Sen. Chris Coons: The Joe Biden that I know is a man of faith 

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Sen. Chris Coons: The Joe Biden that I know is a man of faith 

Throughout this week’s Democratic National Convention, you’ve heard a lot of the things you’d expect to hear. You’ve heard how Democratic president

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Throughout this week’s Democratic National Convention, you’ve heard a lot of the things you’d expect to hear. You’ve heard how Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is committed to bipartisanship and has a long track record of getting things done.

You’ve heard how Joe will put working families first and get our economy back on track. You’ve heard how Joe will fight for our global standing and rally the rest of the world to our side.

On the convention’s final night, though, you’ll hear something you might not have expected: a deep and personal testament to my friend Joe Biden’s faith. That’s because Joe and I agree that communities of faith are critical to the past, present and future of America.

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That’s the message I’ll deliver Thursday evening to millions of Americans watching at home as I take a few minutes to talk about the Joe Biden I’ve known for more than 30 years.

The Joe I know is someone who believes in the power of prayer and who turns to God for strength in moments of hardship and joy. I’ve witnessed Joe’s faith in action, and his empathy, prayerfulness, and love have gotten me through some of my toughest moments – including when my own father was in hospice.

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Like so many Americans, Joe’s faith is a fundamental part of who he is. Growing up in a Catholic family in Scranton, Pa., and Claymont, Del., Joe learned from a young age that all people are made in the image of God, and to love his neighbor as himself.

As he grew up and began a career in public service, his faith stuck with him in good times and bad – and the issues that he cares about, his empathy for others, and his values are rooted in the Gospel. That’s something Joe and I have in common.

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For Democrats like Joe and me, taking care of the planet isn’t just about rising sea levels and extreme weather, it’s also about protecting and honoring God’s creation. For Democrats like Joe and me, fighting for civil rights and equality isn’t just about political correctness, it’s about loving our neighbor and recognizing that all of us are created equal in the eyes of God.

Faith is a core part of who we are – and since our founding, it’s been a core part of America, too. Look back at critical moments of progress in American history and you’ll find communities of faith who moved our country forward. From the American Revolution and women’s suffrage to the movements for civil and labor rights, American men and women of faith have been working to perfect our union since our country’s birth.

That’s because, throughout our history, faith has enabled us to recognize our common humanity and understand that the issues that divide us are less significant than the values and ideals that unite us.

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I’m proud to stand with Joe, and I’m proud to be part of a Democratic Party that respects Americans of all faiths or no particular faith, because, here in the United States, we’re free to practice whatever religion we choose, or none at all.

My friend Joe often speaks the words of theologian Soren Kierkegaard: “Faith sees best in the dark.” From the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis to our national reckoning over racial injustice, these are dark and challenging times for America, but with faith and hard work, we can see the way forward. I believe that, I know many Americans believe that, and Joe Biden does, too.

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