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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.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Bradley Byrnes Man Card and the Alabama Politics of Mendacity

   Duke Graduate, Episcopalian, Us Congressman Bradley Byrne had an opinion piece distributed throughout Alabama a week ago on the politics of Gun Control. I saw it in the weekly free paper, the Post Paper of Centre Alabama which has boxes from Rome Georgia to the Walmart in Ft Payne Alabama. The NRA and Second Amendment Caucus must be proud of Byrne.

   I am not. I think he is a shallow white washed George Wallace of the sixties pumping the prime of the politics of abortion and the gun lobby in his announced quest to unseat Doug Jones from the US Senate.

    Over the weekend of March 17 NPR had a segment with the father of one of the dead children of the Sandy Hook shooting. They talked about about Remington's new advertising campaign for the AR 47, the gun used to mow down those children at Sandy Hook and last weekend the Muslims at prayer in New Zealand.

    They encouraged folks to get their Man Card and buy one of these notorious automatic weapons.

      What is almost is sad, the editor of the Post Paper in Cherokee County Alabama, joined Tricia Clinton Dunne of the contiguous DeKalb County Alabama a few weeks ago in self righteous denunciation of the Goodloe editon of the Linden Democrat re the Klan.

    Well that's a no brainer. Where is their righteous indignation toward Byrne and the rest of the religious right Trump Based Bama Delegation. Are Goodloe and Roy Moore the only rascals they are capable of denouncing?

     Where was their righteous indignation when Mike Hubbard flipped the Bama house on the politics of race and immigration; a template for the rise of Donald Trump. Didn't small town Alabama media learn anything from the drama of how Wallace shaped the politics of Richard Nixon or was it all a Trick on people of color to keep them playing football in the SEC?

      Robert Wuthnow in Rough Country, and Jill Lepore in These Truths, the Chapter Battle Lines drive home the case politicians like Bradley Byrne come from the bottom of the barrel of cynical politicians. Lee Atwater said in his 82 memo, you can't say nigger anymore, so it's time to double down on the politics of abortion and guns to play on the resentments and fears of working class white America.

     Stansell's Holy War piece in New Republic, an easy google itself, John the Baptisted  Wuthnow by a half decade talking about how the right wing of the GOP perfected the politics of "mendacity" when it come to abortion politics.

     It is time for the noted journalist of Mobile, formerly of the Charlotte Observer, Frye Gaillard to ingratiate himself with Byrnes Episcopalian congregation in Mobile. Let's have some Bible Studies on the politics of abortion and guns informed by Lepore and Wuthnow.

     March 19 NPR 1a program will be a good listen along with the Group Read for Byrnes family of faith in Mobile.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Samford's Ill time lecture choice of Eric Metaxas, Trump Apologist

         In March of 93, right after the Blizzard, I crashed an Inquisition of Tom Corts, then President of Samford University at FBC Birmingham about a block east of the Campus squeezed in between the offices of Southern Living Magazine.
     The Inquisition was staged by Bircher Albert Lee Smith, a one term congressman whose wife was head of Eagle Forum of the State--see Jill Lepore, These Truths, Chapter Battle Lines. Albert Lee worked closely with Jesse Helms and right winger latent White Citizens Council world view Paul Pressler in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

        Almost a thousand Baptist preachers and lackeys from across the state were there. Corts told them there was no virtue in sustained denunciation.

      Samford in some ways has distanced itself from Baptist fundamentalism but not to the degree as Furman, Baylor, Wake Forest and Stetson. Baylor backslid a little with Ken Starr but now seems back on course.

    Samford is another case these days.  They have an apparent affable intern relationship with the Ricknbubba radio program. In some ways it appears Rick Burgess has become the theologian in residence for the Bama SBC. He was keynote speaker for the Baptist pastors in their state convention in 2017 in Huntsville right after Trump implied two of Nick Saban's Heisman trophy winners were sons of bitches. Burgess proselytizes almost daily on his clown morning four hour syndicated radio program and shares almost same "Christian world view" as Metaxas. Burgess recently returned from a Four Day conference with Focus on the Family, another chapter of evangelical super Trumpers. 

