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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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Overthrow Roe; Fix Immigration/Plus Schafly on Huckabee

Click on the link above for Schlafly's remark about too many mosques in America.
At some other site she said Huckabee ruined the conservative movement in Arkansas which I imagine was jsut fine with Richard Land and Ronnie Floyd.
LOt of questions for the Greenville News and Columbia State to ask the candidates including following up on Nightline last night with Cindy McCain's lament about what Richard Land's Karl Rove did to her husband and child in South Carolina Primary in 2000.
Her former pastor is the man Jerry Vines beat by a couple points in the SBC election of 88. I was there and had a walk with Richard Jackson right after the executive committee when Land and Pressler and Ronnie Floyd's faction tried to fire the heads of Baptist Press.
That got em a couple years later after a row with Bill Moyers.

Reap the Whirlwind, America.
Get Right with God.

And Frank Page: If you are out there and mean business about the Kingdom, line item veto Land's ERLC out of the SBC Co-Op Program budget and go from there.
In meantime be reading the interview of BWA and Billy Graham's daughter Anne Lotz Friend Callam in current Issue of Baptists Today. My copy is in the car, November.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Evangelical Crackup/OBama at FBC Columbia SC

If I read this Lee Bandy oped in the State correctly, that is what it says; Obama has worshipped at Harry Dent and Ed Young's old mainstay FBC Columbia

U.S. Barack Obama, D-Ill., frequently quotes Scripture on the stump and proclaims a “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ.
He often invites reporters to go to church with him on Sundays as he did on a recent visit to Columbia. He took his guests to First Baptist, a predominantly white congregation, and to Brookland Baptist, a predominantly black church.

All this headlined today at news lists of along with the Evangelical Crackup NY Times Mag story also listed at
I am disappointed in my friends at for not having a go at it yet.

Here is the key passage from the NY Times on the SBC:
And just click on Next Page for more

The 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention — the core of the evangelical movement — may be rethinking its relationship with the Republican Party, too. Three years ago, I attended its annual meeting in Indianapolis and tagged along as the denomination’s former president and several of its leaders invited the assembled pastors across a walkway to an adjacent hotel for a Bush-Cheney campaign “pastors’ reception.”
Over soft drinks, Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition director then working for the Bush campaign, told the pastors just how far they could go for the campaign without jeopardizing their churches’ tax-exempt status. Among the suggestions: “host a citizenship Sunday for voter registration,” “identify someone who will help in voter registration and outreach” or organize a “ ‘party for the president’ with other pastors.”
Republicans should not expect that kind of treatment from Southern Baptists again any time soon. In June of last year, in one of the few upsets since conservatives consolidated their hold on the denomination 20 years ago, the establishment’s hand-picked candidates — well-known national figures in the convention — lost the internal election for the convention’s presidency. The winner, Frank Page of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., campaigned on a promise to loosen up the conservatives’ tight control. He told convention delegates that Southern Baptists had become known too much for what they were against (abortion, evolution, homosexuality) instead of what they stand for (the Gospel). “I believe in the word of God,” he said after his election, “I am just not mad about it.” (It’s a formulation that comes up a lot in evangelical circles these days.)


Frank Page needs to have a heart to heart with Richard Land in the presence of Garry Wills and Randall Balmer.
The SBC must defund Land's ERLC, by denying him CoOp Program dollars.
I think Mike Huckabee for one would understand that Land's history with Karl Rove, is anathema to the cause of Christ as understood by George Truett.
See my previous blog on how it breaks down with Ronnie Floyd in the intramural baptist politics in Arkansas.
Land's stripe is plain to see for those who want to look close. His time has past. He is a blight to the Baptist cause in America even the witness of Madison and Jefferson.
Consult my betters on that account, Randall Balmer in Thy Kingdom Come, and Garry Wills in American Christianities; then ask Land about SC Primary 2000.

Frank Page and Ben Cole and Wade Burleson see the world differently from Richard Land. I think that has become clear from the onslaught of recent blogs, article and analyses.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Art of the Hissy Fit

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On Ritual Defamation

Faith in Public life Dot Org brought this to my attention.
Congrats to my friend Bruce Prescott. Helping him get the word out.

I guess many of you join me in having met our share of hissy fitters in our time.

I confess Jesus had a better way in the first chapter of the book of James.

Was gonna keep it down to just one post here today and give the spotlight to Cormac and the Coens but this is oh so timely, especially given the new heights to which Richard Land has risen in Time Magazine; Land himself who owes his whole career to one continuous Hissy Fit for 15 years in the Southern Baptist Convention compliments of the Master of the Hissy Fit, the Honorable Paul Pressler of the Council for National Policy.

Green Bananas and Cormac McCarthy

The Coen Brothers talk with Cormac McCarthy

Click on the blog linked and then click on the Time conversation embedded. That is where the green bananas are. It will help you with the sequence of things; prioritize.

Couple things about Cormac. The rest if you don't know by now you probably never will. Google is ready when you are.
But do read Hal Crowther's Take in his Cathedrals of Kudzu. Hal saw him once up in Western North Carolina that one town west of Toxaway on 64; and if I had turned the right corners on the right days downtown Knoxville in the late 70's I woulda seen him too.
Brad Dourif played Cormac's main character in the PBS drama in the late 70's; and some of you know Dourif was Raymond or Raymond's buddy in Blue Velvet.
I almost got to talk to the fellow who did the soundtrack for all the pretty Horses couple weeks ago, but didn't have the presence of mind at the moment.
Did talk to Jimmy Blevins once in Collinsville, Alabama in the presence of Kevin Summerall and Ashley Adrian, and that's pretty good.
But as Cormac has Tommy Lee Jones say in the Coen Brothers Do, comin out around Christmas, No Country for Old Men; and I paraphrase here:
This will Have to Do till one gets here.

Also make sure to read the review when it comes out

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Frank Page and Huckabee; Ronnie Floyd and Richard Land; SBC and Ameriker

The split between those groups witing Southern Baptist fundamentalism and its Rovian implications for the current GOP Presidential Race in South Carolina.
Here is a clue. Somebody get a clue, and then call up Chip Campsen of the SC Legislature, Harry Dent's daughter Ginny Brant, and Beaufort Mayor Bill Rauch.
Wouldn't hurt to read Rauch's book before you call him up, the Chapter Principles in the book Politikin and then ask Furman detractor Campsen what he thinks about it and the difference in tactics by Page and Huck on one hand; and Rove, Land and Floyd on the other; tactics and character.
An SBC shade for sure, but maybe the last chance there is to get the vast crestfallen victims of the blasphemous mob, the great numbers of the unwitting who continue blindly to underwrite Rovism in America through their Cooperative Program Dollars to Richard Land's ERLC.

Here is a link to consider again and again between now and the South Carolina Primary and days after as well.

And again, wouldn't hurt to do a thorough reading of concluding chapters of Garry Wills' American Christianities before you start thinking through all this.

Here, this gets to the heart of Richard Land's America, and why as the Baptist son of the Council for National Policy's takeover artists Pressler and Paige Patterson, he is closer to Rove and Floyd, than he is to Frank Page and Mike Huckabee. Please read Wills for perspective on this
From today's NY Times oped pages:

Yet the leaders of the Values Voters keep waiting for one of the top-tier candidates to change — a strategy that any woman who’s had an unsatisfactory boyfriend could warn them is never going to pan out. They pace around muttering that maybe Fred Thompson will start acting more ... alive, or that Mitt Romney will stop being a Mormon. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, seems to think Rudy Giuliani has come around on gay marriage. (Perkins should talk to Rudy’s gay former roommate Howard Koeppel about the time the then-mayor promised to marry Koeppel and his partner as soon as the laws change.)
Huckabee’s problems say more about the leaders of the religious right than about him. They’re united mainly by their hatred of abortion and gay marriage, and a desire to win. Considerations like who has the most Christian attitudes toward illegal immigrants don’t register. And the fact that as governor Huckabee spent a lot of time trying to spend money on the needy doesn’t go over all that well with the ones who believe that God’s top priority is eliminating the estate tax.
By Gail Collins

And there is much hope in an ecumenical witness in Greenville South Carolina November 26, 4days after Thanksgiving this year.
Tom Corts Brother Paul and others will bear witness, in the backyard of Frank Page one more time; will call Richard Land to repentance for his silence in the right to life cabal of Rove/Bush 2000--see Rauch--when they stage a Gospel Ralley unlike anything Billy Graham ever did.
LD Johnson and Marney must be proud of this one, a far cry from 1956 when Stewart Newman had to stand up and say WA Criswell doesn't speak for me.
I hope to be there.

