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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.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Freedom Caucus and SBC Takeover

   In the Freedom Caucus Paul Pressler;s for a Southern Baptist America is almost a done deal. Today on Yellowhammer News Mike Huckabee told Baptist preacher's son Cliff Sims Daniel Webster was his Florida chair for President in 08.   A call to Webster's DC office revealed Webster's ties to SBC President Jim Henry.
      Though not an FC member, FBC Sburg's Trey Gowdy has all the trimmings of FC loyalty and adoration from the Tea Party and what Pressler wrought in the SBC.
     Former UNC chancellor Bill Friday told Cecil Sherman in early 90s the most significant event in North Carolina in the 80s was the fundamentalist takeover of Southeastern Seminary, my Dad's alma mater. In that ACQUISTION, the politics of Pressler and Jesse Helms had a new foothold in the pulpits in suburbs and hamlets across the Southeast.
   For necessary background reading see Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country on the legacy of WA Criswell; and Lee Atwater's "nigger memo."
    For this cancer to be controlled Upstate SC must find a replacement for Trey Gowdy and little by little tea party districts come to their senses.
    The first 11 chapters of Genesis nor the Constitution of the United States was written so we could come to the point that a 17 week old fetus take the life of a 30 year old woman or elementary and juco children be at the mercy of somebody hitting an assault weapon armed mental patient hell bent on taking multiple lives cause Tea Party Christian America thinks it better to take him out with a baseball or a bull rush or a can of beans when thoughtful people can follow the lead of Australia with a concentrated conversation referenced in the Diane Rehm discussion of MOnday at and a careful viewing of the Frontline Doc Series on PBS on the politics of the NRA.
    Also see Randall Balmer's Redeemer President on the Baptist fundy politics that displaced President Carter, and Charles Marsh bio of Bonhoeffer on the politics of stupidity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Homily for SEC Primary

     Here is my text from current New Yorker article by Paul Finebaum's friend at the New Yorker, David Remnick; article on Mother Emanuel

     Darby smiled and engaged her in chitchat about the heroic heat and humidity before he resumed: “Remember, there was not a trace of ambiguity about what happened here. They couldn’t pull out a rap sheet—these were nine people of impeccable character—and they were killed in a church by a white man who wanted to kill black people to start a race war! And he said so! So it flies in the face of any notion of post-racial America, an America so proud of itself because it elected an African-American President. Some of the reaction is driven by the need to say, ‘It’s not me, I’m not like that.’ Dylann Roof is not that extraordinary. He is kind of typical—extreme, but typical. If you build a politic, as we have done in America since Nixon and Reagan, in which election strategies are based on distrust of the other, well, some folks will react on a political level and vote based on racial fear. The truly unbalanced will do what this kid did.”  end quote

   Jeb! Bush was at the Georgia South Carolina game Saturday. It made a story on NPR. SEC primary is big this year and Bama is in play, especially on the "Christian ministry" of Crawford Broadcasting in Bham. See my blog Yellowhammer Quackery.

      Bush 41 in 1966 addressed the Harris County Texas John Birch Society putting his political future on the line. Since that time the Bushes from Lee Atwater to Karl Rove have joined the compromises of Nixon and Reagan to place the party of Lincoln in an Atticus Finch of Go Set a Watchman disposition. The latest is the thicket of Carson and Trump re Muslim presidents.

   FTR I am not disposed to vote for a Muslim for President but I did vote for Barack Obama twice. not just because he is a Christian but because I am a good Baptist.

   The Baptist callers and hosts at Crawford Broadcasting and Trey Gowdy's FBC Spartanburg Truth for a New Generation conference are of a different stripe. They are spotlighted with some dismay in Robert Wuthnow's Rough Country and Randall Balmer's recent religious political bio of President Carter.
   Last night on Fox News the National Reviews Rich Lowry said the last last three Democrat Presidents, and he named them, Carter, Clinton and Obama have been weak on radical Islam.
    Furman, Carson Newman, Wake Forest, Samford, Baylor and Wofford and Birmingham Southern and other historic Baptist and Methodist institutions must engage this moment. Bone up on Wuthnow and Balmer and Emory's Joe Crespino.
   Fundamentalism across religious traditions is the problem. I think Bush 41 in 1966 was figuring that out but he shapeshifted to stay with the party.
   This conversation is serious. Meet the Press and Joe Scarborough can have Balmer and Wuthnow on in the next ten days.
     Bennett and Sherman are talking about it nuancing the black lives matter conversation.
     If David Remnick is wrong, past time for Paul Finebaum to explain it to Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn Steve Spurrier and their "Christian" friends at Crawford Broadcasting and Trey Gowdy's Truth for a New Generation.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Yellowhammer Quackery

    Cliff Simms is the son of a Baptist Minister, played a little baseball in Mississippi before attending the U of Bama and now is something of a media force at age 31 in Bama with Yellowhammer News and Crawford Broadcasting which presents themselves as a Christian ministry. Simms and Crawford have an interesting relationship with Church of Brook Hills and Highlands Church in Bham, something of a mystery.

    One thing they don't want to talk about is the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention though they purport to be experts on all theings Benghazi and Hillary Clinton's email servers.
     Simms has interviwed on air Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker among others. The twice divorced recently hyped on Jeesus Andrea Lindenberg, a celebrity meda personality in Bham from her days with channel 42 also host a program.

  She cut me off today when I wanted to talk about Auburn's football coach Gus Malzahn's ties to Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd where their live coincided in Springdale Arkansas. Bill Clinton extended his hand to Floyd in rededication in a revival service in Springdale in summer of 92 after the Jennifer Flowers exposure.

    After Ms Lindenberg hung up on me today I called Trey Gowdy DC office to recommend an alternet google for Julie Ingersoll chapter on Simms and Yhammer's church state "expert" David Barton. Ingersoll, or the piece calls him a Quack.

   Simms has an exchange student from Kazerkstan (sp) or somewhere, a HS senior interested in church state issues. Simms was talking about it today on air. I hope the BHam HS she is attending investigates Barton's Quackery before Simms and his small view at odds with the the late Tom Corts of Samford, Wayne Flynt and Mark Wilson of Auburn, Stephen Black at UBama and host of others; before Simms and his latter day John Birch ideology subverts her American experience.

   I have to mention another frequent guru on Simms programs is Scott Beason of the Steve Gaines, Adrian Rogers religious perversions of the American experience. See Randall Balmer bio of Jimmy Carter for much more on that in addition to Wuthnow's Rough Country, Molly Worthen's Apostles of Reason and the Ingersoll book on the Recons.

      Huey Long said if fascism ever comes to America it will come tin the guise of flag waving Christians. Simms, Crawford and the Yellowhammer empire are the latest poster children in Momma's home state of Alabama.
     Martin King and Judge Frank Johnson are not happy.

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.