“non-believers” not left out of Obama’s inauguration speech.

“…We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers…” — Barack Obama, in his Presidential Inauguration speech, Jan 20, 2009. As far as I can tell, the first mention of non-believers in a presidential inauguration speech ever.

Here’s a thread on metafilter about this.

I’ve culled what I deem the “best bits” out of this (you may not agree, so read it yourself):

I was standing in front of the Washington Memorial watching the speech on a jumbotron and there was a noticeable gasp of joyous surprise followed by a loud whoo when he said that. — inconsequentialist

I didn’t think much about this, or think that I cared much, until he said it.

Now I realize it means a lot, and it feels good. I want more. — everichon

Wife and I gave each other “terrorist fist jabs” when he said that. To us non-believers, that was a big moment. — mcstayinskool

Just two words in the middle of a long speech, but probably the last two words I expected to hear form a politician. Especially from a man whose religion has been such a prominent part of his public and private life.

Damn, I wish I could shake his hand. — lekvar

(In response to another poster who had written:

It seems like the atheists in here feel empowered by there their own Messias.

We just enjoy occasionally not being treated like pariahs in the public discourse. — heathkit

This is so cool.

I have been wary of all the Obama celebration because of my experience in Mexico.

I was there when Vicente Fox won, after 71 years of one party rule, with Florida scale fraud every single election. Think of that, the opposition wins after 71 years of Bush in office. It was the first election I bothered to vote, the campaign slogan was “Si se puede” (yes we can), people were celebrating on the streets, when the results were announced and later during the inauguration. Just like in the USA right now.

First thing Mr. Change and Hope does is go visit the Pope, get his marriage annulled and get married to his lover of many years. In return, the Catholic Church got back a lot of the power the people had been fighting for centuries to take away. It was downhill from there.

This two words by Obama make me think maybe things will be different here.

When Fox brought put back religion in politics, several state governors and the mayor of Mexico City reacted by legalizing gay marriage, legalizing abortion and trying to deriminalize drug use. Something good came out of it all. — dirty lies

It was nice to be recognized as vaguely human, however briefly, between all the prayers. That’s about the extent of the respect I expect to be extended, though. — It’s raining Florence Henderson

The NY times notices: Many Nods to Jesus — and One to Non-Believers, as does USA Today.

Google News search for “Obama non-believers”, which will of course become dated very quickly.

~ by scaryreasoner on January 21, 2009.

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