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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.

Friday, December 28, 2007

South Carolina's black Primary

South Carolina's "Black Primary"
I've written a few times about Barack Obama's presidential campaign and the politics of race (see here, here, and here). I've been particularly interested in Obama's transracial appeal - that is, his ability to transcend the acrimony and ugliness of America's most intractable political issue.Polls continue to show Obama captures broad support across the electorate. Yet, underneath the media glare of celebrity endorsements and polling surges, the nastiness of racial policies threatens to rear its gnarly head.Exihit A is a new piece at The Nation, "South Carolina: Inside the 'Black Primary." The article focuses on the unusual blackness of South Carolina's presidential primary. Here's a quick snippet:

Click on the Nation link for one of the more fascinating political tours you'll read in some time.
My Dad was good friends of JW Sanders, of Gaffney, mentioned in the piece, considering why he is casting for Hillary.
So this is where the Struggle is now; this is what it all came too.

On a brighter note consider Pearl on page 240 of Doctorow's The March.
Much more inspiring than the often cynicism in the margins of this piece.

After all this time there is a sense in which we in America are caught in the OTestament story. But Hebrews 11:13 is strong; I guess we are left with the confession we are strangers and pilgrims in this world; like illegal aliens as it were, citizens of two countries.

Come back to this; more later

Ben Cole, WadeB; Gushee, HBEE and the SBC

Wade Burleson has a blog up today about Reforming the Baptist Tradition
DAvid Gushee has a very good essay, a framework for Progressive Baptists in the January Issue of Baptists Today.

I have tried to conflate at some length what it all means in two thread at
I invite you to comment here on this blog if you want to be part of the wide discussion I hope also to intersect with the blogs of ; Johnny Pierce, Melissa Rogers and John Killian.

The discussion so far at

Prez Primary History: Attn Ben Cole and Wade Burleson
by OriginalFOX on Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:45 pm
National Focus should drift fromHBee to Richard Land as the show comes to South Carolina, because to my knowledge Land has never spoken to the ethical questions raised by this episode of his conference caller Karl Rove shaping our shared History of the last 8 years.

Re: Huckabee and Gothard, eh?
by OriginalFOX on Thu Dec 27, 2007 11:41 am
Bottom line is Hbee is good for the national conversation, a conversation that would be elevated tremendously if so called "Progressive Baptists" were up to speed on Garry Wills, Marsh, Kimball and Balmer; and most recently DAvid Gushee in the January Baptists Today

Monday, December 24, 2007

Richard Land's SBC Dogma Voters

Here is great comment from Marc
Ambinder's blog at The Atlantic.
I hope to come back to this soon and conflate it with the HOt Air God's article in the December Harper's Mag and Johnny Pierce's Inerrancy Spectrum as it relates to Huckabee's campaign in particular.

"Dogma voters" is the more fitting label. "Values voters" is an invented label for people who like to think of themselves as championing good human values. What many of them are pushing actually is dogma."Values" are "the principles that help you to decide what is right and wrong, and how to act in various situations." Cambridge Dictionary of American English. "Dogma" is "a fixed, esp. religious, belief or set of beliefs that people are expected to accept without any doubts." Id. The two, we can only hope, overlap to some extent, but they are hardly the same. Some of what religious fundamentalists hold up as values others find plainly wrongheaded and even immoral.Labels count. Those pushing the "values voters" label hope it will help them pass off their dogma as values. If they want to push their dogma, that's their right. But "dogma voters" they are, and that's what I'll call them.
Posted by Doug Indeap December 10, 2007 10:31 PM

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bishop Willimon Advents the Revolution/John Grisham

It's on his blog, easily googled up at Peculiar Prophet Blog. I have commented there on what it means for Collinsville and Immigration reform, not to mention the New Covenant meeting in Atlanta.
Latest news is the Good Baptist Democrat, author John Grisham will speak Friday night of the last weekend in January; or Feb 1. I hope to be there.
In his Advent Blog Willimon broaches the name John Yoder. Yoder is a favorite of FBC Auburn Pastor Jim Evans.
October 25, 2005 they were all in the same room with Charles Marsh in Montgomery.
But what does all this mean for the politics of Jeff Sessions, Lowell Barron, John Morgan and the Collinsville City Council, as well as anything that may break out in Atlanta in the framework of the Immigrant politics I discussed on Wednesday from the New Yorker piece.

Been a lot of theologizing on the matter. When will Willimon bring Jeff Session and Mike Rogers in the room with Jim Evans and they pray about this matter and then tell Rick Lance and John Killian what they came up with.

Read the Ryan Lizza New Yorker article. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee are struggling with it.
Richard Land has been taken to task in the AJC by a High School teacher in Calhoun, Georgia.
Willimon says he is ready to start the Revolution.
I have given you some links.
Here is another

It talks about Yoder also.

John MOrgan has a doctorate handed to him by Al Mohler. His sons went to Duke, UVA and now Yale. They have enough gray matter between them to write something explicit for the Dekalb Advertiser; as they have an opportunity in the most ethnically diverse town in the state of Alabama to conflate the thinking of Willimon, Yoder and Ryan Lizza and give us some leadership on this matter.
I hope they are under conviction; all of the above; or if as I muse in my comment on Willimon's blog, if It is all my misunderstanding, then nevermind.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Coulters, GoldComp and

Uncle Prentice Boycotts mrs. Coulter/BLCom flounders
Prentice who has not seen any movies of note that I'm aware of in the last 20 years or so is leading a boycott at against Golden Compass best I can figure out cause Don Wildmon has asked him to.ANTI-CHRISTIAN MOVIE, "THE GOLDEN COMPASS'on Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:50 am

Huckabee - 'stupid' 'shrewd'byThornton on Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:22 amFrom Ann Coulter, skewerer of liberals and democrats: "stupid and easily led", "cornpone," From Peggy Noonan: "shrewd... telegenic...natural...bright...charming...friendly...clever..." and "...plays the victim well...manipulator...mean streak...something unsavory..."

And then there is this post there about Ann Coulter. see above and click.The real comparison comes from the LA Times comparison,1,7003516.story

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do you get the humor in this?

Made Me Laugh
by Joshua Villines on Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:08 pm

I am going for an end of the year record comments.
You do not have to register to comment between Now and January 1.

So if you are a Christian or believe in Mike Huckabee, now is your time to say something.

Offers like this don't come offen.

Flick liked it and he's no; well he ain't

Piggy backing on Johnny Pierce on Huckabee

My friend Johnny Pierce of Baptists Today, the periodical in which I had frequent freelance efforts in the 90's, frames the Huckabee campaign in regard Baptists exquisitely today.
I chimed in there with a lengthy response.

Do check it out.


