Cleaning out the email closet

advocate reform

Misquoting JesusI’d been doing it all wrong. In cleaning out the email, I usually would get rid of the recent stuff I no longer needed: a ZOOM meeting link, a notice of delivery I now had received, or some other action item either completed or rendered moot.

But I hadn’t gone back to the oldest stuff. It’s been a much more profitable process. Deleting passwords for defunct websites, work-related material I no longer need.

In June 2009, my friend Dan wrote to me. “I’m currently reading a book called Misquoting Jesus, a readable explanation of the textual inconsistencies of the New Testament. The author is Bart D. Ehrman, who explains in the introduction that he was born and raised a hard-core Midwest Fundy.

“But after he grew up and became a scholar of biblical textual criticism he abandoned the notion of Biblical literalism, simply because he realized that it is completely impossible to know the original text.” It sounded interesting enough that I thought I might pick up, but I haven’t yet.

Dan noted, “If speaking in tongues is referred to in Acts, then it is a tradition that was grafted on to Christianity, like Xmas trees. There really is no textual basis for speaking in tongues, unless one considers Paul of greater importance than the guy from Nazareth.”

It’s such a consequential and controversial book that there have been whole tomes written to refute it, such as Misreprenting Jesus by Edward Andrews, and Misquoting Truth by Timothy Paul Jones.

Not political

Pat from Binghamton a friend of mine who died a couple of years ago, included this message:

In the sacred bonds of our common humanity, we give thanks for the life that we share and for our calling to care for each other. We acknowledge that we have failed to care for every member of our human family, and have not ensured that all may receive the healthcare they need for the life that YOU intend!

Strengthen us to use our hearts, hands, and voices to raise our vision for a healthcare future that includes everyone and works well for all of us

Gracious God, we remember that your plan for us is fullness of life, lived with love, mercy, and justice

Assist our leaders in Congress, our President, and all of us as citizens to advocate reform that will be fair for everyone.

Chief Tuffey

A senior at SUNY Albany was doing a story on then Albany police chief Tuffey. How/why she was writing to ME, I now have no idea. I have no recollection of this exchange, BTW.

What exactly did Tuffey mean by using the term spook? What was he indicating?

I don’t know Chief Tuffey. I don’t know what HE meant. But many of the white people of his generation who use it mean either a black person generally or a lazy and/or shiftless black person.

What do you think made him say this?

Not being a mind reader, I don’t know. In the context of the reporting, I think he was trying to say that [Richard Bailey] the young white man (and son of a cop!) is a priority. Black victims, poor victims happen all the time, but Bailey was special.

At the same time, the murder also took place in an “unlikely” neighborhood, and perhaps he feared an unsolved murder not in the South End or Arbor/West Hill would be a signal to the public about the safety of Albany generally.


How will this affect the African-American community? Could they possibly retaliate in some way?

I wouldn’t speak for the black community, but I think Tuffey’s departure makes retaliation unlikely. I’d be curious, though, if it will affect the primary next Tuesday between Tuffey’s prime supporter and a black man; unless there are exit polls (exit polls in a city primary?), we won’t know if the Tuffey issue resonated with voters.

Do you think Tuffey’s recent retirement has anything to do with this?

Yes, and the clear support that the idea of getting rid of him seemed to have had within the police rank-and-file, not only over this incident but that embarrassing “can he carry a gun?” issue in the last year, seems to bear this out. This recent incident was the final straw, not the singular cause.

Nope, don’t remember

Wow. I now have blocked Tuffey, and the incident, from my mind, possibly because Albany has had three (?) police chiefs since then. BTW, Tuffey died in 2019.

This is fun. At this rate, I should have my email box totally clear by 2027.

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