The truth may set you free, but finding the truth is like playing tennis. You don't get a hint of it until you've returned the volley about three or four times. The mainstream media counts on the masses never returning what's served up. Journalism today has become a caricature not unlike what Robert Lynd describes by saying "Research without an actively selective point of view is like the ditty bag of an idiot, filled with bits of pebbles, straw, feathers and other random hoardings."
Eye-Opening Perspectives for Heroic Hearts
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Texas Presbyterians and Methodists In Spotlight
Texas Presbyterian Seminary Put on "Poor Performance List" by Methodists As Students Are Withdrawn by Church Leaders
by Logan H Winslow, Sero Sed Serio News Service for CPW News Service
Seen as a blow to Ecumenism in Texas, the announcement that Texas Methodist students at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary must withdraw from that institution citing unsatisfactory levels of minority inclusion in its faculty and board, Dr. Theodore Wardlaw, Austin Seminary President, has sent a letter summarizing what he feels are unjust conclusions drawn by Methodist leaders to the school's entire alumni.
"I could see it coming," said one alumnus who wished not to be identified. "And frankly I can't tell if it's the result of entrenched insensitivity and a history of Anglophile values that are as thick as the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill, or just the fact that with declining enrollments, the Methodists want their students back to help bolster their own seminary's enrollments."
I talked with Dr. William H. Carr, a graduate of McCormick Seminary in Chicago, but also a former Austin Seminary student. "Austin Seminary's former President, Jack Stotts, had come to our church in Corpus Christi asking for funding for the General Secretary of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba. First Presbyterian Church is a very conservative church, but we supported Carlos Emilio Ham by paying his tuition for a Doctor of Ministry Degree at Austin Seminary. I had no idea what the political and emotional implications would be concerning our support, but I suspect looking back that the major supporters of the Bay of Pigs and Iran-Contra are highly concentrated along the Gulf Coast from Miami to Brownsville...heck, maybe from Nantucket to Bogata.... as evidenced by Peter Brewton's The Mafia CIA and George Bush. Brewton, son of another Presbyterian minister from Texas was a Houston Post reporter when he published his findings and is now a professor of journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock," said Carr.
"Furthermore," said Carr, "shortly after my arrival from Grace Presbyterian Church, Plano, Texas where we had many minorities in attendance and on our boards, I was asked to do the marriage of one of our Elder's children. A mixed race wedding, she was a graduate of Southwestern Methodist University in Georgetown, Texas and Mark, her husband, was a standout student who received a commission to the US Military Academy at West Point but gave it up in order to be closer to his future wife. I am sure there are those who had a difficult time with my decision to conduct that wedding, but it was a huge celebration led by two pastors, one who was the product of the Southern Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church Galveston, Texas where the founder was the Rev. John McCullough and the builder of the church, Robert Bunting, was the chaplain of Terry's Texas Rangers during the Civil War," said Carr. "The other pastor was the grandson of a slave."
"My family is from Monroe Georgia in the shadow of Stone Mountain and Monroe is the subject of the book Fire In A Cane Break by Laura Wexler about the Moore's Ford Bridge massacre," said Carr.
"Did you have trouble leading this wedding?" I asked him.
"We aren't talking about two different species," said Carr.
"I've had many of the marriages I have conducted fall apart, but this one has held together through thick and thin. Mark, a University of Texas graduate, is an architect in Minneapolis," said Carr.
"I am sure that there are those who think of me as some kind of turncoat. I was asked to leave the church not long after the wedding and it was a faculty member from Austin Seminary who ran the show, while the President, Jack Stotts, presided over the process with the help of the Committee on Ministry. Presbyterian Elder "Red" Olander was also involved, relative of Corpus Christi resident Harvey Olander who's father-in-law was the personal chauffeur of Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone and William S. Burroughs....not exactly unopinionated in their view of cultural superiority. But of course we never read O. John Rogge's book, The Official German Report in seminary nor had we ever been told about General Smedley Butler's confrontation with this group which had they had their way we may all be speaking German today....which would also have been a cultural betrayal. The Brits had given up slavery long before America and the Jews' resistance to slavery goes back to Egypt. You don't want to be on the wrong side of that history. If you are, you're frankly going against God Almighty. Beyond that, " said Carr, "The Gulf Coast's history with Cuba and the Spanish American War in many ways continues the prejudices and fears of the Civil War era. For example, James K. Vardaman, a radical racialist from Edna, Texas rode with Roosevelt's Rough Riders and wrote about it before returning to the States. Many from his group trained at Camp Walthall in Mississippi, a camp named for Edward Walthall, while William Tecumseh Walthall was aide de camp to the Confederacy's President Jefferson Davis and Caleb Cushing's interpreter during his trip to China to negotiate the Wanghia Treaty. The many lives lost in Cuba would provide the prolegomena to America's anger toward Castro's communist revolution without drawing distinctions between the racial bigotry that under girted the fear of socialism," said Carr. "The legacy of 'the Great White Chief' as James K Vardaman was called can be read in the book Yazoo River by Frank E Smith," said Carr. "Vardaman's view of mob law and lynching is revolting, but for a Southerner who has not taken the time to understand the relationship between, for example, John Brown of Rhode Island and Harpers' Ferry and Governor Brown of Georgia or John Henry Brown of Texas or the 'George Brown' who was hung from Jean Laffite's yardarm in Galveston Bay and the connection to Brown and Root and Kellogg Brown and Root...what would you expect? Ignorance is never bliss and the war between Cain and Abel is color blind," said Carr.
