“To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.” President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009
I watched Obama’s inauguration speech on a big screen in a church hall on Capitol Hill, maybe a third of a mile from where the new president took his oath. Along with my wife and two-year-old son Liam, I’d traveled across the country from San Francisco to be part of the historic event. We tried to get to the Mall to see the ceremony but Liam seemed likely to go hypothermic if we stayed out in the biting cold, so we took shelter in the warm and welcoming St. Mark’s Episcopalian Church.