Day of Change

Obama 2008 (by StarbuckGuy)

I had a different entry ready to post today, but after watching the inauguration of US President Barak Obama, I thought it more appropriate to acknowledge this fundamental change in American politics.

I have little to add to the extensive media commentary about today’s event other than I thought his speech was feisty and deep felt.

Two things in his speech struck a deep chord in me:

  •  “We will restore science to its rightful place.”
  • … in speaking of faiths he included a wholesome reference to “nonbelievers”

I don’t know how realistic it is to expect major changes, but he has brought hope, and that’s a major change after the Bush era.

6 thoughts on “Day of Change

  1. What a burden of hopes and expectations the man carries. Everywhere you look there are obscenities being perpetrated – take Zimbabwe and Gaza for a coupla examples – I think we all want some good felling to spread.

  2. Adam,

    We can all hope for some good feeling. President Obama indeed carries the burden of hopes and expectations. I think we all wish him well, for the sake of the entire world.

  3. Tony,

    Interestingly, these were also the two things highlighted in a press release from the Centre of Inquiry:

    PRESS RELEASE
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    January 20, 2009

    Center for Inquiry Leaders Applaud Obama’s Progressive and Inclusive Vision for America

    President Barack Obama in his history-making Inaugural Address today sounded the clarion call for a more inclusive and progressive America. The President’s speech outlined a largely humanistic agenda, promising to “restore science to its rightful place,” as we collectively face the massive challenges facing us as a country in the twenty-first century. Significantly, in affirming the pluralistic character of American society, President Obama expressly included “non-believers” among Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus, as part of the body politic.

    “It truly is a historic and remarkable achievement of significance that the President of the United States referred to non-believers in recognition of the growing number of Americans—now numbering tens of millions—who hold no religious affiliation. As far as we are aware, this is the first time this has happened,” said Paul Kurtz, chairman and founder of the Center for Inquiry. “It is also noteworthy that he called for the restoration of science to its rightful place and the application of technology to the improvement of human life. We applaud his courageous optimism in outlining an audacious program for the future,” said Kurtz.

    Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, emphasized the importance of President Obama’s acknowledgment. “For much of American history, agnostics and atheists were denied important civil rights, and in some states, until the early 1960’s, were explicitly forbidden from holding public office. Even after these legal constraints had been removed, nonbelievers were stigmatized or ignored by most politicians. We are encouraged that President Obama has unambiguously indicated he will be the president of all Americans.”

    The Center for Inquiry/Transnational is a nonprofit, educational, advocacy, and scientific-research think tank based in Amherst, New York It is home to the Council for Secular Humanism, founded in 1980, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP), founded in 1976, and the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health. Their research and educational projects focus on three broad areas: religion, ethics, and society; paranormal and fringe-science claims; and medicine and health. The Center’s Web site is http://www.centerforinquiry.net .

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