Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This land was made for you and me.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."

-Barak H. Obama, 1/20/2009-

And isn't it time someone affirmed that fact? In a country that still, in many states, requires religious belief as a test for office; in a country where accepting Jesus of Nazareth as a savior as a requirement for public office is on the books in at least one state, isn't it time our leaders stood up for the freedom of religion we have been promised?


  1. Unitarian Universalists welcome President Obama. Yes we can, yes we did, and yes we will.

    What an inspirational inaugural address

  2. The civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam informed my political and moral consciousness. I was a child of the times. About 14 years old at the time, and against my parents wishes, I hitched to Washington DC to witness Dr. King’s famous speech. I wanted to be part of the movement … and part of the moment.

    Today, two of my own children are in Washington DC to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama and bear witness to history. It makes me proud that they take an interest in our public life. It has been a long journey. Of all the memories I cherish, there are few more heartwarming and gratifying than this.

  3. On that note of UU pride, did you catch this, Maleeper?

    Lawyers, Guns and Money: A Point in Favor of John Quincy Adams

    John Quincy Adams, according to his own letters, placed his hand on a constitutional law volume rather than a Bible to indicate where his fealty lay.

    Let's hear it for our Unitarian forebearer!! Makes me proud to be both a fellow American and a fellow Unitarian...

  4. Yes, Fogg, I thought Obama balanced things out nicely with regard to religion.

    A few thoughts about the inaugural ceremony and speech today: Well, if Barack’s recitation of the oath had been a master’s thesis, he would have to write it over. He must have been racing ahead to his address, or just a bit overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter, and I’m sure he’ll have a good laugh about it afterwards. I remember my mother telling me that when she and my father bought their first house, the moment came for him to sign his name, and for the life of him he couldn’t remember it without prompting…. Institutional moments will make you look a bit foolish sometimes.

    Anyhow, I thought Rick Warren’s invocation was a bit too Jesus-heavy; still, much of what he said was fine. Better was the Rev. Lowery’s benediction, which was both funny and moving in a historically resonant way. I found President Obama’s address excellent – both conciliatory and strong.

  5. As a postscript to my comment just above, I came across a brief article that explains how the oath-taking got a bit messy.

  6. That was an amazing speech he gave - so inclusive.

    A new day in America has dawned.

  7. As a Christian I take this opportunity to respect everyone's right to mind their own business. Thank you for telling me that is OK Mr. President.

  8. "everyone's right to mind their own business."

    That's at the heart of it, isn't it? The right to be left alone in one's beliefs and practices and doubts and hopes and that right includes, in my opinion, the obligation to respect the rights of others.

    If that idea isn't the cornerstone of our Republic, I don't know what is.

  9. I personally like the fact that he is putting a lid on salaries of White House staff...its just window dressing and thats good enough for now.

    The closing of GITMO is another symbolic act, as THAT damage has already been done, but it is good enough for now.

    There is just something about Obama and I see it the most when he is relating with his wife and kids that tells me this guy is different from any President we have had in the last almost 30 years....he comes across as the real deal.

    Did anyone catch the wink his wife gave him when he flubbed the oath of office....

    Did anyone catch the sheer overwhelming feelings that the young lady had after dancing with Barack at the Commander in Chief ball? Then Michelle went and gave the young lady a hug and a pat of comfort...

    There is something about this couple that just rings sincere...

    Oh, and for Capt. Fogg, I believe that the cornerstone of our Republic has been kidnapped by fascists and turned into 'we have an obiligation to follow and you have no rights but those that they believe the majority follow...which they have not figured out is down to below 20% of the US population.

  10. Yes, I would agree that Obama has a good quantity of genuineness -- that's important because it seems as if being in politics for a long time can turn just about anybody into a sound-byte spewing automaton, a secrecy addict, etc. President Obama is, as you say, the real deal: thoughtful, highly self-conscious, literate in the deepest sense of the word, and apparently interested in wielding power for better purposes than simply wielding power. We have elected an authentic intellectual who seems likely to get good, practical things done. He also has majorities big enough so that the right-wingers will have a difficult time simply blocking his every initiative and then blaming him for not doing enough.

  11. I don't think President Obama flubbed the oath, it was Roberts. Obama paused to let Roberts correct himself ... or at least try to. He still messed up a bit. Did anyone catch the end when Roberts asked Obama "so help you God?"

    I thought that was odd. It had a sort of "are you going to say that or not?" tone to it.

  12. Yes, I think that's how it has shaken out -- Roberts was trying to recite from memory, which doesn't work well if you're nervous, as just about anybody with an audience of millions would be. Lesson learned: bring the text!

  13. Hey, we screwed up my wedding so bad, from the music, the march down the aisle to the vows and my hung over maid of honor forgot to sign the marriage certificate. The pastor had to chase her down!
    My point? Even with the flubs, my marriage has lasted over 30 years.
    One nervous guy or the other tripped up; I don't see any significance for either party - I imagine they will perform their duties to the best of their abilities.
    Long after that little flub has been forgotten, generations will still know this historic moment happened.

  14. Rocky,

    Are we to believe that your marriage lasted 30 years because neither one of you wanted to go through the hell of a marriage ceremony again? :)

    I just couldn't resist....

  15. LOL, Tao! Holding my maid of honor's hair out of the toilet while she's puking in it on the morning of my wedding definitely took some of the magic out of it!
    Of course, my soon to be husband knew nothing of my morning since he was waiting at the church -- needless to say, we were late.
    I wasn't all that sure I wanted to do it the first time and had I been a little older and wiser, I might have taken all these little glitches as portents whispering, "Don't do it!"


We welcome civil discourse from all people but express no obligation to allow contributors and readers to be trolled. Any comment that sinks to the level of bigotry, defamation, personal insults, off-topic rants, and profanity will be deleted without notice.