BBC BLOGS - Justin Webb's America
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Freethinkers welcome!

Justin Webb | 23:25 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Non-believers are welcome in Obama's America! This phrase from his speech struck me as a rather pointed effort to include a group of Americans - those who are not blessed by God - in the general mood. This was it: "A nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and
Hindus - and nonbelievers."

Not in itself a dramatic move away from faith - and he certainly was not referring to himself - but a shuffle at least away from the religiosity of the Bush years. It will be these tonal changes that make Obama's America much more palatable to Europeans. Freethinking, in the old-fashioned sense of not professing a religion, is about to become acceptable in polite American society in a way it has not been since Richard Nixon first began the tradition of invoking the Lord whenever possible.


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