January 20, 2009

Left out of the inaugural address

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.

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Heng Shun's picture

Although most of us are very supportive of the new president and admire the new tone he has set in the political arena, I don't think he deserves a pass on this one. I teach in a Buddhist elementary and high school, and as our student body watched the inaugural address they let out a gasp of disappointment when he mentioned all the major religions except for Buddhism. The elementary school students were particularly concerned. "Why weren't we mentioned?" They really felt disenfranchised when he failed to acknowledge their religion. So from the students perspective it was certainly a mistake for the president to leave out Buddhism.

bob's picture

maybe being left off the list indicates "we're" doing something right...

Alice's picture

I didn't even catch that although I read that phrase about 10 times and even posted it on my blog. I agree with Scott that it must have been the "non-believers" part that seemed like it was referring to me. The general public can't tell the diff between Buddhists and Hindus anyway...and besides, it's not what was said, but what was meant, and I understood loud and clear.

Zach's picture

Non-attachment to beliefs.

Konchog's picture

Lol. I highlighted that, too. But it's cool, I heard it like Scott did.

Liam's picture

And you left off the very next line "We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth"

So I think you're reading that former line too literally; it was delivered in the spirit of inclusion and diversity.

scott's picture

Frankly, I counted myself among the non-believers. As a Buddhist, I don't believe. I practice.

Tom's picture

Argh. Every religion cannot be named. Let us be humble, willing to be uncited. It is not as if we will be forgotten.

Obama's inaugural address is magnificent, I think. Lofty, poetical, wise, compassionate and classy. One for the history books -- up there with Lincoln's addresses.