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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 www.clsnet.org 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.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Blog for William Thornton and Mike Hubbard

  A Response to Thornton's arbitrary deadline on a site he is not supposed to administer at baptistlife.com/forums, this one Baptist faith and practice:


     First I know more than Flick and Thornton cause I was elected Most Intellectual of the Class of 71 at Gaffney High School and They were NOT!! LOL. And before the Bl.com kangaroo court of Flick, Sandy and Thornton ban me for Life that stands for laugh out Loud, or what most sophisticated people know to be an attempt at self-deprecatory humor.

Thanks Haruo for seeing the conections.

I am making the case incrementally on the Furman facebook wall--they host Harvey Gantt, the black man Jesse Helms of the fundamentalist takeover of the SBC--Thursday night. Gannt integrated Clemson University.

I think Ed answered Sandy and Thornton's reservations pretty well.

I don't have the time to do all the remedial explanations for Sandy and Thornton they demand, but I do remember ET Moss, a deacon at my Dad's church, a brawny fellow even in his 70s in the 60s telling me that a rite of passage for his manhood growing up near Pickens S.C. was on Saturday night he would lock arms with another 14 year old boy and then with a free open hand they would slap the other one full force till one fell to the ground or asked for mercy. That's the way Babdiss deacons were raised just a generation prior to me.

I did find Sandy's anecdote about Ray Rice's matriarchal spiritual formation quite interesting and educational.

The most frightful Baptist preacher I ever encountered was Ed Young's long time Associate Pastor and End Timer James Deloach. He closed the door on Randall Lolley, his classmate at SEBTS in 87 but in 68 he was in the TV room at our house in Gaffney showing me how to swing a baseball bat. There is instruction and then there is apocalyptic instruction.

So yeah, William, I would like to see Russ Moore on panel with Vicki Covington who at one time wrote routinely for John Grisham's--a great Mississippi Baptist--to talk about complementarianism and the SBC.

Moore was in concert with the Albert Lee Smith in Alabama fundamentalism and Vicki and myself were about the Kingdom of God in fuller Glory.

God Bless you All and have a Nice Day.

And if you can't see the analogy of Roger Goodell to where Mike Hubbard finds himself now with the SEC in Light of the New Racism article in New Republic, then William I can't help you.

One more thing. God Bless Steve Spurrier and the Carolina Gamecocks for sharing the Gospel with the Georgia Bulldogs rain delay and all last Saturday afternoon!!!!!!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Truett Cathy

     Truett Cathy died this morning at age 93. I understand his Mother named him for the great Baptist of the first half of  the 20th Century George W. Truett. Cathy's son Dan was in my religion class at Furman the fall of 1971. And a first cousin's family operate his Win Shape program at Berry College.

    I think I only met Truett once and haven't talked to Dan since Furman.

     My Dad had a hilarious conversation with Truett at a cousins wedding in the late 90s where My Dad was trying to get Cathy to open a store at the West triangle of 411 in Centre, Alabama. Dad was Telling Cathy what a great spot it was and Truett said, Billy, we know the location, we've done the metrics, counted the cars and we're just not ready to commit yet.

    You had to be there to fully appreciate. Point being everything good said about Cathy's ability to relate to the common man, I saw with my own eyes.

     I have some differences with the Cathy's political leanings, have reservations about their seeming inability to see what was at stake in the fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention; but I am proud of Truett as a trustee of Mercer University standing up for Kirby Godsey when the fundies were cryin for his head on a platter.

    And quite frankly I am disappointed to put it mildly to see Chic Fil A as a sponsor of Trey Gowdy and the Upstate S.C. Tea Party's Life and Liberty--Truth for a New Generation featuring a roll call of Fox News Ideologues--this past weekend at FBC Spartanburg, S.C. 

     However one comes down on Chic Fil A's notoriety of August 2012, I think Truett's greater legacy for the good lies elsewhere. My example is the ongoing conversation I had with a young woman of color who worked in his Gadsden store a few years ago.

    I noticed she pretty much kept the trains running on time, a natural leader during the noon rush hour when I would be there. I  got to know she was going to JSU majoring in English. I felt her out on Alice Walker, Flannery OConnor, Toni Morrison, Faulkner, even Rick Bragg. She knew them all and could talk about them. I think I introduced her to Ron Rash.

    She's teaching English now, all 110 pounds of her, at a High School in NE Alabama.

