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OPINION

DANA D. KELLEY: Ebony and irony

By Dana D. Kelley

This article was published November 24, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.

A hallmark of American economics is the ritualization of our consumerism. Spending sprees have been devised to accompany all kinds of events, activities, celebrations and milestones--and Black Friday has become the supersized red-letter date that overshadows them all.

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BoudinMan says... November 24, 2017 at 7:51 a.m.

So, trump is more worshipful to god than Pres. Obama was? Why? Because he mentions him in a speech? Let's look closely at their actions to determine which one more closely lives his life in true moral values. A devout family man, Obama had his mother-in-law move into the White House to keep the extended family connected. Obama did not trade wives in when a younger, fresher version came around. Obama did not brag about sexually abusing women. On and on. And as far as the Washington mention, he was more likely to use the term "Providence" than to use the word "god" in his speeches. Just what is the actual thesis of this column?

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23cal says... November 24, 2017 at 9:18 a.m.

Kelley lies. The proclamation was four paragraphs, the word "God" isn't used in the last three paragraphs. Each paragraph is one sentence long.
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Kelley also misleads by counting on the ignorance of his readers. He says "If you take out all the sentences containing a reference to God, all that's left is this:"Given under my hand, at the City of New York, the third day of October, A.D. 1789."
What he fails to tell you is the entire proclamation is a total of FOUR sentences, one of which is the one he notes above. From the column, did you get the impression there were lots of sentences and they all had "God" in them? I did. However, there weren't.
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Terms used include "that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was" and " Lord and Ruler of Nations"....but, these are primarily deistic, and certainly not wholly Christian, terms. Kelley makes the same purposeful error that religious fanatics make about the Declaration of Independence, whose deistic terms include "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" and "Creator". One could as easily say "take out all the sentences with reference to Allah", if you get to insert your favorite deity.
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The religious extremists always try to spin these deistic terms into synonyms for their own preferred supernatural deity. The founders were quite literate and had they meant the Christian God, Jesus, Yahweh, Jehovah, etc., they would have been capable of specifically using those names.
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Kelley tries to denigrate Obama by pointing out only one sentence referenced God. What he fails to tell you is that instead of being religiously divisive in order to pander to one religious demographic as Trump did, Obama's proclamation talked about uniting with phrases such as "This history teaches us that the American instinct has never been to seek isolation in opposite corners; it is to find strength in our common creed and forge unity from our great diversity. On that very first thanksgiving celebration, these same ideals brought together people of different backgrounds and beliefs, and every year since, with enduring confidence in the power of faith, love, gratitude, and optimism, this force of unity has sustained us as a people."

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DanaKelley says... November 24, 2017 at 11:09 a.m.

For reference, here's Washington's proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be—That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks—for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation—for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war—for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed—for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted—for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions—to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually—to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed—to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn [sic] kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord—To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease [sic] of science among them and us—and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

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23cal says... November 24, 2017 at 12:10 p.m.

Thank you, Kelley, for providing the proof to my statement and the refutation of yours. 4 sentences total. "God" used only in the first one, deistic terms in the others.

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RBear says... November 24, 2017 at 1:21 p.m.

23cal brings up an excellent point that gets lost in Kelley's op-ed. If you read through Washington's proclamation it follows in the deist tradition of the day by acknowledging a power greater than ourselves, but not being overt in declaration. While Washington was not a strong deist like Jefferson, he was somewhere in between, often viewed as a rational theist. The fact that Obama acknowledged a greater power falls in line with Washington's viewpoints.
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I do find it almost insulting for Kelley to attempt to frame presidents in such ways as if one is better than the other. Looking back at Obama's life, you find more of the teachings of Christ than you might find with Trump. Remember what Christ taught in that we are defined more by our actions or deeds than by our words. I'll let you be the judge of who walked more closely as Christ did.

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gohogs17 says... November 24, 2017 at 9:17 p.m.

RB, just out of curiosity, who is Christ, historically and personally to you?

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BoudinMan says... November 25, 2017 at 8:01 a.m.

Well, Kelley's hero, the short-fingered-vulgarian, is certainly in the spirit. I saw where he was hawking his stupid merchandise for Black Friday. We now have a so-called president who is using his office to pimp his baubles. Making profit off of the presidency--it's the American way.

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PopulistMom says... November 25, 2017 at 8:23 a.m.

I guess most of the ADG columnists feel that they must praise Trump and demonize the black president to keep their jobs. Every politician in the state must embrace the "tax reform" so that Hussman's family won't have to pay estate taxes when he goes. Hussman probably has passed down the word that there will be no endorsements of candidates who do not take care of his desire to get rid of the estate tax. The Republican politicians are all owned by the multimillionaires. They don't give a damn about the common people.

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gohogs17 says... November 25, 2017 at 6:13 p.m.

What's the matter, rbear, can't answer my question, or won't?

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