Bl.com,Mercer and me /Karen Smith is NOT a Twit
This week I got a note looped to the monitors of www.baptistlife.com from Bruce Gourley, Buddy Shurden's assistant at the Center for Baptist STudies at Mercer University. The missive was linke to to Tim Bonney, an ABC pastor in Iowa, David Flick of Oklahoma and the middle anchor personage in the photo that accompanies this blog; Ed Pettibone with links to Newport, Tenn where I was born, and the fundamentalist, William Thornton, my friend of Statum Georgia just up the road on HWY 29 from the graveyard for the Richard Russell family and about 150 miles down the road from Gaffney, South Carolina.
I hope to cut and paste the letter here in this post later today.
Let me say I consider all these folks my friends. I saw everyone of them save Bonney, June 30 in Atlanta, had lunch with them. Flick picked up my check and I appreciate it. Hope to return the favor within two years. I have made repeated references to his very good review of the Carl Kell book Exiled here and in comments on other blogs. I hope John Morgan, the pastor of the Collinsville Baptist Chruch has the integrity to get a copy for the church library and have his son Mark, daughter in law, Susan and Deacon chair Brad and his Mother, the chief Revenator read it. Chapter in there by Paul Simmons, his former proff discussion of which early this year in Sunday School led to my silencing and May 28 ouster from the church property.
While I appreciate Gourley and am pained by the alienating relations between me and him, the suspicion of motives set in motion by an outright prevarication by Jennifer Wilkins, the lightly credentialed Lyberrian in Collinsville, Alabama, in concert with her board chair Bonnie Payne; I feel this set up he has constructed for my return is fraught with catch 22's just waiting to happen.
For one I do not trust the judgment of Pettibone, Bonney and Flick to the degreee I trust Gourley and Thornton, even those Willie is a fundy whose ideology I oppose. Ironically though frequent poster on the board Norm, is quite eloquent espousing positions I wish I had his gifts to articulate, Willie and I with our affinity for Yates Frady and his offspring, not to mention JOnathan Edwards; what I am saying is Hell, Gaffney and Winder ain't all that differunt and we understand each other preternaturally.
I like Pettibone but he has the wet hen something about him. Jane Adibhatla picked up on it long time before I did. And the testimony of my fundy friend here in Bama, the right Rev John Killian who would give Big Daddy Weave a run for the Bid Daddy part; Killian has said Pettibone's pettiness and prickliness is such a fly in the ointment, Pettibone is the reason Killian doesn't engage the discussion more often.
I like Flick and apologize to him when he got bitter saying I called him an old man. All I was saying was he is obviously the oldest man in the picture. He is irascible and I admire that in him; but even David Currie had to lead him away from the microphone at Charlotte Mainstream 4 years ago if I heard the story right.
But I have deep admiration for Flick for having lunch with Webb and Burleson in Enid couple months ago. Very proud to know two folks in the room on that one, if Webb only by email and these boards.
Rev. Bonney crushed a 30 minute post of mine, or Pettibone back this year for what he considered two offending sentences. That was heartbreaking, took lot of my morale for several days. I Had sliced and diced Mark Morgan very well; then to see it disappear into a cyberspace black hole. I was crestfallen.
I am sure Bonney is a suave preacher. But lot of his reputation came to nothing in my eyes, when I was convinced he coulda made a prophetic witness difference in the Iowa primary couple years ago and he pipsqueaked through the thicket in my view.
But even larger, my detractors here in Collinsville take too much sport in seeing Sweet Stevie getting his knuckles rapped in any quarters. That gives them more room to believe in their small minds I am the problem and not their refusal to deal with their Baptist ID and the direction of the church in that regard.
That is why all of this is serious business, Dr. Gourley. Here I am in grass roots baptist life, flas of my personality and all trying to make a statement for Jesus and Martin and Marney and Will Campbell that Buddy loves to quote from the safety of his ivory tower there inMakin; fightin the good fight and you want to weigh my down on the suspect word of Wilkins and Payne who you never met.
Here is the invitation. Collinsville has a turkey trot you can date at www.collinsvillealabama.net . It is a big day for Martha and the Baptist Men and the lyberry.
