Democracy Has Prevailed.

November 27, 2014

The Trib's Thanksgiving Custom

For Thanksgiving, at the Tribune-Review:
Editor's note: As has become our custom, a reprint of a special editorial on this special day.
They then go on to write about Thanksgiving, Harry Truman, and the Separation of Church and State.

We deconstructed this piece of feel good Turkey a couple of years ago.

But since they published again, we'll deconstruct again.

While they selectively quote presumably their favorite Democratic president of the last 100 years, they failed to quote (again presumably) their favorite Republican president of the same time span, Ronald Reagan, when he spoke about Church/State relations in 1984:
We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief. [Emphasis added.]
Yes, that was Ronald Reagan.

While our friends on the braintrust avoid the gipper they cut and paste Truman.  First from the Trib:
“In Thanksgiving,” President Truman said, “we have a purely American holiday — fashioned out of our own history and testifying to the religious background of our national life. That day expresses what we mean when we say that our form of government rests on a spiritual foundation.

“It is from a strong and vital church — from the strength and vitality of all our churches — that government must draw its vision,” he continued. “In the teachings of our Savior, there is no room for bigotry, for discrimination, for the embittered struggle of class against class, or for the hostilities of nation against nation.
And what I wrote 2 years ago:
Before I go further, let me point out that there's a bit of a cheat here. Because if you look at the original speech of Truman's to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in 1952, there's a whole lot of stuff between the quoted first and second paragraphs - stuff Scaife's braintrust opted you didn't need to see - with no indication that there's been an omission.

What did they decide that you didn't need to see? Apart from the expected "only faith is what will save us from godless communism" we find passages extolling the need to wage a "ceaseless war against injustice in our society" and that "we are all our brothers' keepers" and finally touting the need for something called the "Point 4" program - which turns out to be a government plan to spread American scientific know-how to impoverished countries around the world. Gee, I wonder why the arch-conservatives at the Trib decided you didn't need to read any of that.

But all that's beside the point. Instead of Reagan's assertion that State and Church must remain separate and that "we command no worship", we get from the braintrust Truman quoting Paul's Letter to the Colossians asserting cultural and religious unity - but only through Christ.
Strange that they'd abandon Reagan for a Democrat president pushing a gov'ment program.

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