Tuesday, January 20, 2009

". . and unbelievers."

this one word, "unbelievers," included in obama's inaugural address, was important for the many americans like myself who do not participate in organized religion, or even believe in god. this country cannot persist in equating full citizenship with engaging in religion. an atheist or agnostic could never be elected president, which is sad. so i was glad to hear this one small word today, a tiny acknowledgement that being american is about something other than being religious. it may include being religious to many people, but it cannot be only that.

of course, the "un-" prefix makes this word a negative definition: unbelievers are identified as people who do not believe.

unbeliever can be a synonym for "infidel." in this speech's context, it simply meant "non-religious," however.

but i do believe. i believe in democracy and the courage to confront hard realities. i believe in beauty and in people. my gods are many and diverse.

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