The hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds. These are some of the challenges that test our conscience - as Americans and people of faith. 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. Let us be our sister's keeper. She poured everything she had into me. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort - a sustained effort - to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
Because whether it's poverty or racism, the uninsured or the unemployed, war or peace, the challenges we face today are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten-point plan. 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. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. That is true genius of this nation. This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
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. That's what compromise is about. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. They have killed in many countries.
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. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton's Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments; community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life.
It is on your lips and in your heart. It's the wisdom Moses imparted to those who would succeed him. Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America's improbable experiment in democracy. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother's problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. We seek no military bases there.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.