Wednesday, January 21, 2009

He spoke to me

In speaking about terrorism, President Obama* spoke about me. Didja hear him? Listen:
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

Catch that one word? "Nonbelievers."

He included me.

I'm not used to that. For once, those of us who don't believe in religion were included when talking about Our Fair Country. I heard some pundit on the radio today saying it was the first time that nonbelievers had been mentioned in any major presidential address- I'm unsure of the accuracy of that statement, but it certainly is exceedingly rare.

I cried along with everyone else when I watch the inauguration. I shook with anticipation for where our country can, and will, go. I beamed with pride and made sure the children saw the speech. But I never expected to be included in it in any way; I expected the usual "With God's help" and "God Bless America" only. Of course that was there, because President Obama is a man of faith and most of Our Fair Country has some measure of belief or religious identification.- but he acknowledged that I'm part of America, too.

Our country is truly a more inclusive place today.

* I don't know if I'll ever tire of this phrase. President Obama, President Obama, President Barack Hussein Obama.


Rob S. said...

Didn't that feel great?

Andrew said...

Yeah. It did. (granted, so many good things happened yesterday, it's hard to separate them.)

Rob said...

I too did find that to be quite amazing. I'm hoping that he can keep that in mind when we have challenges that purport to force religious beliefs on us in governmental fashion.


Sharon GR said...

Interesting discussion going on over at BlueJersey about Atheism and Our Fair State- getting heated, and some are getting defensive.