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A nation of nonbelievers
January 20, 2009 11:40 AM   Subscribe

"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion." ~ George Washington / "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature." ~ Thomas Jefferson / "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion." ~ Abraham Lincoln / "A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison / "I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy / "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious (270 comments total) 97 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes.
posted by plexi at 11:42 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks be to the Flying Spaghetti Monster for our new president.
posted by hollisimo at 11:43 AM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Amen.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:44 AM on January 20, 2009


The more, the better.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 11:44 AM on January 20, 2009


Amen to that!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:44 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is good news.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009


Thank You
posted by captainsohler at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009


I was very pleased he mentioned us. Well, me, anyway.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I couldn't believe it when he said that.
posted by Mister_A at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Now that is fucking awesome. Where do I buy the t-shirt?
posted by autodidact at 11:45 AM on January 20, 2009


Actually, yeah, I totally keyed in on that statement and knew right then that it was a changing of the guard from the religious right that is the base of the GOP. Refreshing.
posted by captainsohler at 11:46 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was touched. By Obama's noodly appendage.
posted by orthogonality at 11:49 AM on January 20, 2009 [50 favorites]


Awesome! I haven't been able to hear or see the speech yet, and don't want to read it before I can hear him deliver it, but this is one very good note. Is it possible for me to love this man more?
posted by threeturtles at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2009


Thanks for the shoutout to us nonbelievers, Mr. President . . . although personally, I prefer the term "Godless no-account heathen trash."
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2009 [16 favorites]


Well I'm sure glad Obama went and included atheists in a list of belief groups. That fixes everything.
posted by cellphone at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


:)
posted by gurple at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2009


You atheists are always beating me over the head about it. No, I don't find you ideas intriguing and no, I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter.

Also, he totally dissed the Buddhists, Shintoists and Taoists there. Nice work, Mr. Abrahamic-religions-only-may-apply. (ok, well, except for Hindus. I don't get why they get a special shout-out.)
posted by GuyZero at 11:51 AM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Allow me to register my approval.
posted by BoatMeme at 11:51 AM on January 20, 2009


A black friend of mine emailed me about that - "See, you're included too".
posted by Nick Verstayne at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nice.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:53 AM on January 20, 2009


Great. Maybe he'll also name the dog Secret Muslin. Or cuter, Secret Nustlin'.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 11:54 AM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was very happy to hear this. We're Americans too, you know.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:54 AM on January 20, 2009


I thank God that Obama said this.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2009


I was standing in front of the Washington Memorial watching the speech on a jumbotron and there was a noticeable gasp of joyous surprise followed by a loud whoo when he said that.
posted by inconsequentialist at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2009 [12 favorites]


Good for him.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:55 AM on January 20, 2009


"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession." -Lincoln
posted by fusinski at 11:56 AM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


My money is on fusinski in the quote fight. 1, 2, 3, Cite!

And yes, I was glad to have my faith validated as well.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:59 AM on January 20, 2009


dear God.
posted by dawson at 12:00 PM on January 20, 2009


I was watching the inauguration in the breakroom at work with about 50 other people, and when he said that, I said "thank you". I don't think I actually meant to say it out loud. I got a few funny looks.
posted by Evangeline at 12:01 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


It stood out to me as one of the most important things he said... (I'm not American, but I am a nonbeliever)
posted by 0bvious at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2009


"They could be fascist anarchists - that still wouldn't change the fact that I don't own a car. Not that I condone fascism, or any ism for that matter. Isms in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ism - he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: "I don't believe in Beatles - I just believe in me". A good point there. Of course, he was the Walrus. I could be the Walrus - I'd still have to bum rides off of people." - Ferris Bueller
posted by Poolio at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


4 MORE POSTS! 4 MORE POSTS!
posted by ALongDecember at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


This meant a lot to me, hearing him include atheists. Great post nodding to this moment!
posted by thatbrunette at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009


I was standing in front of the Washington Memorial watching the speech on a jumbotron and there was a noticeable gasp of joyous surprise followed by a loud whoo when he said that.

The networks had the immediate area of the podium close miced - you could hear what was going on in the vicinity, but not the sound of that massive crowd. What I want to know is, how much booing was there when The Shrub appeared?
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]



That was certainly my big cheer moment of the speech. Hear, Hear! President Obama
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009


GuyZero - maybe because Buddhists, Shintoists and Taoists follow no one god, but honor a number of spirits and beliefs? You in turn dismissed the pagans, wiccans, and earth-worshipers. Heck, all the original residents of this nation had other gods and beliefs than The Big Four. May Perun strike you down from on high, and Coyote steal your very shoes while you walk on dangerous ground!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009


Oh...now I exist. How nice!
posted by medea42 at 12:06 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


You atheists are always beating me over the head about it. No, I don't find you ideas intriguing and no, I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter.

What huh? I don't see that happening in this thread.
posted by Evangeline at 12:07 PM on January 20, 2009


You atheists are always beating me over the head about it. No, I don't find you ideas intriguing and no, I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter.

What huh? I don't see that happening in this thread


I'm pretty sure he's being ironic. Pretty sure.
posted by AdamCSnider at 12:08 PM on January 20, 2009


Personally, I think the inclusion of prayers in a secular inauguration ceremony is misguided, but I found this explicit recognition of those of us who aren't religious to be a step in the right direction.

tl;dr: Gobama!
posted by sarabeth at 12:10 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure he's being ironic.

Oh, okay. I'm just a simple country lass. High falutin' concepts like irony are too much for my lil' ol' head.
posted by Evangeline at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2009


My heart jumped when he said that, I sense great things to come
posted by ashaw at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2009


We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." ~ Barack Obama

Buddhists,
Nonviolent sitdown protest at 8pm.
posted by terranova at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'd like to see that OBEY Obama image with the word "NONBELIEVE" underneath it.
posted by DU at 12:12 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I didn't think much about this, or think that I cared much, until he said it.

Now I realize it means a lot, and it feels good. I want more.
posted by everichon at 12:14 PM on January 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


Praise Jesus.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 12:14 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."

I missed that bit when I was carrying babby mouse to the car.

Awesome!

Yes, we can has lack of belief.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:16 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd also like to see the currency changed to read: In God We Trust...and unbelievers. Oh, and the Pledge of Allegiance: One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all...and unbelievers.
posted by DU at 12:17 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wife and I gave each other "terrorist fist jabs" when he said that. To us non-believers, that was a big moment.
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:18 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I think that was really cool. Granted, I'm no atheist, but the only other place I've seen that has been in the British parliament, so to see it here was pretty neat.
posted by hellojed at 12:18 PM on January 20, 2009


Personally, I think the inclusion of prayers in a secular inauguration ceremony is misguided, but I found this explicit recognition of those of us who aren't religious to be a step in the right direction.

On the one hand, I can see your point; but on the other hand, I kind of chalked that up to something akin to the selection of processional music at a wedding or something -- a way for the person actually being inaugurated/married to put their own personal stamp on the general proceedings.

Just like somewhere I'm sure there have been brides who've marched down the aisle to "The Banana Boat Song," Obama wanted a prayer at his inauguration. If he was personally Jewish, maybe it'd be a rabbi doing it; if he were atheist, he'd have...I don't know, Richard Dawkins making some kind of address. I was just able to shrug at this the way I was able to shrug over someone using a Dr. Seuss book as the homily at my cousin's wedding: "...well, okay, it's their wedding/inauguration, they can do what they want."

Your mileage may vary, of course.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:19 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


fnord
posted by ijoshua at 12:21 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Excellent beginning. It will really give Faux News something to whack off over, no doubt.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:22 PM on January 20, 2009


Just two words in the middle of a long speech, but probably the last two words I expected to hear form a politician. Especially from a man whose religion has been such a prominent part of his public and private life.

Damn, I wish I could shake his hand.
posted by lekvar at 12:23 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession." -Lincoln
posted by fusinski at 2:56 PM on January 20 [+] [!]


In the original Aramaic, Lincoln said elicha-batom-hama , which when translated to English is often commonly interchanged for religion and profession.
posted by yeti at 12:23 PM on January 20, 2009 [13 favorites]


Since Obama was the one to bring up "statistics," there are more Buddhists than Hindus in the USA. Although some may argue that we Buddhists are included in the "nonbelievers" category, since we don't pray to a God in the sky (well, most of us first-generation Buddhists don't, anyway).
posted by kozad at 12:24 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was shocked and impressed by that. Those are also the two words that the entire interweb is on fire over right now.
posted by rokusan at 12:24 PM on January 20, 2009


I was watching the inauguration in the breakroom at work with about 50 other people, and when he said that, I said "thank you".
-- posted by Evangeline


Eponyronic.
posted by rokusan at 12:25 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was just about to fly off into a PMS fueled rant about all the Obama FPP and then I saw this and now I have warm fuzzies and all is well.

I feel more and more confident every day that the world is changing for the better and becoming more equal.

Thank you 0bvious!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 12:26 PM on January 20, 2009


Hovercraft EelMost of the people around me booed when Bush came out. There were several other episodes of booing. Cheney was booed and Mitch McConnel was booed a bit. There were others that I can't remember at this moment. I was actually pretty disappointed that people reacted to Bush like they did. Of course most everyone there dislikes him immensely and of course we weren't there for him, but it seemed really crude and uncalled for. I suppose some people hadn't yet put away all of their childish things. On a nicer note, the crowd went absolutey nuts for Sasha and Malia. Michelle's appearance made everyone gasp (lots of gasps today) and ooh and ahh at how beautiful she was.

Fun Fact: If you didn't hear it, Warren's prayer caused the crowd to erupt in laughter at some points, most notably after he pronounced Sasha and Malia's names with such vigor.
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:26 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


In the original Aramaic, Lincoln said elicha-batom-hama , which when translated to English is often commonly interchanged for religion and profession.

Don't mean to derail the topic, but I'm calling shenanigans on that. Shenanigans!
posted by fusinski at 12:27 PM on January 20, 2009


DU, you probably know this already, but "under God" was added to the pledge at a much later date. Original allegiance pledge had "Under Gods."

Or maybe I watch too much Battlestar Galactica.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:29 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, Obvious, why did you edit out the key word in the Jefferson quotation: "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature"?

Here are a couple of other quotations from Jefferson that illustrate his thought on the matter:
I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; & believing he never claimed any other.--To Benjamin Rush

Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die an Unitarian.--To Benjamin Waterhouse
posted by No Robots at 12:30 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


well thank pasta for that
posted by johannahdeschanel at 12:30 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was pleasantly surprised to hear him include "non-believers" in the rollcall. I wonder if this was included to help defuse Rick Warren's speech, especially it's overt mentioning of Jesus Christ? According to the NPR crew, that really stuck out to them. Apparently, the specific mentioning of any deity (beyond the generic "God" or "Creator" or "Lord") is unheard of in these things.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:30 PM on January 20, 2009


If I wasn't so jaded, bitter, and skeptical about the universe I would have enjoyed this.
posted by JeffK at 12:31 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now that is fucking awesome. Where do I buy the t-shirt?