Carr's father had worked most of his life for J. Howard Marshall, Jr. whose son J. Howard Marshall, III teamed up with William Ingraham Koch who attempted in 1999 to take over Koch Industries. Bill Koch and Marshall brought a law suit against Charles and David Koch, David being William's twin brother. The bitter battle included charges by William Koch and J. Howard Marshall, III that Koch Industries had made fortunes from stolen oil beneath public and Indian lands. Meanwhile, in 1999 as the nation faced the 2000 presidential election pitting Texas' Governor George W. Bush against Al Gore, Koch Industries faced another bitter battle in Corpus Christi. A Koch safety director revealed that the Koch refinery there was hemorrhaging toxic cancer causing Benzene into the air. Threatened with a 97 count indictment and a $350 million dollar fine, the Bush win as president was followed by a muzzling of the EPA and a reduction of the Koch fine to $20 million in a 1 count indictment. Engineers for Koch were represented by some of Texas' leading attorneys and the Koch plant which changed its name to Flint Hills was represented by local attorney Tony Canales, but from the time of the Justice Department indictments of Koch on September 28, 2000 to the November Presidential election with an environmental warrior like Al Gore set to enter the office with a victory, the Koch family clearly wanted the non-regulatory Republican, Bush, to win at all costs and feared that Gore's carbon-credits agenda would provide one of the biggest mass transfers of wealth in world history and into coffers controlled by some great unknown, but evolving, power. The Bush victory insured ecological grid lock and Koch's power intact and their petro chemical spewing by flaw or design in the atmosphere for the foreseeable future.
By July of 2000, Gore's campaign was also having its issues. Gore's campaign chair, Tony Coelho, had been linked to money from Mexico's leading banker at Banamex, Roberto Hernandez Ramirez who owned much of the Mexican Riviera on the Yucatan Caribbean shore and was widely accused of promoting drug import across the beaches and harbors there. In La Prenza and Net Zero, a Mexican and a British political periodical the news broke. Soon Coelho resigned and was replaced by son of Chicago mayor Richard Daley, William Daley, who would go on to work for AT&T in San Antonio. AT&T would become ground zero for data mining at the NSA by hardwired cable splitters in its San Luis Abispo and San Francisco offices. Similar splitters are reportedly now located in over 30 offices nationwide. Coelho went on to serve on the board of the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, a seemingly odd coupling of political rivals.
"But there's much to scratch your head about in all of this," said Carr. "Like the fact that in the heart of Houston, the Petro-Chemical capital of the world, is M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital. I'll never forget that at the height of the Iran-Contra affair I was scurrying to find an apartment for the son and wife of the Secretary of State of Belize who had a rare cancer. Later I'd read of the CIA's use of medical care as a tool of high stakes diplomacy, not to mention that the Iran-Contra training base in Belize would be reported by Peter Brewton to be provided by Coca-Cola Company whose CEO at the time was Houstonian, Charles W. Duncan. Later I read that it was Roberto Hernandez Ramirez's money that was funding the creation of Cancer Centers of America. Only later did we hear of what the petro-chems were doing to the food chain and death of bees because of the faulty science used to test its effects."
Sally Barnes-Soliz a Koch refinery employee was the key whistle blower on the
Benzene releases resulting in the 1999 indictments.
Texas District Judge Janis Jack oversaw the law suit which was
reduced from a 97 count indictment to one. Children of
Koch's attorney would clerk for Judge Jack. Vincent A. Mietlicki,
another of Koch employees cited in the indictment
left the refinery to become a vice-principle at
John Paul II High School in Corpus Christi.
Fred Koch, progenitor of the Koch fortunes which, in addition to avoiding the real social cost of pollution, was collecting fortunes from both sides of international conflicts and had also funded the creation of the John Birch Society. William Koch is a collector of one of the world's largest rare wine collections. J. Howard Marshall, Jr. whose son teamed with Bill Koch against his brothers, had married Anna Nicole Smith from Mexia, Texas while he was in his 90's and a bitter family probate battled ensued between Smith and family members after Marshall's death. Robert Koch, another relative, would become the head of the largest wine producers association in America and marry the only living daughter of George Herbert Walker Bush.
