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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, September 30, 2016

Furman and Case Against Trey Gowdy; Part Two

     This morning I called the Poage Library at Baylor University inviting them to contact Chet Edwards to read these two blogs. He has a lectureship there since he was voted out of Congress with the Tea Party Insurgency that has been the backbone of Trey Gowdy's career there.  My Furman classmate Baron Hill, a Blue Dog Democrat from Indiana was also voted out that year. With the loss of those two Furman's Danielle Vinson's challenge in the recent issue of the alum magazine faced a bigger hurdle, the challenge for the Congress to work for the greater good of the country.

    Chet Edwards drew high praise from the Baptist Joint Committee in DC, the authentic church state watchdog for the best kind of Baptists, the kind Furman buttressed in its best days of Baptist affiliation. Edwards is the George Truett legacy of Baptist thought and was a key speaker a decade ago when Baptists celebrated in DC a historic commemoration of Truett's two hour speech on the nation's capitol Steps commemorating his speech there.

    Chet Edwards was Furman President Elizabeth Davis Congressman for many years when she was at Baylor. Influential Democrats floated his name as possible replacement for Joe Biden in 2012. Best I can figure President Davis was a contemporary of Trey Gowdy when they were both students at Baylor. Baylor is a big school and I haven't seen where either claimed to know the other there.

    My friend Randall Balmer has written in Mother Jones about the Baptist upheaval at Baylor in 2004. I hope to have the link for you here soon.

    So for the folks who follow these things, Bill Moyers and Wuthnow, Balmer, Molly Worthen and Charles Marsh and the authors of the Baptist shelf at the Furman library the BX 6400s, these things matter.

     Aside from the Baptist implications Trey Gowdy is on the wrong side of many other things that matter.

    Norm Ornstein of the Conservative AEI, points to Trey Gowdy's Tea Party Revolution as the culprit of gridlock in the Obama years. Check Its Worse than It looks and see if you come to a different conclusion.

   Trey Gowdy has wallowed in the masturbatory politics of Fox News--and in the case of Bill Oreilly the literal masturbator, google the hour long panel on Fox News of mid September. In all his "Christian" witness he appears struck mute to examine the dark money underbelly world of the politics of the NRA and how Citizens United has abetted that. Citizens United and the underbelly of the NRA is a matter I'm certain would've concerned LD Johnson, Marshall Frady and Carlyle Marney.

     Gowdy is a beneficiary of the "ratfucking" politics Daley exposes in his book by the same name. Google Betrayal of Democracy at

      Gowdy is the current incarnation of the worst legacy of Strom Thurmond. The Heritage Foundation of Jim Demint Gowdy personifies was hatched in the bowels of Strom Thurmond's Senate offices, the literal basement according to Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America. Page 254, Quoting

          ....An antipathy to the politics and culture of liberalism, one in which the aggrieved white God-fearing American, mistreated at the hands of forces both elite and minority, stood center stage. End of Quote

    The quote is even stronger in larger context. Crespino was in Greenville at the Upcountry History Museum Sept 19. Many Furman folks had to be there. Still waiting on them to tell us the implications for Gowdy of Crespino's presentation.

     Gowdy is on the wrong side of Baptist History.  He is on the wrong side of the politics of Downtown Greenville as a Destination City. And he is a complete disaster for what was once Furman's great promise as the University of Governor Richard Riley.

     Let's see if the larger Furman community in Upstate SC, and its sister institutions Converse and and Wofford can do something to help end the political career of Trey Gowdy and his lesser vision for South Carolina and the nation.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Furman and The Case against Trey Gowdy

    October 24  Furman will host a conversation between Trey Gowdy and his challenger Chris Fedalei moderated by poli sci proff Danielle Vinson. Vinson is often on NPR especially during SC Presidential primaries and had an excellent piece in last Alumni magazine about the standoff in Congress.

