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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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Randall Balmer's Magisterial Declarations on Rove, Land and Criswell

Below are the opening paragraphs of Balmer's great address to 500 at the BJC luncheon in DC. Eyewitnesses have told me it was great, but it was not until I got the BJC newsletter this week and read every word for myself did it come to register with me in fulness.
At one point near his closing remarks Balmer said: "The Baptist faith has been ransacked in exchange for a conference call with Karl Rove."
A few remarks earlier he said if he were a Baptist he would sue the religious right and the takeover artists who turned the SBC upside down in the 80's and 90's; would sue them for "copyright infringement."
Every literate Baptist in America ought to read this address, then take a good look in America explain to themselves before God how they could be so dimwitted as to continue to underwrite the bunk of Richard Land, Al Mohler and Paige Patterson with their Cooperative Program Dollars.
The entire address is available with a couple clicks at

I think there is a great chance here in Alabama one or two of the better newspapers in the state will reprint with permission this address in entirely

Stephen Fox

"In Search of America's Baptists"

By Randall Balmer
An Address Presented at the Religious Liberty Council Luncheon
Washington, D.C., June 29, 2007

“Dear Sir,” the letter began. “Start looking for a new job. The moral majority is going to put you and President Carter type of Christians out of a job.” This letter, written in August 1980 by a man from Dallas, was addressed to Jimmy Carter’s religious liaison, Robert Maddox, a Baptist. “Any staunch Christian would not support s, would not support the ERA which contradicts God’s plan for women and would support voluntary prayer in the school. You guys are real bummers. You don’t even deserve to be called Baptists.”1

Even with the benefit of hindsight, it’s difficult to locate with any precision exactly when so many Baptists in America ceased being Baptist. Some people, I suppose, would point to the storied gathering in Houston in 1979, when busloads of Southern Baptist “messengers” began electing a succession of denominational presidents whose commitment to church-state separation was, shall we say, tepid.

Others might cite the changing views of Wallie Amos Criswell, longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas. In 1960, during the heat of the presidential campaign, Criswell declared: “It is written in our country’s constitution that church and state must be, in this nation, forever separate and free.” Religious faith, the redoubtable fundamentalist declared, must be voluntary, and “in the very nature of the case, there can be no proper union of church and state.” Twenty-four years later, however, on August 24, 1984, during the Republican National Convention, Criswell changed his tune: “I believe this notion of the separation of church and state was the figment of some infidel’s imagination.”2

Still others might quote the head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “We’ll see who represents Baptist views,” he declared recently, taunting his ecclesiastical adversaries. “I know I represent the views of overwhelming numbers of Southern Baptists.” The appellation Baptist apparently belongs to whoever can rally the largest following.

Abortion: The Pope, My Dad and his Brother

An Exchange at with references to Karl Rove, Al Mohler, David Gushee, Randall Balmer and the SC Primary 2000 where Mother Teresa woulda winced had she seen what Bill Rauch Saw.
Richard Land has said nothing about it to my knowledge to this day.

The exchange:

Reply with quoteReport this post Re: What do the Pope and Mohler have in Common
by UNCLE PRENTICE on Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:02 am

A THIRD BOOK THAT DEBI has here by Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, is called "Christianity and the Crisis of ures." I believe it is in this book that Ratzinger and Mohler would almost be in perfect agreement. It may be the best answer yet to Fox's question in this thread, "What do the Pope and Mohler have in common?" BENEDICT writes: " We have the moral problem that passes through the heart of each one of us, in that hidden interior room where our freedom decides for good or evil. I have said that, when the decision is taken in favor of abortion, there is necessarily a moment at which one agrees to shut one's eyes to the right to life of the little one who has just been conceived. The moral drama, the decision for good or evil, begins with our eyes, when we choose whether or not to look at the face of the other. Why is infanticide almost unanimously rejected today, whereras we have become virtually inured to abortion? Perhaps the only reason is that in the case of abortion, one does not see the face of the one condemned never to see the light of day." Mother Teresa expressed essentially the same message when she addressed the Presidential Prayer Breakfast during the Clinton Administration; and both Bill and Hillary were there that day. Their body language was caught during her speech by the camera as they were WINCING(?) at Mother Teresa's words. UNCLE PRENTICE."THE TRUTH SHALL REMAIN."---JAN HUSS, 1415... "GOD WILL NOT ASK A PERSON HOW MANY BOOKS HE HAS READ BUT GOD WILL ASK HIM IF HAS DONE HIS BEST FOR THE LOVE OF HIM"..--- MOTHER TERESA.

