Friday, October 28, 2005

Pondering Alabama on a slow Friday afternoon

I appreciate their contributions to college football, even though my favorite teams have often been on the losing end. I wonder how a state that produced Helen Keller, Harper Lee, Nat King Cole and Willie Mays could also produce George Wallace, Roy Moore, and Hank Williams. I will never forget the images of the civil rights marchers in Selma in 1965, or the work of Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute or the ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr. I even have some Alabama roots of my own. One of my grandmothers was born in Guntersville.

In recent years, because of their continued public support for the shenanigans of former Judge Roy Moore, I have been tempted to write off the entire state. But as usually happens with that kind of generalization, something happens to convince me that at least some of the Alabamians deserve to live. The Alabama Baptist reported on a panel discussion at Samford University, in which the participants were able to present their arguments peacefully with only a brief reference to “Roy’s Rock.” See Religious liberty experts debate public display of Commandments.

However, lest I get carried away with this feeling that things are getting better, the Alabama Baptist also reported that the “fundy” group, the Alabama Baptist Conservatives, which formed in 1997 to protect Alabama Baptists from the evils of the CBF, have disbanded because their work is done.

Ah well, in the immortal words of one of Alabama’s finest, “And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason . . .”

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