STORY: “We have to choose a community over chaos..."
Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to give a Sunday sermon at Martin Luther King Jr.’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
"These are the vital questions of our time and the reason I’m here as your president.” //
“I believe Dr. King’s life and legacy show us the way and we should pay attention.”
The remarks come ahead of Monday’s national holiday in honor of King, and Biden used the platform to hold up the life of the assassinated civil rights leader as a lesson in repairing deep divisions.
“The power to redeem the soul of America lies where it always has... lay, in the hands of we the people. We the people.”
Biden also warned of forces aiming to tear the country apart.
“I doubt whether any of us would have thought, even in Dr. King’s time, that literally the institutional structures of this country might collapse.”//
“The battle for the soul of this nation is perennial. It's a constant struggle... against those who traffic in racism, extremism, insurrection.”
Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, who is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, invited the president to speak.
“Come on let’s hear it for Dr. King…”
Sunday would have been King's 94th birthday.
"Today is his birthday..."
He worked for voting rights and was the church's pastor until his assassination in 1968 by an avowed segregationist.
Biden's visit to the iconic church comes as he is widely expected to announce his re-election bid in the coming weeks.
He was elected in 2020 with strong support from Black voters after pledging to do more to expand voting rights and address other racial justice issues.
But his efforts have been stymied by divisions in Congress, and some critics say he hasn't done enough.
On Monday, Biden meeds with civil rights advocate Al Sharpton.