And this take on that take

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Three Burials; Immigration Reform and Baptist Breakouts

Jesus was talking to me on the way from Collinsville to points toward Bham this morning. I passed the place where William Moore was assassinated in 1963; and JFK read about it two days later in NY Times and Sent Bobby Down here to See George.
But I digress. I saw Tommy Lee Jones in Three Burials for Miquel Estrada last night on DVD. I'm on a Tommy Lee kick here lately with Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men which Time said is Number One this year.
Two asides on that. In 1980 Time put Paris Trout in Top Ten. And couple days ago I got a call from out in Texas where an influential revenant said his favorite TLJ line was from Lonesome Dove; not about one of Lori's many pokes; but to the effect you tend to gather the Dust of Those you ride with.
That's Biblical. It was a rejoinder to my choice of No Country: "Point Bein; even in a Contest Between a man and a steer the outcome is not certain."
The Texas Revenant and his brother trade in good sermons. On occasion they share with me, hand me down a DVD or what not. That's how I got the good poem about you know how it is when something different crosses the Threshold.
As they say here in North Alabama; the Mexicans are crossin the border and what are we gonna do about it.
Well to Senator Sessions and his Bishop Willimon and 3rd district Bama's Mike Rogers for One they can watch Three Burials. Watch it close with your heart open to Jesus.
And they can consider whatever affection they profess for Jesus in light of the revelations about how it played recently in Clemson, South Carolina according to Ryan Lizza in the New Yorker; same Ryan Lizza who wrote a master piece on Roger Milliken for back in 99.
We know what Roger did in Darlington, South Carolina; already done before Roger Jr. and I were good friends the summer of 1970.
We talked a lot about Nixon.
But New Yorker in Clemson:

After a town-hall meeting in Anderson, South Carolina, he recalled how the Irish were discriminated against in America. As he quoted a placard that hangs on the wall of an aide’s office (“Help Wanted—No Irish Need Apply”), he jabbed his finger in the air with such emphasis that he knocked my voice recorder to the ground and erased our conversation. “It was immigration” that hurt his campaign, he said when he continued, after a series of apologies on both sides. “I understand that. I was told by one of the pollsters, ‘We see real bleeding.’ ”

McCain’s standard answer to immigration questions is that he “got the message.” But every so often this practical McCain, bending to the mood of the primary electorate, gets shoved aside by the quixotic McCain, the one who never seems happier than when he’s championing a lost cause. At one stop in South Carolina, at Clemson University, a student engaged McCain in an argument about whether his plan rewarded illegal immigrants for breaking the law. McCain was by then in a combative mood. Minutes earlier, a professor had asked about a piece of Internet-crime legislation that he argued would group terrorism researchers with actual terrorists. “Am I a terrorist?” the professor asked, his querulous tone suggesting that McCain hadn’t answered the original question. The questioner was wearing tennis shoes, jeans, a pink polo shirt, and a gray blazer, and McCain looked at him carefully. “With those sneakers, you’re not a snappy dresser,” McCain replied after a pause, as audience members gasped and laughed. “That doesn’t mean you’re a terrorist. Though you terrorize the senses.” To the student with the immigration question, McCain patiently explained that some illegal immigrants had faced unusual circumstances, and he mentioned a woman who has lived in the United States for decades and has a son and a grandson serving in Iraq. When the student said that he wanted to see punishment meted out to anyone who has broken the law, McCain stopped trying to find common ground. “If you’re prepared to send an eighty-year-old grandmother who’s been here seventy years back to some country, then frankly you’re not quite as compassionate as maybe I am,” he said. Next question.

Further in the article:
The emergence of Trancredoism as an ideological touchstone for two Republican front-runners is a stunning development, another indication of the Party’s rejection of nearly everything associated with the approach taken by George W. Bush. As a border-state governor, Bush boasted of his relationship with Vicente Fox, who became the President of Mexico, and he and his political adviser Karl Rove later argued that Republicans needed a pro-Latino vision for immigration reform. His strategy of cultivating immigrants as integral to the future of the Party seemed to work, and Bush did surprisingly well with Latino voters: in 2004, he won some forty per cent of their vote—double what Bob Dole achieved just eight years earlier.

And also this:
Anti-immigrant passion also owes much to the disproportionate influence of a few small states in the nominating process. National polls show that, as an issue, immigration is far behind the Iraq war, terrorism, the economy, and health care as a concern to most Americans; a recent Pew poll shows that, nationally, only six per cent of voters offer immigration as the most important issue facing the country. But in Iowa and South Carolina, two of the three most important early states, it is a top concern for the Republicans who are most likely to vote. “It’s the influx of illegals into places where they’ve never seen a Hispanic influence before,” McCain told me. “You probably see more emotion in Iowa than you do in Arizona on this issue. I was in a town in Iowa, and twenty years ago there were no Hispanics in the town. Then a meatpacking facility was opened up. Now twenty per cent of their population is Hispanic. There were senior citizens there who were—‘concerned’ is not the word. They see this as an assault on their culture, what they view as an impact on what have been their traditions in Iowa, in the small towns in Iowa. So you get questions like ‘Why do I have to punch 1 for English?’ ‘Why can’t they speak English?’ It’s become larger than just the fact that we need to enforce our borders.”

And Here in this pivotal portion of the New Yorker piece is why it is so important Robert Parham, Cynthia Tucker, Moyers, Vestal, President Carters and Clinton keep their Fellow Baptist Brother Lindsey Graham around for the Immigration workshop; not so much for the political advantage but that maybe we can all rise above the political moment even without the Likes and Rick Lance and Senator Sessions; but hopefully not without Bishop Willimon and at least one representative of the Morgan family of Northeast Alabama
Here is why it is important Graham with all the symbolism his presence would exude should be on site for this breakout and discussion

Besides McCain, who was the original Republican sponsor of the comprehensive immigration bill, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham is the Republican most associated with the legislation. Graham negotiated the details of the final version of the bill, which went down to defeat, and as a consequence he has become a target of ridicule on the talk-radio right. On the afternoon of the YouTube debate, Buddy Witherspoon, a Republican National Committeeman, was finishing a two-day tour of South Carolina, announcing his campaign to run against Graham in the June Republican primary. Witherspoon’s sole issue is immigration. After watching McCain’s testy forum at Clemson, I travelled a hundred and twenty miles to see Witherspoon in Aiken, a town of about thirty thousand. I found him setting up for his speech in front of a government office building at the end of an alley that abutted a shopping thoroughfare where tourists occasionally passed in a horse-and-buggy, casting curious glances. Exactly thirteen people were there to listen to him, including a ten-year-old who had accompanied his grandmother.
Dean Allen, a plump and friendly fellow sporting an American-flag tie, told me that he runs something called Spirit of Liberty; he’s also helping Witherspoon’s campaign. “Some of these people may be coming in here to get jobs washing dishes, but some of them are coming in here to hijack airplanes,” he explained. “If you’re down there trying to look at the people coming across the border, maybe a lot of them are just motivated by economics, and they want a job washing dishes or cutting grass. But I can’t tell Jose Cuervo from the Al Qaeda operatives by looking at them, because they cut their beard off. It’s like trying to get fly manure out of pepper without your glasses on, you know? I mean, not a racist thing, but they’re all brown with black hair and they don’t speak English and I don’t speak Arabic or Spanish, so if they don’t belong here and they don’t come here legally, I want to know who’s here.” He echoed McCain’s observation that the anti-immigrant feeling is strongest in states with new Hispanic populations. “The illegal Hispanic population, it’s definitely growing,” he said. “I can tell you just from how many you see when you walk in Wal-Mart, and you drive down the street and you see buildings now with writing in Spanish that says ‘tienda,’ which is Mexican for ‘store.’ You didn’t see that even a year or two ago.”