From the Faith in Public life report
Meanwhile, a broad alliance of religious leaders, some of them also conservative Christians, is trying to persuade the candidates that the faith and values agenda is larger than those issues.
They are inviting Republican and Democratic candidates to speak at back-to-back “Compassion Forums” on Nov. 26 in Greenville, South Carolina, an early primary state.
They want to ask the candidates where they stand on climate change, torture, poverty in the United States and abroad, and genocide in Darfur – as well as abortion.
Backing the event is an unusual left/right alliance of evangelical, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders who only recently would have made very strange bedfellows indeed: including Dr. Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention; Dr. Paul R. Corts, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities; Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the liberal group Sojourners and author of “God’s Politics;” Dr. Syeed Sayeed, general secretary of Islamic Society of North America; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Bishop Vashti McKenzie, of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The organizers, a relatively new Washington group called Faith in Public Life, say they have interest from top candidates, although none have confirmed yet. They say they are negotiating with a network to broadcast it, that John Meacham, managing editor of Newsweek, will moderate, and that churches and Christian colleges will organize viewing parties.
It is one of a growing number of efforts under way among religious leaders to declare a ceasefire in the culture wars and focus on issues they can all agree on. Earlier this month, Third Way, a liberal think tank, issued a paper signed by several prominent evangelicals calling for new approaches to polarizing issues, such as reducing abortion by making birth control more widely available and expanding tax credits for adoption.

Here is the Greenville support network

Friends & PartnersInterfaith Forum (IF) is a coalition of religious communities in the Upstate of South Carolina that advocates social justice, promotes charitable outreach, and foster mutual support and interfaith dialogue. We invite you to bring the strengths and blessings of your house of worship to our interfaith effort to build religious understanding and cooperation.
Baha'i Assembly of Greenville
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System
Catholic Charities / Piedmont Deanery
Christ Church Episcopal
Congregation Beth Israel
Disciples United Methodist Church
First Baptist Church Greenville
First Christian Church
First Church of Christ, Scientist
Fourth Presbyterian Church
Furman University
Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network
Greenville Jewish Federation
Lee Road United Methodist Church
Metropolitan Community Church of Greenville
Prince of Peace Catholic Church
St. James Episcopal Church
St. Mary's Catholic Church
Tabernacle Baptist Church
Thomas Height Baptist Church
Trinity United Methodist Church
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
United Ministries
Upstate Homeless Coalition of South Carolina
Vedic Center
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Within Reach

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The gods of Rain and Corn

A wag in the NY Times story today about Spartanburg South Carolina's Don Wilton getting cold feet during his engagement to Mitt Romney, our Mormon friend, for President.
Looks like Wilton wants his virginity back. As an old girlfriend of mine once said, I didn't know you could get it back. And No that was not in regard any act of the two of us, just something Baptist young people discuss on occasion.
Where was I. The fundamentalist world is coming unglued. The Centerfielder cannot hold.
Look what Karl Rove's boytoy (political metaphor here) Richard Land is saying today about the 4th Abrahamic Religion

Furman chaplain Jim Pitts a few years ago passed on to me a gem of religion proff Theron Price. I can't remember it now but wish I could; maybe can get it to you next time.
But find the NY Times piece today on Romney and Wilton. And read the comments. Probably a Yankee Nonbeliever wag who had the comment about the gods of milk and corn; but in context I thought it was redemptive.

On another front the Cracker Barrel Weds special Chicken Pot pie was a disaster. My sister's is exponentially better. CBarrel was not much more than glorified Banquet TV dinner today and my final total was just a buck back out of ten.
I could have the best Five Guys burger on the planet for 9 bucks; or almost three bowls of Mtn River Grill's delicious Fri and Sat only potato soup.
I love Cracker Barrel; even have been to Old Number Seven the seventh one in the chain built about 1964 outside Murphreesboro Tennessee. Had a political lunch there with two right wing Republicans but they were Civil.
But this Pot pie, they ought to scrap it or make it in house. Pouring chicken gravy over the homemade biscuits with a few carrots and English peas sprayed in there woulda been better than what I got today.
The staff and waitresses are always kind to me when I frequent nearby.
Just wanted my Mormon friends to be weary of Weds if they take a chance on it.

My friend Rabbi Jonathan Miller has good piece on Anne Coulter and the Perfected Jews if you want to google it up from Sunday's Bham News.
And one more item on the religion front.
Iran pundit had it about right last night on PBS Frontline. Speaking from his office in Tehran he said our trouble is we have fundamentalist leadership here, and you have a fundamentalist President. Both of them--holding his hand flat a foot above the table demonstrating elevation--are attempting to administer a little off the ground.

And look at Tony Cartledge's blog today about Wade Burleson and the latest Inquisition in the SBC and read the comments.
Too much going on today for bad Pot pie.


And here are comments 9-11 or thereabouts from today's NY Times

October 24th,200710:53 am
I know Wilton well, and this is nothing more than him backing off slightly so he doesn’t loose Tax-Exemption Status for using his religious influence to back a politician. He still supports Romney, he just hast to step back a bit to apease the Political Neutrality Act for tax exemption.
He loves Romney, and rightfully so. Romney is the only candidate who has the family values, moral conviction, backbone, intelectual capacity and leadership experience to be President of this Nation. We, the Religious Right all know this and plan to vote heavily Romney 08.
— Posted by Bryan
October 24th,200711:45 am
Jen, to suggest that Romney is intellectually lazy is about the most moronic post ever to grace cyberspace. To futher suggest that he would intentionally consude Osama for Obama is even more pathetic. The fact is, Ted Kennedy and CNN made the same mistake just recently. Chill out.
— Posted by Jeff
October 24th,200712:53 pm
I just spoke with the gods of corn and rain. They, too, decline to support Romney.
— Posted by albertus magnus

If we obey, we can find joy in life
Posted by The Birmingham News October 21, 2007 2:00 AM
On a Monday earlier in the month, Ann Coulter appeared on Donny Deutsch's program "The Big Idea" on CNBC. I didn't see the program. In the world of cable television, there are more and more talking heads, but the hours of the day remain the same, and no one can see them all.
But be assured, Coulter's interview with Deutsch did not go unnoticed. During their discussion, Coulter -- who like many of our talk-show personalities often has more opinions than her knowledge should warrant, and more words than her discretion should allow -- said something incredibly offensive about Jews. She said to her host, Deutsch, who is himself Jewish, that "we (meaning Christians) just want Jews to be perfected."
In the course of the dialogue, Coulter said some remarkable things: "Do you know what Christianity is? We believe your religion, but you have to obey." Later she said, "That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners."
I know Coulter is not a theologian, and she does not speak for any Christian besides herself. And she does have the right to her opinion. But my e-mail inbox was abuzz with lots of Jewish folks who are taking offense at these crude remarks.
We Jews really don't appreciate the insinuation that our 5,000-year-old faith and covenant with God is somehow lacking, that the newcomers in the religion business have a leg up on us. We don't really like any of this whole "who is closer to God" kind of talk. My faith, practice and commitment as a Jew are not things that need to stand in measure to Christianity or any other faith practiced in America. They stand on their own. And the same is true for Christians or Muslims or Mormons or Buddhists or Hindus; their religious faith and practice should not be measured by Jewish standards. That would sound awfully presumptuous to others, and it is hard to imagine God would appreciate this human hubris.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Garry Wills right; Morgan, Prentice and CMattox Wrong

That would be the Preacher, the Chaplain and the staffer at . And add Jonathan of to that list of my detractors and my friend John Killian.
I have varying degrees of affection for all of these folks, still this has been a pivotal issue in the election of President Bush as Wills points out; and it was a key wedge issue used to great effect almost deifying FRancis Schaeffer in the takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.
To that extent Richard Land who your Cooperative Program Dollars support and Karl Rove had the mind of the Devil.
For the record I think Mike Huckabee is a better person than both those rascals; at least he uses Billy Sunday to more virtuous use and better effect.
For several years off and on I have had an ongoing difference with these folks about the social issues; these folks and other members of the family and church community. I have paid a price; might not have been worth it and I coulda had a different tack on occasion.
However it got to where it is now, it does appear that I was right all along, I had the upper hand in the discussion; just maybe it was me they didn't like, or maybe my presentation; or maybe they are too proud to concede.
Garry Wills has written a new book American Christianities. I read most of the last 5th of it yesterday. This Catholic Scholar just today was given the imprimatur of leading Alabama Baptist pastor thinker Jim Evans, Wayne Flynt's pastor at FBC Auburn.
I hope to get that link up for you.

