Joe goes Old Testament on the Post-Dispatch

Week of September 14, 2006

"Hang Tuft"

Hey Joe: Did you happen to read the August 31 RFT story "Hang Tuft"? What did you think about it?

General Ex, St. Louis

At first notice, one would immediately surmise the phrase "Hang Tuft" is slang talk. The only difference is the word "tuft" versus "tough" (or "tuff"). But the former is the last name of Carolyn Tuft, a committed news reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, whose editors are out to hang her.

It all started with two 2005 investigative reports into the financial empire of televangelist Joyce Meyer. Tuft's stories followed the fight the ministry was having with Jefferson County Assessor Randy Holman to keep its $30 million headquarters tax-exempt. In June 2005 the Post-Dispatch punked out and apologized for the stories Tuft wrote, as if she was wrong. Following a suspension without pay, she was granted arbitration to prove her innocence, which now leads me to the Bible.

God spoke to Israel through Moses and Jesus. Both God and Jesus formed a split personality — God was a disciplinarian, Jesus an angel. God loathed anybody or anything that created competition for Him. Jesus was always personable. God and Moses, after leading Israel out of bondage in Egypt, received their thanks by the Israelites creating a golden calf to worship rather than God. Jesus was killed for standing up for righteousness.

In America people call the Bible "the Word." But there is no God, Jesus, Moses, Paul or Abraham to police these so-called pastors directly. They view God as Israel viewed the golden calf; many claim they were called by God. This is known to be a lie, because God made Moses do what He wanted him to do, even with Moses' reluctance.

Meyer has proven her godliness by using His name in vain to amass her earthly wealth. She controls it like Pharaoh controlled Egypt. Many so-called preachers follow suit in various ways, maybe because the only thing to police them is their own conscience. (And from all indications, it's in their appendix, and their appendix was removed.) In Hosea 4:6, God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shall be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."

Most preachers throughout America have never started from Genesis and walked parishioners through each proceeding book, so they could better understand. Instead they jump from book to book like a checkers game, carefully choosing book and verse to dramatize and emotionalize to such a pitch as to work their audiences into a frenzy.

Carolyn Tuft should be glorified, the Post kicked by the wayside (and RFT writer Malcolm Gay should be congratulated for the magnificent way he detailed such a story).

Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn't know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman's Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.

Perhaps Henry's most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they'd arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.

Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.

After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.

Direct questions on any and all topics to [email protected]. If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

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