And odd cause for hope

I had the happy experience of watching the Inauguration at Hattie's Chowder House in downtown Hallowell, Maine's most liberal city. It was a great way of witnessing a part of history, in a small corner of a small state where my support of Obama officially began about a year ago on a cold, snowy caucus day.

Many of the people watching with us were lesbians. (Hallowell is, after all, Maine's gay mecca.) Nobody seemed to have been aware of the whole Robinson prayer brouhaha, televised or otherwise, so I am reclassifying my previous beef as "molehill" and am moving on.

One small thing struck me while listening to the prayer. It would seem an unlikely source for hope for a person like me, who is a believing (if very liberal) Christian, but hopeful it made me.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus--and non-believers.
Obama didn't need to mention non-believers in his speech. Indeed, with the Warren invocation perceived by many to be an overture of friendship to religious conservatives, it was surprising to hear him specifically mention non-believers as equally worthy of our consideration when we discuss the quilt of beliefs comprising our nation's religious history. When I think about the people who matter the most to me, the friends who are like family and whose beliefs are as worthy of respect and protection as my own, I consider myself blessed to have Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and many unbelievers. I was proud of Obama, and heartened in my hope for his administration, to hear him include those often overlooked.

(h/t to the Plank for the quote.)


  1. Of everyone I know, I am probably one of Obama's least skeptical supporters. I appreciate the inclusiveness and breadth of his address. In some ways feel this might have been a nod to his mother who was an atheist or as he called it, "nonbeliever." His oratory was marked by many historical references, both personal and American, and yet at the same time extremely forward looking. Ilook forward to this presidency with great anticipation.

  2. I am peeved because I was eagerly looking forward to watching the inauguration and missed seeing it "live" because I had jury duty this morning--actually, jury pool, and I wasn't selected for the jury. Oh, well, can't win 'em all. But I did see reruns of the swearing-in and a video of the speech. I am very excited and optimistic for the first time in many years; God bless Obama!

    To think . . . Rosa Parks was arrested when I was in kindergarten, and now . . .