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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.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bonhoeffer, The Tea Party and the Politics of Stupidity

   This last week I have been deep into a reading of Charles Marsh's bio of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Strange Glory. This magnificent biography transcends the politics of our time but one strong analogy stands out, at least in my interpretation; The Nazi brownshirts with which religious life in Germany became complicitous, and America's current Tea Party.

    This morning I talked to Amanda in Southern Baptist Trey Gowdy's D.C. office and jake in the office of Ok's James Lankford. Lankford is an ordained Southern Baptist minister now running for US Senate from Oklahoma. Billy Graham goes to Trey's church, FBC Spartanburg, South Carolina.
    Amanda says she has read the Metaxas bio of Bonhoeffer.

   On Page 341 of a Strange Glory we see the analogy:  "...civil courage, the discipline of dissent had been trampled beneath the mobs and the masses. The issue of ultimate responsibility had in these dark circumstnaces, become a 'question not of how I extricate myself heroically from a situation but [of how] a coming generation is to go on living'.  Then there is the seeming prosaic  matter of stupidity, which in Bonhoeffer's estimation is as dangerous an enemy of the good as evil itself. One may wage protest against evil; evil can be exposed and, if ned be, overcome by force. But stupidity mounts a broad and insidious defense in this way: ' Facts that contradict one's prejudgment simply need not be believed...-, and when facts are irrefutablethey are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental' Great caution is needed to challenge stupidity....

  End quote

    Eric Metaxas biography of DB has been embraced by the Tea Party. reported to me Metaxas accompanied Rick Santorum in the S.C. PPresidential Primary of 2012 and spoke to Republican women in Myrtle Beach at the site of the great GOP debate there.

   Metaxas , a devotee of Watergate's Chuck Colson and Southern Baptist fundamentalism, is the subject of a Christian Century piece of three or so years ago, easily googled Bonhoeffer Hijacked.

    It is a travesty of Bonhoeffer's legacy to make him a tool of Roger Ailes and and the Koch Brothers, N.C "s art Pope's Tea Party.

     A good bit of this as a careful reading of Molly Worthen's analysis of Francis Schaeffer--Apostles of Reason-- in conjunction with Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America should be self evident to anyone but the borderline illiterate.

    There is a spate of books recently including the two above that deserve careful reading, especially in the inner circles of folks like Gowdy and Lankford who espouse a "Christian World View". Others include Steven Miller's recent work on the Dangers of Reagan and the Evangelicals, and my friend Randall Balmer's new bio on the religious pilgrimage of President  Carter

     Bonhoeffer's said he heard the Gospel Preached in America in the Negro Churches.

     I think Marsh is telling us Everybody Singing about  Hebn Ain't going there.

   I don't have the corner on the definitive interpretation of Marsh and Bonhoeffer for our current milieu. But here is an Altar Call, An Invitation to take s straightforward look at the Marsh biography, the Life of Bonhoeffer, A Strange Glory.

    At a minimum folks like Gowdy and Lankford--Charles Pickering and his Alliance Defending Freedom, the BGEA, The SBC  and their counselors, supporters should give it a thorough examination and soul searching.



Blogger David Flick said...

James Lankford is Tom Elliff's son-in-law. Nuff said...

11:41 PM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Thanks David, I had not made the connection.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Prentice Fox said...

Eric Metaxis' bio of Bonhoeffer was a Best Seller on New York Times for several weeks, and is praised by leading Evangelical Leaders around the world. Barnes & Nobles does not carry Marsh's book, but you can order it on Amazon (on sale for $6.95)

7:45 AM  
Blogger Keith Smith said...

Metaxis has carefully crafted his translation of Bonhoffer's words to support an Evangelical viewpoint rather than the contextual morality that was part of Bonhoffer's theology.

8:20 PM  
Blogger foxofbama said...

Keith, You will want to read Karen Guth Claims on Bonhoeffer at Christian Century. Should google right up

4:35 PM  

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