And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents - I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. His values - and his record - affirm what is best in us. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright's sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face.
And then another one. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world - tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate.
I learned that my sins could be redeemed. And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt's advancement.
They are both passed away now. As the Holy Koran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth." That is what I will try to do - to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.
But by the time he was a young adult, he was an atheist. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries.
God bless you.