We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In all nations – including my own – this change can bring fear.
And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk.
But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith. Too much blood has been shed.
And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely.
They saw that I knew the Scriptures and that many of the values I held and that propelled me in my work were values they shared. But I’m hopeful because I think there’s an awakening taking place in America. We’re not going to agree on everything, but we can disagree without being disagreeable. These are not whiners. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death by the Third Reich.
Thank you, and God bless America.
I was too young to be involved in that movement, but I felt I could play a small part in the continuing battle for justice by helping rebuild some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. They cheered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. We can affirm our faith without endangering the separation of church and state, as long as we understand that when we’re in the public square, we have to speak in universal terms that everyone can understand. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur.
I thought of the families I’ve met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists. We cannot ignore that we have a right and a duty to protect our borders. And I’ve seen it in this campaign. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons.
I didn’t fall out in church, as folks sometimes do. Religious leaders like my friends Rev. Jim Wallis and Rabbi David Saperstein and Nathan Diament are working for justice and fighting for change. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension.
Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. Now let me be clear. And all across the country, communities of faith are sponsoring day care programs, building senior centers, and in so many other ways, taking part in the project of American renewal. From Willow Creek to the ’emerging church,’ from the Southern Baptist Convention to the National Association of Evangelicals, folks are realizing that the four walls of the church are too small for a big God.God is still speaking. Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful.
Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope? The President vetoed a similar plan, but he doesn’t have the last word, and we’re going to keep at it, until we bring this war to an end. God is still speaking. But it also comes from my own American story. On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study in Muslim communities.