A pivotal change in history was made in the USA today. A man of mixed race and skin color has been elected as President.

In his inaugural speech the new President acknowledged not only the racial mix of the nation, but the religious mix as well. This included reference to the presence of citizens with no religious beliefs.

In this inauguration the racial mix of the US Nation was acknowledged and peoples of various racial lines and mixtures were given pride of place and permitted to engage fully in the ceremony. In contradistinction to the multi-racial participation in the ceremony, the only participants from among the mixed bag of religious persuasions who were given a place in the performance were all conservative Christians. There were no Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Scientologists, Hindus, Wiccans, Humanists or Atheists who were given equal rights of expression in the celebration and well-wishing of the occasion.

The skin color barrier has at last been broken in the highest echelons of the Nation. The next hurdle is the religious barrier. That hurdle includes the granting of equal rights and equal respect for those with no religious beliefs. Only then can the US claim to be a world leader in human rights. Let us assist with the march towards this lofty ideal.

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Comment by Moonbeam on February 3, 2009 at 7:06am
There are many people who believe it is freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. You can pick any religion you want, but you cannot reject them all.

Religion does not appear to be important to Obama; that's a point in his favor. He may even be an atheist. But he's a politician first. He did what he had to at church, but I'm not sure he liked it. I hope not.
Comment by Fox Anderson on January 20, 2009 at 8:11pm
I find it is mostly the fundies that are dead against gay marriage or anything that comes close to it.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 20, 2009 at 3:17pm
I did a quick web search for stuff on HOMOSEXUALITY AND RELIGION. Here are the results.

One of the most important aspects of Hinduism is the belief that both God and nature are unlimitedly diverse, and Hinduism's traditional acceptance of homosexuality and a third sex is simply one more aspect of this belief.

While establishing oaths to God is transparently anti-Buddhist, sanctioning or condemning homosexual marriage, or homosexual relationships generally, is not nearly as clear an issue for Buddhists. Leaving aside the monastic regulations, which discourage homosexual and all other forms of sexuality, there are no widely respected Buddhist canonical sources that deal with the subject. Anti-homosexuality laws did not exist in most of the Buddhist countries of Asia prior to the imposition of European colonialism, and even today the matter is mainly greeted with a shrug. The attitude of most Asian Buddhists seems to be indifference or vague opposition to homosexual unions….

Wawrytko attributes the general acceptance of homosexuality in China and Japan to the gender segregation entailed in the structures of those societies.

Jewish, Christian and other religions differ in their beliefs about homosexuality. What matters most is not primarily the religion itself, but where the group lies on a continuum from the most conservative to the most liberal.

The liberal wings of both Christianity and Judaism (e.g. Reform Judaism the United Church of Christ, and Progressive Christianity) generally accept homosexuality as a part of what a person is. They view it as a normal, natural sexual orientation for a minority of adults. Although they revere their holy texts, they also integrate the findings of scientific religion into their understanding of God's will.
Comment by Rickr0ll on January 20, 2009 at 3:11pm
umm, legally, atheism is considered a religion. Just a heads up. I mean, it isn't, and neither is Bhuddism, Taoism, Wicca Ect, but at any rate we aren't discriminated against in any particular faculty are we? I certainly would be interested to hear about this nonetheless...
The Real Problem is the social stigma that remains with atheism even after hundreds of years of brilliant thinkers tossing thier hats in the circle, wouldn't you agree?
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 20, 2009 at 2:56pm
I am aware that conservative branches of Christianity and Islam consider homosexuality to be a sin. I am not sure where Judaism comes on the issue. Do they accept the Christian interpretation of their holy books on this subject or not?

As for other religions, I am not sure where they stand on the issue. If they are homo-phobic is does not appear to be to anything like the ferocious stand taken by the later branches of the Abrahamic religions. Can anyone enlighten us.
Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on January 20, 2009 at 2:51pm
Not necessarily.
It depends on whether the US can accept that religions other than conservative fundamentalist type Christianity have a right to be respected in the US and whether it is acknowledged that some of these religions who do not consider homosexuality to be a sin.
Comment by Joe Dixon on January 20, 2009 at 1:18pm
"The next hurdle is the religious barrier. That hurdle includes the granting of equal rights and equal respect for those with no religious beliefs." True, though I suspect that can only happen upon the mainstream acceptance of gay civil rights and the legal right to gay marriage accepted in all 50 states. The main excuse people use for gay bashing is god. A lot less god means a lot more gay acceptance and from there people will can also get over there whole "atheist are scary" meme.
Comment by skye AKA rembrandt on January 20, 2009 at 12:07pm
for real i so totally understand that

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