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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Textbook Themes and the Inaugural

Our textbook has a chapter on citizenship, with a discussion of the oath of citizenship.  The president's inaugural had a relevant passage:
My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction. And we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
They are the words of citizens and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country's course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time -- not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals. (Applause.)
The speech also mentioned God six times (five as "God," once as "the Creator").  The president linked Him to energy and environmental policy:
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
That is just one of five reference to our "creed."    What is the creed?  Some would refer to the language of the Declaration.  Political scientists Samuel P. Huntington said that its five principles are  liberty, equality, individualism, representative government, and private property .