After speaking for forty-five minutes, Witherspoon walked across the street with me to Tako Sushi and we sat outside, where heat lamps warmed us. Witherspoon is tall and bald, and he spoke quickly, like a man full of opinions he’s been eager to vent. In his speech, he had run through many of the issues that have been festering on the right: the Law of the Sea treaty; an alleged plan to combine Canada, the United States, and Mexico into a super-state; the Patriot Act. But he was most exercised about immigration and about Lindsey Graham’s betrayal on that issue. “There’s a lot of unrest in South Carolina,” he told me gravely. “And people are concerned that the Senator no longer represents the views of mainstream South Carolinians in a lot of ways. Immigration is the No. 1 issue, no question there. We’re concerned about illegal immigrants coming in here and—well, under the Bush Administration, it’s now seven years into his term, and he hasn’t done a lot about it.” He was not impressed by Bush’s big-tent philosophy of courting Hispanics as the future of the Republican Party. “The big tent is great. But that doesn’t mean ’cause it’s a big tent you should include everything under the tent.”
When I talked to Graham a couple of days later, he did not sound alarmed by the Witherspoon challenge. With more than four million dollars in his campaign account, he can afford to be somewhat, but perhaps not entirely, relaxed. His pollster, Whit Ayres, has been monitoring the issue closely, and Graham was eager to share the results. His role in the immigration debate has indeed hurt him. “What’s happened for me is my negatives have gone up about ten points,” he told me. “My approval rating has come down about eight or nine points. That’s the consequence to me.”
But the numbers told another story, too. Graham read me one of the questions that his pollster asked about immigration. The poll tested voters’ opinion of three different proposals to deal with illegal immigrants: “arrest and deport”; “allow them to be temporary workers, as long as they have a job”; “fine them and allow them to become citizens only if they learn English and get to the back of the line.” In two separate polls, the majority supported the third option. The average for the first option was only twenty-six per cent.
“What it tells me is that the emotion of the twenty-six per cent is real, somewhat understandable, but if not contained could destroy our ability to grow the Party,” he said. “And I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if you’re going to win a general election you have to do well with Hispanic voters as a Republican.” He continued, “My concern is that we’re going to have an honest but overly emotional debate about immigration, and we’ll say things for the moment, in the primary chase, that will make it very difficult for us to win in November. There’s a fine line between being upset about violating the law and appearing to be upset about someone’s last name.”

The Full article can be clicked here

Back to Fox The New Baptist Covenant is meeting in Atlanta last weekend of January. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, also given a lot of ink in the piece is having a breakout on the matter Friday afternoon. Bill Moyers will be there that weekend as well. He and Lindsey Graham should read the New Yorker piece before Atlanta and arrange their schedules to be there for the Breakout.

Welcoming a Stranger
Thursday, January 31 2 - 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 – 5 p.m. Richard Munoz – Director, The Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC), Dallas, TexasFriday, February 1 2 - 3:15 p.m. and 3:45 – 5 p.m. Daniel Carro – Latino/Hispanic Kingdom Advance Ambassador, VBMB, Annandale, Virginia Richard Wilson – Columbus Roberts Professor of Theology and Chair of Christianity Department, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia

If I keep my nerve I will ask the Alabama Senators about Jesus and the politics of it all in the next few months.
On this matter I will need the help of Matthew Morgan and his smart brothers and his Dad; even some of the influential politicians in their congregation.
Bishop Willimon can help. A friend in Georgia is taking Richard Land to the altar.
Here is public notice.
Come back after Christmas and I will drop some more names.
When you look in the Manger, this Christmas, see if you don't see an immigrant in there and ask yourself are you doing Justice by the powerless one.
Ask yourself if as a Christian a simple thing for you to do is at a minimum ask whoever your Sessions is if The Dream Act isn't a first major step in the right direction.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Burleson suggests Mohler and Land's SBC bordering on Cult

Here is what Wade is saying at his easily google Grace and Truth Blog today about the SBC as a cult.

Robert Lifton describes eight signs of a cult in his book "Thought Reform & the Psychology of Totalism:" Milieu control: control of the group environment and communication. (Dissent or disagreement within the group is not allowed).Manipulation: Leaders are perceived as being chosen by God, history or some supernatural force. (There can be no questioning of God ordained authority in the leadership of the organization).Purity demands: An us vs. them mentality is developed, in which cult members are the only pure and good. (Questioning the morality injunctions of leadership is questioning the integrity of the organization).Confession: group confession and self-criticism is used in order to produce personal change. (The individual is never right, only the group).Sacred Science: The cult's doctrines and ideology are considered sacred and must not be doubted or questioned. (To question is a sign of a lack of spirituality and discipline).Loading the language: Conventional words and phrases are given special, in-group meanings. (Concepts such as 'holiness' and 'righteousness' are defined by group definitions).Doctrine over person: Members are conditioned to feel guilt if they ever question group doctrine. One must conform to the "truth," as taught by the group. (A lack of conformity to group doctrine prompts questions of legitimacy and ultimately expulsion).Dispensing of Existence: The group contains the elite; outsiders are evil, unsaved, and may not even have the right to exist. Now, back to Dr. Tolliver's statement. This time I will give a blank and show you how Baptists, unless we speak out, will allow our Convention to drift toward becoming a benign cult rather than a platform for the expression of the life changing power and grace of Jesus Christ than can come to every believer.

Fox> I know I have seen the signs here in Collinsville. Something for my friend John Killian and Roger Willmore to think about as they explore it at Musings in Maytown.

Randall Balmer is right. Richard Land is a counterfeit and impostor. How does one explain all the mindless giving to SBC Cooperative Program and who can take Rick Lance and Gary Fenton serious when they promote such?

Furman in Time MAg; No Country Makes Top Ten

Furman '83 alumin Mark Sanford has good quote in the Cover Story of Time magazine current issue. Something to the effect if Jesus Christ himself was running for the GOP spot, first quote from another REpublican this year would be his beard doesn't look right.
Sanford Has the Furman look; all that charm and sophistication that comes with being raised swell in Charleston, which is a little different than being Raised in Union, South Carolina; where Lee Atwater's wife was from.
Stephen Colbert is from Charleston.
I had the Furman look for a few days in Rome, Georgia in the early 80's, but all vestiges left me in the last couple years.
I have been defeated, thrown in the towel compliments of some good Christian Women here in Alabama.

Sanford makes a good photo opp. I think he brings more to the equation than Gov Whathisface, the White Citizen's Council man that lead the Motorcade from Greenville in 70's against Brown Decision. He beat the Good Jew, Max Heller, of Greenville, a friend of Furman and LD Johnson and President Blackwell.
Sanford brings a little more to the table. See if he ain't a serious VP contender.
Maybe George Singleton will stump with him; help with the cracker vote.

Like the Kingfish, said: I'm a Cracker and so are you, but don't I take good care of you?

Which brings us to another shade and No Country for Old Men
Time Mag says No Country is the Best Movie of 2007, Numero Uno this year.

