A Celebration of Plenty: A Thanksgiving Special

“Feasting at God’s Table: Father Divine, Conspicuous Consumption, & Racial Harmony.”

During the Great Depression, a man who believed he was God came very close to achieving a measure of racial harmony in America. How did he do it? Through conspicuous consumption and the belief that salvation can come through sharing a feast. His success, although also attributable to charisma, was primarily the result of his skillful use of American traditions, traditions that appealed to a broad range of people regardless of race, class, or gender. He took familiar conceptions of religion, the work ethic, and the centrality of food and compiled them to form an attractive social doctrine familiar enough to the mainstream to attract millions of followers throughout his life, despite his eccentric pronouncements of divinity.

As you read about Father Divine on this Thanksgiving Holiday, think about how blessed we have been with the bounty bestowed on this county, and how the simple act of sharing food got us through one of the darkest periods in our history.

Click here to download and read “Feasting at God’s Table”!

About Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and freelance columnist. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He lives in Rockford, Illinois, where he was the 2013 Republican candidate for mayor.

Posted on November 25, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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