Our Shared Spirit of Humanity

Whatever you think of Obama’s politics. There is no doubt that his most powerful speeches are infused with pure Humanism. That is probably why they are so darned powerful and stirring to hear. His Easter message was no exception. In fact, aside from just a couple of mentions of public policy, it was as pure a statement of Humanism as you are likely to get anywhere. Here are the highlights.

“Remember the shared spirit of humanity that inhabits us all. … Let us hold fast to those aspirations we hold in common as brothers and sisters, as members of the same family - the family of man. … All of us value our health and the health of our loved ones. Our health is the rock upon which our lives are built, for better and for worse. … All of us value education. … Ultimately, education is about something more, something greater. It is about the ability that lies within each of us to rise above any barrier, no matter how high; to pursue any dream, no matter how big. … All of us are striving to make a way in this world; to build a purposeful and fulfilling life in the fleeting time we have here. A dignified life. A healthy life. A life, true to its potential. And a life that serves others. … These are aspirations that stretch back through the ages.”

He then goes on to tell a story about an Easter service held at Iwo Jimo 60 years ago. He quotes the chaplain from that service as consecrating the memory “of American dead. … Together they practiced virtue, patriotism, love of country, love of you and of me.” The chaplain said, “The heritage they have left us, the vision of a new world, [was] made possible by the common bond that united them…their only hope that this unity will endure.” Obama finishes with the following statement, “Let us remain ever mindful of the unity of purpose, the common bond, the love of you and of me, for which they sacrificed all they had; and for which so many others have sacrificed so much. And let us make its pursuit - and fulfillment - our highest aspiration,”

A Humanist couldn’t have put it better. View the entire speech here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/04/03/weekly-address-holiday-greetings

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