The Collinsville Film Society unanimously, scattered as we are now, concur; though I have a soft spot for The Assassination of Jesse James by That Coward Robert Ford.
I am the President of the Society.
I am hoping to get in touch with Andrew Dominik for an effort I am attached to, that has every potential to equal There Will Be Blood, another great film from what I read, that in the end may get a co-vote for my Number One Spot.

Karl Rove has a good tee shirt in the Top Ten Time Issue.
Browse through it.
Next Year the Number One Novel for the Year will be Serena.
Write it Down.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bama SBC Prez on Muslim Cleric's Fatwah/Huckabee

The Alabama Baptist has a piece by Sondra Washington this week about Moderate Muslim clerics fatwah, edict, against Islamic terrorism.

Bama fundamentalist President Roger Wilmore's concluding comments in the piece are of interest. He says: "I am hopeful but I must admit I am also skeptical. I want to believe that there are those who embrace Islam who are not militant and violent. The effect of Islam on the American culture is not cause by bombs and bullets....alone. There is also the threat of subtle syncretism of religious beliefs that has the potential of undermining the Christian foundation upon which this country was founded."

That is an interesting statement. I believe Martin Accad sponsored by the and Samford University would have had a differently inflected response, more in common with Charles Kimball of When Religion Becomes Evil than Wilmore has.
This statement may rise to nuance the Presidential campaign of Arkansas Gov Huckabee as Huck's Baptist shaping is coming under more scrutiny. Huck's promotion of moderate Baptists in Arkansas should become part of the conversation as well as pressing Huckabee on the Baptist World Alliance, a group held in disdain by Roger Wilmore and many of the strong conviction Baptists and other members of the religious right campaigning for Huckabee in Iowa.
The recent history of the SBC should be held up to as much scrutiny as the Governor himself.
Even so as a conversation pointed out to me today; one thing Huckabee has learned as a Baptist preacher is in Baptist polity it only takes 50% plus one to move a preacher on to another pasture. How all this shapes his political character has yet to be determined though the recent NY Times and now MOther Jones articles are headed in the right direction.
As i have said many times before the discussion should be framed by Garry Wills and the lingering shadow of Karl Rove and Richard Land over SBC and recent national political history.

Here are key folks for the article yet to be written.

Randall Balmer of Columbia who has called Land a counterfeit Baptist.

Stan Hastey who has great anecdote on Land from 1982 and what Land said at the time he wanted to correct in the SBC.

Charles Marsh of UVA. Marsh can bring Bush judicial appointee Charles Pickering into the conversation to help the rest of America understand why the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC by which Huckabee benefitted is not good for the character of our nation.

Jeannie Westmoreland. Westmoreland is wife of the President of Samford University, former President of Huckabee's alma mater Oauchita. Huck appointed Ms. Westmoreland to the Arkansas Education committee which she later chaired.
I doubt she is in agreement with Huckabee on SBC BFM 2000, or with the tone of Wilmore's take on the Muslim clerics fatwah; though I would not be surprised if like myself and others she isn't inspired by the higher nature of Huckabee's William Jennings Bryan inflected economic populism.

David Currie. Currie is something of an ecumenical cowboy Baptist in Texas and understands the higher nature of the grassroots to which Huckabee has the strongest appeal; at same time Currie abhors the Richard Land fundamentalist wing of the SBC that Rove Gamed the last 20 years, making the Huckabee current resonance possible.

Chandler Davidson of Rice.

Auburn's Wayne Flynt

Baxter Wynn of FBC, Greenville, South Carolina.

Ginny Brant; Harry Dent's daughter in Seneca, South Carolina.

Truett Cathy and his son Dan of Chic Fil A
The Cathy's are conservative Baptist businessmen respected across the board in Baptist life with family in the Southern Baptist foreign missions entity.
Their former corporate attorney a couple years ago ran for Atty Gen of Georgia and current Gov Perdue was strongly supported by the Cathy's.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MOre Huckabee/Land Shocker

The Huckabee thing keeps rolling.
Tony Carltledge has a masterful blog up today the Inerrancy factor in Huck's camp and I have crossblogged in the comment line at John Killian's straightforward personal assessment on Romney.
As I understand Cartledge, Huckabee whose campaign has been joined by Richard Land's Number One values voter Ronnie Floyd; Huckabee had his defintion of inerrancy been promoted in San Antonio in 1988; Huckabee woulda been branded a liberal by Paige Patterson, Jerry Vines, Floyd and the takeover artists.
To CB Scott and company again I shout, Harold Bloom has a word for you in his chapters on the SBC in the American Religion.
Ben Cole and Wade Burleson must come clean on all this as well.
This should get you to those places

Meanwhile Cathy at has a great link for the upcoming NY Times piece on HBee.

In the piece is this shocking comment from Huckabee on Richard Land. Just click on Moving on Up for the Whole article to appear Sunday.
But First, Hbee on Land at the Olive Garden in Manhattan:

In late November, Huckabee began running a short television ad called ‘‘Believe.’’ It starts with the candidate declaring, ‘‘Faith doesn’t just influence me, it really defines me.’’ As he speaks, the words ‘‘Christian Leader’’ flash across the screen. This ad was, of course, directed at the evangelical voters of Iowa. But it has also caught the attention of big-time figures in evangelical Christianity, many of whom have refrained from supporting Huckabee’s candidacy. This failure has puzzled and angered the governor. At the Olive Garden he spoke with bitterness about Richard Land, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. ‘‘Richard Land swoons for Fred Thompson,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t know what that’s about. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some of these Washington-based people forget why they are there. They make ‘electability’ their criterion. But I am a true soldier for the cause. If my own abandon me on the battlefield, it will have a chilling effect.’’

Huckabee - Moving on Up
by Cathy on Wed Dec 12, 2007 10:52 am
I don't have time to read the whole article this morning, but thought it was interesting that the NYTimes was devoting so much space to Huckabee. I bring it to your attention (isn't that a fox line?) and will read it later myself (I have just read the first page).

Click on her title and her link will appear.
At same time Street Prohphets Dot Com has appeared to solve the Randy Brinson riddle, mystery and his relation to the Hbee campaign. SProphs is saying Brinson and HBee have played us all, gamed the religious left to their advantage.
I'm sure will take it up soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Great link to the heart of the Huckabee factor

Thanks to a young revenant for sharing.

I think we scooped; at least most of the progressive Baptist world.
Brinson was explored by Amy Sullivan back in April, his redeem the vote crusade and has taken up with my friends at
This in some ways comes as a surprise, but will be interesting to see how it plays out.

For the strong juice on Romney, Huckabee and the Mormon factor; google up Musings from Maytown and go to the Comment line there.