I want it on a flag. A big fifty footer.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 12:33 PM on January 20, 2009


I, too, appreciated the shout-out. I wish, though, that he'd including the undecideds, too. I guess, ultimately, it's for the best. Can you imagine how boring it would have been if he'd listed every single religion or state of belief?
posted by owtytrof at 12:33 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's good.
posted by WPW at 12:34 PM on January 20, 2009


DU - blame the 1950s. In God We Trust: the motto first appeared on a United States coin in 1864, but In God We Trust did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956.

An extension from No Robots point - Jefferson clipped out the doctrine of Jesus from the Bible and made his own reference book, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth." It's best known as the Jefferson Bible.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:35 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Original allegiance pledge had "Under Gods."

fnord.
posted by The Bellman at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2009


"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."

Great. Now we have to accept nihilists too? Fucking ethos-less bastards.


I kid! Yay for the non-believers!
posted by quin at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was genuinely surprised by that... had me wondering if it was a first to not only mention Muslims in an inauguration speech but atheists as well.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2009


I was both surprised and very happy to see him just say it already.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:41 PM on January 20, 2009


filthy light thief: ... In God We Trust did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956.

It appeared on dollar bills for the first time after the passage of that act. Some citizens noticed the change - and took the "disappearance" of the motto from the money to be hard evidence of a godless commie plot, not realised that in fact it had only just been added.
posted by WPW at 12:42 PM on January 20, 2009


According to liberal evangelical blogger Slacktavist:
I do want to discuss Warren himself and his presence there today in more detail later (no, really, I promise). For the most part, he did a fine job. His prayer was heartfelt, if a bit workmanlike and mostly -- deliberately and carefully -- it was inclusive. It exhibited, in other words, signs of the nascent but not yet fully realized inclusiveness and tolerance that I think our new president was hoping to nurture in both Warren and his constituents by including him -- and thus them -- in today's ceremony. Here's hoping that Warren will continue to follow the trajectory of what he already seems to believe even when that clear path leads to places where his loudest critics fear to go.

The only place he really stumbled, I think, was at the point where he was doomed by an impossible conflict between the demands of the occasion and the demands of his most-strident constituents. Those strident evangelicals hold that any public prayer that fails to include the shibboleth phrase "in Jesus name" is tantamount to blasphemy or to syncretism or compromise or denial. Or something. This insistence has little to do with theology -- it's more about declaring sectarian power, about marking one's territory by pissing on hydrants, trees and anyone who disagrees with you. Warren tried to split the difference and it just didn't work. But at least he recovered nicely there at the end, seeming to recognize the boundless inclusiveness of that pronoun, Our father ...
I thought Warren's Prayer sucked, especially compared to Lowery's at the end.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a non-believer, I liked the inclusion in today's speech.
That being said, te first three quotes in this FPP are incorrect or incomplete.
posted by rocket88 at 12:44 PM on January 20, 2009


By "noticed the change" I mean "noticed the difference in a side-by-side comparison of old and new bills".
posted by WPW at 12:44 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I asked Mr. [George H.W.] Bush, "What are you going to do to win the votes of Americans who are atheists?"

Mr. Bush replied, "I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me."

I followed up: "Do you support the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?"

Mr. Bush replied, "I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God."

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:45 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those are also the two words that the entire interweb is on fire over right now.


Linkys pls?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2009


Lincoln on the Bible:
In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man.

All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it. To you I return my most sincere thanks for the very elegant copy of the great Book of God which you present.
Lincoln on Christianity:
That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures.
posted by No Robots at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2009


GuyZero: You atheists are always beating me over the head about it. No, I don't find you ideas intriguing and no, I don't want to subscribe to your newsletter.

Also, he totally dissed the Buddhists, Shintoists and Taoists there. Nice work, Mr. Abrahamic-religions-only-may-apply. (ok, well, except for Hindus. I don't get why they get a special shout-out.)


Actually, Buddha was a non-believer. He also missed the mormons and polygamysts.
posted by Trakker at 12:48 PM on January 20, 2009


Sure, yeah, but what about Thor? Is there no place for Norse pantheon under Obama?

Just another liberal doing away with proud traditions like goat-pulled chariots and sacrifices to thunder gods.
posted by klangklangston at 12:48 PM on January 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yes, when I heard him so clearly acknowledge "non-believers" in the speech, well, I was just really, really glad that he included that. One more reason to believe in the man! Haha!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:50 PM on January 20, 2009


It makes me proud to hear what I perceive as genuine inclusiveness. One which finally includes my lack of (christian/god) belief as well as the actual beliefs of others.
posted by sundri at 12:52 PM on January 20, 2009


Yup, I liked that line. Didn't make up for Rick bloody Warren, but it was a nice baby step in the right direction.

AdamCSnider And Poe's Law strikes again. If GuyZero were trying for parody or satire quite unfortunately he failed. Not because (if he were trying for parody or satire) he's a bad person, but because people have quite seriously pushed the idea that the mere public existence of atheism is aggressive proselytizing. Which brings us to Poe's Law. Unless you know a person's posting history (and, btw from GuyZero's posting history I think its safe to say he was being ironic) you really can't say for sure that something is satire.

Personally I think the marker for the end of being able to satirize or parody fundies came on July 4, 2006. That was when this, a replica of the statue of Liberty with the torch replaced by a cross, was unveiled. Prior to that if I'd seen a picture of Liberty holding aloft a cross I'd have put it down as bad parody by an atheist with photoshop.
posted by sotonohito at 12:52 PM on January 20, 2009


I thought Warren's Prayer sucked, especially compared to Lowery's at the end.

Too right, Delmoi. I missed Warren's speech (no big loss there), but Lowery's benediction had this nonbeliever saying amen and amen to the living room TV.
posted by Monsters at 12:54 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


It seems like the atheists in here feel empowered by there own Messias.
posted by micha at 12:57 PM on January 20, 2009


Yes, when I heard him so clearly acknowledge "non-believers" in the speech, well, I was just really, really glad that he included that. One more reason to believe in the man! Haha!

And then he went on to mention God or scripture five or six times just to make sure that religious types knew that he was on their side and the mention of non-believers was just a little harmless pandering.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:58 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can't be sure if it made up for Rick Warren...but for me I think it did.
posted by Shutter at 1:02 PM on January 20, 2009


I should say that in my earlier comment, I meant Washington Monument. The cold and lack of food are destroying my brain parts.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:03 PM on January 20, 2009


I hear that nonbelievers are so-ho-ho-hoooo grateful for this.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:04 PM on January 20, 2009


But did he say anything about horse-fuckers?
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:06 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


don't be upset if you are a buddhist or some other eastern belief sort of person. You have no god. And that is why though you take the larger transcendental view, you are eating your liver. You are not even an atheist! You remain sort of, well, in purgatory. True god believers have heaven; atheists have (say the god folks) Hell...but eastern stuff? not sure what to do with you folks so you await full sorting out.
posted by Postroad at 1:07 PM on January 20, 2009


It seems like the atheists in here feel empowered by there their own Messias.

We just enjoy occasionally not being treated like pariahs in the public discourse.
posted by heathkit at 1:08 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Sorry about the slight misquotes in this post: my intentions were good. Quotes tend to get misquoted again and again (especially in the realm of interwebs) and eventually it is difficult to track down the exact, proper wording. I hope it didn't spoil my point...
posted by 0bvious at 1:10 PM on January 20, 2009


This quote of Lincoln's gives me pause, for this reason: his was the bible on which Obama swore his oath of office, which, given the owner's repudiation of said book, can only mean that Obama's oath, made on said book, was made in bad faith.
posted by Ylajali at 1:12 PM on January 20, 2009


I'm such a nonbeliver, I don't even believe in the gods of good intentions and false hopes.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:13 PM on January 20, 2009


nonbeliever
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:13 PM on January 20, 2009


Praise Bob
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:14 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


We just enjoy occasionally not being treated like pariahs in the public discourse.

Spell Nazis go to the deepest pit of hell anyway.
posted by micha at 1:15 PM on January 20, 2009


Spell(ing) Nazis go to the deepest pit of hell anyway.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:17 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


As for whether Buddhists are "believers" or not, it's certainly what most people would call a religion, albeit one without a clearly defined single deity. Certainly the veneration of bodhisattvas is pretty close to deification although they're pretty clearly material in origin (being just really enlightened people) versus somehow divine in origin. Plus, being a Buddhist is pretty much incompatible with the other faiths Obama mentioned - while there are people who consider themselves both Christian and Buddhist, most Christian churches wouldn't consider that kosher (for lack of a better term). Some denominations would look the other way while others would consider such a thing pure heresy. The same goes for Judaism and Islam - most become who are raised in those faiths and become Buddhists tend to reject their mother faith to some degree at the same time. if there is some population of Islamo-Buddhists out there I would be fascinated to hear about them (really, no irony). Finally, as someone else mentioned, the 2007 US Census lists 0.4% Hindus versus 0.7% Buddhists which is certainly good enough for me to state that there are more of them than there are Hindus. (No offense Hindus, you guys are awesome and all).

It reflects a certain type of bias that anybody here would reject the suggestion that Buddhists should have been included on the basis that they're not "believers". The notion that there has to be a divine entity in charge to create a valid faith/religion/belief structure is as narrow-minded as the omissions of non-believers would have been. The tin-foil hat-wearer in me wonders whether Obama is already willing to tiptoe around China and seeks not to make too many waves to early on.

Having said all that, it's a pretty petty point and I was actually quite happy when I heard him tack non-believers on the end of his list. Never having lived in a particularly religious area I don't think it's a big deal, but I suppose for some people it's probably about as exciting as Obama being black.

from GuyZero's posting history I think its safe to say he was being ironic

I am not being at all ironic when I say that my inability to be sincere or straightforward verges on a sickness.
posted by GuyZero at 1:18 PM on January 20, 2009


I'm not sure if anyone followed the links to the previous Presidents but the so-called Washington quote links to a page proving that he never said that.
posted by shii at 1:19 PM on January 20, 2009


Buddhists talk too much GuyZero, that's why He didn't mention you folks. The praise you guys would send him would take an entire dedicated staff 4 years to read.
posted by micha at 1:22 PM on January 20, 2009


but because people have quite seriously pushed the idea that the mere public existence of atheism is aggressive proselytizing.

