Lester Maddox: Christian, American, Governor, Segregationist

Yesterday, I went to the Atlanta History Center to see the new “Atlanta in 50 Objects” exhibit. Most of the choices were predictable, but still interesting: a copy of “Gone With the Wind,” White and Colored signs from the Jim Crow era, the old school Pink Pig that used to be at the downtown Macy’s, MLK’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, funerary from Oakland Cemetery, etc. However, there was one entry that really surprised and interested me: the “pickrick” (i.e., axe handle turned club) that Lester Maddox used to chase black civil rights protesters away from his restaurant, the Pickrick Cafeteria:

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/government-politics/lester-maddox-1915-2003

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/25/us/lester-maddox-whites-only-restaurateur-and-georgia-governor-dies-at-87.html?pagewanted=all

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On the Benedict Option

Note: This is an edited and expanded version of a comment I left on Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars blog.

If you’ve read Rod Dreher for any length of time, you’ll know that he’s been harping on the idea of a “Benedict Option,” conservative Christians withdrawing from society and building their own communities where they can teach their children that homosexuality is a sin and Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. Damon Linker has written a long idea on the concept in “This Week”:

http://theweek.com/articles/555734/benedict-option-why-religious-right-considering-allout-withdrawal-from-politics

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