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"Never discuss politics or religion in polite company." — Mark Twain

Good luck with that time-honored advice when you belly up to the Thanksgiving table Thursday.

The abortion debate rages on in Missouri and the nation. A new poll shows employees of the Roman Catholic Church are deeply split on key issues facing parishes across the nation, including sex abuse/misconduct within the church. The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri has elected an openly gay man as its next leader. Oh, and there's this thing going on with the president

Those are just a few of many examples of our nation's growing divide.

Thanksgiving started with a proclamation by George Washington, and became a federal holiday during the Civil War under President Abraham Lincoln. (Interestingly, our city's namesake, Thomas Jefferson, chose not to observe the holiday.)

Lincoln's proclamation said the holiday is a national day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens." It also was intended to bring our country together during a time when it was divided even more than it is today.

So — other than that crazy Missouri weather — what's a politically correct guy (or gal, lady, woman, female, girl, etc.) to bring up at the dinner table with extended family?

Our best advice is to ask your loved ones about their lives. Then listen. You might just learn something. Also, if touchy subjects come up, look to find common ground. Be respectful: You don't always have to agree, but neither do you have to be disagreeable.

And remember, observe BUPD for safety and politeness: (buckle up, phone down) while driving and (bread up, phone down) while eating.

Our nation may be growing apart, but Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together. Let's make that time count.

News Tribune

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