Also, I forgot to mention - that something is consistently repeated by idiots makes it no less stupid. One of the many habits I hope to see leave the White House with George and Laura is the belief that repeating a lie somehow makes it the truth.
posted by GuyZero at 1:22 PM on January 20, 2009


Those are also the two words that the entire interweb is on fire over right now.
Linkys pls? -- posted by CunningLinguist


Pretty much any political/religion/science blog today?

You can start here!
posted by rokusan at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2009


And the Lincoln quotation looks a little dodgy, with no attributed source that I could find.
posted by No Robots at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2009


Buddhists talk too much GuyZero, that's why He didn't mention you folks

God himself didn't mention Buddhists? Or are we referring to Obama as capital-H-"He" now?

And as they say, I have no dog/horse/camel in this race. In the buffet of religious belief, I spend most of my time over at the dessert bar of bacchanalian earthly delights.
posted by GuyZero at 1:30 PM on January 20, 2009


I have no dog/horse/camel in this race

There you go, all biased against Eastern religions again by not mentioning cows.
posted by micha at 1:34 PM on January 20, 2009


I spend most of my time over at the dessert bar of bacchanalian earthly delights.

Is there a chocolate fountain? 'Cause I like chocolate fountains.
posted by Evangeline at 1:35 PM on January 20, 2009


cellphone writes "Well I'm sure glad Obama went and included atheists in a list of belief groups. That fixes everything."

It's a start, and I'll take what I can get.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:38 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is there a chocolate fountain? 'Cause I like chocolate fountains.

Brown can stick around!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:44 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


delmoi writes "I thought Warren's Prayer sucked, especially compared to Lowery's at the end."

I agree, but there is something to be said for bringing the evangelicals over to a less reactionary way. Until recently, this wing of Christianity in the US stayed out of politics completely, but they were courted by the Republicans, and since then evangelicals have identified almost exclusively with their party (in public at least, though I understand many did not agree with all the politics). Warren is no great reformer, but I think his popularity is due in large part to the evangelical community not having someone who emphasizes humility and service over judgment. He can fill that gap for now. I have hope that Rick Warren isn't the end of that road, however.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:51 PM on January 20, 2009


"I am against gay marriage because of my Christian beliefs."
-paraphrase of various public statements by Barack Obama
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:54 PM on January 20, 2009


I'd like to follow up on the comments re: Lincoln's quotes. Thanks, No Robots, for those alternative quotes.

The Lincoln quotation comes from an uncredited quotation, so far as I can quickly find, from an outspoken rationalist writing an argument for the case that Lincoln was a Free Thinker (and not a Christian).

Kind of disappointed that I had to go and look up the source, as I would've liked to think of Lincoln as non-Christian. It seems that a case still might be made for him being agnostic, though informed of the importance of Christianity in American life and culture...
posted by furious_george at 1:55 PM on January 20, 2009


And yeah, I think we can all agree that our founders tended to use "God" in a more Unitarian sense, and that Jefferson was fairly atheistic, without joining the fundies in the "dubiously sourced quotations prove my side is right!!1" game.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:56 PM on January 20, 2009


LOVEJOY: "God was acting in the hearts of your fellow men, be they Christian, Jew or miscellaneous..."

APU: Hindu! There are 600 million of us you know!

LOVEJOY: That's just super!
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:58 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Harry Truman was maybe the least religious president. Some of his thoughts on the subject can be found here.

In my opinion people's religious beliefs are their own affair, and when I don't agree with 'em I just don't discuss religion. It has caused more wars and feuds than money, and that seems a shame too.

I'm not very much impressed with men who publicly parade their religious beliefs.

[The Baptists] do not want a person to go to shows or dance or do anything for a good time. Well I like to do all those things and play cards besides. So you see I am not very strong as a Baptist.

posted by mattbucher at 1:59 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


As for whether Buddhists are "believers" or not, it's certainly what most people would call a religion
Buddhism is undoubtedly a religion. Zen is a philosophy.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:00 PM on January 20, 2009


Back in 2000, and again in 2004, I heard an awful lot of the Republican supporters make equivalent statements to "He's your president, you don't have a choice, you're American and so you must support him".

I am cynical here. I don't think the same will be said by them about Obama. In fact, I expect lots of "N(obama-symbol)t MY President!" bumper stickers to be sold.

Is it unfair of me to assume this? Maybe. I just cannot see my American relatives supporting him when they are still telling "nigger" jokes in public.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:01 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Great. Now we have to accept nihilists too? Fucking ethos-less bastards.

Say what you want about National Socialism -- at least it's an ethos.

It seems like the atheists in here feel empowered by there own Messias.

It's not that atheists don't have people who inspire them -- it's just that those people actually exist.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:02 PM on January 20, 2009 [17 favorites]


He just lost the Quetzalcoatl worshippers' vote. That's going to cost him big in 2012.
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on January 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


This is so cool.

I have been wary of all the Obama celebration because of my experience in Mexico.

I was there when Vicente Fox won, after 71 years of one party rule, with Florida scale fraud every single election. Think of that, the opposition wins after 71 years of Bush in office. It was the first election I bothered to vote, the campaign slogan was "Si se puede" (yes we can), people were celebrating on the streets, when the results were announced and later during the inauguration. Just like in the USA right now.

First thing Mr. Change and Hope does is go visit the Pope, get his marriage annulled and get married to his lover of many years. In return, the Catholic Church got back a lot of the power the people had been fighting for centuries to take away. It was downhill from there.

This two words by Obama make me think maybe things will be different here.

When Fox brought put back religion in politics, several state governors and the mayor of Mexico City reacted by legalizing gay marriage, legalizing abortion and trying to deriminalize drug use. Something good came out of it all.
posted by dirty lies at 2:06 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Quetzacoatl worshipers (and worshipers of any other prehispanic god) know that under every Catholic altar there hides a stone idol, and inside every saint, there dwells an old god. As long as there are Catholics in the USA, we are safe.

Where the fuck is Tlaloc now? My ferns are all dried up.
posted by dirty lies at 2:08 PM on January 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


mattbucher writes "I'm not very much impressed with men who publicly parade their religious beliefs."

Give 'em hell, Harry.

He was also wildly unpopular for most of his time in office. The Republicans hated him the way the Democrats hate Bush, except Truman was competent and a very good strategist, and when WWII was over, he was treated as something of a hero for a while. Although, his time after WWII was problematic in many ways .... He should have quit while he was ahead.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:11 PM on January 20, 2009


I think we should change the pledge to say "one nation, under the spaghetti monster..."
posted by delmoi at 2:14 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kickstart70 wrote Is it unfair of me to assume this? Maybe. I just cannot see my American relatives supporting him when they are still telling "nigger" jokes in public.

Sounds perfectly fair and accurate to me. Just yesterday at the office of my insurance agent the receptionist complained that the banks were closed "because its black day".

I think "N(Obama symbol)ot My President" stickers are going to be among the most civil and polite expressions of contempt we see from the right.
posted by sotonohito at 2:14 PM on January 20, 2009


Sorry about the slight misquotes in this post: my intentions were good. Quotes tend to get misquoted again and again (especially in the realm of interwebs) and eventually it is difficult to track down the exact, proper wording. I hope it didn't spoil my point...

I like to read points of view that are contrary to my own but it's hard to take them seriously when the quotes are distorted. Your quotes are off the mark by enough to make it seem like you are implying things that are simply not true. And using a site that links Billy Graham to the illuminati doesn't help either.
posted by txvtchick at 2:17 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


As part of my green envy at not having been able to vote for Obama, I'd like to point out that my 3rd world, explicitely christian (it says so in our constitution), conservative backwater country has an atheist for a President. A single-mom atheist, at that.
posted by signal at 2:18 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Finally!
posted by ob at 2:26 PM on January 20, 2009


What's the point of a prayer if you don't craft it to the One you are praying to?

It's like shooting an arrow at many different targets at one time. You aren't gonna hit anything, so what was the point of shooting it to begin with?

I would rather there be no prayers whatsoever at this sort of thing than the mealymouthed watered down pablum that generally gets expressed. Because those sorts of prayers don't go any higher than the ceiling at best, and at worst are probably offensive to Whom I believe is the one True God who very clearly says we should have no gods before Him.

So again, it would be better to not have these prayers at all.

(No, not bitter I had to work and missed every bit of today's inauguration save the first few sentences of Rick Warren. No, not at all....)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:33 PM on January 20, 2009


He just lost the Quetzalcoatl worshippers' vote. That's going to cost him big in 2012 20120.

Fixed that for you.
posted by rokusan at 2:35 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kickstart70 writes "Is it unfair of me to assume this? Maybe. I just cannot see my American relatives supporting him when they are still telling 'nigger' jokes in public."

Think of it this way. Just 45 years ago, a little over two generations, that the US passed the Civil Rights Act. So little time has passed, and someone who couldn't even eat at the same counter as someone who is white is now president. I really didn't expect it to happen this quickly. Attitudes change slowly, true, but we're not stuck in time.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:40 PM on January 20, 2009


I find religion mixed in with my politics to be kinda like cat turds mixed in with my spaghetti sauce. Yeah, it's still edible, but it'd be a lot better without that extra ingredient.
posted by jamstigator at 2:41 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


R-amen!
posted by arcticwoman at 2:49 PM on January 20, 2009


ust yesterday at the office of my insurance agent the receptionist complained that the banks were closed "because its black day".

Sounds like it's time for you to write a letter to your former insurance agent telling him why he is your former insurance agent.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:52 PM on January 20, 2009 [14 favorites]


From No Robots' quotation of Jefferson: and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die an Unitarian.

And you know what Unitarian's are? The least you can be. You don't even have to believe in G*d. So, there's that.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:55 PM on January 20, 2009


> Plus, being a Buddhist is pretty much incompatible with the other faiths Obama mentioned

Buddhism is just an offshoot of Hinduism, anyway :)
posted by dhruva at 2:56 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I just go ahead and say that "non-believers" is actually a pretty derogatory term? It's like calling lesbians "non-heteros" or deaf people "non-hearers". The belief-challenged and religiously-impaired in my office have taken great umbrage with it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:59 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


Unitarianism in Jefferson's time meant that you believed in a Creator, but you didn't believe that Christ was a god. Sort of like Islam.
posted by No Robots at 3:00 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:05 PM on January 20, 2009


txvtchick: "I like to read points of view that are contrary to my own but it's hard to take them seriously when the quotes are distorted. Your quotes are off the mark by enough to make it seem like you are implying things that are simply not true. And using a site that links Billy Graham to the illuminati doesn't help either."

Point taken, but I thought linking to the 'jesus-is-saviour.com' website was quite ironic. Apologies.

