Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thank you, Barack Obama!

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers." - Barack Obama, inaugural speech, January 20, 2009

The inclusion of "nonbelievers" in Obama's inaugural speech this morning truly is a momentous occasion. I don't believe the tens of millions of us here in the U.S. have ever been acknowledged by a president in such a high profile manner. I'm grateful for this; it's a step in the right direction and exactly what I've come to expect from Obama. I'm optimistic about this administration.

I did cringe several times while watching the live broadcast of gay-basher Pastor Rick Warren's narrowly focused invocation, but then Rev. Joseph Lowery gave a benediction that was more inclusive, with more peace and love and less Jesus.

I watched the inauguration in an auditorium full of students and faculty at my university, and the crowd stood up whenever the crowd in D.C. was asked to stand. There weren't even any 9/11 Truthers yelling nonsense at the screen or harassing people outside the building. It was like the Libertarians hadn't rolled out of bed yet.

I was moved by Obama's speech in that he addressed the nation's weaknesses and didn't candy-coat anything:

"
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."

Here's another highlight (reminds me of Benjamin Franklin's "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety"):

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

And some more highlights:

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

"Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint." (some not so veiled jabs at Bush?)

You can find a full transcript of the speech here.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you on that rick warren , an intolerant bigot should never have been allowed on that podium i hope the uclu goes after him big time abortion is being thretened in and needs to be implanted in the contition

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and another thing, as per above, eh should have at least let a atheist give some kind of invocation Richard Donkins would have been good the acul would not have minded that retarded fundamentals

7:44 PM  
Blogger Uncle Jesse said...

today, Obama speaking to Turkey:

"we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

1:09 PM  
Blogger Lost Coast Manda said...

I must say I can't stand Rick Warren. I also want to say that religion doesn't hurt people, people hurt people and sometimes they do it under the guise of religion and their sick interpretation of it.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

President Obama's inclusion of "unbelievers" in the list of the makeup of America is accurate if not saddening. This nation is in fact, founded on the freedom to believe one's own convictions without the interfence of the government. If you enjoy this freedom, you should daily be thankful for the forefathers whose beliefs in God led them to such an effort. The godly convictions of these forefathers gives you the right to worship, or not worship, in any manner you choose.

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Lamar said...

President Obama's inclusion of "unbelievers" in the list of the makeup of America is accurate if not saddening. This nation is in fact, founded on the freedom to believe one's own convictions without the interfence of the government. If you enjoy this freedom, you should daily be thankful for the forefathers whose beliefs in God led them to such an effort. The godly convictions of these forefathers gives you the right to worship, or not worship, in any manner you choose.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

Didju heer us? Lemme say it again. FACT: we will croak at some point in our lifelong demise, our indelible soul shall rise-up to meet our Maker - absolutely nuthin we can do bout that: our soul wants to be loved, nourished, enveloped, return-to-her-maker-thing; Jesus doesn't have a sign on the outskirts of Heaven saying, 'Those who don't believe? C’est la guerre. C'mon in. Guess I wasn’t as forthright as Marvel Comix'. Be on the pro-LIFE-eration side, dude, don't be on the side which'll swiftly LET/LEAD you down. I’m a small 'peAce-de-resistance' of a Larger Picture: God’s side. God bless you with discernment.

3:13 PM  
Blogger sorceress said...

hey u shuld write more about atheism......so mor and more people will follow atheism . what we need is more people who see and believe in rationalism , science not in some dumb religion . WE don't need any ignorant theist to prove our existence we were there in past , we are in present and we will remain in future too .

9:09 PM  
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