town Hall Meeting back in January this year. I think it was in the 20's. Good lookin as Shelby's Staffer Shannon what's her face of Wake Forest is, it was still a cold room.
In response to a question Shelby said something to the effect if you can do it in Tennesee, you can do it anywhere. Cracked Barron up and I had to laugh too.
After the meeting adjourned, I got a chance to tell Barron and Ft. Payne Mayor Bill Jordan one of the best tales of Emil Acuff, Roy's first cousin who was a deacon at my Dad's church in Knoxville.
STill don't know who I'm gonna vote for between Barron and Stout. It is getting pretty ugly up here in the BAma 8th Senate District. Looks like the state GOP smells blood and they are hitting the mailouts pretty strong, thinking Barron is vulnerable on the pay day loan thing, and now some punk Republican operative is trying to sabotage this election with some technicality about the Democrat primary.
It is all a bunch of horse Shit.

Barron has the whole area suckin the hind tit pretty strong. Just look at the otherwise noble list of citizens who signed his mailout a few weeks ago.
My problem with Barron continues to be what I was trying to get at his Collinsville town hall meeting June 13. He continues to play the charm shit--and I give him credit, he has matered that aspect of politics--to the detriment of the major issue, constitutional reform.
The Big Mule he continues to hold up as a straw man--the history of Black Belt and their power--has now been turned over to Barron. He has mastered the game and come up on Top.
Now this former Auburn Trustee is the Big Mule himself, but plays the stepchild role in these town hall meetings.
I like Lowell. I appreciate him in a handshake with me and former Collinsville Mayor Willingham pledging 10,000 dollars of his own money to offset a lien on the building in the Collinsville Library project. Kinda laughing at the absurdity of it all, but would appreciate it if he could use some of his considerable power with Coach Bobo, Irma Coker and Red Etheredge and some others in my area of the county to get me back in the public library here, since the Kangaroo court of Jan 24 at my expense was as outrageous as a lot of things I read about happening in the state legislature. And my accidental role in the 10,000 pledge ought to amount to something, one would have to imagine.
I'm talking 3 of the four strikes removed, Senator Barron and Mayor Carter. Nobody ought to be thrown out of library in the state of Alabama for making a political analogy using a church cornerstone as an example; and doing my best to help Matthew Morgan get into Yale Divinity School. Especially when Raymond Weaver's daughter, Susan, there for the last strike, said Nothing Happenned.
But I digressed.
Senator Barron. It can be spun anyway you want too, and God knows you got enough hind tit suckers to keep winning elections till Jesus calls you home;
But Here: I can say it no better than the Bham News Did in the Lead Editorial of Oct 24
Click on This; and if Stout don't take you out (kinda rhymes, doesn' it?; did you see the letter in the MOnday where writer said Cherokee County probate Judge candidate Melvyn Salter, Baptist preacher and my Dad's friend, was infected with "selective outrage syndrome"?)
Please show some Leadership and do something about it when you get back to Montgomery. Start a Legacy with all this power you have accrued, something to show beside half the apartment buildings in Ft. Payne and Rainsville.
I know Jim Folsom the legend, the original said "Hell Yeah, we took some, but we left some too." Constitutional Reform could be the Left Some Too you leave with the 10,000 gift to the Collinsville Library project, which we continue to appreciate the Banned and the Unbanned

Click on this link and engage it between now and Nov 7; and after.

Senator Barron; Have you got to order Tom Edsall's Book yet. I talked to Tom Corts on Statewide TV Monday, asked him about something else; but will get this book order cleared. Don't think there will be any ethical problems with it all cause the Republicans need to read it too!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fox Calls in Statewide TV with Tom Corts/Gtimes Letter

Last night, Oct 23, I called in and asked former Samford Prez Tom Corts a question about the implications of Tom Edsall's and Randall Balmer's books on Baptist character for the character of Alabama, particularly Gov Riley, and candidates Luther Strange and Drayton Nabers.
Corts stayed on message, talking about the state jr. college system, but allowed the question had merit, though maybe a little of an esoteric. While my admiration for Corts remains very high--I stand by the sentiment he may be the closest thing Bama has to offer to let anybody know Judge Frank Johnson and Hugo Black and ML King, Jr. once breathed the air here--I was a little disappointed in his response. The May front page tribute story in the Bham News about his tenure at Samford, belies the fact he knows in his gut how important the Baptist fight of the last 25 years has been for the character of the state. It is of strong significance, Troy King, the atty general, for instance, differs with progressive Baptists in the state; King pooh poohing the Baptist World Alliance while he stands by the BFM 2000.
Riley is far from presidential timber, may not even approach the ranks of Southern Governors of substance the last 40 years if he cannot articulately engage the themes of Balmer and Edsall's book.
I remind Corts my reference to Cecil Sherman and Bill Friday in an article of mine published circa 94 in Baptists Today on Samford's troubles with fundamentalists in the Baptist state convention.
Friday told Sherman the most significant event in the decade of the 80's in North Carolina was the fundamentalist takeover of Southeastern Baptist Seminary in the town of Wake Forest, my Dad and Uncle Prent's alma mater; as well as Samford Grad Randall Lolley, then president who the fundies ousted.
Friday said Helms and Pressler and Paige Patterson and that bunch knew in the takeover of SEBTS, through Baptist preachers that would then be indoctrinated into religious right values politics there; the Far right could reach into every suburb and hamlet in the state and in short time move the very center of politics and character of the state to their liking.
In a Oct 18 syndicated column picked up in the Gadsden Times, Rich Lowry dismisses the whole notion of Friday and Sherman. He disses recent analyses of Kevin Phillips and Michelle Goldberg on the matter.
I have responded with a letter I hope the Gads Times will publish.
Look for it.
Stephen Fox
Oct 24
Kate Campbell of is singing at the Harry Emerson Fosdick commemoration tomorrow in NYC. I wanted to be there but it did not happen. Even so working on Randall Balmer having lunch with Ellen Rosenberg.
Kate, Jim Henry's daughter, is ready to sing at FBC Ft Payne, Alabama when Martha Stout and my friend Mary Anne Cole get the vision and expedite the invitation.