"2000 was one hell of a year," said Carr who as a seventeen year old in Missouri had chauffeured J. Howard Marshall around a small southeast Missouri town with the CEO of Allied Chemical Corporation, Chester M. Brown. "There was no technological Y2K meltdown, but the moral, ethical and spiritual meltdown in that year was clear."
"My friend Bob Buxbaum from San Antonio conducted my mandated psychological evaluation which he turned in to the committee saying to me how sorry he was to have been a part of the process and that 'this is the last thing I will do for the Presbytery before I retire.' The Presbytery hired a former Roman Catholic priest turned expert in Rorschach ink blot tests...the most subjective of all tests, Sean Connolly. Red Olander, Exxon's chief geologist and a Presbytery firewaller (whose father-in-law was, according to article written in the Hutto, Texas newspaper had been the chauffeur for Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs whose wife was supposedly married to Robert E. Lee's kin providing for William Seward Burroughs a maternal uncle, Ivy Lee, the public relationship guru for John D. Rockefeller whose Standard Oil morphed into Exxon/Mobil) informed me that I'd never serve a large church again. Sean Connolly is now a gatekeeper for the Texas Board of Nursing Examiners. 'Keep good notes,'" said Carr as a warning to nurses in Texas. "There is a reason you are the most trusted profession in America and you'll want it to stay that way." Buxbaum retired and six months later died of some mysterious liver ailment, according to Carr. "I called his widow to offer my deep appreciation for all he did and for his support," said Carr who added....
"My father, a life long Presbyterian sent a letter to Sylvia Washer, the executive Presbyter in San Antonio...one to the Clerk of the denomination and one to the NAACP citing my treatment in the Corpus Christi Church and he died feeling that his son had been branded by his own kind," said Carr. "I didn't ask him to write those letters, but I think it was cathartic for him. He was at heart a very loving Christian man and with a sense of decency a mile wide. Take away the color differences and there will still be Cain versus Able, the Montagues and Capulets and the Hatfields and McCoys. I have a dog named Harry, a chocolate lab. He's got webbed feet, retrieves and swims and is the best dang dog I've ever had," said Carr. "The breed comes from the Saint John's Water Dog in Newfoundland and is a breed less that 200 years old. I have a Methodist friend in Refugio, Texas named John Barnes. I was complimenting John on his fine Britney Spaniel. He said "you should have seen that one in the picture on the wall. I picked him up from a breeder in Pennsylvania. The breeder said 'this dog is a product of incest between a father and daughter....he's yours if you want him, but I don't know what you'll get'".
"So what did you get?" Carr asked Mr. Barnes. "A triple international champion...USA, Mexico and Canada." Carr smiled. "I told him....'sounds like the Biblical story of Lot and his daughters which begat the Moabites and Ammonites the longtime enemies of Israel....but then God can make followers of stones or so said Jesus. God wasn't above using the runt of Jesse' litter, David, and could talk through Balaam's donkey if no one else would speak for him," Carr laughed mumbling "Moab....Ruth....Naiomi...."
"What do you remember most about all this?" I asked Carr.
"Sitting on the bridge at Austin Seminary between the administration building and classroom and hearing professor Bob Shelton for whom the chapel is now named saying 'you're not tough enough to be a Presbyterian Minister' and wondering all these years why I wasn't wise enough to ask him to define the word 'tough'. Secondly was my meeting with Rev. Louis Zbinden of First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio during my little crisis in Corpus Christi. We were in San Antonio at the Argyle Dinner Club. I asked for his help and he said to me 'I think you ought to cut your losses and leave.'
"He's on the board of Austin Seminary is he not?" I asked Carr.
"Last time I checked. Maybe its time for him to cut his losses and leave," said Carr, "but then you're talking about big money behind all this, too. But it might just bring a bright new breath of fresh air to a declining denomination and as far as the Presbyterians and Methodists are concerned? I can't help but think of when John Joel Glanton, the real-life character of Cormack McCarthy's book Blood Meridian rode his horse into the parsonage shared by Presbyterian and Methodist ministers, Rev. John McCullough and Rev. William Young and their families in San Antonio and tried to kill them both according to Col. M. L. Crimmins (April, 1940, "John Joel Glanton of San Antonio", Frontier Times) . We have a lot more to worry about than each other," said Carr who said he is not aware of any relationship between himself and Casandra Carr, a senior executive with AT&T and chair of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary's Board.
"But then I'm always studying about my family ties. Who knows what will turn up?" said Carr smiling. "Maybe Thomas Jefferson's brother-in-law Dabney Carr....maybe Sally Hemmings' half-sister. As for the Presbyterian Church, I'm still there....you find the perfect church....don't join it. You'll ruin it," said Carr with a grin as he concluded...."My mother served me many good meals...only a few of them made me sick and I'll stay for her excellent cheese grits."
Bob Buxbaum's influence on fellow ministers was shared on page 6 in a sermon by Dr. David Renwick, pastor of the historic National Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. where Frederick Douglass was invited to preach in 1866 and where Dwight D. Eisenhower helped lay a new cornerstone in 1967.