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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, August 19, 2015

Franklin Graham denounces Furman University

  The Son of Billy Gee has gone viral at and the Greenville News online with his diss of Furman. His Father was intellectually challenged to borrow a phrase from Hal Crowther and now it appears Franklin is eaten up with the world of Fox News and Trey Gowdy and Birmingham Alabama's Birch Society inflected Crawford Broadcasting.

Maybe subconsciously FRank never forgave Furman grad Marshall Frady (FU 63) for exposing his Dad in the 79 bio Parable of American Righteousness.

Here is where Franklin fits, in the world of Kevin Phillips and Harry Dent's Southern strategy, the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention and its Birch Society detractors of Martin Luther King like Adrian Rogers, Paul Pressler, Jesse Helms and Bham's Albert Lee Smith

Google search the Posner article on Christian REconstructionists and Rushdoony at

Visit or Follow the facebook page of Truth for a New Generation at FBC Spartanburg.

Find Jeff Rogers on Baptists in the Smyth and Helwys to understand a better world, a truer Baptist witness that understands and honors the Word Of God over the John Birch Society and Fox News.

Monday, July 20, 2015

James Dunn and Nixon's Southern Strategy

  This is a work in progress. Hope to give it final sheen in a couple months but enjoy the ride and pardon the typos for the time being.

        I watched the Memorial service for James Dunn online Saturday. I was not in the inner circles of the Baptist movement of the last 30 years but knew many people in the room, including the deceased, his successor and the chief eulogizer. And I knew Dubnn's mentor Stewart A Newman who got a grand brief notice in Adeelle Banks RNS story on Dunn.

     There have been a spate of books about Richard Nixon in the last several months. The Atlantic Mag had a magnificent review of about three of them and concluded Nixon's Southern Strategy was one of his darker legacies. If I understand Emory's Joe Crespino, it is still being played out in the underbelly of the Tea Party. And Robert Wuthnow accentuates that point in his book Rough Country, about how Texas Baptist fundamentalism morphed into today's tea party.

     In the 50s until now, Dunn and his great friend Bill Moyers saw it coming and wrestled with it the last thirty years of their lives. I'm looking forward to Moyers tribute lecture to Dunn next fall at Wake Forest.

      James Dunn and Jimmy Allen worked in Texas to help elect Jimmy Carter as President. My friend Randall Balmer has placed the Baptist aspect of the forces that came to defeat Carter in great context.

    What interest me most is the core group, the inside folks at the head of the fundamentalist  crusade to takeover the Southern Baptist Convention. If you look closely at Paul Pressler, Jesse Helms, and the Bircher Albert Lee Smith of Birmingham Alabama, you woill find the worst that longtime Duyke Chaplain Willimon has come close to demonizing in his recent review of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.

Albert Mohler recently said Billy Graham was key shadowy figure in the SBC Takeover. Randall Balmer hints as at much in in Carter bio. Grant Wacker gives Graham a pass, but over the weekend James Merritt's son Jonathan says intellectually chllaneged or not, Franklin Graham is doing some insidious work, harimng the Gopsel in his exclusivism. There are questions for an upcoming event at FBC Spartanburg SC featuring Todd Starnes, a fundamentalist fiend in the worst mold of Pressler and Helms.
There was an episode I had with my friend James Dunn at Furman in the early 90s, suggesting Nixon's southern strategist Harry Dent come up the Furman Pastors school for a conversation. Dunn was outraged and I kinda understand why, now. Between Molly Worthen and Wuthnow and Crespino and Bill Moyers la few conversations yet to be had.

I realize this rough draft is scattershot, but folks who witnessed can easily connect the dots.

More later

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Nelson Price's War on Progressive Christendom