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Reply with quoteEdit postDelete postReport this post Abortion
by fox on Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:52 pm


I am doing my best to tread gingerly here, but My Dad's Brother has raised a question about abortion referencing work's in his daughter in law's library; and me as the originator of this thread.
It would be wonderful if Winston would use his registration while he is in Alaska to let his PHD daughter in law speak for herself on these matters and her political calculus in regard abortion.
We both have a lot of respect and admiration for Debi.
At a small rural congregation here in NE Alabama in the 90's my Dad referenced the remarks of Bill Self's great friend, the legendary pastor at Peachtree Prez in Atlanta Frank Harrington, longtime chair of Presbyterian College, SC trustees.
Frank Said Abortion was a thorny issue. He said the weight of Protestant Theology comes down on the side of the Mother. He went so far as to say if a 14 year old comes with her Mother to my office in extraordinary circumstances, You tell her abortion is not an option, "Not Me".
The head of the right to life movement in the county, a good woman, was a member of my Dad's congregation at the church. He was dismissed from that congregation a week later.
If Uncle Prentice wants to say he woulda put my Dad, his Brother, on the street for that reference to Harrington, here is a good place for him to say that.
Timothy George has written a pamphlet on abortion that is still being distributed by Land's ERLC. I think it is abominable in the way it izes SBTS professor Paul Simmons, a person if memory serves me correctly is held in high esteem by this board's own David Flick for his testimony in Charles Kell's Exiled, the book Flick Shared with Burleson there in Enid. I have been waiting for some time for the likes of The Union EThicist who recently came on board at Mercer, DAvid Gushee to dissect the Simmons/George divide on abortion. I have great respeckt for Gushee from what I know about him. The issue is begging him to come in and dissect the religious and national politics of it all.
I will always be proud of Gushee and Carey Newman for what they said about their short stay at Southern under Mohler's so called "Covenant". Hankins reports the two to say their experience with Mohler was God is Not in this Place.
Harrington said he abhors the politics of abortion, the way it has been used as a wedge issue for partisan advantage. I wished he woulda said that the Sunday before the Georgia primary in 88 when George 41 and Barr were in attendance in his Service, but he did not.
Christians everywhere as I have to believe would Mother Teresa wince when they come to recognize what the right to life community as a linchpin did to destroy John McCain in the SC Primary 2000

I did not come to this place today to wrestle with Uncle Prentice on abortion. I am here today to crossblog on some of the pearls in my friend Randall Balmer's BJC address now entirely online at . Here is a quote from that:
"The Baptist faith has been ransacked in exchange for a conference call with Karl Rove."
Balmer writes about the politics of abortion in his book. Gushee has written about it.
I would love for Debi Fox to use her father in law's registration to come here and tell us not so much about abortion, but how the issue stacks up for her in a political calculus as she chooses candidates weighing other matters like health insurance for the working poor, immigrant issues, African and Water issues, even the matter of whether baptists should come together in the Baptist World Alliance.
Would be great if she could risk telling what she thought about the IMB and how it addresses key issues in Kenya from her experience on mission earlier this year.
But that is her call.

Look for my cross blogging thread on Balmer's address.

