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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 www.clsnet.org 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.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Timothy George is no Abraham Lincoln

Return to this blog over the next few days as I refine my point.
The Dean of Beeson Div School of Samford University Timothy George, an apologist for the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention had this opinion piece in the Feb 8 Bham News http://tinyurl.com/chyyqr

George has also mismanaged the legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a pamphlet about abortion and the Holocaust disseminated by the Karl Rove agency of the Souther Baptist Convention the http://www.erlc.org/.
For George to pass himself off as a fan of Lincoln nauseates me. I think I will write a letter to the Birmingham News; will share it here if I do with more links that shine light on the troublesome George.

Update: A director of Baptist Studies at Mercer U in Macon, Ga and recent PHD graduate in American History at Auburn, My friend Bruce Gourley who once had a phone conversation with Jennifer Wilkins of the Collinsville, Library--are you out there Annie Lucas Brown, are you and Mart Gray paying attention--has taken up the discussion at baptistlife.com
Click on this title and follow it there as I try to make weight and substance for an intended response in the letters column of the Bham News:

Re: Timothy George is no Abraham Lincoln.
by Bruce Gourley on Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:17 pm
Lincoln is a historical figure with many (and varied) interpretations by historians, theologians and politicians. He was such a complex figure with evolving views of the issues of his day that it is easy to lay hold of a piece of Lincoln and appropriate him for one's own personal edification, philosophical bent, or political agenda.
I'm not surprised that a fundamentalist, Calvinist Baptist would pile on the Lincoln bandwagon during the current resurgent interest in the man. What is interesting is George's spin/wrap on Lincoln: "Lincoln's belief in the Bible, his reliance on prayer, his humility and acknowledgement of God's providential design in the tumult of history, and his call for national repentance and thanksgiving beckon us forward now as then."


Sfox: And Gourley continues from there. Ihope you click on and follow the links and discussion there as I have just posted a most salient quote from Mark Noll that in January of 2006 was part of an essay published in the Centre Alabama Weekly Post that caught the attention of William Fortner, among others; another man who strikes me as never grasping Lincoln or Martin Luther King or recent Baptist history; but continues to sing in the collinsville Baptist choir like nobody's business.

9 Comments:

Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

He writes as if he knew Lincoln personally. I doubt that he is a Lincoln scholar, so he sure is taking a great deal for granted.

4:43 PM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

GMM:
I hope you have the good fortune to come back and see what Bruce Gourley Posted.
Our friend Ryan Hale of that Baptistaintright will take to it I'm sure, Gourley's thought that is.

4:47 PM  
Blogger bapticus hereticus said...

the call of Lincoln was for a more just country, to which his pilgrimage suggests accepting such is a process given that people come to understandings more in line with God's Spirit in a less than uniform or timely manner. his concern for justice, fortunately, had an economic thrust, too, presently forgotten or denied by many in his party.

what some Republicans and most Christian fundamentalists (i.e., the latter being the most vocal and organized group of the Republican Party base) will tell you about tax cuts for the wealthy and an unregulated economy is that they are good for the markets and that they result in sufficient funding for investment in products and jobs. thus they are good for America.

the unfortunate failed reality of trickle down voodoo, as one of their own once referred to it, is that it and unregulated markets are not good for the United States. job loss over the last eight years, and especially the last several years is staggering, not to mention the embarrassing upward redistribution of wealth that is rooted in economic policy callous toward justice and civility.

when the invisible hand is such due to it being ashamed of its behavior, it, obviously, fails to conform to its moral function, the one that Smith, Adam envisioned. surely those steeped in Pauline theology do not have difficulty understanding that reasonable norms of behavior help protect the integrity of the community, otherwise people are apt to game a system, thereby making it, in time, incapable of responding not only to the needs of the few whom always seem to be forgotten, but to the needs of the many, too, whom are, given our present situation, now a bit more sympathetic to those typically forgotten. goodness, the attitudes and behavior of Christian fundamentalists that are driving the Republican Party is dizzyingly puzzling; that is, they are more than willing to regulate the hell out of religion, but God help anyone attempting to regulate economic processes. i guess the lesson, then, is that, inherently, economics brings out the good in people but, inherently, religion brings out the evil.

