Obama’s Inaugural Address: What Did You Think?

President Barack Obama, official portrait

What did you think of President Obama’s Inaugural Address? 

How did it compare with the address he gave four years ago?

Did any part of it resonate with you?

Did it leave you mad, sad, glad or just plain indifferent?

One paragraph in particular got my attention:

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

I doubt that I responded to that paragraph in the way he intended, since, to me at least, defending “our most ancient values and enduring ideals” means, among other things, standing with my Church against the HHS Mandate.

I think it’s critical for you to read these important speeches yourselves and then make up your own minds. What is your opinion of the speech President Obama gave today?

You can find a copy of the speech here.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    It was a great speech. Kudos to the speechwriter. Too bad it was all empty words. Anyone who is favor of abortion after they have seriously thought about the issue and says thinks like “I don’t want my daughter to be punished with a baby.” is not worthy of believing when he spouts high-sounding words.

  • Mike

    Is traditional marriage an ancient value?

  • Patty

    Is life an ancient value?

    I’m sorry, I saw this quote earlier in the day and literally my stomach turned.

  • Peg

    There are some nice sentiments within although it doesn’t rise to the depth and breadth of MLK.

    There are also very troubling passages the interpretation of which can cause serious clashes among those representing a culture of life vs a culture of death. He did not mention “slaughter of innocents” this time around which had a different meaning for prolife folks.

    Am thankful he recognized where those “unalienable” rights come from–our creator not the gov’t. We should take heed and reread the declaration of independence and reaffirm our right to throw off tyranny and unjust laws (re Letter from Birmingham).

    And last too bad FFRF…looks like he used three bibles in all and swore an oath to God….praying for conversion.

    I am glad he noted and we should take heed where those unalienable eights come from.

  • FW Ken

    Nothing personal, Rebecca, but I don’t tend to listen to the words of politicians when I know their record. That’s not because I think you folks lie, but the best intentions may come to nothing in the legislative process. I’m not imputing malice in any manner, just acknowledging that politics are complex.

    That said, I read the text. It’s pretty words, with the requisite deflections to the obsessions of the left. Well, he won the election so he gets to spread his gospel. I just suggest that as he praises the Constitution in words, we remember that his actions violate it.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      No offense taken Ken.

  • FW Ken

    I meant genuflections,, but deflections works too.

    I’ve been trying to remember the last inaugural I watched. It may have been Nixon’s first, when they would have put it on at school. Maybe one since.

  • SteveP

    The 11th paragraph, “But we have always understood that when times change, so must we . . .” I’d have dropped.

    The 13th paragraph might have had a better emphasis: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same opportunities, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.”

    The campaign speech starts at paragraph 17 and there is nothing new therein.

    I’d really not expected much other than what was spoken; I suppose you can mark me as “indifferent.”

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I can no longer listen or watch him. It causes me to spout some unkind words. I have an obligation via the Act of Contrition to avoid the “near occurence of sin.” ;)

  • Bill S

    Equality, the President said, “is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls (women’s rights), and Selma (African Americans’ rights), and Stonewall (gay rights).”

    This is the first inaugural speech that has addressed gay rights by mentioning the Stonewall Inn riots as a civil rights issue. It makes me seriously wonder which side of history the Catholic Church will find itself on.

    • SteveP

      BillS: Why did Dr. King refer to justice rather than equality?

      • Bill S

        Sometimes I use my phone and can’t answer directly under the question. See below.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      “It makes me seriously wonder which side of history the Catholic Church will find itself on.”

      As always, on God’s side. History is simply His story.

      • Bill S

        Yes. Right. That certainly eliminates a lot of soul searching and wondering whether you are being fair to other people. You belong to the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church is “on God’s side”. How convenient for you. God is against homosexuality and so are you. Lucky you. We should all have it so easy, never having to worry about the rights of those who don’t conform to our values. God is on our side. Sure.

        • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

          I’m not against giving gay people or anyone else equal rights in a political sense. In fact, I do not really even accept “gay” as a classification of people, any more than I accept “alcoholic” as a classification of people. We are all sinners and subject to various temptations. I simply deny that anyone can marry except for one man and one woman. I do not deny the right of a man with homosexual (or alcoholic) temptations to marry a woman. Marriage is about children. As I pointed out yesterday, the etymology of the word “marriage” relates to the term “matrimony” of which “matris” means mother. But, because of contraception, society no longer clearly recognizes this natural connection of sexuality/marriage with parenthood.

  • FW Ken

    Yep, the Catholic Church, going to he’ll in a hand-basket for two thousand years.

    • Bill S

      Don’t let the two thousand years fool you. We’ve only had democracy for a couple of hundred years and individual freedom is growing exponentially. The Catholic Church is circling the wagons and hardening its stance on many issues on which it should be seeking a more reconciliatory position. The more it is prodded to change, the more it stiffens its back and sticks to antiquated policies. Eventually, it will relate less and less to each new generation until all it can do is try to brainwash young people in youth groups and World Youth Days. There will be a concentration of religious who will be unable to assimulate into society. Then they will complain about persecution, which is already starting to happen. I grew up Catholic and I never felt persecuted for my faith. But now, it seems, that’s all Catholics have to talk about.

  • FW Ken

    “hell” of course. Predictive text makes me crazy. And I know not to post before coffee! :-)

    • Bill S

      I have had some embarassing auto corrections, myself.

  • Bill S

    “Why did Dr. King refer to justice rather than equality?”

    I don’t know. Because the practice of “separate but equal” was unjust? What’s your point?

    • SteveP

      I’d posit understanding the difference between justice and equality leads to the understanding of just how troubling is the concatenation of Seneca Falls [non-violent indirect action], Selma [non-violent direct action], and Stonewall [violent direct action]

  • Bill S

    ” I do not deny the right of a man with homosexual (or alcoholic) temptations to marry a woman.”

    You are just being willfully ignorant about this. Take off your miter for a moment and look at homosexuality as normal and accepted. That’s what’s being asked of every American citizen. I can’t keep going on trying to make this argument. We’ve already agreed that we’re not going to agree.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      “Take off your miter for a moment and look at homosexuality as normal and accepted.”

      I can’t just nullify my beliefs any more than you can nullify yours. But I have the facts of science on my side that homosexual practices are unhealthy, sterile, and not according to biological design. I don’t want to take away rights of PEOPLE based on that, but neither do I want to elevate the PRACTICE, which is unhealthy, sterile, and not according to biological design as something to be viewed as normal and praiseworthy.

    • Sus

      Bill – you know that I’ve spoken my mind on where I am on this issue. The bottom line is that Gay Marriage is going to be recognized Federally, whether or not Catholics, Mormons or any other religious organization are against it.

      I don’t think people are going to change their minds about what they think. Either you believe gays are normal or you don’t. It will be very similar to the civil rights movement.
      Patience is what is needed. The civil rights movement was slow. The same goes for the gay rights.

      I know that if I had a kid who was gay, it would be extremely difficult watching and hearing that there are people that say they aren’t normal. Telling a parent in that position to be patient is absurd. I know that.

      • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

        “I know that if I had a kid who was gay, it would be extremely difficult watching and hearing that there are people that say they aren’t normal.”

        What is “normal”? Are any of us normal? If I had a kid who had homosexual temptations, I’d tell them the truth. It’s a temptation, which is a more difficult temptation than some other sexual temptations, because it can never be acted on. But many of us have temptations, sexual and otherwise, that can never be acted on. I wouldn’t shun them or treat them any differently than any other child, other than getting them help for that particular temptation. Acting on it would lead them to a more unhealthy lifestyle, which would not be something I would want.

        • Sus

          I’ll rephrase – If I had a kid that people were describing as “unhealthy, sterile, and not according to biological design as something to be viewed as normal and praiseworthy” it would be extremely difficult.