Stephen Fox, in a region of the country sources say is soon to be infiltrated by 15, Fifteen units of Five Guys Hamburger joints.INFORMED GADFLY

Sunday, August 26, 2007

God's Warriors on CNN and

Pretty interesting discussion at David Flick's about the CNN series of the third week in August by Armanpour.
An online friend, Jonathan, has taken President Carter to task, about the SBC BFM 2000 Creed that a multitude of folks across the South underwrite with their SBC Cooperative Program Dollars.
I have a great deal of affection for many of the misguided, many of whom who are much brighter and more gifted than me in most other matters beside Scrabble and Baptist politics and the Rovian devil's playground it has become
Just wanted to get that disclaimer in there, cause I have a new tire for my bicycle and about to try my luck in Alabama again

Back on message. The series is getting chat by a Baptist student at Yale. Hoping to get the crossblog going here, a trifecta between My fabulous blog here, Yale and

the Yale Link

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Johnny Pierce and John Killian blogs

At the expense of losing traffic here on my blog, I want to recommend two others.
Johnyy Pierce, editor of and native of NW Georgia is doing some interesting professional blogging with lot of anecdotes about Chattanooga Tn. His comparison of the tow truck museum in Chattanooga to the communism museum in Prague is a good read, as is his parable of Bobby Cox and Lee Roberson. Lot of folks in NE Alabama and elsewhere will want to be keeping up with him weekly.
John Killian, I have mentioned before. He is one of the more delightful fundamentalists anywhere, and his political thinking is formidable, but I'm convinced a little misguided. He is a hurdle and that universe will have to jump.
But he is there, a charm, and with some fear and trembling for the following he may gather, I recommend you check on him too.


After you become enamored with them, don't forget to check on the Once Magnificent Stevie here at asfoxseesit from time to time, here at the Old and waning Cornerstone of Dissent

Oh, and case you missed the plug in a previous blog here, check out tour dates to see what a big show is coming just 7 miles north of Collinsville in a few weeks.
I may cater some stuff up there for the competition of it all.

Here in the main text of my blog I want to think Johnny Pierce for his kind comment.
And here is a link to a strong essay from the Christian Century I have suggested to both Killian and Pierce, hoping they will share their thoughts on it; because it is a place to share common ground.
Sunday morn August 26, update

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Owen in Noxon

I have never said much about my bro-in-law Owen here on my famous blog and now is about as good a time as any.
Here he is In Noxon on mission. Well the link jumped up there so click on it.
He has been a pretty good bro in law. He proposed to my sister back Thanksgiving of 95 right after Charles Foster spoke at CHS.

Also this week I talked to a Vietnam Vet who was in the tent with John Kerry and TedK and Ramsey Clark during the Protest of 69 in DC. But he voted for Bush in 04; a Roman Catholic who knows Bertis and Chuck in Georgia.
I also read a blog about Lee Roberson of Tennessee Temple, some of the good stuff in Charles Marsh's Wayward Christians, and thought a lot about the shortcomings of My Uncle Prentice and they are legion.
Don't want to get too transparent here, so I will stop with that.
Oh, strongly consider the economics of a new bicycyle and on two dollars I confess I missed the 117 million in the Ga Lottery by 4 numbers.

I hope you enjoy Owen's pix out in Montana. He has also been to NewMexico, Alaska, seen someplays in New York City, performed a wedding there for an up and coming opera singer; and last week went to Dollywood where my Great Grandmother Fox's cousins The Walker Sisters owned the Home Dolly now stays in when she is inDollywood.

Some words togo with Owen's pictures

Monday, August 13, 2007

/Update 9-19/Will Fox be allowed to attend Community Revival at CBC

Monday, 20th
Tony Cartledge has an excellent blog up today on these matters at I have made a comment there about my ordeal in Collinsville.