Whatever happens some of us already know as Ed Tom Said:

Point bein; even in a contest between a steer and a man the outcome is not certain.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Moyers and Melissa Rogers on Huckabee, Romney and Religion

Just a short time to blog here, but want to bring the guts of the matter from last night on PBS. You can watch the streaming video online; very easy to google up at Moyers Journal.
Also google Melissa Rogers Blog where I am sure she will say more Monday.
My friend Bruce Prescott has already commented there.
I would like to say Barry Hankins asked Moyers and Rogers and my good friend James Dunn a poignant question at Baylor conference back around 1996: How do you establish character and tell your story if religion, even a faith in Christ is a centerpiece of it.
I think Wills and Balmer have answered that question better than was answere last night.
Even so
Attention Ben Cole, Burleson, Uncle Prentice, Snyder and John Morgan and John Killian: Again, the concluding chapters of Garry Wills will help you frame all this:
And I would hope MOyers would bring Rogers to South Carolina before the Primary and with the help of Beaufort Mayor Rauch bring national attention to the woeful lack of real Baptist church state thought in the practice there.
And I would hope here in Alabama, Rick Lance, Bob Terry and Charles Pickering will pay attention. Randy Brinson can help them on that point.
Defund Richard Land and his SBC ERLC PAC. He is Anathema

From the transcript of last night.

BILL MOYERS: It's awfully hard for a lot of people who are believers to admit that the First Amendment protection of religious liberty includes the right not to believe.
MELISSA ROGERS: I mean, that's the soul of religious freedom — the freedom to choose or reject God. And, really, if we're honest with ourselves, those of us who believe in a Christian faith, there's no real evangelism without recognizing that a person has a freedom to either respond to God's call or to reject God's call. That's a personal decision that is made. And we always have wanted in our country, and in our best have always tried, to ensure that we protect both the freedom to choose religion and the freedom to reject religion.
BILL MOYERS: Why do you think Romney made this speech now?
MELISSA ROGERS: Well, of course, the speculation is that because Huckabee is rising in Iowa and using appeals to religion and making references to his own Evangelical faith that Romney felt he needed to respond in some way and that this was, you know, the time to do it before the Iowa caucuses. The campaign says, that's not it and that they made this decision before various polls came out showing Huckabee taking the lead in Iowa.
BILL MOYERS: Here's the paradox to me Romney strikes me as a man who wouldn't be talking about these things if he didn't have to. I mean, I don't think he goes around with his religion on his sleeve. I think he's being forced to talk about this even though it really goes against his grain, don't you?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: The speech appears to be a speech reluctantly given. And - I think it's unfortunate that it had to be given, that they thought that it had to be given. I think it's unfortunate that these kinds of questions are being asked of candidates. And I think the appropriate thing is to ask the question that you began with. "What are the appropriate questions that one should ask?" And I think the appropriate questions are those to which you have a clear answer about governance. How this would affect someone in the Oval Office if they were president. When Romney was at the section of the speech in which he says, "These are the basic values that I share with you." He's not speaking as a Mormon. He's not speaking as a Christian. He's speaking as an American. Those are American values.
I think the problem is he's trying to straddle two different audiences. He's trying to speak to the Evangelical Christians whom he wants back. He's seeing his lead eroding and he wants to say to them, "You're being afraid of me needlessly." But, he doesn't want to speak for his church. He doesn't want to be put in that role because that would falsify his entire argument. But, at the same time, he's got to make that claim while also saying to the people who don't fall into faith tradition — may fall into other traditions — may not fall into a faith community at all — I would nonetheless be your president. He's hoping you hear both in the speech.
MELISSA ROGERS: What seems strange to me is that it doesn't have to take away from his belief at all for him to be a very strong supporter of a robust religious liberty that would recognize that people can embrace faith or choose to reject faith. We don't have to — as religious people — do not have to affirm atheism to affirm the rights of atheists. One can be deeply, deeply religious and fight tooth and nail for his neighbor or her neighbor whose mind or conscience has not been swayed in the same way.
So, in a way, I see some leaders today who want to beat their chest about their own religion and being reluctant to recognize the soul of religious freedom, which is this choice, this voluntarism to choose or reject religion when they don't have to go there. They don't have to do that. And their speech would be strengthened by recognizing that there's a liberty for which we all fight, which is the rights of conscience for everyone.
BILL MOYERS: You remind me that I think I see something different in this race that I haven't seen in the past. And as you were talking I was thinking about and ad that Michael Huckabee is running in Iowa. Defining himself as Christian leader. Let me show you that.
MIKE HUCKABEE: My faith doesn't just influence me it really defines me. I don't have to wake up everyday wondering what do I need to believe. Let us never sacrifice our principles for anybodies politcs. Not now not ever. I believe life begins at conception we believe in some things we stand for those things we live or die by those things. I'm Mike Huckabee and I approved this message.
BILL MOYERS: So, here you have both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney defining themselves by statements of faith in the heat of a political campaign.
BILL MOYERS: How important is it for us to know about their religious identity?
MELISSA ROGERS: Well, I think if something really contributes to a person's identity. It explains what makes them tick-- Mike Huckabee's history as a pastor is relevant to that extent. But, I think that this ad, for example, with the bold face capital letters "Christian Leader" begins to raise some questions. Such as, well, should our nation only have leaders who are Christian? Now, I think he had some exchanges with Chris Matthews where he's indicated that he did not believe that to be the case.
BILL MOYERS: Let's take a look.
MR. MATTHEWS: So there's no message there when we see the big sign, "Christian Leader." You're not saying you're more a Christian leader than anyone else running. You're just saying what? What's the point of mentioning it as a selling point?
MR. HUCKABEE: It's been interesting that a lot of people have tried to read something into that ad that's not there. What's there is this is who I am. I'm not saying anything about who somebody else is or who somebody else isn't. I'm trying to describe what I'm about, what drives my decisions. And that was the sole purpose of the ad.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Huck dismisses SBC BFM2000;Is His SBC a Cult??

Huckabee Declines Theology DiscussionThe Associated Press - 4 hours ago

First, before I forget; if you read this in time Melissa Rogers of Wake Forest and the BJC will appear on Bill Moyers Journal tonight to discuss Romney's speech yesterday. Bad news in Alabama is it is Pledge Week and she will probably be preempted, but you can watch her online.
Her grandparents were key figures in the origins of the Pivotal Baptist Congregation in Alabama ; The Church of the Covenant.

Question by my friend William Thornton of Statham Georgia today at is the Mormon church a cult.
Better qeustion for him and my friend John Killian as he prepares to blog about Huckabee is: Is the SBC of Huckabee a cult.
A sensible reading of Harold Bloom's American Religion suggests it is very much so; and has about as much in common with historic Christianity, Richard Land and some folks in Collinsville effluviums aside, as Tim Lahaye for lack of a better comparison, make that Bob Jones.
That may be why my friend Huckabee does not want to touch BFM 2000; nor why Rick Lance or Bob Terry want to bring Charles Pickering into the Public square to talk about it.
As you see in my blogs this week lot of interesting stuff being brought out tangentially about the Baptist takeover with the rising of Huckabee.
NY Times reported yesterday Pressler's camp of Paige Patterson and Land as spoken for by Paul Weyrich are hands off on Huckabee cause he didn't buy the whole program in Arkansas in 1989.
Morph Pressler, Land and Patterson into one character and you could easily have the Daniel Day Lewis Satan in Blood for Oil Movie coming out around Christmas. Or as I said yesterday if you want another comparison Land may be the Anton Chigurh of American Politics (No Country for Old Men).
Story is waiting for the likes of Kimball or Randall Balmer to tell in a national magazine.
Talk to Bill Friday in North Carolina to see how the character of the state changed with the takeover of SEBTS. Huckabee, Frank Page , not to mention Bob Terry and Rick Lance will wince at that telling.
It is a shame in many ways, cause already some pundits are saying Huckabee holds the promise of the better aspects of William Jennings Bryan, friend of the working man in the face of the juggernaut of international capitalism of blueblood Republicans.
Somebody out there take a strong look at this. Come South and talk to Ginny Brant in Seneca South Carolina, Harry Dent's daughter recent trustee of the SBC IMB;talk to Bob Terry and Charles Marsh about Charles Pickering; talk to Randy Brinson and Governor Riley here in Alabama; talk to Yale Div Grad Matthew Morgan about how religion inflected his experience being raised in Alabama.
And ask fence sitting Baptist churches that pass for sensibility why they continue to fund Richard Land, who sits on top of a political PAC cult?
Talk to Kate Campbell and Ben Cole

