“The Audacity of Hope”

The following quote is from the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention by Barack Obama. It appeared in the January issue of The Sun magazine (Januarobama-4y, 2017). In introductory comments on the address, The Sun editor commented, “America is a land of promise, and it’s our responsibility as citizens to keep that promise.

“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.  Well, I say to them, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. . . .We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of defending the United States of America.

In the end, that’s what this election [of 2004] is about.  Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope? . . . 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.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about something more substantial.  It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; . . . the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.  Hope in the face of difficulty.  Hope in the face of uncertainty.  The audacity of hope!”

As we face 2017, these words have carry a new importance,  Let us bring “hope in the face of difficulty” and “hope in the face of uncertainty” to our world.  We follow Jesus, the One who had the audacity to bring hope to all people; we must do the same.

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