What I am sayingnext is not intended to needle the Pastor's wife,just a matter of record I found most interesting from a friendly conversation we had couple of years ago, just a coincidence.
Gloria told me the charming story of how Kate Campbell's Mother, Jim Henry's wife,played the piano for Gloria to sing in a Baptist solo contest for young girls when the Henry's wereat Two Rivers Church where Jerry Sutton is now the subject of much controversy.
Gloria was a member of another church in the association as I understand it. to appear in a big show in Dekalb County before Thanksgiving

Sunday the 19th:
An influential member of the congregation took my appeal Sat morning by Phone. I got a m
essage on my machine this morning that said after consultation with various deacons it was determined it "would NOT be appropriate" for me to go to Community Revival tonight at the Collinsville Baptist Church.
Sign out front said "Everyone is INvited". Maybe somebody should amend the sign to say EXCEPT Stephen Michael Fox.
I do sincerely appreciate the person who was the messenger for my appeal, and for them giving me the news which the person said they were "sorry" to have to share.
Alabama GOP Committeewoman Mary Anne Cole invited me to join her at the Collinsville UMC in the Pleasant Grove area off HWY 68 between the CBC and 59 this morning to hear a woman preacher, a Ms. Washington.
I appreciate the invitation and under more ordinary circumstances would have joined her. As it all turned out, I had other ministries this day I was compelled to pursue.
I do hope Ms. Cole makes the acquaintance of my good Friend Nate Beckett soon in Collinsville. Hoping we can bring Bishop Elder Babb and the Madison Bumblebees from Winnsboro, South Carolina to the area soon to share the True Christian Pilgrimage as it appears some folks at the Church on the Hill Have Lost Their Way.
God Have Mercy on Us All.
There are Good people in the world however. Met a Retired Air Force Gentlemen recently from Arkansas who knew enough to appreciate George Truett. Got him reading Ron Rash as well. Told him about Collinsvillian Bud Oliver, McNamara and the Planer reeds. He got a smile out of that one.

Aug 17 a Friday
Noticed today where Kelly Townsend had a big picture feature on the Collinsville Community Revival with quotes almost solely by Pastor John Morgan. Morgan's son, Joseph, now works for the paper in Ads, sources say.
Great picture. I recognized Mamie Moore--had occasion to speak to Mamie in the bank earlier this week, my friends Mary Jo Nelson and James Myers in a full house service from last year apparently, at COGOP Harvest Center.
I may seek communication with MOrgan and his wife later in the year for some conversation about my dismissal from the congregation; and possibly make a phone call this weekend to see if I would be welcome Sunday night, or be forsaken.

Aug 16
Here on the Day Elvis Died 30 years ago, I have been notified in another high trafficked forum a fresh wave of lurkers is coming here to take notice of my blog.
One thing they may want to consider is appointing a treasurer amongst themselves for the New Initiative in Collinsville to have Streetlights named for Notable Citizens.
My lamp for all practical purposes was snuffed out May 28 2006; but the light of my ancestry deserves to shine on. I am hoping folks with more means will contribute to celebrate the legacy of my Grandfather and Grandmother Jordan, folks of the virtue of Judge Frank Johnson and the Judge who overturned the Scottsboro Boys verdict for the good.
Momma's extended family on the Vanzant and Jordan side include a host of preachers, Non profit administrators, musicians, pharmacists, a former president of Huntington College Student Body, Doctors in Piedmont, Woodstock, Ga, Dewey Oklahoma, and Arizona, an international Opera Singer, an inner city elementary teacher of the Year, and a Cotton Bowl Queen.
At one time the Block in town diagonally across from the Baptist Church I can no longer set foot in was called the Jordan Block, right across the Street from the Barksdale Compound.
If we can come up with the funds, I think it most appropriate to go for the Light Stand on the East Corner of the Old Jordan block, almost in the Heart of Town, to the Left if you are facing Cook's Barber Shop.
Just something to consider.
As Wayne Flynt the noted Alabama Historian has said, one's truth often depends on What History you Believe.
I'll see if I can't get a link up for you.
There are pictures on the homepage of the town. Even a picture of the top of a light in question.
The Jordan/Vanzant post I am hoping would go in the foreground of the block there in the picture--yes, that is the old Jordan block they feature there--with the post standing pretty much on the front driver's side bumper of the white car in the foreground bottom left of the Mainstreet picture.

