Biden says he hopes this Christmas season marks a fresh start for the US
President Biden on Thursday delivered a message of unity ahead of the Christmas holiday, calling on Americans to stop focusing on divisions amongst each other.
“I sincerely hope this Christmas season will drain the poison that has infected our politics and set us against one another. I hope this Christmas season marks a fresh start for our nation. Because there’s so much that unites us as Americans, so much more that unites us than divides us,” Biden said in remarks from the White House.
“Our politics have gotten so angry, so mean, so partisan. And too often we see each other as enemies, not as neighbors. As Democrats and Republicans, not as fellow Americans,” he said.
Biden, who is Catholic, spoke about the stillness at the center of the story of Christmas and how it spreads a “universal” message of hope, love, peace and joy across religions.
“My hope this Christmas season is that we take a few moments of quiet reflection, find that stillness … that’s at that heart of Christmas and look, really look at each other. Not as Democrats or Republicans, not as members of team red or team blue, but as who we really are, fellow Americans, fellow human beings worthy of being treated with dignity and respect,” he said.
The president said he understands that the holidays are a tough time for some families and shared that his first wife and daughter died in a car accident 50 years ago while Christmas tree shopping in Delaware in 1972.
He called on Americans to spread kindness during the tough time and especially to pray for members of the military who are away from family.
“This Christmas, lets spread a little kindness. This Christmas, let’s be that helping hand, that strong shoulder, that friendly voice,” he said.
Biden, who just a day prior hosted the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for an unprecedented wartime visit to the White House, remarked about other historic moments around Christmas. He noted that former President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941 at the White House for Christmas, a visit that many have drawn parallels to in comparison with Zelensky’s visit.
He also noted that Christmastime in 1862 was when former President Lincoln prepared the Emancipation Proclamation to issue on New Year’s Day. And, on Christmas Eve in 1968, astronauts of Apollo 8 spoke to the U.S. as they orbited the moon and read the King James Bible story of creation.
“In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, and God said let there be light and there was light. That light’s still with us, illuminating a way forward as Americans and as citizens of the world,” Biden said.
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