Here is what the LA times Review of Wills had to say just a few days ago, October 10:,0,3157373.story?coll=la-books-headlines

Considering abortionAs Wills points out, Rove made abortion the "linchpin" of his strategy to bring Catholics and evangelicals -- antagonists historically -- into accord within the Bush coalition. Other conservatives were quick to see abortion as common ground. William Kristol, the neoconservative editor of the Weekly Standard, wrote, "The truth is that abortion is today the bloody crossroads of American politics. It is where judicial liberation (from the Constitution), sexual liberation (from traditional mores), and women's liberation (from natural distinctions) come together. It is the focal point for liberalism's simultaneous assault on self-government, morals and nature."Wills observes that what "made abortion so useful to Rove is the fact that it is the ultimate 'wedge issue,' because it is nonnegotiable" -- a position dictated by the commandment "Thou shalt not kill.""Fair enough. But is abortion murder? Most people think not," Wills writes. What follows on that is perhaps the most lucid and relevantly learned concise discussion of abortion as a moral/theological question as you're likely to read anywhere. Once again, Wills' deep mastery of the primary sources and his respect for them as a believer himself lend his argument a compelling authority. He points out that Catholic opposition to abortion is a recent development."Abortion is not treated in the Ten Commandments -- or anywhere in Jewish Scripture. It is not treated in the Sermon on the Mount -- or anywhere in the New Testament. It is not treated in the early creeds. It is not treated in the early ecumenical councils." For that reason, Augustine, whose knowledge of both Jewish and Christian scriptures was encyclopedic, wrote, "I have not been able to discover in the accepted books of Scripture anything at all certain about the origin of the soul."Similarly, Thomas Aquinas, "lacking scriptural guidance," relied upon Aristotle's natural philosophy. "So he denied that personhood arose at fertilization by the semen. God directly infuses the soul at the completion of human formation," Wills writes."Much of the debate over abortion is based on a misconception, that this is a religious issue, that the pro-life advocates are acting out of religious conviction. It is not a theological matter at all. There is no theological basis for either defending or condemning abortion. Even the popes have said that it is a matter of natural law, to be decided by natural reason. Well the pope is not the arbiter of natural law. Natural reason is."Part of what lends "Head and Heart" its particular force and authority is that Wills' own encyclopedic knowledge of the separation question, of the history of religion in this country and of religious believers' theological convictions is complemented by profound reflection and a deep affection for both the American tradition and religious belief. The noun "affection" is consciously chosen because one suspects that part of the reason Wills recognizes our historical tension between head and heart so readily -- and finds it so fruitful -- is that he has rehearsed it in his inner life. It will come as no surprise, therefore, that the author's distaste for the current state of affairs not withstanding, his conclusion is optimistic.

Back to Fox:
As good as this quote from LA Times is; it does not do justice to the case Wills lays out in the book parsing FRancis Schaeffer and the politics of Richard Land and Karl Rove.
In the end Wills loosely comes down in the same ballpark as the great Atlanta PCUSA pastor Frank Harrington did in 85: "The Weight of Protestant theology comes down on the side of the Mother." even while Frank, like Wills, abhorred the way abortion had been made into a political wedge issue.
And Wills addresses well some of the concerns of some of my cousins regarding the Catholic Theologian John Neuhauss and the First Things matrix.
Wills appears to be in same conviction on the politics of abortion as Randall Balmer and Mark Noll. Would be interesting to see how David Gushee would parse himself in relation to these conclusions of Wills in this latest book.
You can google up several reviews of Wills book. The Powell's book review is very good.

On another note find Amy Sullivan's handicapping of Mike Huckabee today at Time's website

And this link should get you to Jim Evans today



Monday, October 22, 2007

Sizemore; An All Fox/Helton World Series This Year

Got to get this Tuesday update in:
Dawk to whom I refer below as having run around Bosox legend Jim Rice reports by email today the Cleveland Indian baseballer Grady Sizemore if the son of our good friend in Gaffney.
The Dad was in the band with me and played on the baseball team. I saw Grady Senior still second when Mars Hill played Furman in a chilly spring game in the Spring of 74 or so as a pinch runner.
I thought of the Gaffney Sizemore's often while watching the playoffs but wrote it off as a coincidence.
Unless Dawk is pulling my leg, All the Kudos in the world to our friend from Gaffney.
One day in band Practice in Gafney 69,as the football team was coming out for practice but their coaches hadn't gotten on the field yet, Grady outran the whole backfield.
I thought it was hilarious, best effort by a high school trombone player I ever saw.
And if Dawk says he could outrun Sizemore, son or father, he's lyin.

I'm not the baseball fan my Rome, Georgia textile League fan Dad, Billy D Fox was, but I get interested usually around playoff time.
Shame my Dad couldn't lived to see this one cause it's a family affair.
For me it's kinda like Barbara Bush's joke about the vet who moonlighted as a taxidermist: Either way you get your dog back.
In the Indian/Boson playoffs this year I had two horses. My alma mater Furman had a relief pitcher for the Indians Tom Matzny who was outstanding in Game Three.
And then the Bosox had a great fan in my Dad and the legend of Leon Culberson who almost married Dad's sister Aunt Virginia. Culberson was key player in one of the most pivotal plays in World Series History in the 20th Century, when Enos Country Slaughter stole home after Leon went in for Joe Dimaggio's brother Dominic in about the 7th inning of the 6th game against the St. Louis Cards in St. Louis.
See the great David Halberstam's short Book, the Teammates for the particulars.

Todd Helton, the first baseman for the Colorado Rockies is a distant cousin, no lying.
I never met him but was at the same family Reunion with his Mother back about 2001 on Walden's Creek outside DollyWood and Pigeon Forge Tennessee.
That is where my Grandmother Mary Alice Helton is from, a Helton till she married my Grandfather WD Fox.
She had nine brothers all good baseball players and gospel singers.
I wudn't no good at baseball, but carry on a lesser tradition of gospel singing on occasion; not saying gospel singing is lesser than baseball; cause my Daddy said the Gospel was the greatest business in all The World.
I'm just saying like my baseball ain't no good, my singin isn't as good as the original Helton boys but I do better singing than I do swingin, the Bat as it were; throwin and catchin, though I did bat 500 in the Pony league in the late 60's. Four at bats, two hits.

Best I can figure, my Great Great grandfather and Todd Helton's ggg is the same man.
Since the Bosox let Johnny Damon go, and Yasztrenski is no longer in the organization I got to go with the Family on this one and Rockies.
Helton was a QB at UT same time as Payton Manning so he didn't see much game time.

So, Dad, this blog was for you; and Nanny Too. I'm sorry I wasn't a better first baseman with the Lions there in Gaffney when you coached Little League. It just wasn't in me.
It's a glorious game and here is hopin the series goes at least Five.

PS: I think Gaffney beat Anderson when Bosox Legend Jim Rice played football in High School in 1969. I think Johnny Dawkins ran around Rice, and Charles Foster was little late gettin up when he hit him.

SI article on Grady Sizemore, now living of Seattle, but ancesty in Gaffney

Hillary's New Baptist; Balmer's new book

From the Roberts cover story edition of Time Magazine couple weeks ago came this profile of Southern Baptist Missionary to China who is now in outreach for the Methodist candidate for President this year. He is from Grenada Mississippi--I think Michelle Cottle is from Vicksburg and the same denominational roots, and maybe Amy Sullivan is American Baptist-- and a former staff for Pelosi.
Looks like like the Mississippian is gittin Bluesman Leadbelly's "True Religion".

Meet the Mississippi Evangelical who testifies for Hillary Clinton
Southern evangelical preachers aren't prepared when they meet Burns Strider. They hear "director of faith-based operations for Hillary Clinton" and expect a pinch-nosed Yankee, probably of the Unitarian variety, who looks for Job in the New Testament. Then in walks Strider, 41, a former Southern Baptist missionary who calls everyone brother or sister and can tell you exactly when he decided to "give my heart to Jesus." His latest mission: spreading the good news about Clinton to religious audiences.
.....Strider a senior role, unusual for a Democratic campaign. "I'm not stuck in some corner, just to be pulled out when someone named Reverend calls," he says, in a pointed reference to John Kerry's 2004 campaign. "Religion is fully integrated, from the candidate on down."
The Capitol Hill veteran's outreach isn't about giving Clinton a set of faith-based phrases she can plug into speeches. Strider focuses on connecting with those religious voters--like theologically conservative Roman Catholics and Evangelicals--who have long been ignored by Democrats. He may not win them over, but he can ease their suspicions enough to get a hearing. "If you can round the edges," Strider says, "you don't get as many splinters."

