There’s still some weighing in on President Barack Obama‘s use of the term “non-believers” during his Inauguration address.
Like most Americans, I felt a wonderful and profound chill watching Barack Obama become the first African-American president. I’m guessing that most nontheists voted for Obama and that we helped him win. With so many historical firsts this week, I wish I had seen a place on the inaugural program for one of the many patriotic Americans without religious belief. And since President Obama aligned himself so much with Abraham Lincoln, I would have been thrilled to hear anyone deliver this Lincoln quote: “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”
This week, we atheists have the audacity to remind President Obama of our founding as a secular nation, with a godless Constitution to protect the freedom of conscience and belief–or non-belief–for all people. We hope this religious inauguration does not portend an administration infused with religious advisers and events. We hope President Obama will include our perspectives as he recalls his non-religious parents and grandparents who raised him with good secular values. Though we do not believe in any gods, we do look for change we can believe in.
So January 20 was a big day. Not only did I watch as our first ever black president sworn in, not only did I feel immense happiness that the guy I voted for made it all the way, but on top of all that I, a non-believer, was welcomed in a whole new way. My group of Americans was mentioned, my kind was allowed out into the sunshine on the steps of the capitol, we were invited to bask along with all the others in the greatness of the day.
The part of the morning that made me feel most left out was when Pastor Rick Warren got up to deliver the invocation. Again, I was not surprised by his words but I did hope for a little more inclusiveness. Pastor Warren did not speak to me, or to anyone who differs with his views. Many other religious leaders manage to do both, stay true to their beliefs and open themselves up in a way that can allow for other ideas to be included — or at least acknowledged.
And, of course, from Mike Huckabee and the FOXNews team:
(via The Kubanana)