          No matter what I were telling them, it would hurt me hearing things like that about my kid.

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            Well, it’s the truth. What would you want people to say? I have noticed that people are no longer interested so much in truth, but in feelings. Do we believe Christ when He says, “the truth will set you free” or not.

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            Also, please note that I did not describe the PERSON as being “unhealthy, etc” but the PRACTICE.

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            I have a young adult child who smokes. He may or may not have been genetically predisposed to smoke (there are a lot of smokers on both sides of the family.) I have told him in no uncertain terms how unhealthy the practice is for both him, those around him, and his future offspring. He also knows that I love him dearly, but I would be a bad parent if I didn’t tell him the truth about his unhealthy practice.

            • Sus

              I don’t think being gay is an addiction so can’t see your analogy.

              I’ll end up violating Rebecca’s rules so I’ll just leave what I’ve said and not add anymore.

              • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

                What does the addictiveness have to do with anything? People can (and do) indeed become addicted to sex. Having a desire to smoke is thought to be at least partially genetic, and that desire itself is not an addiction, just like the desire for sexual contact is not an addiction in itself, but if a person repeatedly indulges those desires, an addiction can result.

                Anyway, I am telling him that smoking is unhealthy for him because smoking is unhealthy for him, not because of whether it is addictive or not.

      • SteveP

        Sus – The Church teaches masturbation is a disordered act on a disordered desire; likewise it teaches that a homosexual act is disordered base on a disordered desire; adultery is categorized as the same in that it is both a disordered act and a disordered desire. The desire to accumulate more than one needs is a disordered desire; the desire to violent revenge is a disordered desire; the desire to binge is a disordered desire; the desire to purge is a disordered desire.
        Would calling all these things good or normal make them so? Should the State recognize anorexics as a class and, say, make therapy for one suffering as such illegal?
        I hope you are comfortable enough to answer in a public comment: I am interested in your opinion.

        • Sus

          It’s not that I’m uncomfortable, I don’t want to violate Rebecca’s rules for comments. My agenda should be presented on my blog (that I don’t have!).

          “Would calling all these things good or normal make them so?” – No, calling something good or normal does not make it so.

          Just because I believe homosexuality is okay doesn’t mean that I condone adultery or eating disorders. It’s difficult for me to reconcile when the gay people I know do not seem disordered or immoral or anything. They are just like me. I know what the Church teaches. I am trying to figure it all out. It’s really difficult for me because I feel like it’s the same kind of discrimination as mixed-race people who wanted to marry faced. I am trying to see it through the Church teachings.

          As a parent, I’ve always been extremely strict about treating people kindly. Heads roll here when I discover one of them not being kind. Not accepting that gay people want to live their own lives the way heterosexual people do, does not seem kind. I know that the Church doesn’t teach unkindness towards gay people. I know that.

          It’s very complicated for me.

          • SteveP

            Sus – Thank you. I appreciate the answer. It is complicated for me too.

          • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

            I appreciate the answer, too. I think you are an honest person trying to find the truth. One of the things that Pope Benedict XVI tirelessly points out is that love (and kindness) cannot be separated from truth. It is always a kindness, and it is always love, to tell the truth.

            I’m not sure why you expect that people living a homosexual lifestyle would be noticeably sinister or anything like that. I’ve known “normal” people who were alcoholics, kleptomaniacs, adulterers, people who inflict domestic violence, etc. and most of them (though not all) seemed completely normal to me until I found out about that “side” of them. Even people who molest children, very often, you hear shock from those close to them, that they never would have suspected because they are so “normal”. We all have our foibles big or small that, with the grace of God, we must try to overcome.

            The fact is, though, it is a very unhealthy lifestyle. For males, one doesn’t have to think about it too hard to understand why, and that’s true even if the promiscuity aspect isn’t there. As Christians, though this could be deduced by non-Christians as well, we can go a step further and understand that sexuality is ordered to permanent union and life, and that both purposes must be respected.

            • Sus

              Thanks guys. I appreciate the conversation. Rebecca hosts a nice place.

