21 January 2009

The time has come to set aside childish things (and become a nation of nonbelievers)

...in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.
We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers.
-- from Barack Obama's inaugural speech

Obama's speech yesterday was the first inaugural address to acknowledge the existence of nonbelievers.

Of course, it wasn't all sunshine and light.

There was Rick Warren's "Oh God, you are so big" - "It all belongs to you" - "History is your story" - bullshit prayer to Jebus. There was the "So help me God" phrase in the of the oath of office, contrary to the constitution. And there was the usual "God bless America" crap at the end.

Still, it was a great speech. I even liked Obama's use of scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:11

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

The time has indeed come to set aside childish things (like believing stupid things that are contrary to all existing evidence) and become a nation of nonbelievers.


Matt S said...

uhh, amen?

Ian said...

Yes, I was very happy that he mentioned nonbelievers in a positive light, considering that a large number of Americans seem to equate nonbelievers with communist and fascist murderers (funny, I seem to remember reading about the strict religious upbringings of Stalin and Hitler).

I get the distict feeling that Obama may himself be a closet agnostic. Either way, he certainly isn't the abject fanatic that Bush was, so I'm less worried about public policy being based on lunatic religious dogma.

Rhadiel said...

Hmmm who will we be making fun of, then? :)

Calimero said...

Well while it was good to get the include - I feel that the term "nonbelievers" has negative connotations a bit like non-murderers or non-rapists. Of course if he had used the term non-delusional instead of nonbeliever, that I could accept.

I Am said...

I was very surprised and happy that he included nonbelievers in his speech.

Being the cynical person I am sometimes, I figured maybe he's just trying to avoid being pulled into the FFRF's lawsuit against the use of religion during the oath and inauguration. He could argue he mentioned nonbelievers and wasn't excluding them.

But Obama's father was reportedly an atheist. With the inaugural address, it seems Obama at least acknowledges that nonbelief in God is a valid viewpoint that is worth mentioning, whatever his motives.

I doubt we'll ever find out if he has agnostic or atheistic leanings himself, but nonbelievers being mentioned in Obama's first speech as President is definitely a start and hopefully a good sign.

Slaylem said...

Cue zealous christian rhetoric about drinking cool-aid and Obama being the anti-christ...again.