I got these quotes from a superbly crafted documentary (written and presented by the intellectual giant Jonathan Miller) that was aired on British TV a few years back: Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief

I guess you shouldn't always believe what you see on TV!

I posted this as a nod to Obama's words. The voices from history, whether slightly misquoted or not, still underpin the historical relevance of mentioning 'nonbelievers' in ANY Presidential speech.
posted by 0bvious at 3:06 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Light Thief writes:... In God We Trust did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956.

What is interesting to me is the congressional record states:
"At the present time the United States has no national motto. The committee deems it most appropriate that 'In God we trust' be so designated as U.S. national motto."[1]
That seems disingenuous to me; there already was the (vastly superior) de facto motto in use from 1782: E Pluribus Unum

Still, I welcome the inclusion of non-believer in obama's first speech as president today. We'll need plenty of "From many, one" for the bumpy road ahead.
posted by lucidprose at 3:07 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great post!
posted by sid at 3:08 PM on January 20, 2009


eponysterical?
posted by Midnight Rambler at 3:30 PM on January 20, 2009


Yup, I liked that line. Didn't make up for Rick bloody Warren, but it was a nice baby step in the right direction.

What he said. It was difficult to express to straight people the feeling I had as Rick Warren - a man who just months ago was actively campaigning to deny me basic civil equality under the law - gave the invocation for America's first black president. It was about as direct a slap in the face as you can imagine from that stage. Try telling that to straight folks, though.
posted by mediareport at 3:36 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


We just enjoy occasionally not being treated like pariahs in the public discourse.

Amen to that.

I feel like I've been down so long that I've cleaned all the toilets in hell with my toothbrush. I felt it better to say nothing to my mother when she dragged me to church every Christmas Eve. I felt it better to say nothing to my in-laws when they bowed their heads to say grace and thanked God for the meal that I had just spent money, time and effort to serve. I felt it better to say nothing when my neighbors told me, "Smile, honey, Jesus loves you." And everybody "knows" that atheists are only 1% of the population. And everybody "knows" that decent comes right before the words "god-fearing" and "hard-working" and "American." And eveybody "knows" that Americans would rather their child marry a Muslim than an atheist. I'm an atheist. It's been my dirty little secret for the past 35 years.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:41 PM on January 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


It's been my dirty little secret for the past 35 years.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:41 AM on January 21 [+] [!]

Oh lawdy.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:46 PM on January 20, 2009


Commie.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:49 PM on January 20, 2009


It was nice to be recognized as vaguely human, however briefly, between all the prayers. That's about the extent of the respect I expect to be extended, though.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:51 PM on January 20, 2009


Can I just go ahead and say that "non-believers" is actually a pretty derogatory term? It's like calling lesbians "non-heteros" or deaf people "non-hearers".

It's not derogatory to this non-believer. It's actually a very inclusive description that covers atheists, agnostics and perhaps 'spiritual' people too. It's certainly not like calling a lesbian 'non-hetero', when that phrase glosses the attraction to women inherent in being a lesbian. As to calling Deaf people 'non-hearers', I put the offence in that down to Deaf people electing to call themselves Deaf, rather than something about 'non-hearing' (deaf originally meant 'with a dulled sense', to paraphrase from Websters).
posted by topynate at 3:51 PM on January 20, 2009


I agree... we're all non-believers in something (or nothing, as the case may be).
posted by 0bvious at 3:57 PM on January 20, 2009


As for whether Buddhists are "believers" or not

Mu.
posted by desjardins at 3:58 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's not derogatory to this non-believer.

Aww jeez, I was but jesting.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:05 PM on January 20, 2009


Buddhism is undoubtedly a religion. Zen is a philosophy.

Alan Watts gives a good perspective on Buddhism as 'not' a religion.

"The crux of buddhist discipline is an experience, not a theory, not a belief. If we say that a religion is a combination of creed, code an cult. And if we say this is true of judaism, islam and christianity, if they are religions, then buddhism is not. The Creed is the revelation, a revealed symbolism of what the universe is about and you are commanded to believe in it on the divine authority. The Code is the revealed will of god for man, and the Cult is the divinely revealed form of worship which you must practice. Commandment, because god is ruler.

The disciplines of Buddhism, do not require you to believe anything. They have no commandments. They do have precepts, but these are really vows which you under take on your own responsibility, not in obedience to anybody. They are experimental techniques for changing consciousness. And the thing they are mainly concerned with is helping human beings to get rid of the illusion that they are a skin encapsulated ego." - Alan Watts (paraphrased)

Zen is just a different/modified set of of techniques for changing your consciousness, its not a philosophy. There are many different sects/schools of buddhism, each with different methods for acheiving the same thing.
posted by Trakker at 4:12 PM on January 20, 2009


turgid dalia: In most other cases, I'd agree that nonbeliever is not the best choice of words. Although the alternatives are messy. "Atheist" fails because a lot of people don't identify with that term for social or political reasons, or because they just don't understand it. "Bright" was a non-starter. But here, in the context of this particular speech, I'll take it. Here it is in context:
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 nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West: Know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
So why those four? Now I might be reading too much into that rhetorical structure. I doubt it because it just seems too precisely worded. To me, it sounds as if he's expanding the American foreign policy agenda into peace brokering in Asia, perhaps a nod to India-Pakistan and the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Perhaps most importantly, Obama's words are a direct response to Bush's farewell address:
The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God, and that liberty and justice light the path to peace.

This is the belief that gave birth to our nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens....
So its not just that Obama throws in the word "nonbeliever" at the end of phrase. Obama explicitly rejects the Manifest Destiny ideological model that America exists because of, and in order to spread a hegemonic Christianity through the world (and its secular baby sister, the Enlightenment Imperative of Hitchens.) The vision of American potential greatness and value within world politics Obama gives us is unabashedly pluralistic and multicultural. This is some pretty radical stuff here (for Americans) and my inner Gore Vidal is frankly shocked that Obama is getting away with this kind of rhetoric.

These two diametrically opposed statements are going to frame the next four years of the culture war. To conservatives, Obama's invocation constitute fighting words, high treason. Warren's invocation doesn't matter anymore. In two short paragraphs Obama rhetorically dropped his pants and told cultural conservatives to french kiss his ass.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:19 PM on January 20, 2009 [15 favorites]


deny me basic civil equality under the law

I believe you are a bit confused. Under civil law, ALL citizens have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. Even you. Tell me again how it is you are being denied this right?
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 4:22 PM on January 20, 2009


You know what I mean, Hovercraft.
posted by mediareport at 4:24 PM on January 20, 2009


/end verbal pedantry
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 4:25 PM on January 20, 2009


the civil war in Sri Lanka

wha? Sri Lanka is majority Buddhist, which religion he did not mention.
posted by desjardins at 4:26 PM on January 20, 2009


Sure, yeah, but what about Thor? Is there no place for Norse pantheon under Obama?

You make a joke, but like, I actually know a couple people who practice a bit of Norse paganism, having oldschool Yule celebrations and such. It was nothing nuts and nothing crypto-White supremacist, it was just on the level that when the solstice came around most people would do Christmas, varyingly religious or secular, some people would do Hannukah, and these guys would do a pagan Yule.

On the other hand, usually an acknowledgment of the amazingly diverse spectrum of religions and beliefs in the country and world goes "Believers in Yahweh 1, Believers in Yahweh 2, and Believers in Yahweh 3" so graded on the curve Obama's doing great. Personally I'd rather politicians just skip past petty differences in dogma and talk about welcoming viewpoints both monist and dualist, both deterministic and nondeterministic, and so on. Also give the nihilists, and even the Solipsists' Club, a seat at the table.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:46 PM on January 20, 2009


desjardins: wha? Sri Lanka is majority Buddhist, which religion he did not mention.

With a majority Hindu minority engaged in an extended civil war. At least those were the first two thoughts I had when he used that particular word in the context of world peace.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:47 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The vision of American potential greatness and value within world politics Obama gives us is unabashedly pluralistic and multicultural

Obama is merely the President - neither he nor any any other American can single-handedly turn the melting pot into a multicultural buffet. I doubt we'll see a lot of turbans in the US House or Senate anytime soon. (and Singh Baines would be a Republican in the US! Imagine that - a Republican Sikh Representative! Good luck with that.) Plus Obama also forgot the Sikhs - the awesomest religion ever founded by an accountant. So another strike there - I suppose he can be forgiven in that Sikhs are still a very, very small part of the US population; most of the US isn't Surrey or Brampton just yet.

I think you read a bit much into the line - although you're not far off - but it's simply dancing with the ones that brought you. Obama knows the demographics of his supporters well enough to know that making it into the Obama and Jesus show isn't going to fly.
posted by GuyZero at 4:54 PM on January 20, 2009


Oh crap, Singh Baines is a Liberal! I fail at reading comprehension. I saw the initial "P.C." after his name and my mind went elsewhere. You'd think the red everywhere on the page would have been enough. My bad.
posted by GuyZero at 4:57 PM on January 20, 2009


I do love it when Western Buddhists pretend that they're the only Buddhists and that their Buddhism defines the broader religion.

it was just on the level that when the solstice came around most people would do Christmas, varyingly religious or secular, some people would do Hannukah, and these guys would do a pagan Yule.

I'm actually pretty close to that in my practice, but I pick the 25th to celebrate on because the actual solstice moves around too much for me to remember, and I'm more celebrating the idea of a national holiday than anything spiritual.

Y'know, that's something that atheists really lose out on—there's a pretty fair perception that they don't celebrate any of the "regular" holidays, and holidays are a big reason for why most people consider themselves part of any given religion. I laughed at Rousseau's arguments for a civic religion when I first read 'im, but as I get older and less tied to any real religious tradition, I see his point.

Want to win over the wavering religious? Don't just harangue them on message boards—designate a couple of calendar-based holidays (solstice, equinox, prime number days, whatever) and throw sweet parties where everyone gets drunk and presents.

I mean, hell, it worked for Lincoln and Thanksgiving. (Maybe Obama will launch a whole bunch of new state holidays?)
posted by klangklangston at 5:00 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


This nearly Buddhist wishes to be called,"neither believing nor non-believing". Thank you.
posted by pointilist at 5:05 PM on January 20, 2009


GuyZero: Obama is merely the President - neither he nor any any other American can single-handedly turn the melting pot into a multicultural buffet.

Oh certainly. But I think his inauguration speeches frame the discussion, and if, as an example, the U.S. were to ever take small diplomatic steps towards very weak diplomatic relationships with Iran or Cuba, the hue and cry will go out that Obama has lost focus on American values and is soft on terrorism. (Never mind the fact that Nixon negotiated with both China and Vietnam, two states with considerably hotter ongoing hostilities at the time.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:09 PM on January 20, 2009


Thus, "only Nixon could go to China".