     I am aware Marshall Frady and myself are not the only Furman grads and I am also aware I graduated near the bottom, the very bottom of my class, down there where The Talking Heads sing There is Water at the Bottom of the Ocean in Life During Wartime. Among alums who are right wingers or favor the Tea Party or some aspect of the legacy of Lee Atwater, Ole Strom, Carroll Campbell and Harry Dent are for starters: Former Gov Sanford, Atwater's Daughter Salley, Dent's daughter Dolly ( a beautiful young woman at Furman whose sister Ginny Brant is now my facebook friend), Lauren Cooley who brought Anne Coulter to campus; Clayte Hubbard, current sophomore whose Father former Bama Speaker of the House implemented a bleaching strategy to weaken the political power of minorities in the state--See Betrayal of Democracy,; and recently Mariel Calhoun, staffer for Trey Gowdy in DC though I'm not sure how thorough a Tea partier she is.

    Mrs. Calhoun is now at staff at Furman in the Alumni department. Hard to place on the Spectrum is George W Bush ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins. Wilkins is not a Furman grad but great friend of Governor Riley and Wilkins also recent Chair of the Clemson Trustees.

     Here are some things for the Furman community to consider and explore. Random sources and convictions of mine rooted in the implications of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention which caused Furman to break with the SC SBC.

    One, Gowdy is a member of FBC Spartanburg which champions the tea party and the fundamentalist side of the SBC while Furman's Baptist contingent is more closely associated with FBC Greenville who sides with the Baptist Alliance and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

   In that vein see my friend Randall Balmer's easily googled piece billy Graham and the Judgments of History and his take on Baptist progressivism in his Redeemer Bio of President Carter.

     Baxter Wynn, a nephew of Ga Gov Lester Maddox is great anchor for this conversation. And former FBC Gville pastor Jeff Rogers who also counts the Furman Religion department in his curriculum vita had great piece in the What Really Matters LD Johnson lecture collection on what it means to be a Baptist of the Wynn stripe versus that of Trey Gowdy and FBC Spartanburg.

   See my Ratified Blog with quote from Balmer, and blog on Trump's recent appearance in Asheville NC and what UNC chancellor Bill Friday prophesied would come to be the distinction between the likes of Gowdy and Baxter Wynn.

   The BX 6400 shelf in the Furman library is excellent resource for this upcoming debate. I am named in footnotes of at least two entries on that shelf.

   See Lee Atwater's "nigger memo" in Princeton's Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country. And read more of Atwater's legacy that set the stage for Trey Gowdy in Daley's Rat Bleeped book. And Garry Wills reviews of Scarborough and Dionne's books on GOP turn to the Right. Two separate books, two separate reviews.

     Former Furman President Gordon Blackwell stood with Max Heller against the shenanigans of Carroll Campbell and Lee Atwater. Now it is time for the Best of the Furman tradition, those who remember the best of the Furman Baptist tradition in the public square to be informed and stand against Trey Gowdy.

   If anybody can make the case LD Johnson were he still walking among us in the flesh would disagree, I would invite them to make the case and link their convictions on Furman's facebook wall where I am going in all deliberate speed to link my Baptist indentity on this matter.

  According to a staffer in Gowdy's DC office this morning Trey Gowdy has endorsed Donald Trump for President. That Atlantic says Karl Rove is undecided. Rove sat in a room in Downtown Greenville, I think the Hyatt in Feb 2000 with an acquaintance of mine from Gaffney and about ten other people when the group decided to go "negative" on John McCain on behalf of W. And re Gowdy we must remember with the help of Jim Demint he ran to the right of Bob Inglis to unseat by all measures a very conservative congressman willing at least to consider the wisdom of Danielle Vinson in her alum mag piece. In the best worlds, the New Yorker would do an expose on whatever it is considered the "Gospel" at Redeemer Prez just outside the Furman gates.

    The Cheat sheet list on Republicans and Trump. Barbara Bush has the high road as that group goes

Christian Arnold, Haden Hayes, George Wallace Jr and Donald Trump

      Last week I had a polite and civil exchange with George Wallace Jr on His Facebook Wall, and a day later saw Bonhoeffer biographer and UVA Charles Marsh post a facebook quote of Furman's Marshall Frady from Frady's late 60s biography of George Wallace, the Governor.