malice toward none? while it may be said the economic policies and present rhetoric of Republicans do not affirm malice, the results of both function as such.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

bapticus hereticus,

It seems as though you have neatly grouped all Christians who support an unregulated economy as part of the so-called Religious Right. I assure you that there are a good number of us who support free market capitalism and limited government but reject the fundamentlism of the current SBC regime and Patterson, Land, et al. We also reject the deification of Lincoln by any group, religious or secular, and view him as a brilliant, complex and egnimatic person. He, like SBC leaders, espoused extra-scriptural admonitions and interpretations for political purposes. One need only take a close look at his Second Inaugural address to see his interpretation of God's dealing with slavery. What was his basis for that interpretation? I contend it was more informed by free-soil ideology than by holy writ.

6:24 AM  
Blogger bapticus hereticus said...

Stephen: It seems as though you have neatly grouped all Christians who support an unregulated economy as part of the so-called Religious Right. I assure you that there are a good number of us who support free market capitalism and limited government but reject the fundamentalism of the current SBC regime and Patterson, Land, et al.

bapticus hereticus: i would allow for that, hence my comment "some republicans and most Christian fundamentalists." i, too, support a free market and limited government, that is, i support a free market that operates in the context of justice, and i support a government that is sufficiently structured to meet its demands. if sufficiently managed, government will adjust its size, both upwardly and downwardly according to its goals.

Stephen: We also reject the deification of Lincoln by any group, religious or secular, and view him as a brilliant, complex and enigmatic person. He, like SBC leaders, espoused extra-scriptural admonitions and interpretations for political purposes. One need only take a close look at his Second Inaugural address to see his interpretation of God's dealing with slavery. What was his basis for that interpretation? I contend it was more informed by free-soil ideology than by holy writ.

bapticus hereticus: it seems to me that which most influenced Lincoln was a belief that a person had a right to resources that would allow him/her to function independently and interdependently in one's community, for the good of self and the other. whether one wishes to attribute such to religious conviction or ethical insight is fine with me; either would result in a just decision to end slavery.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

bapticus hereticus

Yes, either religion or free-soil ideology would result in a just decision to end slavery, although the latter almost always had a racist element. I am simply suggesting that the economics of free-soil ideology rather than an act of God realigning "his" nation played the major role. The problem, however, was that Lincoln's religious rhetoric was cloaked in his belief of America as God's "almost chosen" nation. Simply put, Lincoln politicized religion (as have presdients Reagan, Carter, Bush, Clintoin, and Bush....and now Obama) That makes him, IMHO, an iconic / deity-type figure embraced by the Religious Right and the Religious Left. Unfortunately, both groups have blended Biblical Christianty with an accommodation of cultural Christianity. As evidence I submit the iconic status of Lincoln in Christian musical presentations as well as the pervasive popularity of The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

12:14 PM  
Blogger bapticus hereticus said...

thanks for the response, Stephen. even if Lincoln's decision was based on religious conviction, i would assert, based on what i have gleaned, that his theology still needed a good bit of development. he was, nonetheless, a man of his time that moved forward into the ideals of this country (to which there is still a need to "live into" such). being one given to process philosophy/theology, i affirm God acting upon us at all moments, to which we may only perceive at an unconscious level what we are doing at a conscious level. of course deeper awareness of our affective perceptions just might lead to higher-order behavioral responses to the world.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Fox:

Are you going to post your letter to the B'ham News?

5:21 AM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Stephen:
I plan to post my letter, both versions, soon as Bham News Publishes. They emailed me it is in the hopper for publication.
George McGovern is on the Dianne Rehm show on NPR this morning.
My Dad Preached to McGovern 4th Sunday of August 1983 outside Pigeon Forge Tn. McGovern has written a book about Lincoln.
My family is good friend of one his close neighbors in South Dakota and I have every intention to getting this link to him; so as you and BH wrap up your concerns give it your best shot as quite likely you will be read by at least one former Presidential Candidate and maybe President Carter as well.

9:06 AM  

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