Now don't get me wrong. He's still speaking to our Catholic friends - who are holding up a consistent ethic of life that goes beyond abortion - one that includes a respect for life and dignity whether it's in Iraq, in poor neighborhoods, in African villages or even on death row. 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. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America - to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. Not even close. Not with so much work to be done.
I understand you switched venues at considerable expense and inconvenience because of unfair labor practices at the place you were going to be having this synod. She poured everything she had into me. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons.
I'm talking about something more substantial. "If you're organizing churches," they said, "it might be helpful if you went to church once in a while." And I thought, "Well, I guess that makes sense." They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. So let me be clear: no system of government can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.
They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success. They saw that I knew the Scriptures and that many of the values I held and that propelled me in my work were values they shared. It's a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.
And I've found that no matter where I am, or who I'm talking to, there's a common theme that emerges. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.
Thank you very much everybody.