      It was Frady's biography on which the 90 TBS series on the Governor was based.

    Christian Arnold is my neighbor in NE Bama. He is a good Methodist along with Haden Hayes of the Coker family. Hayes and his first cousin Mary Katherine may be the two best of the whole bunch, but as much as the Cokers try, you are bound to come up with two good ones sooner of later. They don't quite have the numbers of Doug Simpson's family or the Iveys of the northern part of the county and Sacred Harp fame, but they, the Cokers are working on it. Simpson said he had 48 first Cousins, and Euell Ivey told me at the Pine Grove Singin he has 47.

     George the Governor has a good joke you can find online about the farmer and the Yankee at the General store making change up around Ider in 47 or so.

       Here is the Wallace exchange with myself. Soon I will have the Frady Quote Marsh spotlighted with allusions to Donald Trump

  Frady quote here followed by Wallace exchange

         'The desperate outbursts of violence that attend his wanderings around the country leave one with the uneasy feeling that alienations, not only racial but also ...intellectual, have reached a point in our society where the potential for revolution is more palpable than ever before.... He belongs fundamentally to the vigilante ethic, with certain apocalyptic overtones--and the potential for violent confrontation and climax enthralls him.' (Marshall Frady on George Wallace, 1966)


Stephen M. Fox George Jr, our mutual friend Christian Arnold was gonna ask this question for me, but if you could be so kind I could get it direct. Did I read somewhere you were on a hunt in Africa with Bobby Kennedy Jr. when word came RFK had been assassinated? If that is true one of the great ironies of your family's storied history with the Kennedys.

George Wallace Jr. Stephen, I was in Africa in 1999 when we lost John Jr. I had visited with him when he came to interview my father in 1997 for the first edition of his magazine. Actually John had written me a note, before the interview was scheduled, in which he wanted...See More

Stephen M. Fox Thanks very much for the clarification. In A Better World, which happens to be the title of a good movie; let me start over. Maybe our friend Christian Arnold can arrange and pick up the tab (ha)on some occasion at Saw's in Homewood. Would love to bri...See More

Stephen M. Fox George Wallace Jr. Here is a link to tribute to Marshall Frady with several quotes from his biography of your Father on which the Dan Carter of Emory bio is based. Just today my friend at UVA Charles Marsh friend of Steadman Shealy from their time in Dothan, has a Frady quote from the bio of your Dad as reference to the climate in Charlotte, NC now. Link in reply


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Rick and Bubba butcher Billy Graham and the Bushes; Need to See The White Ribbon

      This morning I called the DC office of Mark Sanford, the former Gov of South Carolina, famous for the Appalachian Trail, who shares Furman University with me and Marshall Frady as alums. Sanford was brought to mind by a conversation I had yesterday on air with Rick and Bubba where they excoriated, ridiculed and made of the Bush family for about an hour. Using the family initials as fodder they were outraged HW Daddy Bush had endorsed Hillary over Trump.

    These leading fundamentalists for all practical purposes the face of the Alabama Baptist Convention, are unavowed supporters of Trump as they see Hillary as the Anti Christ though I imagine most of the recent UMC Bishops in the state, Harper Lee and her sister Alice and Taylor Branch, himself a good Baptist not to mention Wayne Flynt would take issue with them.

    I forgot, at the agency of then Governor Sanford, Furman was the last college where George W. Bush as President spoke at commencement.

    He told a lot of jokes. If it weren't for Iraq he woulda been a nice guy but never shoulda been President.

   Rick and Bubba said Billy Graham messed up because He invited the Clintons to the New York Crusade several years ago, and they could never forgive W; not for Iraq but because W said Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

    Rick and Bubba don't know what they are talking about. They said their A list of Christian politicians, the only one they can trust are Gary Palmer and Rich Wingo. I don't know if any of them can name the Christian martyrs in bust in Westminster Abbey, but unless I missed the point entirely Gary Palmer and Rich Wingo are not about the same politics as the Westminster boys which are part of my A List.

