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“We will restore science to its rightful place”

January 20th, 2009, 3:06pm by Sam Wang

Today people gathered in halls all around campus to watch the Inauguration. It’s finals week, so classrooms were available. I watched it at the Center for Human Values with colleagues and friends.

President Obama’s address was solid and to the point. He pulled no punches about the problems ahead. Three quotes from led to outbursts of applause in our group. All speak to the sharp break with the last eight years:

We will restore science to its rightful place.”

“As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”

“We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers.”

And at the end there was the Reverend Lowery, who in his closing benediction stole the show:

“Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.”


REV. LOWERY: Say amen —


REV. LOWERY: — and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)

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