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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Religious and political gatherings focus on morals/manners opposite angry promises

I covered two meetings today which were totally antithetical to one another. 

One was entitled "Our Season for Grace and Mercy: A 20th Annual Prayer Breakfast" of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Claver, Our Lady of Lourdes Court 300, held at the Loudermilk Conference Center in downtown Atlanta, Ga.

The other was the RedState Gathering hosted by members of the Republican Party held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead, Ga.  

Each one spouted a different message. 

The first was prayerful, respectful, and inspirational. The other was unpatriotic, misleading, bombastic, and audacious.
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The Prayer Breakfast was attended mostly by black women.
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The RedState Gathering was attended mostly by white men and women.

One had a predominately black audience. The other was predominately white.

One featured a prize winning writer and playwright, Pearl Cleage, daughter of a civil rights and religious leader, the late Albert Cleage (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman), who founded the Shrine of the Black Madonna in both Atlanta and Detroit.  

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I got up close to Cleage who was lovingly referred to as "Ms. Pearl" at the Prayer Breakfast.

The other event featured Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who is running for president. Jeb Bush is the son of Former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush and brother of Former President George W. Bush.

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 Bush, who was protected by heavy security, appeared live and on jumbo video screens in an Intercontinental Hotel ballroom.
I was invited to the first event, but not to the second one. Each gathering had its own message.

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The program was dedicated to the late Lady Barbara Neely.
At the Prayer Breakfast, Cleage called on spirits in a grace poem centered in a wonderland of possibilities.

"Fall and stay in love," Cleage said. "We are searching for the person who can activate the best in us... and can instigate forward momentum. ..Don't be limited by machines and media."

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There was no visible media coverage at the Prayer Breakfast.
Cleage said we are still living in a time requiring blood sacrifices, creative language to tell the truth, and possibilities of our own magic.

With a soft, melodious but commanding voice, this great Ms. Pearl took me into a possible reality that looks more promising than the negative reports pointed to in breaking news reports.

"Good things can happen if we call on the spirits and act on our higher, moral selves," Cleage said.

Cleage long poem cantered, "And now, this is the moment when there will be wars and rumors of wars. There will be plagues and persecutions, saints and sinners. There will be spirit dancers whirling in the moonlight and slave owners searching for salvation and finding only history...

"These are the times that try our souls and our patience, and our resources and our sanity, and our resolve and our commitment to whatever or whoever we believe in."
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At the RedState event, I was one of two members of the media who happened to be black...race can determine what the general populace learns about politics.  I wondered whether Donald Trump was "dis-invited" to the meeting because of allegedly saying unkind remarks about a female journalist or did he bow out because the group could not give him the appearance fee he desired. I didn't get the chance to see Chris Cristie, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Scott Walker or Mike Huckabee, (there are 38 declared Republican candidates, but all were not there), but I sat in on Jeb Bush's address to the group.
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There was heavy media coverage of the RedState event.
Bush was introduced as Florida's governor, not the former governor of Florida.

Bush's wish list included the following:
1. Change the Washington culture by shrinking the government workforce.
2. Implement lobbying reform.
3. Have a new normal conversation about economic growth.
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Man in money suit outside RedState Gathering
Bush also believes we need to increase business startups, hone in regulatory costs, and decrease burdens on new businesses. 

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Donald Trump was allegedly "dis-invited" from the Gathering, but his supporters held signs on the sidewalk outside the Intercontinental Hotel.
If Jeb becomes president, he promises to undue all executive orders made by President Obama, give more power back to states, pass the Reins Act, release the animal spirits of our country, simplify the tax code and lower rates, and be "all in" on the energy revolution. "You have got to lead, just not make great speeches," Bush said. He said leaders need to have "spine and backbone," be principled and servant oriented.

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I don't favor Republicans even though I was born on Ronald Reagan's birthday!
I don't believe Bush can deliver on his promises and was very embarrassed by his brother's presidency. 

After the RedState Gathering, I was told by friends, "Why did you go down there to report on crazy people?" and "You can't reason with crazy people."

1 comment:

  1. GC says: Read your articles Tomi and my take away from the women's conference is Ms Cleage's message of forward movement and appealing to our better angels. As far as the south rising again...ain't gonna happen, the sun has set on that dream !!


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