Friday, October 13, 2006

10-15/Bama Poverty Initiative: Little something for both Stout and Barron

Monday Oct 16 update:
John Harris and Mark Halperin were on book TV last night hawking their new book about the Bush and Clinton Dynasties and the Clinton vs Rove strategies. Stout's apparent ignorance about what has happenned in the Southern Baptist Convention the last 25 years the orchestration between leading fundamentalists in the SBC including Richard Land of the ERLC with Karl Rove, leads me to believe he is a distinction without a difference, especially when his wife in emails references the experience of Jesus cleaning the temple of the moneychangers as a parable for Barron's 400% Pay day loan schemes.
Both the activity of Barron in the Pay Day loans as well as the ignorance of Stout about the political games being played with his own denomination have ill consequences. The ignorance that leads to sinister political consequences, may lead to more evil than Barron's willful engagement in usury.
I don't have all the answers. Here in Alabama I am betting the wisdom of the likes of Tom Corts, Wayne Flynt and the late Bailey Thompson and their passion for Constitutional Reform is a big step in the right direction. Barron is lukewarm on the idea, and I have no indication Stout has given it much thought. No do I have any reason to believe either one of them are about to bring into to their inner council.
As the books I have been listing and offering for discussion at shout, something is absymally wrong in our great Country. I don't see Barron or Stout engaging any ideas, don't see them to have a vision that engage any remedy here in Bama that could help us regionally, or being part of a building foundation block that could make a difference for out national ills.
Maybe Randy Owen's wife can fix it all.
Do Google up The Way to Win and read the extensive Washington Post analysis with the book about the fourth entry down.
A correction. Friday I allowed I understood Stout's daughter to be a missionary with the SBC IMB. That turns out not to be the case. I apologize for the error.

Mid Friday in October

Couple items and then today's devotional.
Lowell Barron will be discussed statewide tonight on as news editors statewide review the week in Alabama. Barron's Payday loan turnaround is one of the items promoted in the teaser for tonight's show.
Informants on main street collinsville say Barron is expected at the HS football game tonight, and there is some juice in the air Barron may be hitching to his wagon and up and coming Baptist comet whose Mah Fiburr still may be developing. Abramoffs are everywhere, and you never know where the next Karl Rove as Richard Land as Karl Rove may come from.
And for that something for both Stout and Barron to consider, their staffs, friends in Baptist life and out and the JSU and Auburn Trustees. Great links embedded, especially for anyone who cares enough about our region and nation to context it all in the wisdom of Balmer and Edsall in Thy Kingdom Come and Building Red America.
Consider how Chic Fil A and the atty gen's race in next door Georgia fits in the equation with this great link; CFA's former corporate atty Perry McGuire is running for the sister seat in Ga. now held in Bama by Troy King, foe of BWA and member of FBC Mgomery where he stands in opposition to his pastor on BFM 2000 as well.
How it all shakes down with Randy Brinson and the April Wash Monthly article Would Jesus Bolt is for who to say. Easy to google that one up; would hope the Stout team in particular would take a look.

Barron and Stout both, whoever wins this contest, need to put high on their agenda for the region a tour with Nick Foster, recently named head of the Alabama Poverty Initiative. I would suggest with Foster, Bishop Willimon, the Morgan son Matthew of Yale and his Brother John of Habitat for Humanity, they take a tour of the trailer court metropolis of Kilpatrick, Alabama, as well as similar housing areas in Collinsville and Ft. Payne.
Kilpatrick is the feeder population for Crossville, Alabama which just two weeks ago made front page of the Birmingham News as Hispanic Influx pushing the local school's coping capacity to the limit.
Monday night, Oct 9, the Collinsville Planning Commission adopted new guidelines for any new developments within 5 miles of the City Limits. Four Baptists, one a deacon who has a substantial trailer park of his own paved within the city limits; a womanwho is a liaison of sorts I think it fair to say to the Quilt Walk community; and another a brother of a retired progressive administrator in his time of the Baptist Home Mission Board; all members of the church where my Mother was baptized, these folks passed regulations to maintain a certain level of life in the town.
Whether in their minds this calls for leverage on exisiting developments within this area, whether roads should be paved in other trailer parks, and what the MOrgan sons and Nick Foster would consider as remedies or matters of Christian Conscience, who is to say here just a few weeks before the election.
ABout the spring of 2001 Matthew was in Sunday School down from the University of Virginia, maybe before or just after his semester in Peru and talked about systemic injustice.
Whether there is the political will in the rest of his family or former church congregation to work in concert with Nick Foster, Lowell Barron and Don Stout remains to be seen. And it would be interesting to add Tom Corts and
wisdom on Constitutional Reform into the Equation as well; to see what the realpolitik in Matthew of Yale, and Bobby Welch of the SBC's stomping grounds are.
The petri dish is here. I doubt they have time to get to it all on For the Record Tonight, but if the conversation is not started now, then when, and if the illustrious Morgan boys and their academic pedigree is not sufficient to salt and light the conversation with Nick Foster, Barron and Stout, then who. Is there anything Casey Mattox of can add, or takeaway?
I have been voted off the church property so there is not a whole lot I can do about the situation.
In Christ's Name

Stephen Fox