Today was one of those days when you almost feel like a native. Almost. Even the patriotism, for once, didn’t feel too over the top. But still, the thing that smacks you right over the face and reminds you that you’re not from round these parts is that ubiquitous G word.

Religion inveigled its way into every bit of the inauguration, and I’m not even talking about the invocation (by a homophobic priest) or the benediction (by a civil rights leader). Even Obama was at it.

But even if he did mention God way more times than any European leader would, you’ve got to love his two-fingers-up decision to use his full name when taking the oath – simultaneously a swipe at the anti-Muslim crazies at home and an olive branch to Middle East.

Religion has turned into a bit of a theme for me lately. Last week, when I mentioned I’d never been to a church service, a guy I’d just met invited me to come along to his church – no pressure, just to see what it’s like. On Thursday I’m going to what has turned out, to my surprise, to be a ‘multi-faith’ book group. (More later…) And yesterday, we spotted an SUV with a great pair of bumper stickers: on one side, ‘Prayer changes stuff’; on the other, ‘Relax, God is in control’. As my boyfriend said, ‘In that case, I’ll just take my hands off the wheel.’

Advertisements