     Palmer and Wingo, are from the world of Francis Schaeffer far as I can discern. Big on the "mendacity" of the politics of abortion--see Molly Worthen; and Balmer on the abortion trials of President Carter--both Wingo and Palmer with R And B are either struck mute or complicitous in the Ratfucking politics of the GOP in Bama--see Daley with book by same name at Barnes and Noble though most Baptists call it Ratt Bleeping. They dont' know about Lee Atwater's "nigger memo" from Wuthnow's Rough Country nor have they read Balmer's easily googled piece on Billy Graham and the Judgments of History.

    Rick and Bubba stand on the platform of the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention with all its Bircher, Eagle Forum, White Citizen's Council History. Randy Newman as Ive said before would say They Don't Know their ass from a Hole in the Ground to put it in language maybe they understand.

  If I am wrong, lets talk it out with History departments at Samford Bama and Auburn, even Hardy Jackson and Brandt Ayers of their beloved Jax State.

    Here R and B., go to Bham Southern and see if Bishop Debra Wallace Padgett and the English and History proffs will watch the movie The White Ribbon with You. Easy to google the Utube Trailer. Read the Guardian review. Talk it over prayerfully even with the good women at Cropwell Baptist Church.

   All the Best with the next Davis Cup and have a Blessed day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ratified in NY Times, Sandy, Thornton and Bonney Tim lose the Fundy Takeover History

       My friends at, one now a Methodist have been on the losting end of an argument about the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention for some time. Gloria Morgan and Jennifer Wilkins and others at the Collinsville Baptist Church who abetted my ouster also lost that one but don't care.

    Last weekend my Acquaintance Tom Edsall in the NY Times with a killer quote by my friend Randall Balmer of Dartmouth, ratified my long held opinion about right politics as the driving force in the fundy takeover even if obliquely.

    What follows is part of that story; and way below is a link to the chat with the ill advised and lesser educated detractors of my stance at, though I give them credit, they can be hilarious and eloquent in their ignorance and stubbornness on occasion.

   Here they are making sport of me last week at, Quoting

Sandy wrote:Give him enough time, and start exploring his connections of this person to that person. I'll bet there's someone in that list who has a third cousin who once pastored a Methodist church that participated in something with an SBC church down the street that had a member that was related to someone who belonged to a megachurch of which the pastor was part of the SBC takeover. That makes them complicit. :wink:

    Well Ive been studyin this stuff for 30 years now and I'll put my mastery of the BX 6400's up there with the best of em. Got Quotes from Ellen Rosenberg with whom I had an active correspondence through most of the 90s through conversations with a myriad of Baptist leaders and was the star of a group interview of President Carter in 93 in Atlanta.

    My soul is rested, my case is ratified.

   Here, my friend Randall Balmer nails it in NY Times written by Tom Edsall, my Acquaintance from the Atlanta SBC of 86. My Dad had given me grief about showing up in Atlanta but by the time I caught a ride with the pastor of the GArden Lakes Baptist Church--walked across the hill from Morrison Campground Rd past Dykes Creek Baptist Church to meet the good Reverend on the Kingston HWY on which General Sherman himself had made exit from Rome in the fall of 1884; by the time I was comin down the elevator in the World Congress Center Dad was speaking my praises to Bill Self and Edsall. We Went in the press room and Edsall said, Stephen the way your Dad was talking as you were descending, I thought it was Moses or something.

    Well here is the true History the ratified version of fundy takeover to Tea Party to Trump whether Sandy, Thornton and Bonney ever understand or not.

My apologies Bonney's line got split from Sandy above and takes a little luster from it all, but will let you put it together.

