Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Obama Trip To the UK Reaffirms " Essential Relationship" ?

President Obama's trip to the UK has not quite got the headlines can coverage I expected. A large part of this is because the United States seems to be going through horrific natural disasters every 5 minutes. So that needless to say has got people's attention in the USA .

Still there has been some coverage and one does not have to be a die hard Anglophile to see the image of the President speaking at Westminster this morning as very dramatic.

A UK Catholic voice gives an update at America on the events. See Obama in Westminster Hall seals 'alliance of values'

Well I hope it has gone well overall as portrayed there. I have not read all of the President's speech but I like this part that was highlighted in the above article:

Being British and American, he said, was about "believing in a certain set of ideals -- the rights of individuals and the rule of law"; the speech was peppered with other examples: believing that "everyone is endowed by our Creator with certain rights that cannot be denied"; tolerance; self-determination; dignity.

Perhaps the most interesting -- and daring -- part of the speech was about immigration and assimilation. In the US and the UK, he said, "it is possible for people to be united by their ideals, rather than divided by their differences" and "possible for hearts to change and hatreds to pass". This assimilation through acquiring shared values made it meant, he said, that immigrants "can pledge allegiance to our flag and call themselves American"; "in Britain, they can sing 'God save our Queen' like any other citizen."

That led to the line that caused the 1,000-strong audience of MPs and peers to applaud. It was this openness, he said, that enabled "this grandson of a Kenyan cook who served in British army to stand before you as President of the United States

Now there is a lot of meat there. Of course the UK faces some challenges as to assimilation that we do not. However I do like the overall tone of that on many levels. It would be interesting to explore all the facets of perhaps that natural law and indeed Western Civilization that is tied to Christianity that Obama is mentioning in passing too.

Regardless this is an ESSENTIAL relationship and I am glad to see it reaffirmed by all sides.

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