Mike Clawson here one more time…
As with my atheist friends here, I too was thrilled when Obama mentioned non-believers, and also when he affirmed the importance of the sciences. However, my absolute favorite part of his address was when he spoke of global poverty, saying:
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.
My apologies, since I know this probably has little to do with the kind of religious topics typically covered here at this blog (except in as far as this sort of thing is precisely what I think my own religion is all about), but nonetheless, this was the part that had me cheering, and hoping that he really meant it and will actually follow through. We have it within our power to stamp out extreme poverty in our lifetimes. My hope is that Obama will be the President to finally commit to doing it.