I like Huckabee. Would be fascinating as DAvid Broder of WashPost speculated earlier this week to have a McCain/Huckabee ticket; in which case all America could consider what was at Stake in San Antonio in 1988 when McCain's pastor Richard Jackson lost to Huckabee's hero Jerry Vines in the SBC?

Here is how the boys at are playing the wrong question as they refuse so far to consider the mote in their own eye:

So is Mormonism a cult or not?
by William Thornton on Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:39 pm
Here's what Robert Parham of Ethics Daily says (here:
Appeals to patriotism will not replace the suspicions of those who view Mormonism as a cult or at least as a strange American religion. Conservative churches have long taught that Mormonism is outside the boundaries of Christianity. Moreover, too few conservative adherents have had no meaningful firsthand experience with Mormon believers that would give them any reason to reconsider what has been pounded on pulpits for years. While Parham doesn't exactly say, am I wrong in thinking that it looks like he is being critical of 'conservative adherents' believing that Mormonism is a cult? This question is apart from the question of the propriety of a voter using religion as a qualifier or disqualifier for one running for public office. Here's BP reporting on what Richard Land said:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

SBC BFM 2000 and Mormon Doctrine; Huckabee, Land and Samford

Which is more cultlike, SBC BFM 2000 and its application with WMU and IMB, or the Mormons; and how can Huckabee defend his SBC denomination's Break with the Baptist World Alliance?
How Does Huckabee respond to the allegations of Charles Marsh about Francis Schaeffer and the 74 Lausuanne Conference in Marsh's Wayward Christian Soldiers.
How can Huckabee conflate Ronnie Floyd and Anne Graham Lotz in his run for President, and how long past Iowa can HBee play the nature of the Mormon card he played there without the bizarre aspects of his fundamentalist denomination becoming baggage.
How will it play in Frank Page's South Carolina?
will Progressive baptists in Influential places, the likes of Rick Lance and Bob Terry and the pastor at Dawson Memorial, Snyder Collinsville Baptist be able to translate the concluding chapters of Garry Wills book Head and Heart to Huckabee before the underbelly of Richard Land and Karl Rove come to light with it's own bizarre aspects.
Will they sign BFM 2000; and if not how does she explain that to Richard Land and Al Mohler, the Huckabee camp and the national Press?
How is all this being digested by Charles Pickering, Bob Terry's good friend, member of the SBC Peace Committee and GOP activist in Mississippi?

Again, I enjoyed meeting Huckabee in South Carolina. With David Broder of the Wash Post I think he adds soemthing to the conversation of this Presidential election cycle; and I hope he can bring many nativists in the religious right to some sensibility on the Dream Act. To that end I am convinced he is more Christian than Romney and Fred Thompson; Huckabee's position on the Dream Act.

My friend John Killian is going to blog on Romney and Huckabee in a few days.
In a raw Fox Straw poll today in North Alabama, Huckabee is connecting. Folks up in NE Alabama like his temperament. He is registering with blue collar Reagan Republicans.
With these concerns to help him frame his thoughts, Killian's blog has potential for bellwether resonance.

Here is an excerpt from today's NY Times on the political roots of Huckabee.

The First Election
The first statewide job Mr. Huckabee ran for was a church office. In 1989, while at the Beech Street Church, he was nominated for the presidency of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
The election quickly became a battleground in a larger political and theological civil war over the future of the denomination. Southern Baptists had historically leaned Democratic in politics and celebrated local autonomy in theology. But in the 1980s, conservatives concerned that liberal ideas about the Bible and the family were creeping into the denomination’s institutions fought state-by-state to purge any unorthodox theology or liberal politics, ultimately transforming the Southern Baptist Convention into a mainstay of the Republican Party.
The race was “far more political than anything else I’ve ever been involved in,” Mr. Huckabee recalled. The leaders of the conservative takeover tapped the Rev. Ronnie Floyd, a stalwart of their movement, as their candidate.
“They were not sure Mike was committed enough,” Mr. Floyd said.
Mr. Huckabee, who won by a 2-to-1 ratio, carried the flag for the so-called moderates, arguing that the Arkansas Baptists were amply orthodox. Although Mr. Floyd and Mr. Huckabee both now say they shared the same conservative theological convictions, Mr. Huckabee’s emphasis on tolerance and inclusiveness rallied opponents of the turn to the right.
“Huckabee was on the wrong side,” said Paul M. Weyrich, a founding organizer of the conservative movement. “That has caused more people to get off of Huckabee than you can imagine. With me, it’s a deal breaker.” (Mr. Weyrich recently endorsed Mr. Romney, Mr. Huckabee’s leading rival in the Iowa Republican caucuses.)
The president’s post was largely ceremonial. But it gave Mr. Huckabee considerable exposure — a fifth of Arkansans are Baptists — and experience as a peacemaker in his denomination’s internal battles.
Mr. Huckabee was “true to his deeply felt principles without being abrasive or strident or confrontational,” said Hal Bass, a professor at Ouachita Baptist University, and a self-described moderate. “It’s not like he pulled his punches, but he didn’t pick fights either,” Mr. Bass said.

Romney, HBee, Land and BFM 2000 in SC

If you click on the title of Balmer's blog today at Newsweek, you should enervate the comment line whereupon you can read what I posted not only on Balmer's blog comments, but also at Melissa Rogers blog

Randall Balmer
Columbia University professor, author Randall Balmer, an Episcopal priest, is the Ann Whitney Olin professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University, and a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School. The “On Faith” panelist has written ten books, including Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America and Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, which was made into a three-part documentary for PBS. Balmer was nominated for an Emmy for his script-writing on that series. His second documentary, Crusade: The Life of Billy Graham and a two-part examination of the creation-evolution debate, In the Beginning: The Creationist Controversy, also aired on PBS. Balmer has lectured at the Chautauqua Institution, the Commonwealth Club of California and the Smithsonian Associates and been a visiting professor at Rutgers, Yale, and Princeton. He has published widely in academic journals and his syndicated commentaries on religion in America have appeared in newspapers across the country. He is editor-at-large for Christianity Today. A spiritual memoir, Growing Pains: Learning to Love My Father's Faith (2001) was named spiritual "book of the year" by Christianity Today. He is currently at work on a history of religion in North America. Close.
Randall Balmer
Columbia University professor, author Randall Balmer, an Episcopal priest, is the Ann Whitney Olin professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University, and a visiting professor at Yale Divinity School. The “On Faith” panelist has written ten books, including Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America and Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, which was made into a three-part documentary for PBS. Balmer was nominated for an Emmy for his script-writing on that series. more »
Main Page Randall Balmer Archives On Faith Archives