It is community Revival time again starting this Sunday, Aug. 19 evening in collinsville.
The First Service will be held at Collinsville Baptist, where they have a Magnificent Air Conditioning System, and A New Carpet and Pew Configuration thanks to my Friend Martha and her friends and great work in 94 or so; relatively new I guess
Will I be invited; Am I welcome. Has the COS d me long enough, marginalized me forever.
I hear a Deacon asked about my welfare Sunday, so there is some concern; I haven't been forgotten entirely. I appreciate it.
The Church of God Preacher is Preaching, Brother Brock. He is a good preacher, but if I am allowed in the doors, I may just stay for the congregational singing since that is the portion of the Service I enjoy the most.
As Deacon Marty Borntrager said soon after the proceedings of May 28 2006: Fox needs the Church. I don't disagree with him on the matter. I was only 7 votes short of renewal, and I think I could win a south county wide plebiscite though it could be close, a nail biter.
Maybe somebody could start a petition for Restoration.

One thing that wasn't made exactly clear the day I got voted out. I think it kinda sounded like I had thumbed my nose at the entire process, as it was said publicly I had failed to honor "The Last Straw".
I did miss the line by 24 hours or so and I regret that. I knocked on the deacon's door when they were deliberating seeking a time when we could get together and begin reconciliation.
Two major weddings had taken place in the community and I didn't want to sidetrack the goodwill and joy they deserved.
I relaxxed a little and missed the line.
I regret it.
Would be nice to be allowed to sing What a friend We Have In Jesus with the Community again, upwards of 97% I think I can get along with.
Why let 3% railroad me out through a series of misunderstandings?
And though It could be for all parties, as I have said since Jan 04, maybe as early as 03, I am ready on a well rested day maybe with some carrot salad and a fresh breeze, to sit down and talk with my Despisers, even offer a few apologies of my own.
My outrage, disappointment, came with observations of these folks working the shadows; getting 2nd parties to do their bidding.
That is not the Jesus way.

Hope things otherwise with you all are well.

Stephen Fox

Here is more of what I have been banned from, voted off the premises by Seven Votes; from a public Baptist discussion board, where they still think the Baptist legacy matters; unlike some who are now in positions of influence at the CBC

Welcome, Uncle Prentice--I counted Brer Fox's father Billy as a good friend and one of the finest ministers of the gospel I ever knew. You mentioned Robeson County NC--got some ancestral connections there, Turners and Barrentines.Lamar Wadsworth

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Location: Rockmart GA (on a slippery slope, between Aragon and VanWert, 6 miles SW of Taylorsville)
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by PRENTICE on Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:04 pm

Lamar, you are 100% right about my brother Billy. His message was authentic, and his compassion was genuine. Billy and I both have a tendency to tears; but we were not ashamed for more often than not they were tears of Joy. Billy's tears were not like those of some televangelists who are able to instantaneously cry on cue; Billy's tears were from his heart for all mankind.

Billy bore malice toward no man. He passed from this life into Glory on 2 August 1999. The family had his funeral at First Baptist Church of Collinsville, AL. His wife, Louise, was baptized in that church. The church was completely full. People drove down from TN and over from GA, SC and NC He was loved by all who knew him; and he set a paradigm for us all to follow. But Billy did snore.

sfox>Testimony from Billy's Brother, Prentice
My Mother was baptized in that church along with her Mother back about 1936 or so, Her Mother Arrie Lula Vanzant coming over from the Methodists. Momma's funeral was August 19, 1988. She maybe had more at her funeral than Dad.
If my funeral is held in that church, the family will have to come up with 35 dollars to rent the facilities. Considerably less people will be in attendance, I imagine.
A footnote.
Lamar Wadsworth is a good man. He has written a Novel, People of This Covenant I heartily recommend for all church libraries as Senior groups in particular will find it endearing.

