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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.


Blogger Randall Balmer said...

Thanks for the kind words, Stephen. The BJC address has generated quite a response!

7:39 AM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Thanks for the honor you bring my blog here with your response.
Though I haven't talked to him in a while, I know fellow Collinsvillian, now your neighbor just across the way in the offices of the UMC near the Church of St. John the Divine; Matthew Morgan sends his regards as well.
I hope Matthew will help me get the text of your BJC remarks out before the general public here in Collinsville and other pockets of Alabama.

1:11 PM  

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