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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, February 28, 2014

Molly Worthen on "charlatan" Francis Schaeffer

   At the chat room SBC Trends of Lee Saunders and I are having some major differences on Francis Schaeffer. Truett Seminary's Roger Olson review of Molly Worthen's book The Apostles of Reason says Molly profiles Schaeffer as a "charlatan."
      Saunders has friends at FBC Spartanburg, the home base of Tea Party and Fox News Darling US Rep Trey Gowdy. Oklahoma's ordained SBC minister James Lankford of US House also shares the so called "Christian World View" of Schaeffer, Al Mohler and Mavin Olasky.
     A read of Worthen's Mark Noll endorsed book in tandem with Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's American and Dan Williams God's Own Party shines a burning light on the shallow legacy of Billy Graham's legacy with the politics of Richard Nixon; and for all except the most dim witted reveals emperor Al Mohler and the gurus of the the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention; those emperors have no clothes

   Come back to this as I will enlarge on this extended quote from Worthen on Schaeffer, pages 218-219, the end of Chapter nine. Preceeding pages talk abut the Council for National Policy, the right wing group of Jesse Helms and Paul Pressler, setting up her next chapter on the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    More paragraphs to follow, this one her take on the implications of Schaeefer's irritability with an exchange of letters in early 80's where Mark Noll got in his shorts. Noll chairs the department on the Study of Evangelicals at Notre Dame, where he took Nathan Hatch's place, when Hatch became President of Wake Forest. Harry Dent's family and the Hatch's are tight, so if nothing else a story in John Grisham's Oxford American Magazine, even the New Yorker should follow

  Molly on Schaeffer in quotes and analysis: 
Schaeffer and Notre Dame's Mark Noll in early 80s had an exchange over Schaeffer's Christian Manifesto  Worthen reports:

  FS replied with a 12 page screed defending his position.. Barry Hankins said Noll's correspondence Obsessed FS. FS checked the mail daily at LaBri. "The criticism hurt, more than that, FS was outraged. at the evangelical historian's disloyalty in the midst of this battle for America's soul. FS had written Manifesto not as a dispassionate historical treatise, but as a tract in the culture wars, Hankins said."
    FS wanted evangelical Americans to become soldiers of history rather than careful students. He was one of a wave of gurus who, like generations of prophets and big personalities before them, offered evangelicals an alternative authority, a rubric of certainty at a time when the consensus on the Bible's status in American culture was shakier than ever. While he inspired some evangelicals to get to the bottom of some of the stories he told by pursuing grad degrees in philosophy and history, on a larger scale FS  ministry was a grand and clever exercise in anti-intellectualism. he deployed the trappings of academic investigation....In FS mind there was no dishonor in this, only due respect for divine authority....

   Quoting Molly: 

       Scheffer's minstry revealed what the neo-evangelical campaign to build an intellectual movement around inerrancy and a "Christian World View" had become: an adaptable ideology vague enough to welcome believers of every theological persuasion,  a substrate in which political energy could flourish-- and a strategy for using the authority of history to name conservative evangelicals as trustees of Christendom.

  A few pages later. Molly says in reference to what Schaeffer begat: "Yet in the public square subtle scholarship was no match for culture war bluster!"  So Lee Saunders understands, Schaeffer was the chief guru of culture war "Bluster"

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fox News Bastards and Ventriloquist Dummies

   Writin off the cuff here so come back Tuesday for editing and revisions.

    Sean Hannity, America's Asshole whose Daddy Roger Ailes is a bigger one, played the politics of the distraction to Fox News Hilt Tues and Thursday diminishing the Moral Mondays effort in N.C. to an aside by Rev Barber of the NAACP to S.C. Tim Scott as a "ventriloquist dummy".

     Will Campbell said we are all Bastards, but Ailes and Hannity are a special case. No mention of Jane Mayer's New Yorker piece on Art Pope; no mention of the several recent reports on NPR about Money and Politics in light of the recent Supreme Court Decision and how the Koch brothers whose Father Fred was a Bircher; no mention of my Bama House Speaker Mike Hubbard or his pom pom PHD wife and the Jan 11 front page story in the NY Times on them and the immigration bill that woulda deported half the Collinsville, Alabama state championship soccer team.

   No,  Christian America's news service--right Gov Huckabee--pulls a stunt in the Moral MOnday's March shaking down workin class America for the Koch Brothers.

   Here is hoping Tim Tyson at Duke calls their bluff. Here is hoping he brings the Fox Whore House to Duke to talk it over with Jane Mayer and the author or the recent bio of Roger Ailes. Bring Garry Wills to talk about his review of Joe Scarborough's shallow recent history of the GOP.

    Bring it on with righteous indignation with the Ailes News Team that Jesus woulda thrown out of the Temple just like he did the Bastards in the New Testament.

   Ok, I'm calming down a little now. But I'm tired of these bastards flinging  dung in the face of George Washington and Solomon NOrthup, Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln and Judge Frank Johnson.

   TheseAssholes ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Furman makes history with first Female President; Baptist moorings

     My sister called to tell me this morning Furman had a new President a woman. I called some folks close to the search process with some congratulations. I was surprised, not so much they'd chosen a woman but her Baptist street cred was so Strong.

     From Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, Stewart A Newman, LD, Jeff Rogers and Melissa Rogers couldn't be happier I imagine. For sure she is distinct from her other Baylor alum of influence in the Upstate, Trey Gowdy. They are about the same age, 51.

     Davis former pastor Julie Pennington Russell stirred up a lot of controversy when she became pastor of FBC Decatur Ga. But closer to Gowdy and the world view of Billy Graham's First Baptist Church Spartanburg which recently claimed Harry Dent's daughter is the distinction that cannot be lost on any but the most dimwitted what this means. It coincides with the release of Molly Worthen's book The Apostles of Reason which has a chapter on the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention. And Dr. Davis fellow parishioner at Calvary, Roger Olson, has an online review of Worthen where he says she scorches Francis Schaeffer as a "charlatan."

    While Furman has many constituencies and some consider this an esoteric, in light of the Tea Party and Fox News Gowdy hold on Upstate S.C. this is an elephant in the room that cannot be ignored. With the Greenville and Upstate Furman welcome to Dr. Davis, time for some soul searching for credible Republicans like Knox White, David Wilkins and even Lester Maddox nephew Baxter Wynn to navigate this thicket with Dr. Davis and lets have a prophetic word for Trey Gowdy and what he represents.

    That would be a good place to stop, but this conversation anchored in Jeff Rogers early 90's lecture in the LD Johnson Series What Really Matters is about Furman and the best of the Baptist tradition of higher education is a great framework.

     My friend Randall Balmer will have a review of Worthen's book soon in the Christian Century.

     Dr Davis will have good company in the region with her fellow Baptist presidents Nathan Hatch at Wake Forest, Bill Underwood at Mercer and Randall OBrien at Carson Newman. I am satisfied the late Tom Corts of Samford is smiling on this choice from above.

    God Bless Dr. Davis in this new chapter at Furman and God Bless Furman University.