Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama's Inaugural Address


"With hope and virtue", he quoted George Washington. "With hope and virtue," President Obama calls on us to honor and seek our higher selves to try to do better. Listening now to Rachel Maddow, waiting for MSNBC to go to the Balls, I'm thinking about the nature of President Obama's campaign as well as some of his controversial choices along the way.

Mr. Obama is all about finding our similarities and building bridges. His focus has never been on our differences, but on all the wonderful ways we can connect with one another to create a better nation. He asks us to contribute our selves, our actions, to a greater good - a call to service our nation. Along the way, he embraces people who are Liberal and Conservative; he calls on women and men; Gay and Straight; White, Black, Brown, and everything in between; people of all Religious beliefs (or not). He embraces, and even when he disagrees he does it with respect for other ideas.

This day has been a little surreal for me - I feel such joy and yes, pride again to be an American citizen. Mr. Obama, his administration, Congress, and all of us have a hard row to hoe ahead of us, yet I feel hope and virtue because I believe we can find our similarities.

And this inclusive stance, for me, includes being able to listen to Rick Warren's invocation today - I don't agree with him on the issue of Gay Marriage - but it is his right to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Rather than attack him for his beliefs, I would rather discuss with him the necessity of keeping his religious views away from the legistation of marriage. I would prefer a dialogue rather than an outright dismissal of him and his message. Because as I listened to him, he was all about the absolute beauty of the moment - that this nation has finally elected an African American to the highest office of our nation. He emphasized the beginning of the end of racial division - and I appreciated that sentiment.

Mr. Obama brings together so many different points of view because he believes in the necessity of listening to all ideas. How else can we learn, and get to understand each other if we don't listen and debate, and keep our hearts open? And our minds, open?

Today, I feel hope in a most extraordinary way. Let's embrace the spirit of his message and move forward.

11 comments:

betmo said...

rick warren's invocation sucked- but that's his right too :) i was especially happy with so many things but the fact that president obama (i have a president again- yeah!!!) included 'non believers' in his list of religions followed by an almost instant change at whitehouse.gov to a laundry list of lgbt issues to work on- left me optimistic. no one will remember rick warren after today- he is pretty forgettable- but the reigniting of the american spirit- black, white, yellow, brown, red, muslim, jew, christian, hindu, non believer (and buddhists, he left out buddhists)- will live on forever.

Border Explorer said...

OOoooh, good comment, Betmo! And great post, Diva! You call me to be a better person. It is a stretch to reach out and listen and TRY to communicate with a different point of view. I'm not sure I'm ready to commit to that, but I am ready to hear the call, if not respond just yet.

Lisa said...

I really do think Obama will keep his promise to include all. Even though my angry liberal side would like to see conservatives marginalized, I know that it's not right to do.

Bubs said...

I finally got a chance to watch the address when I got home from work tonight. I thought it was great in an understated way, and hit just the right notes.

Spartacus said...

Jood.. I agree with you on the inclusive theme of President Obama's speech and with what appears to be the theme of his administration. My favorite line was when he said "You are judged by what you build, not what you destroy." Powerful words that not only apply to religious monsters like Osama Bin Laden, but to wingnuts like Rick Warren who, until he was selected to give the invocation, did nothing but vilify the gay community and gay marriages.

themom said...

Everything so far, points to an all-inclusive administration. I am NOT a Rick Warren fan, and wasn't overly enthralled by his invocation...but I am a big enough person to get past that.

Randal Graves said...

Oh, I've got no problem with conservatives being marginalized a bit. None of 'em will end up in jail so think of it as taking their Wii away from them for a bit. Nothing wrong with a little bit of punishment for 30 years of insanity.

swallowtail said...

Perhaps the "idea" of "inclusive" is all that some of us can do at times (myself included). "The practice of inclusive" brings the idea out of the head, the intellect... and brings it into the heart, as Ms. Alexander's poem considered... Love is all that matters.

Consider that word, "ALL..."

Fran said...

What a happy & uplifting day. The neocon chokehold has been removed, and we can breathe again.

As for warren- I'm with betmo- his invocation sucked & the way/tone he said the kids names sounded like he wanted to add "what kind of weird names are those?", unlike Rev. Lowrey who called them angelic & said their names with a tone of love

Warren does have the freedom to hate both gay & women's rights, but that does not mean we need to invite him to the party.

For me, Warren talked the talk, but does not walk the walk.

I think the issue is more front burner priority for those in the LGBT community who are denied their civil right to marry. For them, they lose over 1000 line items of legal rights by not being able to marry, so it is not a theoretical debate, it's real life discrimination.

Lowrey nailed it, and for those wo critiqued his benediction prayer as reverse discrimination... they should walk a mile in red, yellow, black & brown people shoes before critisizing.

Anyway-- I'm happy stoked delighted, renewed.
Hope has arrived.

Dianne said...

it was a wonderful day

I have decided to think that Barack - yes we're on a first name basis - knew how much Warren would suck and how, in comparison to Lowery, he would look and sound like the snake oil salesman he is

He disgusts me, repulses me beyond words. He said the Obama names as though he were willing them to burst into flames. His exaggerated gestures and hushes and tones are pathetic, downright creepy - and I loved that because he will freak out and turn off anyone not sure what he stands for - thus gaining no new fans.

BUT - I feel no need to include him or people like him. The only hand I want to reach out to him is the one that would slap his face and tell him to go away.

We don't ask that hands be reached out to those who compare black people to monkeys or use the word nigger - why the fuck do I have to extend a hand to some piece of trash who calls gay people criminals and perverts and compares them to child molestors.

Ain't never gonna happen for me.

Fran said...

One more thing-- Rev. Gene Robinson's invocation prayer the day before only broadcast on HBO & live streamed on the internet, censored or did not broadcast his prayer.

Which by the way, was a real gem, invoking us to get past "tolerance", and into genuine compassion, respect, and inclusion.

Why give the man who carries hatred time in the spotlight?

Oh well, I hope he fades in to the sunset.

Still Obama is awesome & I am happy, despite the Warren debacle.