Friday, August 10, 2007

History and Remembrance from CHS class of 92 and 93

In today's blog gonna promote the work of two of Collinsville High School's most promising 30 something graduates; most notable outside My Momma and Mary Catherine Reid Beasley of course.
Julie Arthur Johnson of the Class of 93 has started a blog. Her entry of yesterday is very well written and quite revealing of the pains of growing up in Northeast Alabama. It shows how the kindness of a good brother can help you get through most anything, as well.
Maybe Julie's sister cheerleaders will get up a petition, a card that Says We Love You Julie and send it to her. (Insert Smilie Emoticon here)

And John Morgan III has emailed some fascinating research from friends in Americus Georgia who are telling me a lot about a friend of President Carter I have come to admire from the writings of my hero Marshall Frady. Frady was a classmate of my High School Tennis Coach, Roger Smoak, at Furman in 1963. Frady is well nuanced in the ABC Special 20/20 tonight on Billy Graham and the Presidents, especially the coverage of Nixon which was previewed last night on NIghtline and again this morning on GMA.
Morgan is an architecture grad from UVA, a church organist, and all round leader of his generation. His brother Matthew can see the Church of St. John the Divine from his office in NYC. They have two other brothers.
And he designed a house nearby, Mentone, Alabama for some Episcopalians.
Fortson was the subject of a Frady essay in his collection Southerners. Fortson had a difficult summer in 1965 in Americus. Frady's essay is well worth the search for any of you serious revenants out there.
But here is an illustrious exchange between Morgan and some friends he has made in Americus about Fortson's home of the time, quite notable in its own right. It is a lot bigger than I had imagined.
Morgan sent a picture in the email that deserves your viewing. I hope to get it up for you soon as I can, but I'm not very savvy in these matters.

The EXchange on the Fortson Home

Hey Fox, I found out a little more about the house you called about. A picture of the house is attached. A co-worker and local historian (who finished a book last year on the history of First Baptist Americus) had some information. Here's our exchange:
I thought the same thing about the house until Sen. Hooks informed me of the 1922 rehabilitation. Not only is he a student of local and state history, but I thought I remembered him mentioning Fortson some years ago. That’s why I called him this afternoon.
Incidentally, the original frame house was owned by Ambrose Spencer who testified at the trial of the Andersonville Prison commandant, Henry Wirz, after the Civil War. Also, what is now Calvary Episcopal Church was organized in Spencer’s house in 1858.
Just some historical tidbits about the house.

Thanks, Alan! When I had called the library to ask about the city directories, the person who answered said she didn’t see any in the catalog from the 60’s. And Sun Valley Drive is definitely “a far piece” from FUMC, so that’s cool that you thought to contact Mr. Hooks. Did you just have a hunch it might be his house, or is he someone who shares your interest in history?

That is such a beautiful house! And fascinating that it was bricked in the 20’s. I’ve admired it many times, but always thought due to the style of the exterior that it must have been built in the late teens or early 20’s. How interesting that it goes back so much farther than that.

Thanks for your help!

Another update. I just talked to Sen. George Hooks and during 1965 Warren Fortson bought the two-story brick home now occupied by the Hooks family at 145 Taylor St. This would be the house your friend was referencing. It’s actually an antebellum house that was bricked in the 1920s by T. Firth Lockwood, a prominent architect from Columbus. Sen. Hooks has Lockwood’s original schematics.

I took a quick run to the library during the lunch break and the 1961-1964 city directories list Warren Fortson’s residence at 223 Sun Valley Dr., over near LaHacienda. That’s a long way from the Methodist Church.
Thanks, Alan! I knew I asked the right person!

