Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Non-believers

Watching President Barack Obama's speech today, I have to admit that he hit a nerve. I really wanted him to make it one day before he pissed me off, but such is life. LOL. He said, "Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, blah, blah, blah, non-believers...." It is, of course, not the first time that I have heard the term "non-believer" before, but I was very irritated that our new president - the one that so much of the country has put so much hope into - had the arrogance to use that term. Truly the arrogance that someone has to have to use that term is mind blowing. Since becoming a Unitarian Universalist, I have come to see the strong beliefs so many "non-believers" have. I have met "non-believers" that have some of the strongest beliefs I have ever seen - much stronger and more deeply held that many "believers." On Sunday, the intern minister mentioned a UU minister and parishioner who were killed while standing up for civil rights in the '60's. What a slap in the face to those two individuals who were willing to die for their beliefs to call them "non-believers." These "non-believers" have lost their lives, their jobs, their friends, etc. for their beliefs. I suppose my husband and I take our children to rallies and protests because we want to teach them our "non-beliefs." Really, as much as I try to stand up for my beliefs, I can only hope that faced with significant loss, I would be willing to stand strong. Their are many, however, who have been asked to do exactly this and have. Mr. President and anyone else who chooses to use the term "non-believer" take note - the term is offensive, inaccurate, and arrogant.

I can't leave on a bad note. Let me mention the thing that President Obama said that made me want to shake my first in the air in triumph - that we DO NOT have to compromise our ideals for peace - the two aren't incompatible. Perhaps their is hope yet!!!

3 comments:

Loelle said...

Misty, those are probably the two things that struck me during the speech, and for the same reasons. I don't believe in any particular organized religion, therefore that makes me a non-believer. I believe in lots of things. It is very offensive to me too.
I thought it was quite funny that right after O said the words (no compromise ideals for peace) the camera on the channel flashed to Bush. Yes, I believe that things are going to change for the better. For the most part.

Sybil said...

Misty, I have yet to actually see his speech, so I don't know for sure, but here is my thought.

What if by non-believer, he truly meant non-believer? ie, atheists? Or those who just have never given it any thought and therefor truly identify with nothing at all? Clearly those who identify with UUs aren't non-believers. They DO believe, but it just isn't quite as specific as other religions.

But like I said, I didn't get to see his speech yet, but even after I do, I suspect it might be hard to truly understand his intentions with those words.

Of course, I choose to believe in the best of intentions. IMO it's hard to imagine that President Obama would choose to rule out an entire group of people who simply do not directly associate with one particular organized religion.

Misty said...

I hope you're right Loelle. I have hope for that, too.

Sybil - the UU church encompasses a lot of beliefs - including atheists. Actually, I have quite a few friends at church that identify as atheists. I'm sure that he didn't MEAN anything by it. A lot of people don't MEAN anything bad when they say offensive things. It doesn't make them any less offensive.