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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.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Watergate, Harry Dent, Race and the SBC

A few blogs down I mention Harry Dent's appearance on the Furman campus shortly after Nixon was reelected in 1972.

I did not mention that by happenstance, my Dad was to preach to Nixon's opponent, George McGovern, when McGovern showed up at the Church where my Paternal Grandmother's family held the Helton Reunion 4th Sunday in August 1983 in East Tennessee. McGovern had found great fly fishin in Wears Valley out from Gatlinburg and had a cabin there for a while. As the good son of a Methodist minister he joined us for worship and Dinner that Sunday morning.

Here is a recent exchange with Adrian Rogers son David about some of the esoterics of Ginny's book; Ginny Brant, Dent's third child, and younger sister of my Furman acquaintance, Dolly.

Quoting exchange of March 8 at sbcimpact.net:

David Rogers says:
March 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm
James,

Also, in relation to Stephen’s comment, if Dave has not read Ginny Brant’s book, or is not familiar with the political pilgrimage of her father, Harry Dent, it would be easy for him to see it as off-topic. I have read Ginny’s book, and wrote a short endorsement for it. Though, from Ginny’s testimony, Harry Dent was never, at heart, a racist, early in his political career he found himself aligning with politicians and positions that were considered by many to be racist. However, his own convictions, especially as renewed and transformed by his conversion to a personal faith in Christ, helped him to eventually see the problems in some of his earlier positions and to be a strong voice against racism within the Republican Party.
The most important aspect of Ginny’s book, however, from my point of view, in addition to the powerful testimony of the grace of God to change hearts, is the change of emphasis in Harry Dent’s later life from a priority involvement in politics to a priority involvement in the Great Commission as a means to make a positive impact in the world.

Reply
Stephen Fox says:
March 8, 2011 at 8:55 pm
David Rogers:

Thanks for these thoughts on Ginny Brant’s book. I am toying with doing a review of the book; will kind of take up where you leave off with the statement above and cover some territory Marty Duren stops shy of covering. His blog review is linked at her website ginnybrant.com

I don’t find anything I disagree with you about in your thoughts above; I do find it interesting she doesn’t say much if anything at all about what was happening in the SBC that got to the place she and her Dad were in positions of influence in the 90′s; he as a Southern Sem Trutee and with the Executive Committee; and she an IMB trustee.
Though minor it is also interesting that as late as 1975 Ed Young found no fault with Baylor, as Ginny mentions in the book over Supper one night Ed and her Dad both tried to convince her to give Baylor consideration.
While there is much to admire in her version about racial transition in the South, there are other lense to view the era through. One I have brought to her attention is a George Packer article in New Yorker last year, that talks about a Nixon event in 1966 at the Wade Hampton Hotel in Columbia, S.C. about Dent’s 2nd year into the Southern Strategy.
My larger point is any honest look at the SBC and race would include an unflinching look at Duke’s Curtis Freeman’s report on Criswell and the 56 SC SBC Pastor’s Conference; the role of Jesse Helms and his extended network in the Conservative Resurgence; and a thorough look at Steven Miller’s book Billy Graham, Race, Nixon and the Rise of the Southern GOP.
Ginny like yourself, has been most gracious in her exchanges with me to date, and I look forward to continuing the conversation

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