    In the late Spring of 2014 my friend Randall Balmer of Dartmouth published his biography of President Jimmy Carter titled the Redeemer President. His bio focused on Carter's pilgrimage in the Baptist faith with a spotlight on the fundamentalist forces who turned on him in the Southern Baptistr Convention between 1976 and 1980.
    It is interesting to read Nelson Price-- the man who did the Inaugural Prayer for Carter's Presidency in 76 having been Carter's "prayer partner" in Georgia--in the June 14 Tribune in light of that biography.
   Having observed Price tack in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention the last 40 years, there is something a little hollow in Price's self victimization when he lead the calvary of intolerance in the Takeover.
      And on the heels of Price colum Shorter Coming off the Hill, lauding his version of Rome Rotary and Chamber of Commerce engaging Shorter and its current ideology, as least its sports program, is a liitle disingenuous for a the Patton of what is passing for a liberal arts school.
      Long story short, have these leaders of civic life and Rome  business  community have a conversation with Shorter with a group read of Molly Worthen's Apostles of Reason. Molly's investigation of inerrancy, the demagogged rubric that brought Price to prominence in the SBC,  is the latest to point out that the fundamentalism Price Champions has a short life indeed in the history of Christendom; about 120 years since its founding in 1890. And Princeton analyst Robert Wuthnow  writes in Rough Country, the Texas Branch of Southern Baptist fundamentalism Price has thrown in with has given us the underbelly of the Tea Party which has brought us to the point a Ted Cruz, or Rick Perry candidacy for President of the United States is taken serious.
     There are three Christian martyrs of the 20th Century in bust in Westminster Abbey: Martin Luther King, Jr; Oscar Romero, And Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Price's heroes of the faith like WA Criswell, Jesse Helms, leaders of the John Birch Society and the likes of J Frank Norris are not found there; nor is there anyone from Marietta Georgia of 1915 who orchestrated the lynching of Leo Frank in a meadow now under the South Bound lane of I-75 about a mile from the Big Chicken and just a couple miles from Roswell street Baptsit Church.
    Where in the career of Nelson Price is there any evidence he came to grips with the notorious implications of this crime that shaped the world view of the society in which he was to flourish just 50 years later?
     Jimmy Carter had a course correction in his first days as Governor of Georgia and his former prayer partner Price has yet to find his way.
      One further note about Bonhoeffer. UVA proff Charles Marsh, son of a former pastor of 2nd Ponce De Leon Baptist of Atlanta, Bob Marsh, who spoke out against the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC Price championed; Charles wrote a biography of Bonhoeffer published last year. On page 341 of that Bio Marsh reports Bobnhoeffer's thoughts on the "politics of stupidity" a few months before he became a martyr resisting the Nazis.
      The  leaders of Rome Georgia would find their time better served for the long term integrity of the civic life of their beloved Rome, if they spent their devotional time exploring Bonhoeffer and the above suggestions, instead of flirting with the shallow leadership of Nelson Price and his designs for Shorter College.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Bridges BBQ Hopes and memories

    For last couple months been thinking, even dreaming about a trip to Bridges BBQ. Unlike last year, didn't get the annual trip first of this year to the great elysium of the grandest of the pork tradition celebrated by the likes of Billy Graham and Jesse Helms, from Andie Macowell to Ginny Willis and here in last few years, Ron Rash on NPR.

    Recently it came in second to Saw's of Bham in the Guns and Garden magazine BBQ bracket. Ive been to Saws and it is upstart and good experience, but Bridges and those environs are the real deal.

    From the old home at 209 Dogwood Drive in Gaffney you could take the short cut over across Cherokee Avenue to the Hospital and up hwy 14 into NC; or you could take a right on Hetty Hill extension at Barry Bagwell's house and go out to the dead end at the Skinner place;  and cut through that way toward the Broad River Brick yard, or hit 29 and go over toward the Draytonville cut-off--they ought to put a Half-Way Baptist Church in there somewhere as a marker--and get creative in the route to Shelby.

   My brother has lived near Tryon North Carolina on the SC side for several years. The route from there has been delightful for  since the Gaffney exodus in 78.

    I woke up about 4 am couple days ago contemplating a short story of some concoction anchored in these musings. But for for now I guess this will do.

   PS, about 20 seconds after I posted this link on the facebook wall of Bart Sides, the Presbyterian minister's son of that day in Gaffney, I scrolled down his page and saw where he was present at this oiece of Hog Heaven coincidentally on my brithday a few weeks ago. Part of the infinite evidence it made an impression on many more than this lone soul since the mid 50s.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lincoln's Negative and Positive Liberty and the Collinsville Class of 2015

   Last week I listened to an hour long conversation with the Dean of America's Civil War Historians, James McPherson on the NPR program Diane Rehm show. Great conversation, especailly McPherson's thouhngts on Lincoln's view of Liberty.

   Contrary to the prevailing Southern Baptist view of Liberty in Alabama, Lincoln understood that Liberty is for those who lack power, as much or more than it was for the slave owner's of the South who perverted the concept through their idea of property rights; as many of the Tea Party and Koch brother's persuasion do today in the Tea Party and malicious advantage in the Citizen's United Decision.

