In spite of having put in more than a few hours working against the election of Barack Obama, we watched the inauguration tonight, pausing frequently to discuss things that were said (dvr’s are a great thing) with our older children, aged 6 1/2 and five. (The two-year-old was not appreciating the historical value of a peaceful transition of power nor of the election of the first black president of the U.S. and had to be put to bed early.)
My oldest daughter is a little bit wordy (gee, don’t know where she could’ve possibly gotten that from) and had a lot of questions, a lot of tie-ins to what she’s been learning in history, etc. At one point in President Obama’s inaugural address, he included in America’s strengths the strength of “parents to nurture children.” My oldest daughter, adopted and black, had been trying to make sense of being proud of our country for taking a step in overcoming some of our racist past and simultaneously being disgusted with such a pro-abortion politician. At Obama’s phrase about nurturing children, she asked us to stop the dvr to ask, with a severely perplexed look:
“Wait a minute. Why did he talk about parents having children? If he supports abortion… that doesn’t make any sense. I mean, what does he mean? That doesn’t make sense. If he says it’s ok to kill them, why would he say children are a good thing?”
Yes, honey, that is the problem. Everything he says he wants to do to make the country better will be undermined by the expansion and encouragement of abortion that he is about to start.
Oh, yeah, and the poet absolutely stunk (odes to the president are just a little too imperial for me, thanks) and the closing prayer was even worse. From Rev. Lowery, a major figure in the Civil Rights movement:
We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back … when brown can stick around … when yellow will be mellow … when the red man can get ahead, man … and when white will embrace what is right …
Call me crazy, but this doesn’t sound like the post-racial president we were promised during the campaign. Over Obama’s shoulder, you could see his brother-in-law grimacing as if he didn’t like what he was hearing. One blogger who hit WordPress’s most popular post list basically said, see? You stupid, racist whites, we need to learn what our sins are and flog ourselves forever. I much preferred Andrew Roman’s take on the subject. (Fox was running highlighted quotes from the president’s speech, including, “We cannot help but believe that old hatreds will pass.” Apparently, the president forgot to tell Rev. Lowery.)
The best thing that was said during the entire inauguration was the quote from Thomas Paine (mistakenly attributed to George Washington, who ordered The American Crisis read to his army before crossing the Delaware). Here is the quote in a more complete format (President Obama ended the quote at “meet [it],” skipping the more agressive “repulse” and all that followed:
Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. Say not that thousands are gone, turn out your tens of thousands; throw not the burden of the day upon Providence, but “show your faith by your works,” that God may bless you. It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now, is dead: the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy.
And, in the depths of winter, the city and the country, alarmed at more than 45 million children dead from abortion in this country alone, and the untold damage done to the fabric of our society (especially among the poor and the black community) by the claim that some people are not human enough to be worthy of the protection of the law, will be out on the National Mall, for the 36th time, to proclaim that abortion is an evil that cannot be ignored nor countenanced in a country that claims to hold forth the promise of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Slavery tainted the promise then, abortion openly mocks it now.