Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dog Bless America

While I certainly wasn't excited with the Obama election win in November, I did watch many of the inauguration festivities. Heck, I usually watch this stuff, regardless of whether or not the new president was someone I voted for -- Well, that's really an understatement because I have never voted for the candidate who won!

While all the speeches sounded fairly run-of-the-mill, the one thing that irked me to no end was the constant referencing of "God". At times, I wasn't certain if I was watching a political event or a televangelist Sunday service!

There were prayers galore. It seemed like Obama mentioned the words Christian, God or scripture in every other paragraph. I almost expected to see Jesus come riding out of the sky sporting a huge smile and a big thumbs up.

Seems that I'm not the only person who noticed this gratuitous use of the almighty for political gain. Greta Christina wrote a very good commentary on the topic that was featured on AlterNet.
She had this to say on the topic:
We have the very fact that this inauguration was opened and closed with a prayer. The fact that Sunday's inaugural concert was opened with a prayer. The fact that the oath of office was sworn on a Bible, and concluded -- unrequired by the Constitution -- with the words, "So help me God." The fact of the insistent repetition of the phrases "God bless you" and "God bless the United States." The fact that God was all over this inauguration like a cheap suit; the examples I've cited here, while the most egregious, were really just a drop in the bucket.

Completely regardless of the content of these prayers and invocations, we have the unquestioned assumption that religion and prayers and repeated references to God and faith should have a significant part -- indeed, any part whatsoever -- in the ceremonies of our government. We have the unquestioned assumption that the prayers of a church belong in the single most important ceremony of our state.

Look. You can't spend all day talking about how God's grace is upon the nation, and how everything that happens comes from God, and how equality and freedom and opportunity are promised to us by God, and how the elected leader of a democratic country is God's servant, and how forgetting God is a sin that requires forgiveness -- and then mention once that some of the people making up the strong patchwork of this country are non-believers -- and call that real inclusivity and recognition of non-believers.

Any more than you can spend all day talking about how same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to marry, and non- discrimination laws shouldn't be expanded to cover sexual orientation, and LGBT people shouldn't be allowed to serve in the military -- and then say, "Oh, no, I'm not homophobic."
I couldn't agree with her more!


  1. America. "one nation, under God" in the pledge. "IN GOD WE TRUST" on every dollar bill. Have you been paying attention?

  2. Well, I guess it's good to cover all your bases. :)


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