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January 24, 2009



The BBC transcript, and my memory of watching it live, says he used the word "non-believers", which is more polite and not culturally loaded in the same way as "unbelievers".
"non-believers", while being somewhat vague to avoid irritating the ardent theists into not listening to him, also includes agnostics as well as atheists, and could also include people who do not believe in a "god" or "gods" (such as people with spiritual or animist beliefs).
In a short speech with a lot to cover, I think it's the best that could be fitted in.

Daniel Tunkelang

As far as I know, it's the first time a president has explicitly reached out to non-believers, by any name. I think that's a big step, and one that surely carried more risk for him than upside. Count me as grateful for this gesture.

Andy the unbeliever

Unfortunately statistics are never going to help with getting people out of a recession although they could be a useful tool to monitor the progress.

A faith or belief that people can succeed is more likely to be successful. In that way a President who has a strong faith might actually be what is needed for the USA just now. Hopefully this strength can be utilised without needing to corrupt the schools system with things such as creationism. Obama should also be in the position where he understands that people are different and can have different beliefs.

Mark from CT

The fact that he mentions non-believers is probably a step forward, although I felt (and I was in DC in the cold listening intently) at the time that the term was a slight and not on par with the other explicit religions he mentioned.

I consider my own spirituality still under construction having recently moved from the atheist column to the "I think there must be something out there, but I will be damned if I can pretend to figure it out" -- which, IMO, is exactly the vacuum that all organized religions fill.

Just my $.02

BTW: I am a huge Obama supporter and continue to be so.

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