And between Iran and Cuba, I don't think that the Obama administration is suddenly going to change the change the course of US foreign policy and start caring about relative brush wars in Sri Lanka, his mention of Hindus notwithstanding. Once they start enriching uranium or embracing communism, maybe.

In the short term, I look forward to Obama's awkward first state visit with Stephen Harper where Harper smiles in his creepy way and there are forced pleasantries. Perhaps Obama will end up meeting with Ignatief, Layton and Duceppe even more awkwardly. Good times either way.
posted by GuyZero at 5:26 PM on January 20, 2009


I was actually pretty disappointed that people reacted to Bush like they did. Of course most everyone there dislikes him immensely and of course we weren't there for him, but it seemed really crude and uncalled for. I suppose some people hadn't yet put away all of their childish things.

The dude is a criminal, and a murderer . You think a little booing is out of line? They should have had his carcass strung from Lincoln's left hand.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:09 PM on January 20, 2009


They should have had his carcass strung from Lincoln's left hand.

Ok, maybe thats too harsh- two wrongs don't make right. But throwing things and booing at him are the least people can do.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:12 PM on January 20, 2009


While the President can't single-handedly transform American culture, the Executive branch has a budget of billions of dollars, and a big stick in determining the actual practices of thousands of institutions that affect our daily lives.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:15 PM on January 20, 2009


Sweet. Now maybe god will run off and fuck with some other county for a while.
posted by troybob at 6:16 PM on January 20, 2009


country
posted by troybob at 6:18 PM on January 20, 2009


They should have had his carcass strung from Lincoln's left hand.

Ok, maybe thats too harsh- two wrongs don't make right. But throwing things and booing at him are the least people can do.


So one old lady yells at Obama in NC calling him a socialist, and she's an uncouth biddy with no manners, yet people boo an outgoing president of the United States and that's the least they could do?

I think I know what our new President would say to this. I think he would say that even if one does not respect the man one should respect the office, and one should respect the occasion. And I think that if one respects Obama-and one should-one should respect the occasion and act like one had some home training.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:30 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was a nice touch, though my favorite line was, "We will restore science to its rightful place...".
posted by wastelands at 6:35 PM on January 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


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 nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.
That's very interesting, as the message is quite clear that from experience (civil war and may I add religious wars) we can learn that fighting each other over some belief leads to, more often that not, undesiderable consequences that are entirely avoidable.

That's getting rid of the win-lose binary mentality that anything I consider to be a loss _must be_ a gain to somebody else (therefore somebody else loss _must be_ a gain for me) disregarding the outcomes and in spite of the fact that better outcomes, win-win ones, could have been obtained with little effort from both sides.

For instance, people who believe that anything but the complete, unconditional and universal acceptance of their set or system of beliefs _must lead_ to undesiderable
consequence, act very defensively and reject the mere idea of testing any alternative or veryfing wheter their belief is confirmed by evidence or not.

The recognition of the fact that we all are human beings creates, at least, one common point that is, unsurprisingly, challenged by those whose who argue the very definition of "human" by offering a bounded vision that "human is what I say it makes us human", disregarding those traits that are not compatible with their vision (common genetic code) or denying their relevance (only morals define what is human, being mammals isn't relevant).

So the recognition of a set of nonbelievers as part of the nation is at very least an improvement over the position held by Bush :
Mr. Bush replied, "I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God."
which doesn't dehumanize atheists, but sets them as "not part" of "us", which is just a categorical exclusion that doesn't change the fact that both atheists and agnostic do exist, do belong to communities and that resent being described as "them" or dangerous, amoral aliens.
posted by elpapacito at 6:36 PM on January 20, 2009



So one old lady yells at Obama in NC calling him a socialist, and she's an uncouth biddy with no manners,


Yeah, well the difference is that old lady was pitifully wrong and confused about what she was calling him. Not the case here.



I think I know what our new President would say to this. I think he would say that even if one does not respect the man one should respect the office, and one should respect the occasion. And I think that if one respects Obama-and one should-one should respect the occasion and act like one had some home training.

I was exaggerating about the throwing things part. But I have no respect for that guy, and he clearly has no respect for his position in office, the country, or any of us. So why pretend he's dignified? I'm not saying that was the proper place to put him on trial but he deserves no praise or applause.
I think principles are more important than formalities.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:42 PM on January 20, 2009


S'ok, the inaugural festivities already managed to throw god and gays under the bus simultaneously by dissing Gene Robinson. (Which has me a little annoyed, even as a nonbeliever).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:43 PM on January 20, 2009


I believe you are a bit confused. Under civil law, ALL citizens have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. Even you. Tell me again how it is you are being denied this right?

The law in its infinite majesty forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges!

You, sir, have a first class legal mind.
posted by Justinian at 6:48 PM on January 20, 2009 [3 favorites]




Back in 2000, and again in 2004, I heard an awful lot of the Republican supporters make equivalent statements to "He's your president, you don't have a choice, you're American and so you must support him".

I am cynical here. I don't think the same will be said by them about Obama.


I found a section from this article about people watching the inauguration in Eastern Kentucky kind of comforting on that:

Her friends, Mildred Winkler, 85, and Shirley Bingham, who is in her early 70s, say they didn't vote for Obama either, but they want to see the inauguration.

"We need to be aware of what's going on," Winkler says. "I was not an Obama fan, but if he's elected, he is my president."

posted by dilettante at 7:09 PM on January 20, 2009


Under civil law, ALL citizens have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex.

Similarly, in the 1950's, ALL citizens had the right to marry a person of their same race.
posted by blenderfish at 7:53 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


On booing: Yeah, it's not the classiest thing the world; however, from the time he took office, Bush insulated himself from hearing opposing viewpoints and criticisms and put the process of executive government behind a thick curtain. If some people feel that a well-placed boo is the only way to express dissatisfaction, you can't say they've been given many other opportunities to make themselves heard by him and his administration.
posted by troybob at 8:16 PM on January 20, 2009


So he said 'non-believers'. Doesn't mean much in a speech that also refers to 'Scripture' (with a capital S - no need to ask which one) and 'God-given' promises.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:31 PM on January 20, 2009


There could be a lot more said about Buddhist theology here. dhruva is off the mark in his lame Wikipedia post. Buddhism is not just "an offshoot" of Hinduism. In fact, Buddhism was a reaction against the ossified form of Brahministic Hinduism in the Buddha's time

GuyZero makes some good points. Postroad, Buddhism is not eating my liver. Grow up.

And mostly: the Inauguration of the President should not be a religious affair. (Like marriage...which can be if you want it to be.) Like India, the USA is a secular state. We are not a Christian nation. The majority rule idea has its limits when it approaches mob rule. Please let us return to our Deistic origins, if we must. No Rick Warren, no obligatory invocation of God. This is a personal matter.

It is despicable that an atheist is not fit for public office.
posted by kozad at 8:53 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


So one old lady yells at Obama in NC calling him a socialist, and she's an uncouth biddy with no manners, yet people boo an outgoing president of the United States and that's the least they could do?

If he didn't want people to boo him in the event of unsatisfactory job performance, perhaps he should have chosen a line of work other than public office.

In other news, I am happy that all of the top links for 'good riddance you lousy motherfucker' are now related to Bush.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:07 PM on January 20, 2009


In addition to the booing, the crowd around me also started singing "Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye" when Bush arrived on the stage.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:18 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some of these quotes in the original post are out of context (JFK's) or wrong, as fusinski pointed out in the case of Lincoln. Here are just two quick inaugural quotes

"Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own."
--John. F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961

"...and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations. "
- Barack Obama, Jan. 20, 2009
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:04 PM on January 20, 2009


The two quotes above are from the last sentences of both respective inaugural speeches.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:05 PM on January 20, 2009


I believe you are a bit confused. Under civil law, ALL citizens have the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. Even you. Tell me again how it is you are being denied this right?

Do I hear the Theme from Deliverance?
posted by terranova at 10:12 PM on January 20, 2009


I have to say, a shout-out to what my (new) wife and I both believe (or non-believe);
PLUS,
he and his wife danced to the same song that was our wedding dance on November 1st?
Etta James? Word.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 11:06 PM on January 20, 2009


turgid dahlia writes "Can I just go ahead and say that 'non-believers' is actually a pretty derogatory term? It's like calling lesbians 'non-heteros' or deaf people 'non-hearers'. The belief-challenged and religiously-impaired in my office have taken great umbrage with it."

I prefer to think of myself as "unshackled." If that's too vivid, then perhaps "unencumbered."
posted by krinklyfig at 11:23 PM on January 20, 2009


I'm glad others noticed that as well. I myself was offended by it as well. He could've easily said "athiests and agnostics". I'll have to remember when I become president to thank atheists, agnostics, and "non-freethinkers".
posted by Chocomog at 4:15 AM on January 21, 2009


"non-freethinkers"

That's adorable.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:20 AM on January 21, 2009


Buddhists,
Nonviolent sitdown protest at 8pm.


Oooh, is anyone bringing snacks?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:26 AM on January 21, 2009


Although some may argue that we Buddhists are included in the "nonbelievers" category, since we don't pray to a God in the sky (well, most of us first-generation Buddhists don't, anyway).

I'm a second-generation Buddhist and I'll pray to G-d. Though since I tend to be of the belief that "G-d" encompasses "everything," those prayers can get a bit crowded.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:28 AM on January 21, 2009


Lots of punches at religious types here. Good thing I learned to turn the other cheek when it comes to metafilter. I am happy we have a president that tries to mention everyone and will represent everyone equally regardless of his personal beliefs.

This quote just proves how pig headed and stupid some religious types can be:

Mr. Bush replied, "I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God."

Please just remember we are all not like him and it is our country too.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:02 AM on January 21, 2009


Finally, the page loads for me.

AND NONBELIEVERS
posted by DU at 6:11 AM on January 21, 2009


Dude, as a Buddhist, you can't type the letter "o" in "God"? Srsly?
posted by grubi at 6:14 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Trakker I hate to break it to you, but Alan Watts is not the be all and end all of knowledge about Buddhism. In fact, the quotes you cited are pretty much totally wrong when discussing many sects.

Take, for example, Amida Buddhism. Its one of the main sects in Japan, and it centers around prayer to and worship of Amitabha. That sect is pretty much entirely about attaining rebirth into the Pure Land that Amitabha created, and the method by which you attain that rebirth is by praying to Amitabha and asking him to do it for you.

The claim that Buddhism is an inward focused philosophy of non-worship indicates that the person making that claim is only familiar with the sects that have gained popularity in the West, or that they're deliberately ignoring sects that don't match that image of Buddhism.