Balmer's latest book is referenced in his October 3 Newsweek Religion Blog. "Titled God In the White House..." it covers the role of religion in the Presidency from Kennedy to the latest Bush.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fundies makin fun of the Modcon Baps

Tim Bonney over there on that board made a good point that it is easier to poke fun than offer solutions.

Even so I don't think Flick has got a hold of this Outhouse fellow yet; and when he does, watch out for a good whippin

Jerry Grace cracks me up...Open discussion on topics of interest to Baptists around the world.
Moderators: David Flick, Timothy Bonney
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9 posts • Page 1 of 1
Jerry Grace cracks me up...
by Jonathan on Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:54 am
...great sense of humor, wit sharpened - doubtlessly - from decades being one of the few authentic believers in the room for decades in corporate life.His latest blog post had me almost losing control over a significant bodily function while waiting on yet another ferry (but from the smell of this particular terminal, it appears that Grace may have been translated into some Asian languages already).Here are the first three paragraphs:
SBC Outhouse wrote:The folks over at the Cooperative Baptist fellowship are working themselves up to a Carterian frenzy over the three day meeting they’re planning next year. If you don’t know what a Carterian frenzy is, that’s a condition where you imagine yourself to be a galactic potentate as wise as Yoda, with the karma of Mother Teresa, the respect of Sir Winston Churchill, but with the brain of Barney Fife. (I’m sorry Barney.)You can look at their schedule on line to find that it’s a disaster in the making. Instead of the normal three day meeting of Baptists composed mostly of singing and preaching, reaffirming a solid ant-alcohol position and taking yet another destructive gesture at reaching out to folks we announce are valuable, loveable, and noble and headed for hell, these folks have a schedule that Barbara Streisand will love. It even includes a speech from Al Gore which I notice they’ve placed on the schedule in the morning instead of after lunch to keep him from being drowned out by the sound of snoring. The schedule also includes former presidents Carter and Bill Clinton. As I have stated in the past, the reason why I don’t go to the Southern Baptist Convention as a delegate from my church is that I would have to vote for the President, who is fairly likely to be a Baptist which scares me to death. In twenty years we have had two Baptist Presidents and but for a few chads, the heinously frightening possibility of a third.and then..
SBC Outhouse wrote:We need to make no mistake about what will happen at this meeting, the embarrassment of the SBC where we’ll be painted us as a bunch of orthodox lunatics consumed with infighting and insensitivity. Well, I guess we’ve dealt them a hand which includes three aces and two kings as a good start...Someone get this guy a booking agent for after dinner speeches or whatever they are calling brotherhood get togethers these days.

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More from Grace...
by Jonathan on Sat Oct 20, 2007 1:17 am
I'd say that I couldn't help myself but then I'd have to read Norm or Mark attempting a sardonic wit with "you should have tried harder"...More from Grace:
When a black person shows up in your white congregation suddenly everyone just beams with the idea that they have arrived in a grand demonstration of their obvious openness and desire for inclusiveness. At that ultimate moment in the worship service, when we are supposed to shake the hands in welcome of those around us, there will be a rush to that black person by church staff and the spiritually illuminated. It’s fine with me if those black people come, or the local Vietnamese, the Mexican community, and even the Hindu family across the street, but not to satisfy my own need to prove just how racially sensitive I am.and...
Like most other Mississippians Flywheel hasn’t voted for a national Democratic candidate since Jimmy Carter proved that white Southern Baptist governors were the most threatening force in society since Lenin strode in to Red Square with the Bolsheviks.The post about the Carver school is a classic (while not funny at all).Grace continues to be the top Baptist blogger in the realm. His is the kind of stuff that is a great read when I've had just about enough of ethically and morally corrupted businessmen, religious professionals who are way too self-enamored, church members who have a candyland concept of life on the mission field, short term mission team members who rave about the quiet nobility of the native, and so on.
Last edited by Jonathan on Sat Oct 20, 2007 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Things We Lost in the Fire

Google up the SAn Fran Chronicle Review

Go see the Movie

See if you make anything of the scene where the heads go under in the Water

Pray without ceasing.

Cinematographer has often worked with Eastwood, Clint

Also because everything is connected to everything google up the Museum of Crime and the Museum of God

Wallis,SBC Land Throwdown/Romney, Wilton and Huckabee

Here is a roundup of things loosely connected to Southern Baptist Convention and how it may play in the crucial South Carolina GOP Primary; Lee Atwater's firewall.
Firewall worked for President Bush 43 in 2000--see Bill Rauch's book politikin
Sburg is home of Roger Milliken, a major force in the right wing of the GOP in Nixon's time and before. Ryan Lizza in 1999 article in said Milliken personally drove Goldwater into the race in 64. It is doubtful Don Wilton speaks for Milliken in this matter, though it would be interesting to see how Milliken handicaps this race.

So from NY times and and here we go

And here from faith and practice forum

Sburg pastor endorses Romney
That would be Don Wilton, pastor of the large and influential FBC Spartanburg.
"I am proud to stand alongside Governor Romney as he pursues our nation's highest office. His values are my values - protecting the sanctity of human life, defending marriage and strengthening the family. We need someone in Washington who will stand up for traditional families and Governor Romney is that person," said Dr. Wilton. "While we may not agree on theology, Governor Romney and I agree that this election is about our country heading in the right direction. Governor Romney is the best candidate to stand for conservative values in Washington."Wilton is a sharp guy, wonderful preacher and a native of South Africa. Bob Jones III, now Don Wilton.
William Thornton
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Re: Prominent SC SBC pastor endorses Romney
by Cathy on Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:37 am
I am in complete agreement with UP that Huckabee is the republican candidate that most embodies the values that Baptists should be for. I would say that one of the things wrong with the republican party today is their attention to who they thing will win. They should be watching the field and see who can win. Huckabee will be rising in the polls and those who have made endorsements that are contrary to their own values will regret their early endorsements. I of course will be watching the Democratic side of this race. I do however think that depending on the Democratic candidate Huckabee could pull traditionally Democratic party votes as well. I don't think any of the other Republican candidates could do that. I am of course not likely to vote for a Republican in the Presidential election this year.

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Cathy is a pretty sharp woman. Thornton sometimes does a characterization of Jonathan Edwards for a high school near Winder Georgia and for that I am proud of him; outside AThens.

And this with Samford President Tom Corts and SBC President Frank Page

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

TNR's Cottle on SBC's Richard Land

Here is an entry in 's The Plank today by Michelle Cottle.
Cottle was raised Baptist in Mississippi and got a Master's Degree from Vandy, just down the street from Richard Land.
I have been praying that Michelle would turn her focus to Land; and it looks like my prayers may be beginning to be answered.
Now if she would only take a close look, turn her gaze to Land's silence on the Right to Life Roll in the demonizing of McCain in Bush SC Primary 2000.
Hint: Give Bill Rauch, Mayor of Beaufort a call and go from there; maybe to Chip Campsen in the SC Legislature.

Having already expressed puzzlement over Southern Baptist leader Richard Land's man-crush on Fred Thompson, I'd like to turn now to a more pointed question.
Land has been be-bopping around to various media outlets, making very, very clear that he could never, ever support Rudy Giuliani for president in large part because of Rudy's marital infidelities. As Land ominously told Fox News's Chris Wallace not long ago:
I would not vote for Rudy Giuliani. If he were running against Hillary Clinton, I would not vote in that race. If a man will lie to his wife, and if a man will be dishonest to his wife, he'll be dishonest with anybody.
(For a more detailed and even more emphatic denunciation of Rudy's sins of the flesh, see Land's interview with the Florida Baptist Witness.)

My friends John Killian and Mark Ray in a firestorm

Google up Musings from Maytown or .

