magicicada: (Default)
[personal profile] magicicada
I have felt embarrassed as a writer because I cannot find a way to explain the depth of my emotion to Obama's victory. However, in his inauguration speech there were a few phrases that may help to explain why I feel so invested in this administration:

1. "...all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

Did you see that? Did you notice the way that he dropped the word "men" instead of trying to expand the definition to "all men and women." This is central to what he has done the entire campaign. He is not making a bigger tent, he is rejecting the concept of a tent entirely.

2. "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers."

I just about stood up and said A-MEN! when Obama mentioned non-believers. I understand belief and the strength that comes from it. I respect Obama's strong faith... but I do not share it. And while I may believe in something, I have no idea what it is. It is nice to be explicitly invited into the idea of what America really is.

And here is the point where once again, I find myself trying to explain something that I cannot put into words, and is probably too personal to really mean anything. I will say this. My support for Obama has nothing to do with his rock star or celebrity status (as much as I admit that the man can dance). He is suggesting a new style of governance that is so heart-stoppingly honest that I do not think that the Enrons and Haliburtons of the world have any hope of understanding it. I think that the terrorists will understand though, and they will know that they have lost. This is a style of fighting akin to martial arts where the attacker ends up defeating himself with his own strength. The hate is over.

Date: 2009-01-21 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I too noticed both of those. I have to keep reminding myself that he's a politician but if he manages to fix even a fourth of his list, I will be happy.

One of my favorites:
"We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age."

I work for a company that writes software for state transportation departments. The data is alarming. My company could use the money. There was a bunch of cheering at the lunch time crowd watching the tv.

I am so sick of science being ignored, hidden or banished.

I went nuts over "non-believers" because I consider myself a humanist. I also question whether he is truly religious. He was raised atheist like me. I find the concept of believing in an imaginary friend difficult. If you are raised without faith, how do you find it? I am sure he did it for political reasons and family. I can see believing it but I do see issues with believing unquestionably. I'm not him and it seems to work for him. He just looks a little Buddhist in his prayers.

Date: 2009-01-21 04:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is where I get in a sticky place as a "non-believer"/humanist. There is something of the divine out there. It is the concept of a being or "imaginary friend" that I have rejected completely. Any kind of god that says "worship me or perish in flames" is less divine than humanity, not more divine. I agree with you that Buddhism approaches this idea more closely, but I cannot accept the end result of Buddhism as a desirable goal. Perhaps it's a good religion for angels, but I don't believe that it properly addresses how to live life here and now. I do think that he is honestly a Christian because there is actually a wide range of beliefs that fit in that category. Perhaps the best way to understand this would be the belief amongst some Hindus/Christians that Jesus was just another incarnation of Krishna. Once you close that loop, there is very little that either religion cannot offer.

Date: 2009-01-21 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've rejected the idea of a personal god. I can believe that there is a god who created the universe and scientist are discovering how it did it. I can believe there is a Mother Earth that provides checks and balances to our planet. I can believe that prayer can help the mind calm and refocus but there is no difference between prayer and meditation in that case.

The bottom line for me is the anthropologist idea of religion. It was created to help people cope with catastrophes and to give moments in life a special feeling. I shy from public spectacles and no matter what you do, that tornado is going to kick you ass. You are better off taking care of yourself than to wait for some divine being to help you.

I suppose I have a religion and it's a mish-mash of a bunch of different traditions with a heavy emphasis on early Buddhism (pre-gods.) I can also see Obama subscribing to early Christianity before all the politics got involved. I see Obama as a Christian Humanist with an emphasis on Humanist.

Date: 2009-01-21 05:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I completely agree with you.

That speech was freaking amazing. I didn't notice the "tent" drop until you pointed it out. Thanks, it really makes me think he knows what the hell he's doing at least socially. Finally, a President for the modern times, as opposed the one from Medieval times we've had for the past 8 years.

Even though he didn't call out Buddhists, I'm stoked that he recognized all my agnostic and atheist friends :) Truthfully, I really don't care that he called out Buddhists or not, but I'm stoked he recognized that so many are NOT Christians. Then again, as a Buddhist, I don't really care that my religion was called out or not :)

Date: 2009-01-21 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm just thrilled to have a President who is curious, who reads, who researches, who wants to know all the angles of a problem and talk to the experts in the field before he makes a decision. He may not make the same decision I would (my politics are somewhat leftward of his) but at least I'll know he really did consider the issue strongly before making his decision. Which is more than I got during the last administration.

Date: 2009-01-21 11:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm nodding with you so much that I'm about to lose an earring.


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