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And that man is John Kerry. I’d been inspired by the civil rights movement – by all the clear-eyed, straight-backed, courageous young people who’d boarded buses and traveled down South to march and sit at lunch counters, and lay down their lives in some cases for freedom. My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I go out and do the Lord’s work. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld – whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. That is why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah’s Interfaith dialogue and Turkey’s leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations.
There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich. “I’m here because of Ashley.” By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. This bond is unbreakable. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. But it should be their choice.
John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren’t held hostage to the profits of oil companies, or the sabotage of foreign oil fields. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can’t just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. But we should choose the right path, not just the easy path.
More to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on. But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism. “We cannot walk alone,” the preacher cried. Let me also address the issue of Iraq.
Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity one day and affirm my Christian faith. And we should close Guantanamo Bay and stop tolerating the torture of our enemies. That does not mean we should ignore sources of tension.