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. We cannot walk alone. It's been several months now since I announced I was running for president. That has been my experience at Trinity. 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. Palestinians must abandon violence. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such progress. I'm not talking about blind optimism here - the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. We can tackle race only as spectacle - as we did in the OJ trial - or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely. Now let me be clear. They could've heard words of anger and discord. That is why the U.S. And it offends our conscience. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States. And it's a testament to what we can achieve when good people with strong convictions stand up for their beliefs. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America. That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. I just think he doesn't know. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. In a sense, what brought me to Chicago in the first place was a hunger for some sort of meaning in my life. Indeed, it suggests the opposite: we must face these tensions squarely. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. This is not simply about America's interests. The same is true for the astonishing progress within Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. It's that folks are hungry for change - they're hungry for something new. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible. That's why I stand here tonight. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know. And they want that choice. 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. You're on your own. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams. These enemies must be found. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible. They know they have to work hard to get ahead - and they want to. This is where we are right now. For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. That is why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August. I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters. We will all have to make concessions to achieve this. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety - the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. The Holy Bible tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." But as Americans, we also know that this is a nation of laws, and we cannot have those laws broken when more than 2,000 people cross our borders illegally every day. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice. So I've got news for you, John McCain. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat. Religious leaders like my friends Rev. Jim Wallis and Rabbi David Saperstein and Nathan Diament are working for justice and fighting for change. He does not say education or the war. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own. 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. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. Hall in East Moline, Ill.. They cheered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naive as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy - particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own. That commitment is at the core of the Treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know. I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America's story. That's why we're partnering with a coalition of forty-six countries. Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. Those stories - of survival, and freedom, and hope - became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. What is that promise? And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have never been able to lead. That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of the people. And we should close Guantanamo Bay and stop tolerating the torture of our enemies. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace." Thank you. And may God's peace be upon you.