     Whatever you say about Truett Cathy, and there are numerous other grand things to say, remember that as well.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Phil Williams, Hugh Taylor and Joseph Morgan

   Friday night I met st. Senator Phil Williams for the first time. He is the Tea Party Super Christian gerrymandered GOP candidate for a slither of Deekalb county. See my letter below on Mike Hubbard and Bleaching and read the New Republic article.


     Joseph Morgan, operative Mark Cooper and the Senator's wife were with him. Jojo and Mark it appeared gave the Senator a quick debriefing before they came in the Subway after they'd done some politikin at the local HS football game. Williams said he was in a hurry; jojo ran interference. Jojo said Williams was an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Mark wanted to quibble about the New Republic article. I tried to drive home the point I was convinced if you asked Joseph's three borthers, the Dukey, UVA grad and Yale Div grad the right questions, they didn't share Williams versin of a "Christian world view"; especially the part where he coagulated with Scott Beason on the Kris Kobach immigration bill a few years ago in Bama that woulda deported half the Collinsville soccer team that won the state championship in 2013.


     Google Willimon repents, ethicsdaily, to see what Brother Mark Morgan's former Duke Chaplain thought of that "draconian" measure.


      Donnie Myers, JoJo's mother's go  to deacon for churchins, said the bill was written with "malice".


     On October 9 2012 about 9 influential couples in Collinsville gathered at the Collinsville Library for an endorsement of DeKalb County Judge Rains. Joseph's machinations helped defeat Rains. Jojo's machinations also helped elect Hugh Taylor as Supe of schools,


    Taylor isn't too popular in the County now with his crusade against beloved HS basketball coach Neal Thrash.


    Williams was pleasant in his brief exchange with me Friday night. His wife even smiled once when I teased taunted Joseph about his recent weight gain.


   But I remain convinced Williams is just a polished up version of Hugh Taylor. If you like Hugh Taylor, you're gonna love Phil Williams.


   Stay tuned; more to come


   

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mary Alice Helton on NPR

   Mary Alice Helton of Walland Creek outside Pigeon Forge, Tennessee became Mrs. W.D. "Shorty" Fox in 1916 when she was 16 years old. She told me once she always knew how old she was if she knew what year it was cause she was born in 1900.

      She was my grandmother. She and her generation came to mind yesterday as I was listening to a panel on NPR discuss Alice McDermott's new novel Someone. I called in about the 35th minute. You can listen online. Put Nanny in good company with Flannery OConnor, Ron Rash and the great transcendents of her time

      http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2014-08-27/readers-review-someone-alice-mcdermott


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ivy League on Outskirts of Collinsville/ Jonathan Edwards

Yesterday at the Pine Grove Annual two day Sacred Harp Convention--4th Sunday in August and the Saturday before--had a great lunch conversation with two students who had come down from the Northeast, one a Geology major, Senior at Yale and the other incoming Freshman at Brown. The young female Yalie was a direct descendant of Jonathan Edward's predecessor of the Northbridge Church made famous for the Great Awakening and Edwards dismissal from Same. I had been rereading an anthology of critical essays on Edwards and reminded Rev Stoddard was Edwards predecessor and two days later talking to a direct descendant.

Just last week read a piece for the first time by Molly Worthen on decline in SBC after the fundamentalist takeover. Peter Gay in late 60's found Jonathan Edwards in some ways to be just as tragic a figure compared to the Enlightenment as Molly Worthen consensus found fundy leadership in SBC  compared to the trajectory of President Carter's faith pilgrimage as explained by Randall Balmer.


Footnote, we sang David's Lamentation; last song before lunch. 268 on the top.


Here is some background reading on this great American figure of the Great Awakening


 http://meganslit201.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/what-was-the-reason-for-jonathan-edwards-dismissal-from-the-church/

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Top Twenty Collinsville Athaleets of All Time; The Official List

 You morph Kevin Pup Simpson, Cody McAteer and Clay Gifford into a Composite and you got a Solid Number Twenty.

   19. Ernie Willingham

    18. Chucky Dutton

     17.George Mayne

     16. Danny Chandler

     15. Ross Orr AND Mike McElrath tie. Ross said he was best. McElrath said he was better than Ross and Charles Carter would back him up on that. Still a fourth party said they were about even given Orr was a better basketball player and Carter a better baseball player than a judge of talent. So I just tied em up as an equalizer.

