Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Watched the inauguration of the President Obama this morning -- did you SEE the millions of people crowded into Washington DC? Wow.

A couple of things I noticed:

1) I heard nothing about "Free speech zones" and segregating protesters. In fact, I really didn't hear anything about protesters at all except in vague references from the Secret Service about white supremacist group threats. I'm sure there were some protesters, but they apparently weren't segregated somewhere out of sight.

2) Obama gives a very good speech. The fact that it was a subtle smackdown of the policies, behavior, and beliefs of the previous administration was an added bonus (for those of us that believe we've been going in the wrong direction). I actually feel excited and patriotic. And everyone was still and silent during his speech - that was stirring, too.

3) I was just listening and couldn't understand a single word of Aretha's song. I had to actually check what it was supposed to be! Plus, a string trio was an odd choice for music, but quite stirring. And the Marine choir has sopranos.

4) The crowd was singing 'Na na na, Hey Hey, good bye" as the helicopter took off. You could hear it faintly.

5) The new White House website is really nice.

And another thing! We non-believers actually got mentioned in the inaugural speech! We were included. I don't think that's ever happened before.
"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 non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace."
Yes. That is change I can support. I'm sure the hand-wringing will start soon that he's "not really christian" (along with the wingnut assertion that he's not even american) and religious groups will decry his inclusion of those other religions, but I can only hope that this is a sign that the goverment will have a more secular bent. Tolerance of other views has been lacking lately. I appreciate that Obama, up front, recognized that there are many different and valid views. Yeah!

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