Beliefnet
Progressive Revival

It looks like Obama was a bit too inclusive last Tuesday when he included non-believers in his inaugural address: 

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.” 

When he said non-believers, a few people around me on the mall whooped with self-recognition and delight.  But not everyone is so happy.  Some of those who were glad that an Evangelical Christian was invited to give the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration and insisted that Rick Warren should be “allowed” to say Jesus (as if anyone were going to tell him he couldn’t) seem to be upset that non-believers are also welcome within Obama’s vision for America.

Melinda Hennenberger reports this development on AOL 

With that one line, the president “seems to be trying to redefine American culture, which is distinctively Christian,” said’ Bishop E.W. Jackson of the Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, Va. “The overwhelming majority of Americans identify as Christians, and what disturbs me is that he seems to be trying to redefine who we are.'”


and


The Rev. Cecil Blye, pastor of More Grace Ministries Church in Louisville, Ky., said the president’s reference to nonbelievers also set off major alarm bells for him. “It’s important to understand the heritage of our country, and it’s a Judeo-Christian tradition,”‘ period.


Oh, we are back to this stamping of the foot and insisting “America is a Christian Nation” – with Jews being the honorable mention.  When this country was founded there were Christians, Jews, Muslims,(some of whom had been brought over as African slaves), Native Americans  and some folks whose Christian faith Bishop Jackson and Rev. Blye would probably not recognize –  including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin.  

America has the possability to show the world that people of different faiths – and no faith – can live peacefully  together in a truly pluralistic society.  The time of us being a nation defined by one religion is over.  We are meant to be the beacon on the hill of a new kind, one that has many different lights that stand with integrity side by side and also shine beautifully together. 
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