Then go to and a post by Mark Ray should CBF and Mainstream Baps of Bama merge; and the post about OK Senator Inhofe where the discussion got started about Killian's blog.
On any other day, I would describe my friend Killian as a fundamentalist, not as a pejorative but because words have meanings as Reinhold Niebuhr's great nephew Gus once explained to Albert Lee Smith in DC; but since skins are thin today I will give him pause as a leader of the socalled conservative resurgence in Alabama.
Killian is leader in the state for Ron Paul in the GOP horserace.
Within his community, and we all got to come from somewhere, he is a freethinker of sorts and I admire him for it. I disagree with him on most matters in the Baptist discussion, but have found him personally to be quite affable.
Killian does a great work in his community in Maytown, gives true meaning to the phrase compassionate conservative; though it may not ooze through in his current blog.
Mark Ray on the other hand afforded me the opportunity at Dexter Avenue in Montgomery fall of 2004 to meet Hugo Black's Grandson Stephen. I am forever grateful for that.
I commend the BX 6400's a thorough reading of; commend it to Killian and Ray; and hope both of them will join Wade Burleson with an open mind and their thinking caps on to the theology of Mark Noll, especially as it concerns the right Reverends Robert E Lee and William Tecumseh Sherman.
And I hope from there they will consider Noll's friends Charles Marsh and Randall Balmer.
But now, here in Alabama Baptist life, like the great Mae West said; it looks like its time to hold on cause we're in for a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bob Jones III endorses Mormon Mitt Romney

Story is up this Tuesday afternoon at the

I guess next up is SBC ERLC's Richard Land. I bet he is waiting by the phone even now for Karl Rove to tell him what to do.

In meantime looks like there are two Christians from Hope, Arkansas, Bill and now Mike Huckabee.
At Huckabee laments the lust for power over principle of the likes Of James Dobson and his associate Perkins. I would add Richard Land to that list.
All should read Bill Rauch's 2002 Politikin for the case study of the right to life community at the SC Primary 2000. Richard Land has remained silent to this day on the matter, to my knowledge
Melissa Rogers and Third Way has a nobler path with this "brain dead debate."

Chic Fil A to Open Exec Retreat in Ft Payne/Implications for New Baptist Covenant

Uncle Prentice is reporting today at Truett Cathy is opening a Retreat for Christian Executives in Ft. Payne Alabama. Prentice speculates as to what it means for President Carter's New Baptist Covenant meeting in Atlanta in January.
Prentice got the word, he says, from my Grandfather WD Fox's youngest brother Paul, a 90 something retired Vice President of Reynolds Aluminum. Family Lore is Nixon sent Uncle Paul to meet the Shah of Iran, and Paul was in first group of businessmen in country in China in 1972 after President Nixon de-iced the place.
Prentice may be wrong about Truett Cathy and the Carter meeting of Progressive Baptists. Two months ago Johnny Pierce, a Berry College graduate, now editor of Baptists Today, the mouthpiece for Progressive Baptists everywhere, did a feature on Cathy's scholarship program at Berry, featuring several of my cousins.
It would be great if Cathy and the administration of CFA would do a retreat this fall--I realize that is short order--with Melissa Rogers of Wake Forest, and Robert Parham of so initiatives like Third Way and a new move toward civility in the public square may rightly be understood.
Dan Cathy is now head of CFA. Dan sat beside me in Bob Crapps intro to the Bible at Furman in 1971. CFA has a reputation for social conservative politics, with most recently their former corporate attorney running for attorney General of the state of Georgia.
Would be great for Dan and Truett to bone up on the works of Randall Balmer and former 2nd Ponce de Leon pastor Robert Marsh son, Charles, on where Baptists may have gone astray the last couple years.
Since UPrentice has broached Uncle Paul's connection to the Cathy family at; I have found it quite interesting my cousin by marriage, Bob Skelton, who is in charge of the scholarship program at Berry has great admiration for the mainstream Baptist theologian, Fisher Humphreys.
Fisher's wife Caroline is Charles Marsh's Aunt, Charles' Mother's sister.
I had a good conversation with Caroline last Tuesday in Birmingham in conjunction with new revelations about how President Bush came to know the Lord in Midland Texas.
Mark Ray, head of Mainstream Baptists in Alabama testified on Prentice's thread it was a chic fil A scholarship that got him through Samford; and that Ray's Dad did the invocation for a new store opening in Decatur several years ago.
Could be interesting news for Ft. Payne and the political dynamics of Lookout Mtn, where a member of the New Agrarians resides; and there is a strong Episcopal influence through summer camps there.
Stay tuned and pray for us all as we keep it in the family and share it elsewhere.

I do hope Truett and Dan will invite Babs Baugh of Sysco Foundation, and the CEO of Publix groceries to his first retreat of Christian CEO's as both have strong George Truett and Baptist Joint Committee Baptist Roots. It may help explain things to Ft. Payne Republicans of the likes of Mary Anne Cole, and the Don and Martha Stouts.

Stephen Fox
October 16, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Snyder, Prentice and Faith in Public Life

In the link below, Melissa Rogers said: "Many are tired of the brain dead debates, and the nastiness". She went on to say big issues are at stake and it is way passed time to move forward.
I hope this CSM article sets up nicely my original blog earlier this afternoon about the discussion at

Earlier blog
Uncle Prentice is apparently keeping a close eye on my blog cause it is hard to believe he woulda been aware of the Third Way Initiative if he hadn't found it linked here.
It is a shame that in his misrepresentations and shadings in the post "Come let us Reason Together" in the SBC Trends forum at he did not also mention the weekend conference at Yale where Richard Land, Randall Balmer, Jim Wallis and Ralph Reed, came together for discussion.
Dan Nejfelt has a blog up today at trying to do a "Christian" thing and that is speak honestly to some of the same demagogic misgivings emanating from James Dobson's Family Research Council Prentice is spewing at
I doubt Marc Olson would be very proud of the way Prentice has shaded this good faith effort at faith in public life; and I doubt former Snyder Memorial Pastor Crocker or most of the progressives on the Carson Newman Trustee board are very proud of my Dad's brother today. In fact I imagine they are a little embarassed.
That is not to say I have lived a perfect life, nor the folks at faith in public life.
It is just to say I think Wake Forest's Melissa Rogers had it right; and I paraphrase: It is time to try to get passed the brain dead issues and move toward some justice issues where we may build across the political spectrum with people of good will toward a prophetic stance in America's political discussion.
Google Up Melissa's Roger's blog. She is much more cogent and eloquent than me.
Here is hoping, like I commented today on Nejfelt's blog, for a little more sanity at my suspended former stomping ground,

Here is Melissa Rogers in her own words
There are real and important differences between many evangelicals and progressives on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, and religious liberty. But, as “Come Let Us Reason Together” demonstrates, those differences do not mean that there is no common ground on these matters, and it certainly does not mean that there is no point in talking to one another. For example, I applaud Third Way for noting that we can affirm a vital role for religion in the public square, while respecting the constitutional prohibition on government-backed religion, and I look forward to further conversations in this area. On these and other matters, this document helps us to reach across religious and political lines for conversation, identify places where common ground has been hidden by mistrust or mischaracterization, and foster a climate of respect. Thanks to Third Way for its leadership on all these fronts.-Melissa Rogers, J.D.Visiting Professor of Religion and Public Policy, Wake Forest University Divinity School; former Director, ThePew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
And read all the testimonials, many of which I feel confident would delight a sizable portion of the membership of congregations like Snyder Memorial if through God's grace they are brought unfettered to their attention.

See links in my Balmer/Third Way blog of Friday.

In meantime here is a link on Land to consider.

Uncle Prentice, Snyder folks and others may want to check Melissa Rogers blog often to get a better word on what I have to believe marney would be right smack dab in the middle of were he still with us.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Will Third Way Religion play in Collinsville/Balmer 20/20

I don't know

But as my Dad used to preach and I told my friend DAn Vestal on Tuesday in Bham, like the prophet Isaiah I have looked up for rain in the Heavens and seen a cloud about the size of a man's hand.
Then again Thursday afternoon was kind of despondent, even with all the resplendent weather.
But an appeal went out in cyberspace just now across the Mississippi. Pray for that.
But here to heal our land, even the rift in the Sunday School class at the church where my Mother was baptized and sent me rolling down the hill off the Property, cause the COS refuses to sit down and talk it out.
Even so, maybe David Gushee can resolve what Richard Land's ERLC pamphlet by Timothy George on abortion could not; and Paul Simmons lost his job.
But here we try again and I have some hope.
First look at all the posts especially the links to Melissa Rogers blog at on the Third Way Strategy to Bridge AMerica's Cultural Divide.

And this just in; Melissa Rogers' Blog tipped me to this remarkable event today at Yale. Alas I was not invited again, but stellar lineup from Jim Wallis and Balmer, to Ralph Reed and World Mag's Marvin Olasky

I wonder if Matt will drop in for the chat. Tried to have similar events here in Collinsville and did get Mark Bagget and David Currie to town once, but now it is all Elijah and Isaiah; Quilt Walk and Lyberry and no church for stevie.

And for sure read EJ Dionne's and the Christian Science Monitor takes linked at that site.

