After the very fine Mayor Daley spoke to the thousands of assembled librarians (and boy do I want a mayor like Daley), Barack Obama graced us with his very commanding presence. I would be lying if I told you that I was not star struck by this man. This is a man who believes that words are power. That they have the ability to change a person into an educated, contributing part of the community. He knows that the reason that some people in government, including ours, are afraid of words is because they have power. Power for good. Power for evil. Power to move people beyond words, to make us laugh, cry, and to create social movements.
Obama talked some about his faith. He stressed that faith and intellectual endeavors should have not contradict each other. He said, “Our faith in not a contradiction of fact”. Amen! In a world of dichotomies, we do not have to square off reason and faith. We can believe in our faith and believe in evolution.
The recent attacks on privacy, via the USA Patriot Act came up, and the Senator made a point of saying that we can be safe against terrorism without trodding upon the rights of our people. We can do both. They are not exclusive of one another.
My favorite Barack Obama quote of the night:
Reading is the gateway skill that makes all other learning possible.
It is important to teach our children to read, to support our libraries, and to protect the rights of people in a free democracy to read as they choose.
–Jane, reads without Big Brother