Needless to say, I am thrilled that Obama was sworn in yesterday as our 44th president. Although I expect to be frustrated and even disappointed by him from time to time, I am ultimately hopeful and enthusiastic about our future. In his speech, he said a couple of things that I really appreciated.
The first was his mention of “non-believers”. Considering that about 13% of Americans are non-theists, it is about time that we were acknowledged. It will be a long time before being non-theistic will no longer be a political liability. But that journey starts with the understanding that we exist and that, unlike popular misconception, we are not minions of Satan, we are not morally rudderless, we are not withering in existential misery (at least not more than anyone else), and we vote.
The second was his statement that science will be restored to its proper place. It has been painful to watch the last administration treat science as an inconvenience at best, tossed aside whenever it conflicted with conservative ideology. But as many are now finally realizing, ignoring scientific data doesn’t make reality go away. Having a president who actually respects science is a huge breath of fresh air, indicated by Obama’s excellent appointment of Steven Chu as Secretary of Energy. Let’s hope that this is but the start of a grand revival of science in America.