Here is a great teaser by my friend Rob Marus in Associated Baptist Press

In order for this paper to bear more fruit, both progressives and evangelicals will need to continue the hard work of reasoning together,” the authors concluded. “We do not conclude that these conversations will be easy or that the paper’s proposals in themselves will resolve all the real disagreements and tensions on cultural issues. But we believe that the gap need not be as wide and the mistrust need not run as deep.”
Besides Gushee, several Baptist leaders are among the document’s supporters. They include sociologist Tony Campolo, church-state experts Brent Walker and Melissa Rogers, and historian Buddy Shurden.

And the link to his report

And look for matt morgan, russ beene and my friend Randall Balmer; look for our friend Balmer tonight on ABC 20/20 discussing child preachers.
Balmer is also key strategist with the third way initiative if you want to bring up the pdf and see the list of the key folks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wade Burleson on Brad Pitt's experience in the SBC

Google up Wade Burleson Blog for October 11.

I find it fascinating in more ways than I am able to comprehend at the moment.
Something in the order of the eye sees more than the heart can know.

Just wanted to bring it to your attention.

Whether Mark Kemp and Dixie Lullaby can help Wade Understand, I don't know.
Wade is reading Mark Noll. That is a very good thing.
I turn him over to Jesus and will pray without ceasing for him so that he may effect a good work in the community of the Saints at the New Covenant for Baptists meeting in Atlanta in January.
Closer to Wade's world is Johnny Pierce's recent blog on the BWA.
Brad Pitt is a good fellow and obviously has a virtuous mother. Jesus will take care of the rest.
The struggle for Wade Burleson and Frank Page is what will they do with the Baptist World Alliance; and how in God's economy can they line item veto Richard Land's ERLC out of the Cooperative Program dollars so NEVER AGAIN DO WE HAVE A CABAL LIKE LAND AND KARL ROVE!!!!!!

Friday Night Lights at Hoover

On Television. The Heart of Texas. “Friday Night Lights.” by Nancy Franklin October 8, 2007. Text Size:: Small Text: Medium Text: Large Text ...

From that review:
The opening credits for “Friday Night Lights” say that the series is “inspired by” Bissinger’s book, rather than “based on” it. Which doesn’t mean that the show isn’t about football: as Bissinger says in his book, “Football stood at the very core of what the town was about, not on the outskirts, not on the periphery. It had nothing to do with entertainment and everything to do with how people felt about themselves.”

- 124k - Cached - Similar pages

Don't know if this link above will work for you, if not just google up Nancy Franklin on Friday Night Lights and click.
Big News in Alabama this weekend is the Hoover School Board Report on the investigation into grade fixxing at MTV High.
Just Google up Hoover School Board Report. The Report will be on the school's website


Saturday. Early insiders are saying at least 17 athletes had their grades fixxed.
John Parker Wilson, the QB for the University of Alabama is a Hoover Grad. To be fair Furman's football program has a freshman who is a Hoover Grad.
But the news here is FNL, the TV series is a deep look at small town life, and that is what stands out about it. The paragraph ending online Page one gets to the heart of the matter.
Do read this review.
I found it fascinating.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SBC's Frank Page gets 8 Comments in Tulsa World

Including one from Me, Comment #8

Here are the comments. Once there be sure and read today's article there on Frank


Add your comment(8) readers have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below!
1. 10/9/2007 7:19:51 AM, JOHN KLINE, TULSAI long ago left the Southern Baptist denomination. They were very rigid on the "thou shalt nots" and seemed to ignore many of the "thou shalts". Unfortunately, this seems true of many of the denominations.
They also seem to "pick and choose" which sins in the Bible they now consider sins.
2. 10/9/2007 8:43:15 AM, Tony G., --- "a growing resolve that we're going to pull together, and that we're going to do what it takes to win this world to Christ."---
Who's version of Christ are they referring to?
3. 10/9/2007 9:38:27 AM, Kerygma, Charlotte, NCFundamentalism requires an enemy. Once the Shi'ite Baptists kicked out the moderates, they had to invent a new enemy to keep the money flowing and the interest high. Now they have a plethora of enemies - Calvinists, emerging churchers, social drinkers, you name it.
4. 10/9/2007 10:52:16 AM, Rocky, This article uses the word "legalistic" to describe the negative perception of these people and I don't think that it is a complete image of their problems.
The New Testament, especially the book of Galatians deeply divides living by law "legalism" as Jews did, who did not personally know God, and were judged according to their actions alone. (They were free to think all of the awful thoughts that they wanted as long as they outwardly did the "right thing"). As Christians, we live by Spirit, which means that we follow laws because the Spirit of God has compelled us to do the righteous things. In essence, we do what is right because we are in communion with God, and we do not need the external laws of action based religion to guide us in our actions. See the Sermon on the Mount for a deeper understanding of this topic.
Baptists are famous for intigrating religious rules and judgemental laws into their christianesk religion. In fact, the judgement and self-righteousness within the church is so vain and shallow due to an underlying misconception that Christians must follow certain laws and act a certain way in order to be right with God.
They twist and pervert the old testament, to say that homosexuals are condemned just for having those urges as they were under the laws of Moses, but they neglect other aspects of the law, such as not eating pork, as non essential.
They rant and rave about the 10 commandments, but when was the last day that any of them kept the Sabbath Day holy?
Their values are so twisted and truly reflect past era of illiterate era of America that relied on people of power to "spoon feed" the rules so that they common people could brainlessly follow the directions and "do the right thing". We need less "do the right thing" people and more free thinkers that will make the right decisions for the right reasons.
Seriously though, we're talking about the Southern Baptist Convention, they were formed in the Civil War era as as a pro-slavery organization. In fact, in 1968 they did a survey that said only 11% of congregations would admit African-Americans. In 1995 they issued an official apology for their racist roots.
They have a long way to go if they change their image into something that reflects God's people.
5. 10/9/2007 12:47:26 PM, John Anderson, TulsaI keep thinking that if religion didn't exist it would need to be invented.
6. 10/9/2007 1:29:12 PM, Joe-Allen Doty, The Southern Baptist Convention is officially against the use of tobacco, drinking of alcoholic beverages and gambling; but, many Southern Baptist church members do all of those. The SBC is also against women in leadership roles in churches. But, if one uses a correct English translation of the Greek New Testament, one will find out that there were women evangelists, pastors and deacons. They are not called "deaconess" in the Greek, the word is masculine in gender. But, in most "English" translations when the word "deacon" is used for a woman in a church, they use "servant" instead. I am not SBC but I am from a Classical Trinitarian Pentecostal background with leadership roles in some as an adult. I have had women pastors who did a terrific job as leaders.
. . . Some of these 10 Commandment first folks really ought to read and thoroughly study the Gospels. Jesus' commands are more important than the commandments given to Moses on the mountain in the wilderness of the Sinai. Jesus even revises some of the Commandments found in the books of Moses in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters 5 through 7. And some, he actually creates a commandment of higher importance so the "lower" one won't have to be obeyed. Jesus said that those who chose to live by the Law given to Moses would be judged by the Law. Legalistic Christians pick and choose verses and commandments from the Hebrew Scriptures to suit their own doctrinal agenda. I call that "Old Testament Legalized Christianity Doctrine." You don't even have to have an Old Testament to know how to live as Jesus taught and live. The 1st Century Church did not take a whole day off the 1st of each week to have church meetings. They held an evening worship service in someone's home in the evening after the folk got off of work. Those who lived in Israel and Judea during the 1st Century AD did not work on the Jewish Sabbath; but, their worship service was always on the evening of the day AFTER the Sabbath in the Holy Land. Paul wrote that it was up to the individual to decide whether to take one day off a week to worship the Lord or take no days off and worship the Lord every day of the week.
. . . Except in places like in Corinth (as found in the book of 1st Corinthians) and in a few other places, all Believing adults, no matter what gender, could participate in a worship service. Actually, most of the time, the worship service on the 1st day of the week was combined with a pot-luck meal based on the Last Supper meal outline with speaking after eating and all of that was done in the same room. Worship services were actually local family get-togethers for Believers (what the followers of Jesus actually called themselves - they did not use the pagan created epithet "Christian" to identify themselves). The SBC is NOT the only Baptist denomination in Tulsa. There are American Baptist churches here, too.
7. 10/10/2007 8:32:38 AM, Ann G, I am a Southern Baptist and proud to be one. I would be the first to agree that our denomination has its faults. We are, after all, sinners saved by grace. The apostle Paul himself admitted that the things he should do, he didn't. And the things that he shouldn't do, he did. Our church preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ and teaches us to live accordingly. If we fail at times, we realize that we can be forgiven and start over again. I love all Christians and non-Christians whether or not they are Baptists.
8. 10/10/2007 4:23:02 PM, Stephen Fox, Collinsville, AlabamaFrank Page's church in South Carolina is about 15 minutes away from Furman University where native Oklahoman LD Johnson, and Baptist Preacher's son Marshall Frady, some have called simply the greatest social justice journalist of the last half of the 20th Century; Page advances a stilted gospel foreign to the greater and more substantive legacy of Frady and LD Johnson.
Wade Burleson in a recent blog about the insights of evangelical Academic Mark Noll as to how religious experience in America came to an impasse during the Civil War, and from then the Gospel and American Theology has been shaped by experience grounded in the Scripture.
Page's stultified views don't allow for Frady and Johnson, and the fresh air Burleson appears to be breathing.
Here's hoping Page may yet in this late hour open his eyes and has some truth to speak to the SBC Power of the likes of Paige Patterson, Richard Land and Karl Rove.
Stephen Fox

Monday, October 08, 2007

LINK/The Scoop Review of Parham's New Religion and Politics DVD Update Tuesday with the ED Link

Caught the public world premiere of tonight at Samford. Bob Allen should have the official report up in the morning at . I will look at his report and modify my blog here tomorrow
DVD is Masterful; one of Parham and company's finest efforts.

