Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Couple of Deep Thoughts which Seem to Correspond

Deep Thought One

So, I recall this conversation I had with my brother deep in the heart of the Bush years. I was virulently bemoaning the loud, willful ignorance of Bush supporters. In the midst of my tirade, my brother interjects: "I wish WE had a Bush." In other words, when do lefties get someone who inspires that kind of confidence and enthusiasm?

I think we got him. I know that so far (you know, six days before he's even president), I always give Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt. I wasn't that upset about Rick Warren. I wasn't at all upset he had dinner with David Brooks and Bill Kristol (and I think Bill Kristol is the douchebaggiest of all the wingnut pundit douchebags). This might have something to do with the fact that I'm ready to stop being angry all the time... I'm ready for my first reaction to a political act to be something other than rage and shame. It might also be that I'm right and Barack Obama is smart, savvy and invested of a genuinely strong moral compass.

Deep Thought Two

I was watching Rachel Maddow interview Rev. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal minister who's doing the invocation at the Sunday night inaugural event. He said that Barack Obama recognizes that "we are all children of God." And I caught myself loving that phrase.

Which is weird, since I don't believe in God. Even more, I find it obscene that people believe in some old white dude in the sky who looks down and makes decisions about whether he's going to let you get that good parking space while letting that kid starve to death in Africa. But, expressions like "children of God" fall easily on my ears as metaphor.

I think my fellow blogger Paul (who will almost certainly disagree with this second deep thought) is right that atheists are the most blithely discriminated against group in the political arena. And I furthermore think that it's incumbent upon us to keep fighting that good fight.

And yet, I do have some glimmer of hope that this administration aims to usher us into a time when Americans begin to believe that we are all "children of God;" an expression I hear poetically as an observation that we are all endowed with the same kind of humanity and are all deserving of love and respect. Bush and Cheney and Rove spent a lot of time and energy (and all their little political capital) in convincing us that we are at war all the time. It will be nice to let a little of that go.

I'm not sure how long this honeymoon will last. I hope eight years or so.