Buddhism may be the most variegated religion on the planet. The Buddhism you describe does exist, but so does Buddhism that is basically just prayer and worship that is basically same as any other religion just with different names.
posted by sotonohito at 7:52 AM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


In addition to the booing, the crowd around me also started singing "Hey, hey, hey. Goodbye" when Bush arrived on the stage.

Having finally seen a copy of Obama's remarks, seems like he said it was time to put away childish things.

And sorry, but that was childish.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:04 AM on January 21, 2009


in reply to kickstart70 who asked: "Is it unfair of me to assume this? Maybe. I just cannot see my American relatives supporting him when they are still telling 'nigger' jokes in public."

My (husband's) relatives who regularly use the n-word in public voted for Obama. So, you know, anything's possible.

Are there a lot of people unhappy with having him as President? Yes. All of a sudden I hear things about "Texans Secede!" and such to which most people roll their eyes and make the don't-poke-the-crazy face. I work with one of these guys. But that's inevitable.

To focus on a small minority of malcontents when Obama has a 83% approval rating is nitpicking in my opinion. No one is going to be universally liked, especially in politics. Is racism over now? Of course not. But a major step has been taken in the direction of maybe teaching people that their small-mindedness is a mistake and puts them in the minority of their countrymen.
posted by threeturtles at 8:26 AM on January 21, 2009


Anybody else think Cheny was channelling Mr. Potter?
posted by HyperBlue at 8:37 AM on January 21, 2009


Anyone who's in doubt about the huge umbrella that is Buddhism should take a wander through the forums at e-sangha, where there exist "pure philosophy" types next to "prayer and worship" folks. A lot of the participants are from Asian countries, who often provide much different perspectives than Western adherents of Buddhism.

Personally, I think that Buddhism is a religion even without the prayer and worship part (e.g. Zen). It takes a leap of faith that it's the right path ("right" meaning "right for you," not "better than everyone else's"). I mean, if you don't believe in it, why do it? It takes perserverance to meditate. There are rituals and forms that don't exist in any philosophy with which I'm familiar. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but philosophy seems to be more descriptive than prescriptive. (I hated my philosophy prof in college, so I might be talking out my ass here.)
posted by desjardins at 8:40 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Obama saying "our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness" and non-believers was awesome. My jaw dropped with his courage. What a brilliant, inspiring, truly great speech.

sotonohito, imo, something that is "basically just prayer and worship" is not Buddhism but a cult that has become a cultural tradition under the camouflage of Buddhism. I would also say this is largely true of many of the Mahayana practices, in whatever country they exist, that have devolved into mere ritual, repetition of mantras, magical thinking, prayer and worship of idols.

Buddhism that is basically just prayer and worship that is basically same as any other religion just with different names

I disagree with Trakker that Buddhism is not a religion as it has all the external trappings, bullshit, rules, sexism, abuses of power, wars, intrigue, political power-game playing, idol worship, superstitions galore, sectarianism, one-up-manship, snobbery, traditions, as any other religion, in all the various countries where it has manifested, all over the planet.

However, I do agree with Trakkar that *at core* authentic Buddhism, in any country, "is an experience, not a theory, not a belief".

I would add that the use of the term non-believer in this instance of Obama's speech includes Buddhists as Buddhism is non-theistic and adherents do not believe in God, ie non-believers in God.
posted by nickyskye at 8:41 AM on January 21, 2009


nickyskye I apply the same approach to identifying Buddhists that I do to identifying members of any other religion. If, in response to the question "are you an X" they say "yes" then they are. Trying to distinguish between "true" or "real" Buddhists, Christians, etc seems like the height of arrogance to me, also an argument verging into no true Scotsman territory.
posted by sotonohito at 8:49 AM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would also say this is largely true of many of the Mahayana practices, in whatever country they exist, that have devolved into mere ritual, repetition of mantras, magical thinking, prayer and worship of idols.

Really, even Zen? Seems more true of Vajrayana (which I guess is included in Mahayana).

external trappings, bullshit, rules, sexism, abuses of power, wars, intrigue, political power-game playing, idol worship, superstitions galore, sectarianism, one-up-manship, snobbery, traditions, as any other religion, in all the various countries where it has manifested, all over the planet.

I thought you were talking about Metafilter there for a second. But seriously, ANY large group of people ostensibly "united" by some common characteristic or interest will devolve into these things, because they are part and parcel of samsaric existence. They're not unique to religion.
posted by desjardins at 8:51 AM on January 21, 2009


I apply the same approach to identifying Buddhists that I do to identifying members of any other religion. If, in response to the question "are you an X" they say "yes" then they are.

what? This makes no sense when applied to myself:

Are you female? Yes.
Are you American? Yes.
Are you a left-hander? Yes.
Are you a caffeine addict? Yes.

This is a circular argument, because you'd first have to define something as a religion in order to be able to ask the question.
posted by desjardins at 8:55 AM on January 21, 2009


Ho`omoe Wai Kahi Ke Kao`o
Let all travel together like water flowing in one direction-


I guess the Hindu in me wants to keep collecting parts of all religions - lining them up on my alter (where I put fruit for the birds and give awe to the sun and sky). Then again, the Hindu in me says I can only be what I was born ... so, am I just a service-earth-loving-functioning, 'non believer' Christian?

I don't think so. I guess that 'non-believer' term is a beginning. We need to take it further. Good post; great discussion.

'I want to be the ocean ...'
posted by Surfurrus at 8:56 AM on January 21, 2009


"except for Hindus. I don't get why they get a special shout-out."

The Prez loves Kumar, hates Harold.
posted by Eideteker at 9:07 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"In other news, I am happy that all of the top links for 'good riddance you lousy motherfucker' are now related to Bush."

Who'd it use to be? Oedipus?

"However, I do agree with Trakkar that *at core* authentic Buddhism, in any country, "is an experience, not a theory, not a belief"."

I agree with the True Scotsman criticism here; I know "Christians" who hold the same view of their faith.
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


sotonohito, yes you are correct. Even though people call those sects Buddhism, they don't really have anything to do with what Buddha was trying to show people. Someone who understands or shares the mindset of buddha wouldn't actually label themselves a buddhist. But yes, blindly I would also call those sects "religions". I wanted to offer a more rooted 'buddha' perspective.

The type of perspective Buddha discovered seemed to indicate, among other things, a complete detachment of belief, or the elimination of an obsessive compulsion to have some sort of description of the universe in order to define yourself amongst. In order to reach this minset, Buddha offered ways of experimenting with your mind. Mindful meditation to quite the chatter, contemplative meditations to discover new ideas and perspectives about your self and your environment. Mental exercises for altering your consciousness. Basically, some of the earliest self psyco analysis techniques. The different sects or "religions" of buddhism seem to be misinterpretations of this as their minds continued to unconsciously obsess over the habit of rituals and belief systems.

I know "Christians" who hold the same view of their faith.

The main difference between Buddha and this Christian, is that the Christian creates this experience by forming a description based on the bible with specific beliefs and agreed upon ways of behaving or being. You can create many different experiences by growing emotions around descriptions of things. But what happens when you gain control over the mind enough to stop reacting to emotions and quite the chatter and just sit there? The experience isn't something that you generate by emotional stimulation as a reaction to ideas or thoughts, it is a shift in perspective. The best way I could describe it would be to visualize that one minute you are the consciousness of a chimpanzee and in the next moment you have the mind of a human. A chimpanzee can't believe its way in to a higher self awareness, it has to change its brain/mind.

Science is shedding light on this as neuroscience is starting to really take off. It is generally accepted that the frontal lobes are where our ability to be aware, to have free will, occurs. It has the ability to turn off different parts of the brain. Ever notice that when you are completely focused on something that you tune out the environment around you? Its the frontal lobes doing this. In MRI scans of buddhist monks with a lot of meditation experience, the density of neural connections in the frontal lobes are very high. Having that much more neural power changes your perspective. It gives you a higher thinking capacity, to be more aware of yourself and your surroundings and the ability to control your mind.

There is a part of the brain that deals with space and time orientation. Those with strokes in this area have the same oneness with the universe as monks who have the ability to turn off that part of the brain through their own control. This also changes your perspective. It doesn't have to be in a "spiritual" way attached to some ideological purpose. It can make you say, "oh thats different, I've never seen the world through that filter before. What can I learn from it?"
posted by Trakker at 10:34 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can I just go ahead and say that "non-believers" is actually a pretty derogatory term? It's like calling lesbians "non-heteros" or deaf people "non-hearers".

Yes. Thank you. It makes it sound like people are ignoring some crucial and well-established fact, but Obama's just big enough to let that one slide.
posted by regicide is good for you at 10:37 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are you female? Yes.
Are you American? Yes.
Are you a left-hander? Yes.
Are you a caffeine addict? Yes.


Cool Me too!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 10:41 AM on January 21, 2009


desjardins Not at all. The attributes you've described are either physical and therefore completely objective, or legally defined. Religion is a total intangible and vague to boot, there's no objective, or even definitive, meaning for "Buddhist" or "Christian", therefore I see the self generated description as the only way to go.

Some who ID as Christians will tell you that Catholics aren't Christians, the Catholics will disagree and insist that they are. Each has their own definition of "Christian", which generally boils down to "members of my sect are really Christian, everyone else isn't".

What gives you, or me, or anyone, the authority to declare "this person isn't really a Christian despite his protestations to the contrary?" It isn't as if we're discussing something that can actually be measured. If a person claimed, for example, to be three meters tall we can quite easily verify whether or not its true. But if they say "I'm a Christian" I have no way to tell if its true or not.

The same goes for Buddhists. Both the Zen Buddhist and the Amida Buddhist will say that they're Buddhist. Can you objectively define "Buddhist"? I can't. Since its all made up anyway, I say let them decide for themselves what the labels are.

Trakker Why do you claim to be in a better position to judge whether or not an Amida Buddhist is "really" Buddhist than they are? Seriously, no snark intended, why should I take your word over theirs?
posted by sotonohito at 11:05 AM on January 21, 2009


Even though people call those sects Buddhism, they don't really have anything to do with what Buddha was trying to show people.

While I haven't made anything like a decent study of Buddhism yet, to my limited knowledge it would seem this is pretty much correct just as in America many Christians and Christian sects pretty much ignore or completely go against the actual teachings attributed to Jesus, yet still get away with it.

However, when there are millions and millions doing this, yeah, they can get away with it and trying to say who is or isn't a real Christian or real Buddhist gets iffy.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:27 AM on January 21, 2009


sotonohito, no snark taken. I'm not really trying to judge them as not being a Buddhist, or if that sect is more Buddhist than any other or particularly find myself in any better position to question them. I'm expressing my understanding in order for it to be challenged and to challenge the perspectives of others.