But first; any Baptist church anywhere and that includes John Killian's Maytown Baptist in Maytown Alabama, Gary Fenton's Dawson's Memorial, Gloria Morgan and the COS's Collinsville Baptist (insert smilie emoticon here G; Do it for Matthew), Prentice Fox's Snyder Memorial in Fayetteville, North Carolina and Jim Pitts FBC Greenville, SC; and of course William Thornton's Statham in Statham; any church that doesn't order at least two copies of this DVD by Halloween are slackers.
Great discussion starter from the heart of the Gospel.
Would be great if the likes of Influential Republicans like Baxter Wynn on staff at FBC Greenville, and the administration offices of Chic Fil A get copies of this DVD for staff retreats and such.
Susan Pace Hamill has a new soundbyte in her righteous delineation of "low sacrifice and High sacrifice" political issues. It was a shame that the Dean of the Divinity School where she and fellow panelist Jim Evans got their Div Degree, Beeson, at Samford, wasn't there to do apologetics for his ERLC abortion policy, cause once and for all I think Hamill put it in perspective tonight.
There is reference in the DVD to Rick Warren's non negotiables for choosing a Presidential candidate in 04.
Jim Evans in the panel discussion following the presentation did a masterful job on how the GOP became God's Only Party. Even my friend Randall Balmer can advance the notions in his Thy Kingdom Come with some of the nuggets Evans put in great perspective tonight.
Congressman Artur David did a magnificent job quoting Dante on what is way to properly err in the political arena given all politics are flawwed. It is better to make an occasional error on the side of compassion, than to consistently err with indifference.
Whether that can be translated into realpolitik against the reservation of the likes of Newt Gingrich is a question I posed to the Congressman after the event.
Later I suggested to the Congressman if Hillary or Barack don't cut it this time around, how about him and Hugo Black's Grandson Stephen trying an All Alabama Ticket in 2012 if they can decided who will top the ticket.
In self effacement, the room new the panel was preaching to the choir tonight, and there was some humor in that; even so that is no excuse for the likes of Thornton and Prentice Fox not getting this DVD and having discussion at their churches.
At Snyder with Olson gone, I imagine they would have to get Tony Cartledge to come over to lead analysis, cause...........
Good show, get the DVD and look in the mirror.

Here is a link from the site with six Questions for Robert Parham October 4 previewing the premiere tonight

Oct 10

And then there is this insight by EJ Dionne in recent

HOvering Near the 6400's for a WW Premiere/Harry Dent

You'll want to check this blog often between now and Wednesday for updates. That's all I can say right now.
On another front I just noticed today where Nixon's Southern Strategist and the chair of several Billy Graham crusades, Harry Dent passed late September. I remember his daughter Dolly, couple years behind me at Furman.
She left after her sophomore year.
Another daughter Ginny Dent Brant was a long time member of the SBC IMB trustees and Harry was a trustee of Southern Seminary after the takeover.
Even so aspects of his testimony are quite strong. Here is a Greenville News Tribute:

If you go to the link you will see where News columnist Bob McCallister said a "remarkably gifted man, my friend is dead."

The Black Jesus of Winston Salem

Was watching the book party for Clarence Thomas over the weekend on CSpan 2 which becomes on the weekends.
House party was sponsored by Black Radio talk show host of DC, a native South Carolinian. Lot of SCLinians at the party including, Bob Jones III, Senator Graham; lot of talk about Gamecock Football and SC State.
At one point Thomas is giving a sports history lesson to a thirty something ESPN commentator. Thomas hits him with the question just who was the "Black Jesus of Winston Salem." Younger fellow didn't know. Thomas tells him it was Earl the Pearl Monroe.
My Daddy woulda known, but here in Collinsville Neil Thrash down for the Sunday night I got Ups round robin didn't know, and Larry Dutton did not know either. Dutton thinks the answer to all Basketball questions of that era is Bill Russell.
But I digressed.

Thomas on camera working the room for his book party was pretty interesting TV. Some of the Caucasion Carolinians looked like they mighta escaped the traveling tour of the 70's play the Last of the White Magnolias. Not the exact title, but it got Furman in trouble in the 70's.
Almost all of the Supremes showed up including Scalia, who seems to be a fun guy. He told Thomas he was just making a cameo appearance and got a big laugh from Clarence.
Senator Arlen Spectre asked Thomas if he could ask him an "indelicate question." Thomas was game. It was something about the NY Times review of Thomas book, which elicited from Thomas kinda of a disgruntled dismissal as to be expected from the liberal media (Thomas Characterization.)
Bob JOnes III, Spectre, Stuart Taylor who wrote the recent book on the Duke Lacrosse Team, and the Last of the Magnolias in the same room, all quite interesting.
Here in Alabama there is a small uproar about Thomas's characterization of then Senator Heflin during the confirmation hearings; Heflin having the presence of an Old Plantation boss in Thomas's mind. Quite disturbing to folks in the state who know Heflin much better than Thomas; also raising questions about Thomas fitness for the court.
I have not seen or heard of Casey Mattox weighing in on the book party or the book.

Two different Stories here, though if Earl the Pearl was the Black Jesus of WSalem then maybe my friend Fletcher Smith is the BJ of Gaffney, South Carolina.
Was watching ABC with George Steph yesterday morning when up on the screen on National TV during George's interview with Prez Candidate Richardson is a quote from my friend Fletcher, now Jesse Jackson's Mother's state rep in Greenville, South Carolina, a seat he has held for a bout twenty years now.
Fletcher preceded me by a year at Gaffney High School. We were in the band together, he holding down the tuba section and me the trombone section. Together with King we are drum majors for Justice.
Fletcher was cochair of Richardson's camp in South Carolina but is bolting to Biden over the Iraq war. The quote kinda stunned Richardson. Neither Fletcher or Richardson or folks of malice, nevertheless Richardson was kinda stunned.
In 04 Flethcer was Joe Lieberman's state chair. It was at Lieberman's reception in SC after the Feb 04 debate in Gville in SC I mumbled out some jumbo of a question to Lieberman about progressive Baptists, and Lieberman, said with a wry smile: "I never met a bad Baptist."
We both got a good laugh out of the circumstances.
Congrats to Fletcher. Agree with his politics or not, he stays in the arena.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Burleson embraces Mark Noll; Seismic Shift?/Exquisite link

Until I have time to provide the links for you, you may have to google up a few things. But it will be worth the effort. And come back to this blog throughout the week. In the meantime maybe one of the unsuspended ones at will bring it to that board for consideration as this needs wide vetting.
In a blog of Circa October 5, Wade Burleson has come across the writings of Mark Noll as he makes his case against the powers in the Southern Baptist Convention for Burleson's take on women, particularly his defense of Sherri Klouda, fired by Karl Rove's extended friend in the Land network, Paige Patterson; a friend of the Council for National Policy and Arlington Group.
Google up Wade Burleson's Blog.
Conflate that blog with of last week on the Baptist World Alliance and his earlier one on Campbell Divinity School and the conservative spectrum.
I don't know if Patterson, Pressler; Mohler and Land's Berlin Wall of Fundamentalism and Exclusivity in the SBC Takeover morass is beginning to crumble or not. I do think Frank Page is gonna be an even more tortured man in the remaining days of his SBC Presidency as Ronnie Floyd is always outside the kitchen door.
If Page follows Burleson and with an open heart begins to entertain Mark Noll and his theology of "the Right Reverends Robert E Lee and William Tecumseh Sherman"--see Burleson blog; then who knows where this is going.
The computer I am on today is tricky, so I'm not able to provide the links I would like. But also look for the article on Noll couple years ago.
Conflate all this with the sterling interview of Mike Huckabee last night on
Scroll down to the section on Conservative Values where Huckabee engages the notion of putting the GOP on notice on abortion.