Ive them more attention than they ever deserved...... LOLOL

He doesn't even have to go that far. I'm a Methodist and I once heard Page Patterson preach at MBTS. Boom, right in the takeover crowd

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Dabo, Kaepernick, Greg Sankey, Nick Saban Fannie lou Hamer and Bama Legends

          My Dad's youngest brother Prentice sent an email to several family members today excluding his own son and grandchildren about Dabo Swinney recent convolutions about Kaepernick

    On twitter Dabo's former QB Tajh Boyd said Dabo has a pure heart. As football coaches go I agree with Tajh. And for certain the current QB Deshaun Watson from Hall County Ga comes from a different era than the brutal past as discussed today on NPR Fresh air about neighboring county Forsyth, Georgia and the lynchings and legacy of 1912.

    Dabo is about status quo as Bama Grads go, white ones on civil rights. Just today I talked to Bridget in US Senator Shelby's DC office.  A Bama grad from Mississippi she didn't know who Judge Frank Johnson was. And Apparently the Bama legends initiative--Joe Scarborough and Tom Rainer--don't know much about him either.

   I wondered out loud to Bridget how many Bama academic legends would be supporting Donald Trump.

     Dabo should take a course this off season or have a series of lunches with Clemson historian Vernon Burton and former Baptist chaplain Tim Willis. Using my friend Sam Hodges For the Love of Alabama they can help bring Dabo up to speed. And google my chat with Bama QB Greg McElroy and Paul Finebaum on Bear Bryant's relationship with George Wallace, Nick Saban could use a little remedial education on these matters as well.

     My friend Bill Leonard, Baptist historian at Wake Forest had a grand opinion piece at Baptist Global News a few days ago about the grand Baptist history of dissent. He framed Kaepernick historically with Fannie Lou Hamer. Somebody should discuss that piece with Dabo during or right after Sunday School this weekend. He plays football on Saturday. He can learn more about Jesus and the Civil Rights movement on Sunday.

    SEC Commish Greg Sankey in Hoover Alabama--Dabo knows where that is--said given the predominance of People of color in SEC Football and a virtuous concern for their extended families, they should engage aspects of the Black Lives Matter movement. In Bama that would mean an immediate end of the court fee systems, one of the more righteous findings on the US Dept of Justice examinations in the wake of Ferguson.

    And it would mean a redress of Bama's Mike Hubbard's strategy of Bleaching and a serious look by Billy Graham's friend Trey Gowdy on ratfucking, a strategy to weaken the future political power of minorities and the poor through gerrymandering. Indelicate word but google Betrayal of Democracy and see my blog of Tuesday on Trump in Asheville NC.

   Just  few suggestions for Dabo and Nick and SEC Commish Sankey this coming offseason.

   And God Bless Football.

Footnote link. Bill Leonard's excellent piece on Hamer and Kaepernick

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dry Humpin America; Attention North Carolina, Way Past Time to Bury Jesse Helms and Lee Atwater, The Real Deplorables

       I know  Lee Atwater is from South Carolina. I'm from Gaffney; Lee's wife is from Union and his daughter went to Furman, Marshall Frady and My alma mater.

    That said as I told Cliff Simms yesterday on Yellowhammer Radio, Hillary Clinton made a major gaffe Friday speaking of the Deplorables. The conservative scholar from Stanford and Hillsdale on NPR Sat morning can help her refine what she was getting at with Trump voters.

    But there are some deplorables in this conversation and its time North Carolina gets it right. Fill in the dots in case I miss any in the following exploration of the legacy of Atwater and Helms, Ratfucking, Bleaching, Fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Covention and Atwaters' "Trump" card, irony intended and targeted.

      What I miss Garry Wills nails in his easily googled reviews of Joe Scarborough and EJ Dionne on the GOP. Two Reviews. Read both.

     Whats at stake in NC, especially Baptists--there are still a lots of em and more significant ones than Billy Graham ( a distraction at minimum, see Randall Balmer on BGee and the judgement of history) is the legacy of Carlyle Marney, George Truett and Cecil Sherman and how the authentic ones can make a difference. Put the late Dean Smith in that mix.