There is that old paraphrase by Buddha saying that you should never believe anything, or take anyone's word as truth until you have come to know for yourself that it is true.

There really isn't a battle of understanding, or who is "right" going on, that would be the illusion, all that is happening is the exploration and changing of understanding.

I just see a disconnect with the teaching that Buddha detached himself from all labels and beliefs, yet you have "Buddhism" and "Buddhists" labeling themselves as such.
posted by Trakker at 11:32 AM on January 21, 2009


Dude, as a Buddhist, you can't type the letter "o" in "God"? Srsly?

My dad's side of the family is Jewish. I'm also not above a superstition or two.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:42 PM on January 21, 2009


I'm also not above a superstition or two.

This one time I met Buddha on the road and, per instructions, I totally killed him. Tarantino-style.

Man, was that ever a mistake. You have to watch out with these religious dictates. I got totally lucky that the judge just got back from a week at Plum Village. That was a close one.
posted by GuyZero at 2:16 PM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


So one old lady yells at Obama in NC calling him a socialist, and she's an uncouth biddy with no manners, yet people boo an outgoing president of the United States and that's the least they could do?

St. Alia of the Bunnies: Perhaps you're unaware, but almost 10,000(*) US citizens and several hundred thousand others are dead in Bush's reign of incompetence - not to mention the torture, the destruction of the US economy and a myriad of other things.

I think booing is the very least the crowd could do to the engineer of all this horror. He deserves far worse.

"Childish"? What would you have us do? Smile and wave? Give him a medal? It's likely that quite a few people in the crowd have family members who died in Iraq, for example!

The message of a boo is completely clear: "I do not approve of you." There is no better way to express it. Bush has worked very hard not to hear us - this was one of our few chances to indicate our disapproval of this stupid, evil, destructive, irresponsible man.

(I'm very curious to see how he'll end up. Even for someone who's told us over and over again how little he cares about what we think, it must be a little daunting to be one of the most hated man in the entire world because of years of systematic, deliberate actions that you could never disassociate yourself from. We keep hearing rumours and some evidence in the last few months that he's been drinking again; this would explain his absence from the public eye; this would also be a fitting end for this monster.)

(* - 3000 in 9/11 after Bush was explicitly warned and did nothing; 1500 deaths in NOLA, ditto; 4000 in Iraq; 1000 in Afghanistan)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:36 PM on January 21, 2009


Lupus, the general hatred of Bush has nothing to do with the fact this was OBAMA'S event, and as such this was not the time nor the place. I would think at the very least people could act with some couth and restraint out of respect for #44.

I mean, I believe one of the reasons Obama is as popular as he is is he radiates calmness, maturity, and respect both for himself and for others-whether or not he agrees with them. He certainly handled the Dianne Fanning incident with grace and class.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:55 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


What did the Zen monk say to the hot dog vendor?

"Make me one with everything."
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:09 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh man, Crabby Appleton, that is my new favorite joke.
posted by nickyskye at 8:01 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


And in that moment, nickyskye was enlightened.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:19 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


True enlightenment only comes when one goes off alone on a Friday and partakes joyously of the very same hot dog.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:56 PM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Be the cheezburger.
posted by homunculus at 9:04 PM on January 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


"except for Hindus. I don't get why they get a special shout-out."

He's worried about Jindal in 2012?
posted by Jahaza at 9:12 PM on January 21, 2009


Chocomog: "I'm glad others noticed that as well. I myself was offended by it as well. He could've easily said "athiests and agnostics". I'll have to remember when I become president to thank atheists, agnostics, and "non-freethinkers"."

See, and here I was thinking "nonbelievers" was probably the least contentious title he could have gone for to describe us with. The nonreligious are complicated. As the old joke goes, there is no atheist pope, and to label everyone succinctly is nigh impossible. Hell, at the atheist/agnostic student club meetings I go to, we spend the first part every week first defining some of the more common variants or atheism and agnosticism, and then everyone introduces themselves with their label of choice. I mean, President Obama didn't really have time to do a shout out to the "strong atheists, and the weak atheists, and the militant atheists, and the plain ol' atheists and the agnostics, and the agnostic atheists, and the secularists, and the humanists, and the secular humanists, and the spiritualists, and the apathy-ists, and the undecideds, and the irreligious, and the freethinkers, and the brights, and the self-proclaimed heathens, and the nontheists, and the antitheists, and the naturalists, the skeptics, and the nihilists, and the pastafarians" and so forth. And those are all titles I've heard people claim as indicative of their particular brand of non-belief. I call myself a strong atheist (or explicit atheist, if you don't prefer the old school) when someone wants a label, but "nonbeliever" is pretty good as far as simple umbrella terms go. However, if you thanked just "atheists and agnostics" there are quite a few who would argue that doesn't encompass their belief.
posted by internet!Hannah at 5:32 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


What did the Zen monk say to the hot dog vendor?

"Make me one with everything."


What did the vendor say when the Zen monk handed him a $10 bill but didn't give him the difference?

"Sorry, but change must come from within."
posted by grubi at 5:56 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Be the cheezburger.
posted by homunculus at 11:04 PM on January 21

NEW FAVORITE WEBSITE
posted by desjardins at 8:40 AM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I think the Hindu inclusion was because of the cadence.

Christian and Muslim both end in consonants; Jew and Hindu both end in the same vowel sound. It flows nicely. Jews and Buddhists doesn't sound as good. "Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Buddhists and nonbelievers" would have sounded OK but would have inevitably have upset some people for lumping Buddhists in with the nonbelievers.

IANALinguist, have not had caffeine, and may be talking out my ass
posted by desjardins at 8:43 AM on January 22, 2009


From GWBush's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, 2006:

"In our country, we recognize our fellow citizens are free to profess any faith they choose, or no faith at all. You're equally American if you're a Hebrew, a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim. You're equally American if you choose not to have faith."

[Via the Corner, make of it what you will.]

Kirkjobsluder, you quote GWB:

"The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God, and that liberty and justice light the path to peace. This is the belief that gave birth to our nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens...."

but your analysis is offbase. The "belief" he advocated advancing was that "liberty and justice light the path to peace"--not Christianity. This is the Bush Doctrine in a nutshell: that the security of the U.S. and other nations depends upon the spread of freedom/democracy. Also articulated in his 2nd inaugural:

"We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul."

Note the repudiation of exceptionalism/Manifest Destiny.

Though Bush believes personally that American ideals are rooted in theism (loving, sovereign God, humans made in his image, etc.), he never advocated using political power to advance theism itself, nor Christianity.

Compare to Obama's words:
"The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

...and you'll find the ideas are not as "diametrically opposed" as you claim.
posted by torticat at 11:26 AM on January 22, 2009


Lupus, the general hatred of Bush has nothing to do with the fact this was OBAMA'S event,

No, it's our event. Obama works for us. When will Americans learn that our leaders are not royalty, they are civil servants, appointed by us, serving at our pleasure, paid for with the sweat of our labour?

and as such this was not the time nor the place.

For eight years we've been told that this is never the time and place. The Constitution says otherwise.

As a policeman in front of me once said in the 80s in to a woman who was complaining about a demonstration (I never got what it was), "Lady, it's a free country!" (They wouldn't say that today, they'd forceably arrest them, perhaps deliberately breaking their arms as you can see them doing to these right-to-life demonstrators here.)

Tell me, St. Alia, what would you want to have happen to Mr. Bush now? My suggestion: war crimes trials and a lengthy period of incarceration.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:30 PM on January 22, 2009


Tell me, St. Alia, what would you want to have happen to Mr. Bush now?
Who cares?
Has nothing to do with my point, which is that grown people have no freaking idea how to act like adults in public. And public civility matters. What were they trying to do, make Bush cry? Give me a break.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:29 PM on January 22, 2009


This nearly Buddhist wishes to be called,"neither believing nor non-believing". Thank you.

Is this a Schroedinger's cat thing?
posted by chrisamiller at 2:49 PM on January 22, 2009


Who cares?

Many, many people. The man has confessed to authorizing the use of illegal torture: he is guilty of war crimes.

You should care, because what he did he did in your name. And as one of the people who supported him twice, I should think you would be flat-out angry that he committed war crimes in your name.

Has nothing to do with my point, which is that grown people have no freaking idea how to act like adults in public. And public civility matters. What were they trying to do, make Bush cry? Give me a break.

I believe they were celebrating the end of a very bad reign of error and terror.

And given that the ex-President is a war criminal, I think it's safe to say that "respect" is something he should not be given.

Celebration of his good riddance is a lot more polite and reserved than what he deserves.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:09 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Make me one with everything."

The vendor whipped up the hotdog. "That's four and a quarter," he said as he passed it over the counter.

The monk handed over a fiver. The vendor went on to serve the next customer.

"Hey, where's my change!" cried the Zen monk.

"Change comes from within," replied the vendor.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on January 22, 2009


Oh, poop. Grubi did it first.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:13 PM on January 22, 2009


December 21, 2012: Yes We Will!
posted by homunculus at 9:19 PM on January 22, 2009


torticat: "In our country, we recognize our fellow citizens are free to profess any faith they choose, or no faith at all. You're equally American if you're a Hebrew, a Jew, or a Christian, or a Muslim. You're equally American if you choose not to have faith."

versus "I don't know that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God."

Further, his actions in furthering the intrusion of religion on medical science is plainly the advancement of his personal theism upon the public. (That, and keeping single-issue-voter loons on his electoral registry.)
posted by five fresh fish at 9:21 PM on January 22, 2009


which is that grown people have no freaking idea how to act like adults in public.

You keep repeating this flat statement - that booing a man responsible for terrible things is somehow inappropriate behavior - but you never actually justify it. I had several reasonably clearly phrased arguments - you could have addressed one of them? I also invited you to suggest what a better response might be but...?

Um. Might I assume that you're actually a supporter of Mr. Bush?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:48 PM on January 22, 2009


five fresh fish, that is a putative quote from George H. W. Bush, not W. And a debatable one, at that.

(I'm not saying Bush Sr. couldn't have said it; he said some crazy things. I do find it odd that such an astounding statement would go unreported except by Rob Sherman, and his own argument unconvincing that "There was other news that day that newscasts had to cover, so three stories out of the news conference was deemed enough. The story about Bush's anti-atheist comments simply did not make the cut.")

Regardless, it has no relevance to my points about GWB. Also, I agree with you about the intrusion of religion on medical science, but again, that's not really related to KJS's claim that Bush wanted "to spread a hegemonic Christianity through the world."
posted by torticat at 9:52 PM on January 22, 2009


Sorry, my dumb.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:05 PM on January 22, 2009


I believe they were celebrating the end of a very bad reign of error and terror.

