My mother, whose parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists, was one of the most spiritual souls I ever knew. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me.
Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation - not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. For some, nagging questions remain. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward.
John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves. We believe that everyone, everywhere should be loved, and given the chance to work, and raise a family. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody.
There was even a time when the Christian Coalition determined that its number one legislative priority was tax cuts for the rich. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part - through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time. This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur.
But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. And so long as we're not doing everything in our personal and collective power to solve them, we know the conscience of our nation cannot rest. The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.
Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you.