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Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Oath Heard Round The World
I paused from my work for a moment today, and turned on the TV just in time to see VP Biden take his oath, and a few moments later, President Obama take his. I was very surprised to find myself all choked up. I did not vote for him, I am still very wary of his platform, and I still think our nation hasn't seen the worst of our troubled times. However, I am an American, and today I was able to look past the things that bother me and realize that, like it or not, Mr. Obama is now the leader of our country, and I must respect his position. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you already know my political views, and my observations on the role race has played in this election, so I won't elaborate here. I will say, though, that watching these two men accept their positions and take their oaths, I was compelled like never before to pray for them individually-- for their protection, for their wisdom, but mostly for their willingness to be malleable in the hands of God so that they may govern to the best of their abilities, in the manner that is best for our country. And I did just that as I watched them being sworn in. Oh yes, I found President Obama's speech quite riveting, and though the cynic in me questions some motives and sincerity, I pray that he will stand true to his promise to "faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God." Okay, so at least Obama added the 'so help me God' part, and that is commendable. But (cynical again) I can't help but wonder if he just did that to placate all the folks who have given him a hard time about some of the things he did/said during his campaign. Oh well, I guess I'm just glad he did it... for whatever his reason. Yeah, we get the whole thing about the slaves building the steps to the capitol and all that. Now, I'll be the first to admit that today was definitely an historical occasion. And I can see how the black population is very, very excited that, as he said in his address, a man who 60 years ago wouldn't have been served in most restaurants, can now be President. Yes, that is incredible. But what I do NOT want to have to listen to for four (or probably eight) years is talk of Civil Rights this or MLKs dream that, so that it becomes all about a "black" thing. When I think of our former presidents, I don't associate them or their terms as "white" presidents looking out for and lauding all things white. For a while, it is only natural that he will be referred to as America's First Black President (though in reality he is only half black). I hope, though, that in time he will become known for what he does (good or bad)... that he will be judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. The vote was counted, and now the oath has been taken. It is time to become a united nation, as much as possible, and stand strong against those who would strive to oppress or destroy us. A house divided against itself will fall, and America will do much to further her own demise if we can't get our act together and face the rest of the world with a more united front. Let's pray like never before that our leaders will make the best decisions for our nation. And let's all try to be better people right here at home, in our own towns and neighborhoods. May God Bless America!