Good morning, John,
You know me, I just love history questions! Warren Fortson, whose brother, Ben Fortson, was Georgia’s secretary of state, was the district attorney for Sumter County during the civil rights demonstrations in 1965. He supported a biracial committee to discuss the situation and, as a direct result, was forced out of his legal position and his church position at First United Methodist. After receiving threats, as well as accusations of miscegenation, he and his family left Americus in Sept. 1965.
You can find more information on the History link at The library has city directories from that time period that will specify Fortson’s home address.

Hey Alan, I hope that you had a good weekend. A friend of mine back home was asking about a Warren Fortson who lived in an historic brick home “around the corner from the First United Methodist Church”. Does this name mean anything to you, and if so is it something I could read about on the history website? Could you send me a link to that website? I can’t remember the address. Thanks,

Post Script
Here is Fortson on Carter from the PBS American Experience. Carter Biographer Peter Bourne is also interviewed, Bourne a friend of my friend James Dunn who along with a Maddox provide fascinating insight into the Southern Baptists of Carter's world as well a most colorful quote


Warren Fortson, Lawyer: Quitman County, historically, had been run by a man named Joe Hurst and Joe was not atypical for many, many small counties in the state, the poorer counties, you had one person who was a political power who just in effect kind of ran the county
Narrator: Hurst was used to getting what he wanted, and in 1962 he wanted another Democrat, Homer Moore, to be elected Senator.
Warren Fortson: The ballot box was a liquor box, that had been taken and a hole cut in the top of it, so that you put your ballot over in there, after you-and it sat up on the counter and you had to come up and mark your ballot right next to it with Joe and a bunch of his crowd watching, you know while your doing it.
Narrator: Fraud was rampant: voters were threatened, ballots detroyed. Joe Hurst even stuffed ballots of dead voters into the Old Crow box. That evening, when the votes were counted, Jimmy Carter had lost. He decided to contest the election.

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Most fascinating Look at Alabama and the Siegelman trial

A failure of skepticism is apparent in coverage of the Siegelman trial
By Scott HortonSpecial to The Star

An excerpt

The Siegelman case let us focus on another acute problem: what happens when one corporate giant comes completely to dominate the print media market of a state? It acquires the power to shape the public’s perception of reality. It determines what is and what is not “news.” It shapes public perceptions of the issues, of the state’s political discourse and of its political figures. And its coloration can easily get an innocent man convicted. Indeed that just happened. Don Siegelman had his political career and his reputation destroyed. This occurred in a way that will stand as evidence of the damage that can be done when the power of the federal prosecutor’s office is wielded with political malice, and the press not only fails to spotlight the injustice but actually backs it up.
There are some antidotes to this problem, and I can think of two. One is to make way for more voices and greater diversity of viewpoints in reporting. And the other is for all of us to be skeptical — especially when prosecutors start handing out bouquets to their favorite reporters.
Harper’s magazine writer Scott Horton, who is one of the Lawrence County, Alabama, Hortons, is a New York attorney who blogs at

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Warren Fortson and a Collinsville moment

By strange coincidence I was rereading portions of Marshall Frady's protean collection of essays Southerners this morning, then had a Faulknerian/Sopranos moment at lunch.
The bite of roast beef I got was great and the mash potatoes were very good, as was the hospitality. It was the song that happened to come on the random jukebox that about put the circumstances into the XFiles, or back there in 65 in Americus Georgia with Warren Fortson.
If Tony Sopranos song was Journey's Don't Stop Believin, my song today was Everybody Plays the Fool Sometime. I almost asked another patron to dance, but thought better of it.
It's a strange world indeed.
Marshall Frady on Warren Fortson, check it out.
And from and the conversation there you will see that yes Virginia, Denominations do matter. Check Randall Balmer's entire speech now just a click away at

On another matter, for all practical purposes Barack Obama's campaign ended today. That invade Pakistan idea; that plow won't scour.