   These Baptists knew Bill Friday former Chancellor of the UNC system was spot on when he told former FBC Asheville pastor Cecil Sherman Jesse Helms was up to no good  when his fellow fundamentalist minions took over the Seminary in the Town of Wake Forest in 87. This and other factors mushroomed into the ratfucking tea party of today and Mark Meadows and SC Trey Gowdy should own it. See Wuthnow's Rough Country and Atwater Memo.

    In 1984 Lee Atwater wrote a memo to the Reagan Bush committee that said in the south there were three groups, the Country Club Republicans, the Blacks and the White Populists. The WP's resent the wealth and status of the CC GOP but hold antipathy toward the Blacks: "They are the trump card in the game of politics in the South".

     Wills spells that out in his reviews and Charles Blow found it full circle yesterday in the NY Times with his focus on SC

     The Wuthnow Atwater memo reveals how Atwater laid out the evolution of race strategy into the politics of school prayer, abortion, and other religion card machinations. His political bastard child Karl Rove played it into the politics of the Southern Baptist Convention as Friday hinted to Sherman.

    In the early 90s I heard the Baptist legend Will Campbell speak at the Pastors School at Furman. I remember the room was packed in the then new music auditorium and Campbell had Dean McKnight and Jack Flanders friend Bob Crapps belly laughin. His text as best I can discern was Ezekiel 23 on dry Humpin and the Whore of Babylon and how no good issue could come of a mule trying to screw a horse. Was his metaphor for the fundy takeover of the SBC, nothing can come of it, no life in dry humpn.

    Now that metaphor is appropo for the folks hoodwinked by the politics of Trump. Dry Humpin doesn't Spark, no gestation, produces bastards politically and the real deplorables are the likes of Helms and Atwater and the other miscreants in Daley's book and Wills' review and its time the good folks in North Carolina, literate white folks and others of good will whose soul hasn't been molested by the legacy of Helms and Atwater and make this most essential electoral college state count.

    Trump among the "Values Voters" --most disgusting David Barton and Eric Metaxas--

    Google my references above. Read your Bible, Ezekiel 23. Do the right thing.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Underground Baptist History of Furman, Professor Gezork and Preacher McIntyre

        This is the first in what may become a series. I have a muse about Will Campbell's lecture at the Furman pastors school in early 90s and how it relates to Fox News and Bill Oreilly in particular--listen online to yesterday's hr long panel have a more pressing commentary with fact and fiction.

     Thursday morn for most of the morning I was entertaing the idea what if Ron Rash were to do a sequel to Serena, kinda like Marilynne Robinson did with Gilead, and do a novel on his character Preacher McIntyre. There was a great quip in Serena from one of Rash's Rogue's gallery wondering if the preacher had gotten out of the cabbage patch, a reference to the pastor's dark spirit and bouts with depression.

     As the novel paints starkly, McIntyre had just cause to be concerned about the state of the world.

    Read the novel and then imagine, what if McIntyre after the apocalypse of the timber industry in Western North Carolina in the 30's wandered down to Greenville South Carolina, and at Furman or just wandering around Reedy River Falls which was the back campus of Furman at the time, engaged Herbert Gezork in Conversation. From there McIntyre who we imagine from Rash Novel had about a third grade education at best but knew his Bible, McIntyre is introduced comes to know of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It is possible Gezork knew Bonhoeffer in Germany before he came to America but I haven't seen verification .

    Here is what we do know, and for sure from his experience in Serena, McIntyre could relate to Gezork's theology of Hell.

    McIntyre was bright enough to have mastered Albert Blackwell's biblical insights into creation, though they weren't contemporaries. Blackwell's notions magnificently presented at Furman about 7 years ago were in the air in the 30s. And We could have McIntyre be aware of the conversations of Abraham Lincoln and the Presbyterian minister in Springfield who were on the cutting  edge of theological investigations of their day.

   Depending on the vagaries of an authentic and believable narrative, Ragtime like McIntyre could get caught up in the faith altering experience of the lynching of Willie Earl, also in Furman's backyard near the Falls.

    Gilead through the Pastors Brother explores the world of Fuerbach.

