We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. And it puts the lie to the notion that the separation of church and state in America means faith should have no role in public life. This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news. Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend. And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs.
That's what compromise is about. And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike. America, our work will not be easy. In Ankara, I made clear that America is not - and never will be - at war with Islam. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country.
What we have already achieved gives us hope - the audacity to hope - for what we can and must achieve tomorrow. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. That together, our dreams can be one. Six million Jews were killed - more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build.
And it's around this time that some pastors I was working with came up to me and asked if I was a member of a church. Imagine Lincoln's Second Inaugural without its reference to "the judgments of the Lord." Or King's "I Have a Dream" speech without its reference to "all of God's children." Or President Kennedy's Inaugural without the words, "here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own." At each of these junctures, by summoning a higher truth and embracing a universal faith, our leaders inspired ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. For human history has often been a record of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us.
His father - my grandfather - was a cook, a domestic servant to the British. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election.
Thank you, and God bless America.