...I'm just as happy that Bush is gone, and I have just as long a list of strikes against him as you. I still don't see that that should be any reason why I should stoop to his level; in fact, my dislike for him is the REASON why I don't want to stoop to his level.

If I dislike that kind of standard of conduct so much, why would I want to try to EMULATE it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:56 AM on January 23, 2009


Because you might not want to be a completely joyless person?

If Bush had successfully killed Osama, would you not have celebrated?

This whole "no one should have booed the worst President in history" bullshit smacks of sore loserness and delusional thinking. They should have been throwing rocks at that asshole. Worst, most criminal President EVER.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:04 AM on January 23, 2009


Has nothing to do with my point, which is that grown people have no freaking idea how to act like adults in public.

Booing public figures whose performance you find unsatisfactory is an eminently adult way to behave in public. About the only better way to express similar disapproval is with the throwing of convenient food items or otherwise obviously harmless objects, but doing that runs the risk of getting your head cracked.

Catcalling, booing, and so on are an excellent thing for adults to do in direct proportion to the publicness of the figure and the importance of the job whose performance has been unsatisfactory.

I still don't see that that should be any reason why I should stoop to his level

Vocalizing at him isn't "stooping to his level." I am not aware of any occasion at which Bush was seen to boo public figures whose job performance he disapproved of.

To stoop to his level would be to ignore Bush or perhaps give him big kisses in public, round up several other people whose surnames are vaguely similar phonetically to "bush," imprison and torture them, and blow their families to tiny bits, and to do so at twice the expense as actually required to get the job done.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:06 AM on January 23, 2009


I'm very sorry, booing is in no way equivalent to Bush's actions or stooping to his level - it's an honest, and restrained, expression of our deep feelings.

Again, I note that no one's suggesting anything better?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:43 AM on January 23, 2009


Because you might not want to be a completely joyless person?

Who says I wasn't tap dancing amongst friends? That was plenty joyful. The difference there is that the inauguration is supposed to be a dignified public event, and my friends hanging out at the bar is not supposed to be quite as dignified. Time and place.

If Bush had successfully killed Osama, would you not have celebrated?

....Not like that. And before anyone plays the "oh, you didn't live in New York, you don't KNOW" card -- I lived a half mile from the WTC and heard both impacts from both planes.

This whole "no one should have booed the worst President in history" bullshit smacks of sore loserness and delusional thinking.

....Well, we seem to be at an impasse, then, because "let's all boo Bush at Obama's inaugural" smacks of sore-winnerness and pettiness. The very kind of sore-winnerness and pettiness that Obama was talking about when he said we should put away childish things. ....Which I guess the people who booed Bush maybe didn't hear, because they were too busy booing, so fair enough.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 AM on January 23, 2009


"That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular. … I do not think I could, myself, be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, religion. Leaving the higher matter of eternal consequences between him and his Maker, I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live … " ~Lincoln
posted by rulethirty at 10:21 AM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, we seem to be at an impasse, then, because "let's all boo Bush at Obama's inaugural" smacks of sore-winnerness and pettiness.

Pettiness?! The man's responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths!!!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:03 PM on January 23, 2009


rulethirty, The elided portion of the quote is revealing. It certainly indicates Lincoln was not a believer in Christianity when added to the words you quote:

It is true that in early life I was inclined to believe in what I understand is called the ``Doctrine of Necessity''---that is, that the human mind is impelled to action, or held in rest by some power, over which the mind itself has no control; and I have sometimes (with one, two or three, but never publicly) tried to maintain this opinion in argument. The habit of arguing thus however, I have, entirely left off for more than five years. And I add here, I have always understood this same opinion to be held by several of the Christian denominations. The foregoing, is the whole truth, briefly stated, in relation to myself, upon this subject.

It is clear that Lincoln considered his earlier, more aggressive stance to be less politically acceptable and had moderated it to appease those who sought to discredit him for his earlier statements. Such is the nature of "Christians" that they want to destroy those who are not believers in their religion. And in those days they were quite powerful. Lincoln knew that and softened his rhetoric to what you quote.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:01 PM on January 23, 2009


Pettiness?! The man's responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths!!!

....And you think the proper way to bring him to justice for that is simply to say "neener neener, you're not president any more"?

...Good luck with that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:07 PM on January 23, 2009


Sorry to be blunt, but you have to be stupid to suppose the jeering crowds felt they were in any way "bringing him to justice."
posted by five fresh fish at 5:20 PM on January 23, 2009


the inauguration is supposed to be a dignified public event

That was already ruined when someone invited George W. Bush.

The booing was one of the more dignified things I saw in the whole show.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:29 PM on January 23, 2009


the inauguration is supposed to be a dignified public event

Yes. The inauguration is not the time nor the place for booing George W. Bush; it's supposed to be a solemn event where we welcome the new president, where we demonstrate that we are better than those we despise. When Bush arrives in his ranch in Crawford, when he speaks at a university, when he leaves the house - that's when you boo him.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:15 PM on January 23, 2009


Sorry to be blunt, but you have to be stupid to suppose the jeering crowds felt they were in any way "bringing him to justice."

So, what DID they think they were doing?

And are they sure that they actually achieved it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 PM on January 23, 2009


...and if they knew that booing him at the inauguration wasn't going to bring him to justice, then why use his crimes as the excuse to do so? I didn't bring up his record as a justification for booing him, after all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 PM on January 23, 2009


Oh, good god. If the USA is filled with people the likes of you, it's doomed.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:38 PM on January 23, 2009


So, what DID they think they were doing?

Expressing, directly to him, their disapproval of him and his record, in such a way that his underlings could not keep it from him, and in such a way that he could not avoid hearing it.

And are they sure that they actually achieved it?

Of course. It's readily apparent from the existing audio of the occasion that Bush could hear the booing.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:32 PM on January 23, 2009


Well, I heard ABOUT the booing.

Look, this was not a sports event, nor was it a public hanging, or a game show, or American Idol after Simon Cowell had spoken. This was a solemn inauguration of the 44th President of the United States.

This was disrespectful to Obama, and to the nation as a whole. Not just to Bush, although it was disrespectful to him as well. When any of us has spent years in a position as fraught with peril and responsibility as that, maybe then we will be worthy to cast stones.

And one last thing... the Bible quotes someone (I forget who exactly at the moment) as saying something along the lines of "Someone who is putting on his armor should not boast like someone taking it off." We all have hopes that Obama will be a great president, but there are NO guarantees.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:11 PM on January 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course it was disrepectful to Bush. That is the entire point of booing him. He does not deserve the least bit of respect. He treated the American people like dirt. He ruled an Administration that behaved dishonourably. He ruined America's reputation. He is a war criminal.

The sole reason provided for respecting Bush is that one should respect the office of President, regardless the occupant of that office. By that asinine logic, one should also and equally respect Pinochet, Stalin, and Noriega.

As to "no guarantees," Obama has done more good for America in the past week than Bush did in the past eight years. Regardless whether he turns out to be a great President or not, Obama has already proven he is a better President.

Bush was The Worst President Ever. The sooner your brainwashing wears off and you accept that fact, the sooner you might heal. K.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:47 PM on January 23, 2009


Oh, good god. If the USA is filled with people the likes of you, it's doomed.

"People the likes of me"? You mean, grownups? Huh, some would say that the USA doesn't have enough of those.

It's readily apparent from the existing audio of the occasion that Bush could hear the booing.

And how do you know what his reaction TO that was? Are you certain that his reaction wasn't just to snort to himself and look towards the booing and think, "Christ, what an asshole"? And are you certain Obama didn't think the same thing?

And thus, are you certain that those who booed really DID achieve their aim, instead of just making their own selves look bad?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:26 PM on January 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


... where we demonstrate that we are better than those we despise ...

Key point. Some are not better - or perhaps don't want better.

Revenge is ugly - as much for the perp as the target. Maybe more.

Frankly, I'm tired of political differences being screamed and shouted -- tired of my country looking like a cheap wrestling match.

If you don't like something, you can stand still and solemn ... even turn your back ... those of us who think would notice. (And don't underestimate how many actually think!)
posted by Surfurrus at 8:45 AM on January 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I ended up writing an article about Obama's address to 'non-believers' (thanks to all your comments):

Obama's Address to the State of Non-belief
posted by 0bvious at 12:02 AM on January 26, 2009


I wasn't at the inauguration, and as much as I disapprove of the vast majority of Bush's decisions and actions in office, I don't know whether I would have booed him if I had been there. If I had, it would not have been in any sort of vain hope that he would hear my boos and feel some sort of remorse for his actions. It would have been as an expression, with and for the people assembled around me and watching around the world, that his actions in office were emphatically not ok. It is important to me that people in the US care when our president commits war crimes. It is important to me that we build a culture where that kind of thing is clearly known to be not ok. It is important to me that the rest of the world knows that the US feels that way, too, that we don't all support the immoral actions of our last president. No matter how vehemently the majority of people think something, those thoughts need to be vocalized to become part of our national consciousness.

Was the inauguration an appropriate place to make that statement? I'm not sure. But it's a statement that needs to be made, again and again, so that it stays very clear to Americans and to people around the world that many of the things Bush did were simply not acceptable. Booing may not have been an effective way of shaming the man, but I think it was a very effective way of confirming that many people in this country still care about the ideals of freedom and justice that our country was founded on.
posted by vytae at 8:56 PM on January 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Booing may not have been an effective way of shaming the man, but I think it was a very effective way of confirming that many people in this country still care about the ideals of freedom and justice that our country was founded on.

But it is far from the only way of doing so. And it was far from the only opportunity to do so.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on January 27, 2009


Obama's Interview On Arab Television
posted by homunculus at 11:01 AM on January 27, 2009


Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning:

There is no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same. We read from different texts. We follow different edicts. We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we’re going next – and some subscribe to no faith at all...

We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to "love thy neighbor as thyself." The Torah commands, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow." In Islam, there is a hadith that reads "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule - the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.

The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another - or even religious groups over secular groups. It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.

I was not raised in a particularly religious household. I had a father who was born a Muslim but became an atheist, grandparents who were non-practicing Methodists and Baptists, and a mother who was skeptical of organized religion, even as she was the kindest, most spiritual person I've ever known. She was the one who taught me as a child to love, and to understand, and to do unto others as I would want done.

posted by EarBucket at 10:09 AM on February 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Nat'l Prayer Breakfast speech even had a shout-out to Buddhists!

Far out.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:35 AM on February 5, 2009


Hey, that's nothing: followers of Confucius! He's one step away from dropping some Laozi Taoist wisdom like a bomb!

"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, 'We did this ourselves.'"

Boo-yah!
posted by GuyZero at 11:42 AM on February 5, 2009


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