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Thoughts on the US Inauguration of President Biden & VP Harris

Not my usual post, but a blog with a few observations about the Biden/Harris inauguration. I’ll be back to writing about religious abuse soon, but this week I just had to write about the inauguration and get some of my thoughts and feelings out. Yes, I just ended a sentence with a preposition.

What a flood of emotions watching the Presidential inauguration ceremony today.

I’ve seen countless articles and posts on social media about how Biden/Harris will lead the country away from god and essentially calling them evil. I watched the inauguration ceremony, trying to imagine what messages Americans of other faiths such as Hindus, Muslims, Baha’i, atheists, Sikhs, and others feel when they watch this type of ceremony. Despite all the anti-god aspersions cast on the new Democratic leaders, it’s hard to imagine a more religious Christian ceremony than what we saw today. Think about this:

  • President Biden started his day before the inauguration ceremony by attending Catholic mass.

  • Constant references to scripture, references to god, and prayer were major components of President Biden’s speech

  • Both Biden & Harris took their oaths on Bibles

  • Garth Brooks sang Amazing Grace, not a Catholic hymn …but probably the most well-known Protestant hymn of all time.

  • The amazing Amanda Gorman presented her poem which was replete with Christian references and to her faith.

  • Matthew 7:16 says that we will know people by their fruits. Despite exuberant Evangelical Christian support for Trump, he was the first president to skip the inauguration ceremony of his successor. The narcissism and arrogance required for such a decision clearly demonstrate Trump’s utter lack of character and are his “fruit.” Notably, the previous liberal presidents who are constantly accused of all types of evil by Evangelicals, attended the inauguration of Trump AND Biden, because they realize the presidency is about far more than themselves. Thank you, Presidents Clinton, and Obama.

Kamala Harris, the very first female VP in US history. I wonder if the way I felt about seeing the first woman in this role is a little similar to how black Americans felt about the election of President Obama? Regardless if you agree with VP Harris politically, her achievement and the message she his sending to women worldwide is powerful. I don’t think most men can conceive the hope and joy she represents to countless female Americans. And her husband looked seriously proud and was practically glowing at her. Wow! The United States of America will celebrate it’s 245th birthday in 2021. The fact that it took this many years for a woman to rise to the level of Vice President says a lot about our nation. If you don’t like VP Harris’s political views, then try to celebrate her achievement for the women in your life!

The peaceful transfer of power is one of the most moving things we can observe as Americans. There’s a lot more to inauguration day than the ceremony in front of the US Capitol. While some of the traditions were forgone due to COVID-19, the exchange of gifts and presentations by leaders of both political parties are unifying and significant images of healing for the entire nation. Many American may take these traditions and ceremony for granted, yet it’s an amazing achievement and example of the democracy that many of us want to model to the rest of the world. I was deeply touched by the social media commentary and posting by recent immigrants and residents of America, regarding how moving it is for them to witness the peaceful transfer of power…something that doesn’t happen in many countries around the world. I could see that these individuals are feeling hope for greater equality and peace.

As I write this, I’m watching former Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama with their wives…standing together in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider…demonstrating their unity and support for newly inaugurated President Biden and Vice President Harris, and more importantly, their humility to accept and support the future of the United States, regardless of their political differences. I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. But, I have respect that she has attended these events with grace and dignity, despite her political loss which must be incredibly difficult. Being a good leader requires a lot of humility. After seeing Trump’s abhorrent behavior, I’m thinking these previous leaders deserve more credit than I gave them. These images give me hope.

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