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Born May 18, 1953; got saved at Truett Memorial BC in Hayesville, NC 1959. On rigged ballot which I did not rig got Most Intellectual class of 71, Gaffney High School. Furman Grad, Sociology major but it was little tougher than Auburn football players had Had three dates with beautiful women the summer of 1978. Did not marry any of em. Never married anybody cause what was available was undesirable and what was desirable was unaffordable. Unlucky in love as they say and even still it is sometimes heartbreaking. Had a Pakistani Jr. Davis Cupper on the Ropes the summer of 84, City Courts, Rome Georgia I've a baby sitter, watched peoples homes while they were away on Vacation. Freelance writer, local consultant, screenwriter, and the best damn substitute teacher of Floyd County Georgia in mid 80's according to an anonymous kid passed me on main street a few years later when I went back to get a sandwich at Schroeders. Had some good moments in Collinsville as well. Ask Casey Mattox at if he will be honest about it. I try my best to make it to Bridges BBQ in Shelby NC at least four times a year.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Collinsville makes Newsweek Religion Blog with Niebuhr

I met Gus Niebuhr in the summer of 1986 when he came up to Euharlee, Georgia to make my acquaintance as I was jacklegging the Baptist story then considering all the ties of the fundy takeover folks to the right wing of the GOP.
Turns out one of my favorite religion proffs at Furman had been his SS teacher when the proff, Albert Blackwell, was student at Harvard Div.
Was an honor to make an acquaintance and see him the next 5 years or so at various Baptist convocations as he covered religion for Atlanta Constitution and Wall Street Journal.

He has a fabulous blog today
AT risk of getting sued by Newsweek here it is in full with my comment #3 and the other two to date.

R. Gustav Niebuhr
Director of the Religion & Society Program, Syracuse University Gustav Niebuhr is an associate professor of religion and the media, an interdisciplinary position in the College of Arts & Sciences and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Since June 2004, the “On Faith” panelist has directed the Religion & Society Program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate major. more »
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Quitting a Community
One vital feature largely overlooked in the discussion of Barack Obama's ties to Trinity United Church of Christ is the wider connections involved in his being there. Yes, to be sure, within the common media narrative, it's all been narrowly focused on a single relationship between an irrepressible and ultimately irresponsible pastor and a passive, pew-occupying parishioner-politician. Jeremiah Wright did all the talking, right? And Barack Obama just sat there, didn't he? That is, until Obama just couldn't take what was being said from the pulpit, whether by Wright, his successor or some ranting guest preacher.
Easy story, easy decision.
But the problem with that narrative is that the reality of active church membership is never so simple. Even if you start off going mainly for the preaching, unless you make a beeline for the exit right after the organ sounds its last note, you're going to find yourself getting into a whole lot more.
Going to church regularly means involving yourself in a community. Over cups of coffee after the service, or teaching in the Sunday School, or pounding nails in neighborhood projects, or slinging a paintbrush to touch up the church hallways, you will get to know your fellow congregants. You hear about the pleasure they take in their kids, their concern about their parents, their fears of illness, their rejoicings at unexpected good fortune. They become part of your life, as you become part of theirs.
That makes leaving a church a big deal, not something to be done lightly. I know plenty of people (like me) who have done so out of necessity, because we've moved to another city. The partings are not easy. And I know plenty who have left churches, too, because they simply found they could no longer abide something important--really important--going on there, whether it was coming from the pulpit or some of the people in the congregation. In either case, it's an uprooting. You have to hope you'll be able find fertile soil elsewhere in which to replant yourself spiritually.
Was Obama "right" to quit Trinity, to shake the dust from his feet and permanently walk from a place in which he had so long found sanctuary? He'd been there 20 years, nearly half his life. Only he knows exactly what he was thinking. But I doubt--and I certainly hope for his sake--that it was not an easy decision to make.
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I don't know if Albert Blackwell knows this, but two years ago I was voted off the property in the church where my Mother was baptized in a town here in Northeast Alabama where her family goes back to the 1850's. Vote was 32-20. I am party to blame, cause of my flamboyant personality--one problem was I was ousted from the local library in a disagreement that stemmed from me writing a letter of recommendation to Yale Div School for the local Pastor's Third Son--but silly stuff like an ill timed reference to the cornerstone on the church as an emblem of family political power in the town also came into play.
As for Obama and the larger picture; do google up Anniston, Al Star's Brandt Ayers column in his June 1 paper. Closing reference on coal miners in Inez, West Virginia may tell the tale. Hoping the gods bring you to Furman if not this fall; then soon.
STephen Fox Collinsville, Alabama

Here is the excerpt from June 1 Star; some of you may want to follow the discussion on it at in Hedges and Dean Thread.