   I think there is a distinct novel--Iowa to Western North Carolina--for McIntyre to foreshadow the haunts of Billy Graham.

   Wish I had the wits to take it further. From here I punt to Rash and Dartmouth's Randall Balmer.

   Update, just got an email from Rash, a kudo, which also reminded me at Serena's end McIntyre was a "prophet".

     My Furman proff Albert Blackwell has a supernal Blog, Modalities.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

George W Truett and Donald Trump

   George W. Truett was born in Hayesville, NC where I became a Christian in 1959. My father baptized me. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chic Fil A is name for this greatest Baptist of the first half of the 20th Century. Truett was an ambassador for President Woodrow Wilson and progressive on race for his time as President of the Baptist World Alliance as recorded in both the Keith Durso biography of him and Robert Wutnow's Rough Country.

   In May of 1920 on the Capitol Steps in DC he spoke for two hours or more on the Baptist gift to American democracy the Separation of Church and State.

    Now his birthplace in Clay County and Western North Carolina is the playground of the Tea Party and religious right fundamentalism. It is the precinct of Jesse Helms fundamentalism, a far cry from the vision of Truett and his Baptist heirs.

    Truett would be nauseous at how Congressman Meadows came to power with the gerrymandering and the betrayal of Democracy author Daley has examined in his provocative book of this summer.

     This is a plea for enlightened folks in Western North Carolina, folks who have benefitted from liberal arts education at Mars Hill, the Triangle, Gardner Webb, Appalachian State, Western North Carolina and other schools to use their wits and be active to defeat Donald Trump. Every vote counts in North Carolina this year.

    Talk to your proffs or former proffs at your schools. Take the Vance book on Hillbilly Elegy to heart and understand with all her baggage Hillary Clinton is much more likely to keep the train on the track to be better for America not only for this generation but generations to come even in mostly white southern Appalachia.

   Do what George W. Truett would do and vote against the Alt Right movment of Donald Trump.

    You betray the best of your heritage if you vote for Donald Trump in this election.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Foxes Leave Cherokee County South Carolina 1978


    In mid July of 1978 I decked myself out in a tux, white shorts and Furman gonzo confetti hat to march about three miles in the inaugural Gaffney SC Peach Festival parade. My folks and my sister had left town for Knoxville, Tn about two weeks earlier after 16 and a half years in Gaffney. Most of it was sublime and chocked full of goodwill, but there were episodes of tension as it was years of race transition and my father took a moderate to progressive stand on matters in Bethany Baptist church.

    The last three years were interesting to say the least and I came home from Furman and wrote some letters to the paper.

   At one point I got a look, a "strong" glare from a former President of the American Textile Manufacturers Inst that I'm convinced had something to do with one of my opeds.

     On another occasion  I considered hookin up with Frawg Night to do a little justice work but that was far from ever being an actuality though there was one phone conversation where a former school board member said he would stand on my toes and beat my ass into the ground. He coulda done it. That's why I considered callin The Night.

   Later in 1994 or so with the national PBS Broadcast of the Uprisin of 34 about the Textile Strikes I was in someways ratified with my suspicions of unspoken episodes in Gaffney's history. I was on national television a couple weeks after the broadcast with a response, my take on the educational history of the documentary.

   In the parade our small ad hoc band Played Get It On and I excelled on the trombone part. One revenant was reported to have said the parade was kinda borin except for Strom Thurmond on his horse, Star Trek's William Shatner as Grand Marshall, and some Mother ffn idiot in his tux and his shorts with his loud ass trombone.

    I saw my friends the Mehra family not far into the parade going towards town from the Ledger Building near the Interstate. Mrs. Mehra got a big laugh. Rajesh was a little embarrassed for me.  And the first Black Homecoming Queen, Belinda Gibbs was on the sidewalk with her baby. She said "Fox, you Crazy."   Somebody took a picture at the top of the Overpass, I think Patsy Thompson from my Dad's church, but I cant find the picture now. I remember lookin at top of Community Cash  for assassins on Limestone Street after we came off the railroad bridge and turned left at the Piedmont Federal. Furman friend Paul Zion was getting a good laugh at me with his wife Cathy as we turned the corner.