You and Thornton make plans to come over that morning with the family and enjoy one of the largest most celebrated flea markets in the Southeast, and then cakewalk and Turkey trot that afternoon.
I will do my best to get Dr. Butch Morgan, his Lawrence Welk wife Gloria( Momma and Uncle Bill adored Welk also), Ms Wilkins, Ms. Payne, Martha and Brad and Donnie Myers, even Jeff Bailey to have supper with us at the China House. My sister loves the rangoons there.
Hades, maybe the Prince and shooger booger will fly in from President Carter's SS class and grace our presence.
Love to have you.
In meantime cut me some slack. If you and Thornton get your panties wadded from some aside of mine in the future on Bl.com let me know. Please do not let Pettibone, Bonney and my friend Flick bludgeon one of my illustrious posts just cause they find an offending phrase. More than likely I will be open to editting the phrase out.
Otherwise, for calling Karl Rove a bastard I do not apologize. New Yorker did a feature on him few years ago and you and Richard Land know it, where the point was accented.
Our beloved Marilyn Hillyers knew well the report of Bill Rauch in his book about the SC 2000 primary, aided and abetted most likely by folks who tried to put Furman in the fundy camp in 1990, Chip Campsen in particular. My 1992, January Century article touched on Campsen and his cabal.
With my Dad and Clarence Drummond I heard Will Campbell call Ronald Reagan a Goddamn Liar in the chapel of Emory University in 83.
I do not take the phrase GD nor the word bastard lightly. And I am no Will Campbell. Just like John the Baptist was not the Messiah, I am not Campbell nor Marshall Frady.
But I do not enjoy being bound and shackled, castrated, muted and muffled, fearful of the next word on any board especially when precipitated by the machinations of some of the locals whose reps have been well trafficked in your education of things Collinsville since June3 and some before.
God Bless you All and stay tuned for clarifications and refinement of these thoughts.
Saved, Sanctified and On the Way to Glory
Today is the day I was scheduled to go back up at www.baptistlife.com/forums . I have been in email discussion with the revenators there and an understanding is about to be worked out, God Willing.
Whatever happens, I did enjoy lunch with some of the chiefs and other erstwhile Christians of that board June 30 or so at the good fish place just down the street from Celestine Sibley and Ralph what's his face old haunt.
As is often the case at the www.nybooks.com a reviewer will review lot of books in one shot and weave tapestry out of it. My effort here may be pastry instead of tapestry, but from one revenant to another, here is the cloth I will be weaving; not books but essays and such online.
What that is supposed to be is a link to Fox and his blog post by William of Statum, Ga where my friend Jane Adibhatla of Cincy, also a mutual friend of Carolyn W. Crumpler called KarenSmith of Collinsville a "Twit"; Martin Marty of the Century where I was published in Jan 92, his article Headcase about Presidents and Saints; and Century review of Phillip Roth's Everyman, about Death. Roth has written about it all, The Professor of Desire which I read in 78 or so in Gaffney; boobs, Masturbation, madness, caring for a dying Father, Monica Lewinsky roughly in the Human Stain, and now his own impending death, in this novel Everyman.
So context that all in my new friend David Jasper of Scotland and his Theology of the Desert, and counseling sessions with a local revenant who shows up unexpected usually after 11 on the front porch--we talk about film in the yard--and a blown engine, then a blown alternator in the hottest summer after lightnin took out the air conditioner August 5 03 and it has been an interesting three months since Ms.Wilkins and Bonnie Payne went to the clinic on me--see Paris Trout for the clinic and the coke bottle: One character said: "Jesus will be here soon and cover us both with a blanket". One of the most beautiful lines in American film in my book.
But ADhibhatla called Karen a "twit."
Of the three sisters, Karen is my favorite. She is a little different, a little peculiar, but aren't we all--See Martin Marty on the headcase of the saints.
My Momma was a little different. She played the tuba and her first cousin who was a racist of the first order, who lived in the house the MOrgans live in now, loved her like a sister.
