So, like most people, I watched the inaugural address this morning. And despite the unfortunate stumble during the president’s oath of office, I thought it was really impressive. And I was reminded of what I like most about President Obama–his relationship with his wife and daughters. This was one of my favorite aspects of President Bush. His relationship with Laura seemed like one of genuine affection, respect and love. And regardless of the emotions he might be experiencing today, he has his partner by his side. And, to me, having a true partner during this life makes difficult moments more bearable. Michelle and Barack Obama seem to have that same genuine love for each other and their daughters. It’s nice to see them share smiles and laughter with each other and Malia and Sasha. I also think it’s a reminder of how important the institution of the family is. And while many families look different, having people around you who will be there, whether times are good or bad, seems to make all the difference. I like that Obama sets an example as a true family man, a man who takes responsibility for his own.
I couldn’t help feeling so proud of the fact that our nation has come so far as a people that we can have an African-American president. Even if I don’t agree with all of his views, I can very much appreciate what this kind of acceptance says about us. I was struck by his statement that 60 years ago, his father wouldn’t have been served in most restaurants. Wow. That doesn’t seem like very long ago. And having never experienced that kind of prejudice, it’s so hard to imagine a society where people lived like that. It’s so sad that for so long, the culture has been to try to dominate other people. I’m thinking of the Native-Americans as well. I wonder just how the Christians of those times justified that kind of prejudice. I’m sure some of them stood up for what was right and condemned that sort of hate and injustice. But I think many of those people could go to church on Sunday, and still feel comfortable with the massacres happening around them. Or the slavery right in front of them. It’s just so hard to understand. And it’s still happening in places where people believe themselves to be worth more than people who are not like them. As a Christian myself, I just can’t reconcile this with Jesus’ teachings. And it’s really sad when people try to.
So, whatever happens in the next four years, I’m very proud today to have an African-American president. And I was thinking of how cool it is that such a monumental event happened the year of my daughter’s birth. I hope that’s just an indication of the next generation growing up with an even greater sense of equality and justice.