 And now Samford's most notable lecture series here in the second year of Trump is spotlighting Trump apologist Eric Metaxas. Metaxas this last decade has been featured at Trey Gowdy and the late Billy Graham FBC Spartanburg SC in their Truth for New Generation conferences underwritten by fundamentalist North Greenville College Where Radio talk show Preacher Tony Beam is something of a Hannity celebrity.

   Others to appear at FBC Spartanburg have included Ben Carson and the church state rascal David Barton.

     At the Myrtle Beach GOP Primary debate in SC 2016 Metaxas was at a VIP banquet seated beside the daughter of Nixon's Southern Strategist Harry Dent. 

    Metaxas was there unapologetically to support Donald Trump.

     Metaxas comes to town Tuesday. Check back to this blog next week for an update.

    In meantime Google Charles Marsh on Metaxas in Religion and Politics, and Karen Guth's Christian Century article, Claims on Bonhoeffer. 
      Guth is the daughter of a noted Furman poli sci proff. The Father has a memorable piece in 2000 in the Christian Century on Bush 43's then controversial appearance at Bob Jones University.
        Marsh is the nephew of noted Samford Religion proff Fisher Humphreys, Fisher a board member of the progressive Baptist quarterly Christian Ethics Today.


    I think this lecture is gonna have some legs.

Monday, March 04, 2019

What NC Congressman Mark Meadows doesn't know

    Mark Meadows dust up with the Minnesota Cogressman Tlaib last Wednesday in the Cohen hearings is weighty. A Freedom Caucus Congressman emotional over his mixed race niece and nephew in Fox News wondermoment with a woman of the Muslim faith you can't make it up.

     As myself A Son of Baptist minister who was baptized in Truett Memorial Baptist Church in 1959 Meadows district of Clay County, Hayesville, NC'  I think Truett, born 1867, a consensus greatest Baptist of the first half of the 20th Century would have serious misgivings about Meadows were he alive today. And I would suggest Tlaib is a better American on matters of Church state separation than the Babdist who now appears to be a PCA Presbyterian, Meadows, is.

   I crossed the Selma Bridge in 2012 with a Muslim friend, an exchange student from Bahrain. We talked about the Salafist, the fundamentalist strain of his faith. Mark Meadows is more of a Salafist, like his mentor Trey Gowdy, and his current colleage Jeff Duncan, possibly William Timmons than he is a Baptist in the George Truett strain.

     Two references for Meadows constituents. Do a prayerfull group reading across the district of Wuthnow's Rough Country and Jill Lepore's new History of America These Truths. In Lepore double down on the Chapter Battle Lines.

    There you will read how the politics of abortion, guns and the second amendment have been weaponized by the likes of Meadows at the expense of the Gospel he claims to hold dear; and the legacy of Truett.

      In Rough Country, read the Atwater Memo. Atwater says you can't say "Nigger" anymore so you have to adopt something new and visceral to keep the working white fellow in your corner, So you couch your politics in fundamentalism. That's where Tlaib when she understands Meadows better need to weigh in to the nitty gritty.

     In Rough Country read the chapter From Judge Lynch To Jim Crow and challenge Meadows to come clean on his fundamentalist Baptist history of the last 40 years.

    And, Meadows, like Donald Trump is a threat to liberal arts education. Vandy historian Jon Meacham says in his treatise against Trump on the Soul of America says of the Scopes Monkey Trial, another devils playground for Meadows: "One legacy of Dayton was that religion and science had joined race and ethnicity as a theater of war in the American soul."

      Do the background reading Western North Carolina and confront Meadows when he visits your town.

     Will Campbell was a great minister of the Civil Rights era. He woulda been a good friend of Congresswoman Tlaib were he with us today. He had a great phrase for folks like Meadows and Duncan and Trey Gowdy. He called them Soul Molesters.

     From my reading of Wuthnow, I'm convinced George Truett would agree with Campbell.

    In 93 I had an exchange with the former Pastor of FBC Asheville, Cecil Sherman who told me UNC Chancellor Bill Friday told him that in the 80s Jesse Helms kind of Baptists staged a coup at the Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest. They understood what the Far right could do getting into the headsets of Baptist pulpits across the state and recent elections show that.

    That is the question for Meadows District in this Trump moment. Do they really want to be remembered as Baptists like Jerry Falwell, Jr and Jesse Helms, or do they have the ingredients to understand, appreciate, honor and vote like George W. Truett