My Momma was in the Band with Karen's Dad, so Adibhatla, be careful when you talk about my homies, even if I never say another word to them the rest of my life.
They got a good man in their Uncle. He spoke to me at the American Cafe about ten days ago. He was there with the wife. I think they got some bad information and voted against me May 28, but I forgive em. That Mr. Smith could easily swap out with Uncle Bill, or Floyd Gray as the good man in Robert Penn Warren's A Place To Come To.
You know RPW, don't you. His All the King's Men Comes out a 2nd time Sept 22 and I'm gonna be on the front row. Sometime this fall I'm gonna talk to James Carville about it, cause he is one of the three producers.
Done seen him once. Ginny Willis and the booger were with us and Red Myers. Saw him and Matalin at Kennesaw College where Newt Gingrich ended up for a while. This woulda been about 95 or so. Ate supper at a Cracker Barrel best I rememb er not far from where they strung up Leo Frank.
And another good thing about Karen Smith. She is a Bama fan and proud of it. Put's her banners on her car late August; rides all over the place in it.
She has read All Over but The Shoutin by Rick Bragg, one of her heros. I know cause I was in the room with her when this PUlitzer prize winner came out to Snead. I kinda got the impression Karen was in a room with somebody she felt understood.
Johnny Hamiter loves Karen Smith as a sister in Christ Jesus. I got no doubt in my mind about it. They worked the vestibule together during the Sunday Morning Worship services for a good long while in the tradition of her Father, who was in the Band with My Mother, and who also happens to be named on the cornerstone of the local Babdiss church with Floyd Gray and Andy's grandfather.
Johnny Hamiter's Dad was in a room with Cecil Sherman and me in Gadsden in 93 or so as a friend of the CBF.
So Jane Adibhatla, thanks for reading the script me and Proverbs 8:8 sent up couple years ago.
And I appreciate you takin up for me at bl.com while Karen's sister prevaricated and got me exiled.
But Karen is no twit. She is not my best friend, as our chilly passing at the American Cafe today confirms.
But Jesus loves her; she is strong in her own way, she is no twit.
However, and here is the conundrum that has now infected Mercer University's Center for Baptist Studies. Just because Karen is no twit, does that make her sister a librarian? And what of the June 3 and April 4 incidents, not to mention the Kangaroo Court of Jan 24. What do we make of all that?
More on all this and how it nuances Mercer, Balmer, Baptist ID, the quiltwalk, Spring Street, street name changes, Foxali etc as it all continues to unfold.
But on the eve of my return, wanted to get started at my relatively new blog with a STrong setup, an establishing shot as it were.
Foxali, he is another matter,cause he got breaks, if he's who I think he is; breaks karen never got. He reads if he is who I think he is. His problem is he is a faker. I don't think he is ready to do what Abraham did with Isaac, turn the son over on the Altar, ready to offer him up for a sacrifice. He has a Biblical name; does he have a Biblical Father?
If there is no willingness to sacrifice then you mock the Old Testament story. Sponger or a mocker, which is more grave. No sacrifice no trust in God like Will Campbell's Nashville minister did in the reference in Cradle of Freedom, Frye Galliard's book about Alabama; doesn't trust Jahweh to provide a Lamb, doesnt't trust the ram's horns to be long and the thicket to be dense.
Tyler Coker was there on the stage with Vivee and Will Campbell. Where were you???
Foxali called me a sponge. Sacrifice the son, and then get back in touch with me or you are an impostor with as much virtue as the Duke Whores in the Big Four Sororities. Read the New Yorker article about Coach K, Foxali. Let me know what you think about that one.
My Dad in Hayesville, North Carolina in the early 60's preached the funeral for the town drunk. Had a big turn out to see what the preacher would say about the town drunk. He preached to the grocers who stocked their shelves with sugar on Thursday in the most corrupt county in Western North Carolina. He came by it natural, my Dad did, like Tim Tyson's Momma. Who are you Foxali, as the Who say in their famous song that made the soundtrack that Art Garfunkel was in 1980. Tell me Foxali, Who, Who Who Who????? I really want to know
Have you and Raymond ever been to Ben's to see a neighbor in the neighborhood????