What Romney Could and Couldn't Say

Romney missed the opportunity to make his best case for a Mormon to be president. Mormons believe that America’s charter documents are actually divinely inspired. » Back to full entry
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All Comments (2)

Well shoot; I know you are dying to know what I said so I will make it easy for you with this cut and paste job from the Newsweek religion blog comment line:

Stephen Fox:
Randall:Here is a comment I just left on Wake Forest and BJC's Melissa Rogers blog on the Romney Speech.AS it gets thicker, especially in South Carolina, gonna be interesting to see how Richard Land's BFM2000 plays out with what the SBC folks consider the weirder aspects of Mormonism.I'm sure you saw the Mormon Beck and SBC's Land exchange this morning on ABC GMA.Then to bring your and Charles Marsh's thoughts on Francis Schaeffer into the mix could make it even more interesting.What will play stronger in South Carolina; hospitality to the immigrant, at a minimum the Dream Act; or the tried and true fetus?

Added to all the intrigue in this Romney speech with Huckabee and his SBC/Richard Land baggage in the wings is the fact Samford President Andy Westmoreland's wife was high level Huckabee education appointee in Arkansas.I doubt she would sign the BFM 2000.Since Huckabee is pressing the Mormon question for advantage in Iowa as Cohen in the WPost so deftly pointed out earlier this week; I think it fair especially in South Carolina to press Frank Page and Huckabee on the esoterics of SBC takeover politics and the implications of BFM 2000.In the framework of Garry Wills concluding chapters in Head and Heart, looking to you and Balmer and Charles Kimball to do some magnificent work in the oped Pages of Newsweek, NY Times, Wash Post and Greenville News on the matter.Don't let SC be the playground of the ghosts of Lee Atwater and now Karl Rove as it was in Primary 2000.Great teachable moment here in the next two months Romney and HBee have provided us.
Posted by: Stephen Fox December 06, 2007 at 12:11 PM
December 6, 2007 3:26 PM

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Go here and click backwards

This is a phenom of a link for some of you to refresh yourself on the great conversation back in the summer between my friends Randall Balmer and Bruce Prescott.
Be sure you read all the comments as you backtrack for this 8 part give and take.
Great reference stuff here as we consider the implications of Huckabee and what it means for Ben Cole and Burleson, Frank Page and Richard Land's SBC; as well as for all those who blindly continue to fund the Political Action Committee otherwise known as the SBC Cooperative Program.

Good news is that since then we now have Garry Wills chapters on Rove and the Anton Chigurh of American politics Richard Land; Wills chapters in Head and Heart.


Good preaching

On the internets (that's what Our President Calls it) today is a lot; highlighted by my friend Robert Parham's challenge to Governor Huckabee to reconsider and in fact show up at the Baptist
Confab in Atlanta with Carter and Clinton.

If we can get Huck away from the bad influence of Richard Land and Karl Rove, in time you have to believe there is a God in Heaven and with the help of Mark Noll, Balmer and Garry Wills we can bring Huck back to his true Baptist roots on church state; cause his heart is right about immigration to the point maybe the closest thing we have to an Atticus Finch today, David Broder, is calling for a McCain/Huckabee ticket to honor the fading memory of Abraham Lincoln.
Go to and look around.

What follows is even stronger; for from the great Baptist preacher and former Furman Proff; Charles Kimball's great friend Jeff Rogers.
He has some strong stuff, among other things at the request of some parents of a VA Tech graduate in his church, his sermon in the wake of that tragedy.

But here are two excerpts from recent sermons to help put things in perspective; almost as good as Cormac McCarthy's dream for Sheriff at the end of No Country for Old Men.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jeremiah 31:15-17—Weeping and Working Toward Hope (Children’s Sabbath 2007)
Opening Sentences:
Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Leader: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Leader: Every 10 seconds a high school student drops out.
People: Jesus loves me, this I know.
Leader: Every 35 seconds a child is abused or neglected.
People: For the Bible tells me so.
Leader: Every 40 seconds a baby is born into poverty.
People: Little ones to him belong.
Leader: Every 51 seconds a baby is born without health insurance.
People: They are weak, but he is strong.
All: Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
(Adapted from the Children’s Sabbath at First Christian Church [Disciples of Christ] in Frankfort, Ky., published in Shannon Daley-Harris, National Observance of Children’s Sabbath Manual, vol. 16 [Washington, D.C.: Children’s Defense Fund, 2007], p. 69.)

Call me Rachel. I’ve been called worse. She is crying inconsolably. Her tears will not stop. There is no end to them. At the beginning of this morning’s Scripture lesson from the 31st chapter of the book of Jeremiah, Rachel is weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted, verse 15 says. Have you ever been there? Have you ever known someone who has? In this morning’s Old Testament lesson, Rachel was there and not for the first time. Rachel was the wife of Jacob and the mother of Joseph, he of the coat she had made him with fancy sleeves or many colors, depending on how you translate it. He son, you may remember, was reportedly torn to bits by a wild animal, when in fact his half-brothers had sold him into slavery. Rachel did not live long enough to be a party to the discovery and the happy tears that her son was still alive in Egypt. His name meant “he adds,” but he was taken away from her. Rachel was also the mother of the twelfth and last of Jacob’s sons, in whose childbirth she died after naming him Ben-Oni, “son of my sorrow.” Evidently, her husband Jacob was unwilling to live with the constant reminder of his late wife’s grief, so he renamed the boy Ben-Yamin, “son of the south” or “son of the right hand,” depending on how you translate it. Rachel was a woman of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and by the time the prophet Jeremiah invoked her name and her tears, the descendants of her beloved Joseph and Ben-Oni had been exiled from the land of their living into Assyria, modern-day Iraq, for more than a century. Rachel’s tears for children in Jeremiah 31 are the tears of an entire people. They are tears for innumerable children whose days have turned to darkest night, whose dreams have turned to nightmares, whose lives have been cut short by death—or worse. Have you ever been there? Have you ever known someone who has?....

“There is hope for your future, says the Lord.” And the bridge between weeping and hope is work, according to verse 16. Work. “There is a reward for your work, says the Lord.” In the end, the reward is not for our weeping but for our working, even as we weep. So don’t get caught up in the arrogant conservative assumption that the children of responsible parents are not at risk because they’re being brought up in the right way and they will not depart therefrom. Children of responsible parents are at risk as well as children of irresponsible parents. And don’t get caught up in the arrogant liberal assumption that only poor children are at risk because children from affluent homes have everything they need. Children from affluent homes are at risk, as are children from poor homes.

In fact, the tide has turned in our culture. Children of affluent families in the suburbs are now statistically at greater risk for drug addiction, alcohol abuse and illicit sexual activity than poor, urban children. And the reason, sociologists tell us, is because affluent children from the suburbs have the money, the transportation, and the unsupervised time necessary to mix the cocktail of drug addiction, alcohol abuse and illicit sexual activity. Arrogant conservative assumptions and arrogant liberal assumptions alike are crippling our culture and killing our children. All children everywhere are at risk.