    Assassination was not likely but I did have that thought.

     Some members of my immediate and extended family took the position I coulda left things better unsaid. They have a point but the Uprisin of 34 Doc of early 90s has me thinking I mighta had more just cause than I realized at the time.

    Gaffney took a piece of my
Dad's heart. On the Monday he left town with Momma and my sister, he cried the entire route on Frederick Drive through several traffic lights five miles across town and was still gathering himself as he approached the cemetery on hwy 11 not far out of Cowpens.

    All that and Marshall Frady's piece on Warren Fortson in Americus in the 60s came to mind as Saturday between US Open Tennis and the LSU/Wisconsin Game I became entrenched in booktv piece from the Mississippi Book Festival.

    Patricia Boyett on Saint Vernon Dahmer almost brought me to tears, but it was the story of the Heffners Left McComb County that got me thinking about Gaffney. The Fox story was much milder than what the Heffners faced, but 14 years after their ordeal in the crucible of Mississippi things were still playing out with our family.

    Like the panel eloquence Saturday, things were complicated and even the "bad" people had redeeming qualities, though Will Campbell gave Sam Bowers more benefit of the doubt than I am capable. With that I'm kinda like Judge Frank Johnson on Tommy Tarrants who bombed his Mother's house in Montgomery, I will have to let God be the Judge.

    But for anybody who may want to explore the nuances one more time, the Heffners and McComb is a great book and it is a tribute to the Historical Association of Mississippi for reprinting the book.

    There is a story in the Fox family ordeal in Gaffney, especially if you take the narrative back to the bombing on College Drive in 56, six years before we got there, worthy of Oxford American magazine.

    Whether I am capable of telling that story and whether the misunderstandings of it well told certain to come reviving those episodes of 40 years ago are worth it, is what remains.

    Here is a link to the discussion of August 8 or so, that was on TV last Saturday.



Thursday, September 01, 2016

Rick and Bubba Mah Fybuhh and Lack Thereof Redux

    Rick and Bubba are radio talk show hosts syndicated across the Southeast originally from the environs of Piedmont and Cleburne County Alabama, cultural roots of Rick Bragg. They are pretty much now the Jerry Clower face and voice of fundamentalist Southern Baptists in Bama and Mississippi moonlighting as they do at several mega fundy church events. They are goin out to Kansas soon.

   I got questions about their Mah Fybuhh as exegeted in the film Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

    If you scroll down on my blog posts you will see where I have at least three topics on them in the last couple months along.

    Their theological lack of sophistication, especially on immigration reform makes their awshucks attempts at comedy--sometimes they score--dangerous. They routinely have interns from U Bama and Samford and other schools in North Central Alabama.

   I talked to one of those interns this morning. I was outraged at the way they were spinning Trump's xenophobia in Jesus name this morn after Trump's brownshirt presentation last night in Arizona. When I called back to apologize, the screener said R and B were good to give me ten minutes on the air.

   Ive thought about it. If R and B really want to do Jesus work, advance the conversation and learn a little, I have begun conversations with folks who can get to Isabel Rubio, head of Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama.

   If she is good I'm good to come on with her for an hour to talk about what Jesus and Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Judge Frank Johnson and Will Willimon would think a Christ like way to go on Immigration Reform. I think we may have a wiser take on it than Charles From Reeltown.

    So ball in their court. In meantime they can bone up on some of my suggestions of the last several months here on this blog cause Jesus knows they got my attention.

  And Rick, I expect you to talk to your Momma cause your Manners weren't worth a damn when you had Russ Moore on live to talk about Romney and Trump a few weeks ago. I know your Momma raised you better than that. Bad manners to interrupt guests just to score points with the 1982 Reeltown Fighting whatever they were/are High School football team.

  If time allows we can chat a few minutes about tennis too, and Buckshot Willet of Anniston and Davis Cup etc.