At King's Church, Biden Preaches His Message

The fight for the nation's soul is constant, president tells congregation
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2023 5:10 PM CST
At King's Church, Biden Says the Dream Remains Unrealized
President Biden speaks Sunday at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The Rev. Chelsea D. Waite is seated at right.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On what would have been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 94th birthday, President Biden took to the pulpit at the civil rights leader's church and said the country is at an "inflection point." The dream King spoke about at the National Mall 60 years ago can provide inspiration, Biden said on Sunday. "It's still the task of our time to make that dream a reality, because it's not there yet," the president said, per ABC News. He added: "The battle for the soul of this nation is perennial. It's a constant struggle. It's a constant struggle between hope and fear, kindness and cruelty, justice and injustice, against those who traffic in racism, extremism and insurrection. A battle fought on battlefields and bridges, from courthouses and ballot boxes to pulpits and protests."

It was the first time a sitting president had spoken at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King served as co-pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968, per the AP. Martin Luther King III had urged Biden and members of Congress last year to use the "same energy" they put to passing the infrastructure bill to legislation to "ensure all Americans have an unencumbered right to vote." On Sunday, Biden listed voting rights as one of the issues on which progress needs to be made.

He was invited to the church by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who's been pastor there since 2005. "I've spoken before parliaments, kings, queens, leaders of the world ... but this is intimidating," Biden said as he began his sermon. "At our best, the American promise wins out," he told the congregation. "At our best, we hear and heed the injunctions of the lord and the whispers of the angels. But I don't need to tell you that we're not always at our best." (Read more President Biden stories.)

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