When David Gushee gets in the act to prick Burleson's conscience even further on the POLITICS of Abortion as Land has used it to further Rovism in the United States; then we may be in for a semi sea change in all.
Counting on Uncle Prentice to show his Here I
Stand Martin Luther Flag at the Robeson County Assoiciational Meeting later this month to further the cause of Mark Olson, if that ever was what he was all about to begin with.

Check in next week.

And by God's grace here is an Exquisite Link. If you don't read the whole thing in first sitting, do scroll down to the third to last paragraph before the NOTES; for the great scripture on Emily, Abe and Walt, that caught my eye as glory three years ago when I was trying to help David Flick and Billy Thornton see the light at

"Certainly, the evangelical juggernaut was working too well for a few souls who, if they could not give up God or if God had not given them up, still wondered if the progressive, energetic, can-do God of the Protestant evangelicals was adequate for the complexities of the universe or the turmoils of their own souls. So Dickinson, Melville, and supremely Lincoln may have been pushed by the successes of "American Christianity" into post-Protestant, even post-Christian, theism. The tragedy of these individuals was that—to be faithful to the God they found in their own hearts, in the Bible, or in the sweep of events—they considered it necessary to hold themselves aloof from the organized Christianity of the United States. (What is particularly striking in such individuals is a loss of contact with Jesus Christ.) "

Preach brother Noll, and may God move the heart of Frank Page to confess in his heart L.D. Johnson along with Stewart Newman, Lincoln, Dickinson and Whitman were right all the time.
As Stewart Newman said in Columbia South Carolina in the face of the fundamentalist juggernaut that day: "W. A. Criswell does not speak for me."

Likewise Wade Burleson and Ben Cole are finding out that Paige Patterson does not speak for them. God Bless them; a little late, but God Bless Them.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Eddie Vedder and Jesus

Had a short conversation at lunch today. Apparently my blog audience is widening, covering the gamut from Kidney doctors across the Mississippi, to Eddie Vedder fans.
So here is a note to those who don't know yet, that Vetter has reputedly done the soundtrack for Into the Wild. For a while he had sole rights to the soundtrack on Spring Street, but residents come and go, some as far as Mercer University.

Which brings us to Jesus and Gillian Welch.
Folks who like Vedder may like Welch, especially her thoughts in Revelator. Google up the lyrics.
And as Mark Kemp has written for us all, and Bertis Downs is the poster testimony, Rock n Roll is not as far away from Jesus as many in the Greatest Generation thought.

And Jesus, I promised Jesus; so here he is for folks that missed him the first time in Mary Oliver's poem Maybe:

"You know how it is when something different crosses the threshold.......

Definitive Article on the Jena 6 from Anniston Star/Nifong

Editor of the Anniston Star H Brandt Ayers mighta done the definitive piece on the Jena 6 with his family owned hometown paper Sunday, Sept 30. If not the definitive piece, with Leonard Pitts column originally in Miami Herald--easily googled up--Ayers set the boundaries of wise and virtuous discussion on the matter.
All who see this should click on the link below to see how Ayers got to his final paragraph, as he tells a bit of Anniston Civil Rights history completely distinct from the famous Bus Burning that was news to me

"We have had healers like Burke Marshall, and we have had white demagogues like our own George Wallace. Now we have a black demagogue, Jesse Jackson. What little Jena needs, what we all need, is more healers."

And an aside:
I have seen in other venues, where some folk want to get righteous at the expense of what is becoming clearer were serious mistakes by Nifong and the city of Durham in the Duke LaCrosse case.
Hal Crowther has spoken, and to my knowledge we have yet to see Willimon weigh in. There was more than enough sin to go around there in the home of

In the land of "entitlement" just who gets to judge the axis of evil, that in my own family history I have come to know is here and there and everywhere.
Tim Tyson comes closest to explaining the peculiar the nature of the sin of preacher families; and there may be something to learn from the experience of the Loray Mills in Gastonia, but that might be a reach.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Melissa Rogers, Marus and the World Made Straight/Preaching

If the above link doesn't work, come back soon cause I will get it right. Great opinion piece in current Century on Preaching Done Right.
I had a long conversation with a fellow Bama revenant last night. Came out in that exchange Melissa Rogers, a top tier Baptist Blogger and activist, full of virtue and intelligence, has roots in the . It makes sense like Ron Rash said about page 202 in World Made Straight: "Smarts like yours didn't grow up like daisies in a bunch of hogweed." Melissa's grandparents were founding members of that historic Baptist Congregation. It made a feature in Life Magazine about the same time Marshall Frady did a profile of Will Campbell in same.
I was trying to solve the riddle of Rogers; where did she come from and how did she get that way. From those grandparents her folks were proff at Southern Seminary before Mohler, the Schaefferite. Google up Melissa's blog and follow her. You'll be a better person and have more hope that the right cause and good thinking will go on as we dinosaurs start leaving the arena.
Melissa's blog:

In similar vein, Rob Marus is carrying on the true vine witness explaining how Scripture lessons evolve as one conflates with experience. He explains to Jonathan at just how that works. I think Ben Cole will get it some day; I'm losing a some hope for Jonathan and my friend William Thornton, though William has shown great insight in other areas.

Here is a snippet of Marus in that exchange:
In summary, I don't think I exchanged one cultural stimulus for shaping my thinking about my faith for another in the absence of scriptural study. It was a wholistic process, and I thnk the piece makes that clear. What studying the history of the Civil Rights Movement made me realize is that all biblical interpretation takes place in a specific cultural context -- and that conservatives and liberals can both get it wrong. I thought that was clear in the piece. Perhaps the only thing I would change about the story (aside from one typo that occurred in editing) was the line about my deciding to have "nothing to do" with conservatism. More accurately, I decided that I wanted nothing to do with adhering to cultural conservatism merely for cultural conservatism's sake. Because, once again, the conservatives were clearly wrong in this case. And realizing that first led me to question whether conservatives could just maybe, possibly be wrong about similarly controversial things today.One interesting tidbit from the religious history of the Little Rock crisis that I just couldn't figure out how to fit in this story, but that is relevant to the above discusssion is this: Wesley Pruden, the Broadmoor Baptist Church pastor and segregationist leader, had a son who is his namesake. You may have heard of Wes Pruden, Jr. He's editor of the Washington Times, favorite newspaper of many modern-day conservative Christians, and has come under fire in the past for beign buddy-buddy with Neo-Confederate organizations. Pruden's Times also leads the current anti-immigration drumbeat. Seems, as we say back home, that the apple don't fall too far from the tree.
Rob Marus

Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:51 am
Location: Our Nation's Beautiful Capital

And just added late update, a link today to an influential national blog. Be sure to consider my comment there

Back to Fox
Even so I would be surprised if William and Jonathan, even John Killian who supported Ronnie Floyd for prez of the SBC but is a better person than Floyd; would be surprised if these my conservative friends don't feel some quickening of the spirit with the rest of us in this strong piece about good preaching and the courage it takes.
And an update: As you see in comment line I stand corrected about Killian's SBC candidate of 06. Sutton not much better, as Harold Bloom showed us all 15 years ago in the American Religion.
Even so Killian remains in my list of good preachers below; and as just emailed me, he remains steadfast in his support of Bernard Kincaid for Mayor of Bham.

Short list of good preachers.

Billy Fox, my Dad had two good sermons. He past the Christian Century test of preaching born of conviction, rooted in the text, preached with passion.
Fleming Rutledge
Barbara Brown Taylor
Willard Willis
John Killian when he stays out of the CNP and Arlington Group
Dan Vestal
George Truett
Sara Shelton
LD Johnson
Jim Evans, on occasion
Jeff Rogers
Frank Harrington
And by reputation, Marc Olson formerly of Snyder, now with John Leland
I heard Jimmy Allen preach a great revival sermon at FBC Knoxville in 1980
And Lincoln was Good at Gettysburg
Randall Balmer at the BJC Luncheon
King in Detroit--Taylor Branch said it was better version that DC March a couple weeks later
And John Kennedy at the Berlin Wall

And as an afterthought today, check this blog and my comments there