   And I had an email exchange with the professor. He's gonna read Joe Crespino's Strom Thurmond's America. 

     Last night I attended commencement ceremonies at my Mother's alma mater, Collinsville High School, where much of the academic awards went to Hispanic students, many of them undocumented.

    Here in Alabama with the likes of Yellowhammer News, the fundamentalist Scott Beeson of Steve Gaines Gardendale Baptist Church, and a tea party state legislature who dismissed the legacy of Judge Frank Johnson several years ago other than for use of some distorted recruting tool for Auburn and Nick Saban's Roll Tide SEC Football Program, does't seem like much of our "Christian State" has learned anything about perfecting a more Perfect Union.

      The class of 2015, in particular the History club, made a mark this year attempting to bring the Tea Party, Baptist fundamentalist school superintendent; schooling him a little on the significance of the 50th anniversary of Selma, and the movie that came out in January. We made some national news in some circles.

    Azar Nafisi, an Iranian, understands, but not too many of the voting population in Alabama.

      Scattershot blog for sure, but google and listen to the chat at

      And God Bless the class of 2015, Collinsville, Alabama.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dana Periono as a Nixon girl

   Dana has a new book. She has charmed me a little withg her interview on NPR couple days ago where she let the world know she would shoot a bird under the lectern to members of the White House Press Corps if she thought they were preening too much.

     Changed font on her. Her book comes along about the same time I've had repeated views of Johnny Cash and June Carter, Joaquin and Resse in the masterpiece of a movie Inherent Vice. The first song in the credits may trump Wingin my Way of the Movie "W"; Josh Brolin stars in both. I imainge Dana has seen both.

     Reese is a Nixon girl in Inherent Vice. I can see a little of Dana in the Rese role. It's just a great movie.

    I knew a Nixon girl at Furman, Harry Dent's daughter, Dolly. She was prettier than Dana, On their best days, Dolly is the homecoming Queen and Dana the head cheerleader; thgouh as perky and tarty as Dana is, I imagine Dolly has more integrity. Although I have my Marshall Frady exceptions to Billy Graham, I do respect Dolly for naming her first son Graham for the evangelist.

   Dolly's sister Ginny tells a good story in her  tribute to their father Harry, who was Nixon's southern strategist. It's about the time she took the train up to D.C. from Columbia S.C. and met Pat Nixon in the hall of the White House on a saturday and in her jeans in the Nixon white house was terrified.

   So Republican grirls tell good stories; and Barbara Bsuh joke to the Columbia Rotary Club inlate 90s was one of the best I ever read about.

    And then George W came to Furman for commencement, my and Marshall Frady's alma mater, but that story doesn fit in this blog.

     Dana is a charm but a little too cute by half for the good of the country. She is a better person than Anne Coulter I have to imagine, then, who isn't.

     Dan knows all the Bush women are pro-choice. So I don't but all the dissembling she and Coulter do on that subject. At every event on her book tour Dana should be challenged with the Christine Stansell examination of the politics of abortion which makes compelling case it is chock full of "mendacity"; just like thte fundamentalist takeovero fhte Southern Baptist Convention without whcih there most likely was no Bush 43 as Presidnet of the Unisted States and no national platform for Ms Perino.

  So own it Dana; you got ther by "mendacity"; not a family value.  See Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country and the Thomas Powers Oct 9 print issue review.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Mohler Bonhoeffer Interview

  Recently Al Mohler interviewed Charles Marsh regarding the Marsh biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Fascinating interview by a seminary President who benifitted from the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention at the expense of the author's father, a former pastor of 2nd Ponce DeLeon BC in Atlanta, and the author's uncle Fisher Humphreys, a Baptist theologian.
    In my view Mohler is a lot like Doug Hudgins, a man Charles Marsh wrote about in his provocative piece on Civil Rights, God's Long Summer. And Marsh's father, Robert, testified to his diaconate at 2nd Ponce on the devil's work done by fundamentalists in the SBC which Mohler now champions.
    Bob Marsh piece is an easy google for don't blow smoke on my blue skies.
    I cannot reconcile Mohler's career in the SBC with Bonhoeffer's views on the politics of stupidity Marsh highlights on page 341 of the biography.
     The two of them have made covenant to talk again, the next venue possible at University of Virginia. In the interim I hope both of them have mastered a conversational knowledge of Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country, framed in Bonhoeffer's thoughts on the politics of stupidity.
   Stay tuned.