...Then there is the fall of Ralph Reed, the former "face" of the Christian Coalition, known for its militant backing of the Republican "family values" agenda. Reed had mixed Christianity and dirty money to achieve political power.
Over time, the great Southern Baptist universities such as Baylor, Samford and Wake Forest had freed themselves from the Convention, in part because of its emphasis on marginal GOP issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
A curious thing has happened recently to conservative critics of "social engineering," using government to achieve better lives for the downtrodden. The GOP has used tax engineering to achieve fabulous lives for the up-trodden.
In the hands of Karl Rove and Tom DeLay, Buckley's grand balloon has become a shrunken and sad thing, whose major tenets are: , women's bodies belong to the State, fat cats need fattening and desert people will get democracy if we have to kill them and tear up their country to do it.
Nixon's political director gave this benediction: "Rove knew his voters, he stuck to the message with consistency, he drove that base hard — and there's nothing left of it. Today, if you're not rich, Southern or born-again, the chances of you being a Republican aren't great."
All the signs and numbers point to a great Democratic victory, but I was brought up short by an image in a George Packer New Yorker article of John McCain in the tiny eastern Kentucky coal-mining town of Inez.
He spoke to those people with humility and respect, leaving Packer with the impression that McCain could win by leaving with voters this impression of himself: "Here I am, a man in full, take me or leave me."
If the man with the strange name that much of the country still doesn't know wants to lead his party to what should be a blowout victory, he will need to go to small towns and working-class neighborhoods — to look and listen.
People who've led hard lives are dubious about political promises; they do not thrill to "the audacity of hope." They may respond to Barack Obama's one-nation message, if it is delivered as McCain did, with humility and respect

End quote

Fox> Brandt Ayers nails the real politik for Obama. He must get to know Inez, Kentucky and the folks Will Campbell [Marshall Frady, Halberstam and Tom Brokaw's hero] if he brings the whole nation along for the transformational moment.


Blogger foxofbama said...

The Heart of the Matter; Council of Shadows will cut your guts out in Jesus name.
I hope they sleep well at night:

Quoting Niebuhr:

Going to church regularly means involving yourself in a community. Over cups of coffee after the service, or teaching in the Sunday School, or pounding nails in neighborhood projects, or slinging a paintbrush to touch up the church hallways, you will get to know your fellow congregants. You hear about the pleasure they take in their kids, their concern about their parents, their fears of illness, their rejoicings at unexpected good fortune. They become part of your life, as you become part of theirs.

3:37 PM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

foxofbama said...
Henny makes a comment about my church membership in the Packer blog after this one.

Here is what one person, not me, said at my friend John Killian's blog:

June 6, 2008 6:13 PM
Anonymous said...
Permit me to have a word of support for Bamafox. He is certainly not responsible for the conservative resurgence within the SBC, even though he quotes Criswell, long time pastor of FBC, Dallas. Although Bamafox has definitely contributed to the resurgence here in Northern Alabama, and in his former church of FBC Collinsville. Many people here in town believe that Bamafox should ge given a 2nd chance, and a 2nd vote to gain back his membership in the church, and maybe in the Senior choir. If you agree with this plan, please get in touch with Dr. John Morgan. He is the pastor of Collinsville Baptist where Bamafox was a member. Thank you.

June 7, 2008 4:11 PM

Henny, and my emailer of today, I may pick this up later.
I had the door slammed in my face at a deacons meeting where I attempted to apologize, express regret for missing a deadline for discusson of the matter May 06.

Things went down hill from there. Family politics ruled the day. My ousting was not a unanimous recommendation from the deacons, as several voted for me in the losing vote.
Nasty business.


12:56 PM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Jonathan at said he talked to someone in Collinsville as late as late May of this year.
Was it the librarian, or the preacher, or the preacher's wife or someone else in their network; and why don't they have the integrity to call the Myers boys and Brad Barksdale on the phone and let's come together and talk this shadow thing out.
Mark Morgan several years ago was sourcing a detractor from Scottsboro.
My God, let's have some integrity in this matter or what do the trees on the grounds in honor of the local Saints; what meaning can they have for future generations?
What is My Mother and Grandfather Jordan whose memberships go back to 22 and 36 thinking about all this?
Can't you help Matthew Morgan get into Yale Div School, or make mention of Becky Kennedy's position on Women in Ministry in Church discussion on the topic without getting thrown out of the church where your Mother was baptized.
Or ask the obvious question about Paul Simmons and Rove/Land's ERLC pamphlet?
As Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party said in 68 in Chicago: Is This America?

1:15 PM  

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