And this, the closing of his masterful sermon on the tragedy at Va. Tech:

If we do not commit ourselves to healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy souls of all the world’s children—not just our children behind walls and moats barbed wire, then it is only hours or days before the next tragic episode. We must think and live and minister in new ways, not only to ourselves and our own, but to all whom we meet, even the troubled and the disturbed. That’s our calling as the body of Christ, willing to take up upon itself the sins and the suffering of the world, in Jesus’ name.
Let us pray. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do. Amen.
This material is Copyrighted © 2007 by Jeffrey S. Rogers. It may be copied or disseminated for non-commercial use, provided this notice is included. The author can be contacted at

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

JFK's Riddle vs Romney's Conundrum with the Baps

Robert Parham does a masterful job with the Obstackle facing Romney In Iowa.

Even has this great intro with history of Jimmy Carter I had forgotten:

Religion is neither a qualifier nor a disqualifier for public office, unless you are a Mormon, one of your opponents is a Southern Baptist and you are both running for the presidential nomination of your party.
When former governor Jimmy Carter was in tight race with Congressman Morris "Mo" Udall for the Democratic Party's nomination in 1976, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, a Carter backer, said to a large audience of black Baptist ministers: "I'm asking you to make a choice between a man from Georgia who fights to let you in his church, and a man from Arizona whose church won't even let you in the back door."

Udall, who had left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over its policies toward blacks, called on Carter, a Southern Baptist layman, to repudiate Coleman's comments. Carter refused and won the Michigan primary.

Playing the Mormon card is occurring again. This time the state is Iowa and the party is Republican.

Back to Fox
I think Parham is righteous when he points out the Baptists Kennedy faces are different from the ones Hbee represents as current SBC has forsaken the George Truett concept of separation of church and state.
Even so Huckabee brings some virtue to the table with his gut felt convictions I think are inspired by his Christian faith in regard Hispanic immigrants having the opportunity to further their education in this country if they complete High School successfully. I witnessed an encounter just today worthy of Christian reconciliation and adjustment; witnessed it in Collinsville, Alabama that deserves a remedy like HBee offers and I commend him for that, though he has a lot of explaining to do about George Truett; as does Frank Page.
That is where Ben Cole and Wade Burleson are too cute by half when they can't be prophetic to Frank Page to take this matter to it's rightful outcome.
Here is where they should go and Where everybody from OBama to Hillary, Romney to Ron Paul and Huckabee should frame the discussion; all of it of course deep in the concluding chapters of Garry Wills Head and Heart.
Somebody hire me.
I can help the likes of Parham, Dan Nejfelt and Randy Brinson, even Oprah and Tom Daschle redeem this country; in the name of Lincoln and Judge Frank Johnson; Martin Luther King and George Truett; inflecting Jesus Christ for the Common Good; even helping Huckabee rest his soul; get his heart where it yearns to go though I don't think he is ready for the White House.
To His Staff.
Start Boning up Kimball, Wills, Balmer, Marsh and Yoder and we shall see what are
the Possibilities.
As Marney said: "Milton, it's getting late."


And here as a postscript from EJ Dionne's oped in WPost of Nov 30
To Huckabee's great credit on immigration; though Cohen of the Post takes him apart on his soft demagoguery of the Christian thing at Romney's expense.
But to Hbee's credit from Dionne:
When Romney attacked Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, for supporting a proposed state program under which some children of illegal immigrants would have gotten help to attend college, Huckabee stuck to his guns. "In all due respect, we're a better country than to punish children for what their parents did," Huckabee said. I hope he's right.
Huckabee, the first male in his family to graduate from high school, got in a nice dig at Romney's very privileged background by noting: "I worked my way through college."
At a lunch with reporters yesterday, Huckabee did not back down a bit on immigration. "You can't just pander to the anger and hostility," he said. "If that costs me the election, then the country can pick a different guy."
As for McCain, he seemed disgusted by the odor of the nativist compost being spread around the stage. "This whole debate saddens me a little bit," he said. Of immigrants, he dared to declare: "These are God's children as well, and they need some protections under the law, and they need some of our love and compassion." I hope God blesses McCain for that.
What happened on Wednesday night is actually scary. A legitimate concern over the failures of our national immigration policy is being transformed into an ugly attempt to turn immigrants into scapegoats for all our discontents. The real shame is that both Romney and Giuliani know better....EJ Dionne.

That said, again, FRank Page, Burleson and Huckabee have forsaken the heart of their Baptist heritage on church state. If nothing else HBee's run for the Prez may shame them to righteousness, out of their shallowness to the place where Balmer and Truett and Kimball were all along but they through out when they embraced Patterson and Pressler, stepchildren of the John Birch Society.
What a wasted 30 years of Baptist life.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Who is the Luckier?

Below from the midNovember review of No Countryat
Orr has blog up today with even more links about the greatness with esoteric examples and dissection of No Country.
If you don't go see it on the best screen you can find; well then you don't know nothin, don't appreciate nothin and don't deserve to be reading my blog.
I'm sorry but that is the way I feel about it.

Sam Bobbit of the "advantage, lives on County Road 355, a dirt road."
I've seen it three times and me go twiced more.
And if you appreciate good film and want to see anuthern a friend of mine with his wife recently saw in Paris, not Texas; the google up ferdyonfilm.

But today belongs to Cormac McCarthy who I just missed by a few days on the streets of Knoxville in 79; and the Coen Brothers.

But even as No Country for Old Men recalls past Coen brothers films, it represents something new. Though they have mined literary sources in the past (Hammett for Miller's Crossing, Homer for O Brother), this is the Coens' first true adaptation. And while their trademark flourishes still appear--the meticulous compositions (a pickup on a hill silhouetted against the night sky), the ominously amplified sounds (a candy wrapper uncrinkling, a light bulb being unscrewed), the snatches of absurdist dialogue ("You get a lot of people who come in here with no clothes on?" "No, it's unusual")--they are anchored to something weightier. McCarthy's ferocious tale gives the Coens room to unleash their cinematic gifts, but keeps them from wandering too far afield and losing themselves in the marshes of technical prowess or easy irony.
The result is a masterpiece, a film by turns harrowing and contemplative. There are moments when it is difficult to stay in one's seat--a scene in which Moss is chased down a river by a dog-paddling pit bull; a hotel encounter with Chigurh that is as extraordinary an exercise in sustained suspense as I can recall--and moments when it feels hard to get up out of it. Like the novel, the film ends on one of these latter moments, with the recounting of a dream. It is a dream about death, but a death more welcoming than feared. "You can't stop what's coming," a character advises late in the film, and indeed there's only one thing that comes for all of us. For some people it will be sudden and unexpected, perhaps the violent outcome of an unlucky coin toss. For others, it will accumulate over time, enough time for them to recognize what's been lost, to fall out of step with the world. The very title of No Country for Old Men suggests which people might be the luckier.
CHRISTOPHER ORR is a senior editor at The New Republic.