     14. Adam Morales and Jorge Segura--took Collinsville to state Championship in soccer 2013

     13. Billy Wayne Clanton The Last of the Great White Centers

      12. Jay Bird

       11. Travis Jackson


      10. Scott Roberts. He and his Brother Todd played in Alabama All Star game with Cornelius Bennett

       9.  Open, given the McElrath, Orr tie



       8. Solomon Stanton

        7.tie, Harold Bobo and Charlie Hood

        6. Robert Gray

         5. Deshawn Moore

         4.Sonny Jones

         3. Irby Cash; played four sports at Jacksonville University and consensus Randy Taylor nominee

         2. Wellington Pope

         One. Joe Williams. Played baseball in Birmingham with Willie Mayes in the Negro League.

Mike Hubbard Bleaching Alabama

   Mike Hubbard's debating opponent in High School in NE Georgia was Ralph Reed formerly of the Christian Coalition. Hubbard's son Clayte is enrolling in my and Marshall Frady's alma mater, Furman, this fall.

     Echol Nix of Montgomery, Alabama now has tenure in the Furman Religion Department. His debating opponent in High School was Eric Motley who graduated from Samford, worked in the Bush 43 White House and summers at the Aspen Institute.

    I am hoping Clayte takes some religion classes with Dr. Nix and has discussions with his Father when he goes home to visit.

    Here is a letter I just submitted to the Ft. Payne, Alabama Times Journal:


   Letters for Publication
Times-Journal

The Editors:

    A few years ago I had a conversation with former Auburn President Bill  Muse at Samford University about Lowell Barron's role in his resignation from Auburn. While there are some things to applaud about Barron in the recent New Republic article, the definitive piece on his days in the Bama legislature where he rose to second most powerful man in the state is yet to be written.

     The key point in the New Republic is not about Barron or how he cut deals with Hank Sanders, but Mike Hubbard 's attempt to "bleach" voting districts in the state; making as many as he could sure bets for the GOP by weakening black votes in majority/minority districts. The experiment has now come in Jesus name--Phil Williams, the GOP candidate is wearing his 7 year stint with Young Life on his sleeve-- to Collinsville, home of the most dense black population in the county now close to having an equal percentage of Hispanics. I am waiting for Williams to explain in a Town Hall Meeting how the Bama immigration Bill a few years ago that woulda deported half the Collinsville Soccer team is the politics of Jesus. At least former United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon didn't think it was and said as much at the time.

     Folks need to read the article in full for easy google search, New Republic, the New Racism.

     Christians in the public schools, or Sunday School or Vacation Bible School who know in their heart Jesus loves Brown and Black children as much as white, have to ask themselves some gut questions when they go in the voting booth now in Alabama.

     Lot of Pharisees using the abortion issue or the Genesis account of Creation to do injustice to people of color;  and the poor and I know, and Jesus Knows and their open Bible should convict them to have more discernment as well.

     ALEC did not write the New Testament though reports are ALEC is now writing the legislation for Mike Hubbard's Alabama. If you are ignorant about ALEC, then maybe something is wrong in your Sunday School class.

     Trading Lowell Barron for Pharoah is unwise, Un American; at same time we should have much better choices, and much wiser voters!


     Stephen M. Fox

Friday, August 08, 2014

Chat with Congressman Aderholt Staffer

   I had an interesting chat with an Aderholt staffer this morning, young fellow from Walker county who says he's been with the Congressman 7 years or more.

  He was shallow on the legacy of Judge Frank Johnson from Winston County, though patient with my call even when it got testy for a few seconds.

   I was lamenting my Rep's failure to have a town hall meeting the last 5 years or so. I realize it's a tough district, but a conversation, open Q and A is good for Democracy. Immigration reform in light of the crisis with the Honduran refugees and the recent viral utube of Congressman King and some Dreamers call for leadership with the number of Hispanics in our district.

   I asked for leadership, not just kowtowing to the consensus lowest common denominator of the status quo. What do you expect from White Christians whose basic political diet is Fox News.

    I asked the staffer to get Aderholt to reach out to UMC Bishop Wallace Padgett whose offices are on campus of Robert's alma mater. Gave him an easy google for Willimon repents, ethicsdaily, about the experience of the former Bishop.

      My Dad's friend Colin Harris has some recent pieces about the GOP and the dog whistle on immigration reform and other matters.

       Robert Aderholt is no Judge Frank Johnson. Neither am I. But these times call for better than Laura Ingraham coming to the Bama/ Tex A and M game for hoopla rather than a visit with Nick Saban's priest at St. Francis.

   While near at hand here is a link for Congressman Aderholt and his staff. We must escape the fog of the 70's, 40 years ago:

  http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/11/uses-division