  • FW Ken

    “as normal and accepted”

    Accepted, maybe, normal, no.

    Bill, you have never advanced an argument. Just your opinions. By the way, the reason your know-nothing prejudice doesn’t work with me is that I knew these things long before I even thought about becoming Catholic.

    Sus, I’m sorry you are willing to see your child enter into a life of misery and disease rather than face the dysfunctional nature out same-sex attraction. I’m old enough to have seen my gay friends grow old, alone, and miserable. Their only comfort is that they tend to believe that heterosexuals are as miserable as they are.

    • Sus

      I didn’t mean to imply that I was willing to see my child enter into a life of misery and disease rather than face something dysfunctional.

      My gay friends have been together longer than my husband and me in some cases so I don’t see the miserable ones.

  • Bill S

    ” It’s difficult for me to reconcile when the gay people I know do not seem disordered or immoral or anything.”

    The problem is not with you or the gays you know. The problem is with the Catholic Church. What is so hard to believe about that? What gives a bunch of old European men an inside track on knowing right from wrong when it comes to human sexuality? The Church has been wrong about. So many things in its history. It is wrong about human sexuality. Ask any trained psychologist.

  • Bill S

    “I’ve known “normal” people who were alcoholics, kleptomaniacs, adulterers, people who inflict domestic violence, etc. and most of them (though not all) seemed completely normal to me until I found out about that “side” of them.”

    Why do you link homosexuality with the above?

    • Dave

      There is nothing linking them other than that all of those things have always been considered wrong by the vast majority of the people of the world. I was simply pointing out in that post that just because people seem normal and good in most ways other than the behavior at issue, it doesn’t really mean much as far as the rightness or wrongness of that behavior.

  • FW Ken

    He links it because the link is apt.

    Facts are an amazing antidote to cant. I googled “domestic violence statistics gay couples” and found a lot of interesting information. The top article claims rates of violence are about the same for straight couples and gay couples. Like Bill, they are fond of assertions but not too fond of studies. Several articles cite specific studies showing significantly greater risk of violence in same-sex couples.

    From here:


    Approximately 23 percent of the men, who had lived with a man as a couple,
    reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7.4
    percent of the men, who had married or lived with a woman as a couple, reported such violence
    by a wife or female cohabitant.

    They report less violence in female partnerships than in heterosexual relationships, which is contrary to what I’ve been told by police and lesbians.

    Another study gets into data about stability of relationships, which is the real issue in same-sex marriage. Why is the community interested interested in marriage of any kind at all? How do same-sex relationships fit into that social interest?


    Here’s a good overview of what gay people face in the lifestyle Bill’s opinions notwithstanding.


  • SteveP

    Rebecca Hamilton: We’ve gone rather of topic; please forgive my part in it all.

    Back on topic, this paragraph:

    Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

    Would the Chief Executive be the chief bridge builder, the Pontiff Maximus?

  • Sus

    Back on topic…

    I often hear that President Obama is Godless and hates religion. I counted that he mentioned God, faith or religion 7 times.

    He also said the word “together” 7 times.

    “we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.”
    I don’t know if this is possible. We are very far from being one nation and one people.

  • Peg

    Don’t mean to go back off topic but I just found a most excellent article and resource from a gay catholic activist–very great advice on how to be faithful to our faith and the dignity of gay men and women. I don’t know how to paste but google

    Out of the Closet and into Chastity by David Morrison

    It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve read on the subject….

  • http://wordsthathavemeaning.wordpress.com/ Russell Holder

    We can be against what someone is [or does] and still allow them to have the same dignity we expect for ourselves. What I object to is being forced to pay for what I do not support [abortion with the HHS mandate]; which turns it into taxation without representation- violating my choice to decide to honor life [first] as my unalienable right to do so. Not only that but it forces me to go against my personal beliefs as a christian… and I realize the shackles of the past are firmly in place [this time they are on me]. How can I then be free to seek happiness?