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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.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"From what ground did the hagiographic lillies spring?"

   I'm gonna bust a gut on this one but put up the rough draft so come back in a few days cause it may have a little more sheen.

    As the Baptist world goes I've inveighled my way into some robust company of late in some facebook conversations about the legacy of  Billy Graham, this Trump moment, memory and the insights of Molly Worthen. I'll drop a few Baptist names, Joel Gregory the short term associate of WA Criswell at FBC Dallas, Brad Creed former provost at Samford now President of  Campbell College and some onlookers including Randall Balmer, recent biographer of President Carter, now at Dartmouth.

    Just this morn I reread in print Molly Worthen's great piece in the Atlantic about the independent mindset of evangelicals historically in America, though conceding they do have a bent to become enchanted with demagoues. Balmer and many others most recently Robert Wuthnow of Princeton with his book on Criswell's fundamentalism in Texas, Rough Country are two of the best. And Molly cites my fellow Furman alum Ole Miss proff Darren Grem and his look at Chic Fil A of how Trump and Nixon, and I would add Trey Gowdy,  Senator Lankford on Ok are part of America's political drinking water as well.

    In Alabama there is a toxic dose of Rick Bugess, and the Yellowhammer News Network intermingled with some very "inerrant" mega churches including the 14 campus Church of the Highlands and its stepfamily at Church of Brook Hills and FBC Gardendale and its own special drama.

      So time to throw in the Kennedys. Also by coincidence and I would say serendipitously my morning print reading took me to Tom Fallon in the New Yorker and reviews of several recent books on the Kennedys. Half disclosure I remain enchanted by the vision of the Profiles in Courage awards though as we all know Ted Sorenson probably wrote the first installment.

    And I thought President Obama was Lincolnesque in his acceptance speech a few weeks ago.

    But if the "liberal elite" can raise doubts about Jesus was really talking about and say my salvation and baptism at Truett Memorial Baptist Church in 1959, dipped by own ordained Daddy, then what is your average white pipe fitter and or son of a textile worked in Gaffney SC or steel mill worker in Bham Alabama to make of the reworking of General Lee, Bear Bryant and Billy Graham?

    Even the best and the brightest--or they got me fooled--of good will and open mind like Creed and Gregory struggle with what to do with what tithes and offerings come their way from solid souls who want to be part of something bigger than themselves but hold up Billy Graham and Nixon to more scrutiny than should be allowed in your average Sunday School class on any given Sacred Day.

     But 84% of these well meaning people voted for Donald Trump.

     And the Kennedy's were complicated too, thus Fallon's phrase from whence those hagiographic lilies sprang.

    Obama was on to it when he said all dogmas are on the table.

     That's as far as I can go this morning. But I will link these musings in the facebook conversation and stay tuned.

     For the moment, Marilynne Robinson is my experience is the best light through the tunnel after reading Grem and Worthen and Balmer; but that for later while the Provosts and the  "enlightened" preachers catch up.


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