And it’s a lesson we need to remember today – as members of another Joshua generation. It’s time for us to change America. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress.
And as I listened to him explain why he’d enlisted, the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all that any of us might hope for in a child. So it’s 1985, and I’m in Chicago, and I’m working with these churches, and with lots of laypeople who are much older than I am. And if we can do that – if we can embrace a common destiny – then I believe we’ll not just help bring about a more hopeful day in America, we’ll not just be caring for our own souls, we’ll be doing God’s work here on Earth.
I’m not talking about blind optimism here – the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. I was too young to be involved in that movement, but I felt I could play a small part in the continuing battle for justice by helping rebuild some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. But that is not yet the case. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists.
But at the end of the day, we cannot walk away – not for the sake of passing a bill, but so that we can finally address the real concerns of Americans and the persistent hopes of all those brothers and sisters who want nothing more than their own chance at our common dream. I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But all of us must recognize that education and innovation will be the currency of the 21st century, and in too many Muslim communities there remains underinvestment in these areas.
If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered. All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer.
Thank you. And may God’s peace be upon you.
The Beta Gamma chapter prides itself on its entertainment capabilities. With a chapter billiards table, a volleyball court, and basketball court all located on chapter grounds, there is plenty for our members to keep themselves busy with day in and day out. On any given day one may find 5 on 5 basketball games going on in the backyard, and even the occasional wiffle ball game. In recent years our members have even furthered their entertainment ambitions by sponsoring brotherhood events such as bowling and paint balling to supplement our entertainment arsenal.
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It is about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.
When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation.
Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. They endure the daily humiliations – large and small – that come with occupation. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition.
While studying here, my father met my mother. Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them.
From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Because whether it’s poverty or racism, the uninsured or the unemployed, war or peace, the challenges we face today are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten-point plan. Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton’s Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill. Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations. Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together.
God bless you.
To keep our members busy outside of the classroom, the Beta Gamma chapter participates in a large number of athletic activities on campus. Some of our best athletic programs are our flag football, soccer, basketball and volleyball teams. Recent highlights in our chapter athletics involve 3 Greek league soccer championships in the last four years. In the 2014 Greek Week sporting events, our pairing dominated the athletic fields and finished first in both soccer and football while finishing in a humble second in basketball and volleyball. Our members pride themselves in the belief that the name on the front of the jersey, is far more important than the name on the back. The kappa sigma flag always flies high in times of victory.
Want to get more from your college experience? Kappa Sigma makes it happen. Joining Kappa Sigma provides opportunities for fellowship, fun, and personal growth that you simply can’t get elsewhere. Over 280,000 men have joined and enjoyed the unmatched experiences, involvement, and lifelong brotherhood that Kappa Sigma offers. There is no secret…our goal is to build better men.
Take the lead. In Kappa Sigma, brothers learn to get involved in their communities and take the lead when something needs to be done. Countless brothers, including senators, governors and CEOs, have said Kappa Sigma gave them the leadership skills they needed to succeed.
Separate from the Beta Gamma scholarship. You’re in college for an education. From its earliest beginnings in Renaissance Italy, Kappa Sigma has promoted scholarships among its members. Since its inception, over $4.5 million in scholarships have been awarded by the Kappa Sigma Endowment Fund to brothers who excel in academics, campus involvement, and leadership. At the chapter level, brothers help you learn about the campus, provide advice on professors and classes, and help you study for those important assignments.
Helping others is part of being a Kappa Sigma. Brothers spend thousands of hours working in their communities and raise thousands of dollars for worthy causes each year. From organizing park clean-ups to serving as Big Brothers to organizing charity rock concerts, Kappa Sigmas work hard for their causes. College is fun, but only service gives you the great feeling of knowing you’ve helped someone and made a difference.
With Service being a main pillar of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, we make it a goal to incorporate philanthropy as a part of our daily lives. Volunteering around the Columbia neighorhood, we always make sure our philanthropic endeavors are fulfilled. Every semester the Beta Gamma chapter focuses a majority of its time and resources toward raising money for causes like Relay for Life and The Wounded Warrior Project. Events such as Fish Fries and the extremely successful Kappa Sig Karnival are the Fraternity’s biggest fund raisers.
Standard of Living
The chapter house at 110 e Stewart most recently underwent renovations in the academic year of 2015-2016. Donations poured in from alumni and active brothers to help match the house with the bond amongst those living in it. The new house serves as the symbol of years of tradition and hardwork leading into a bright successful future for our chapter. Kappa Sigma has been at the University of Missouri since 1898, and the new house will allow us to continue living up to such a legacy for years to come.
The Beta Gamma chapter of Kappa Sigma has a wide array of members all over the United States with strong groupings of alumni status brothers in Chicago, St Louis, and Dallas. Such a privilege is especially significant in that it allows our members to stay in touch even after their time as active members comes to an end. We make it a priority to strengthen the bond amongst one another not only during our undergraduate years, but also as alumni. In recent years, the Beta Gamma chapter has developed a platform of connecting graduating brothers with alumni near their hometowns in order to help recent graduates find employment. Such a platform has lead to the tightening of the bond between alumni and undergraduates; a win-win for the Beta Gamma Chapter.
Alumni of Kappa Sigma, Beta-Gamma Chapter have created a not-for-profit Educational foundation called “The Star and Crescent Educational Foundation.” Its purpose is to encourage academic achievement by the active members of Beta-Gamma through the award of scholarships based on success in the classroom.
While Kappa Sigma is a social fraternity, providing lodging accommodations for undergraduate males attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, the real reason each of the members is in this setting, is to learn. The process of learning is measured by the grades each member achieves. Because of these circumstances it is appropriate to reward those members who achieve academic excellence.
- Each member achieving a semester grade point average of at least 3.000 will receive $500.00.
- Each member with a semester grade point average of at least 3.300, will receive $750.00.
- Each member achieving a semester grade point average of at least 3.500, will receive $1000.00.
- Each member achieving a semester grade point average of 3.750, will receive $2000.00.
Parameters of the Program
– Scholarships will be awarded after the grade results are received from the University Registrar office for each of the Fall and Spring semesters.
– Each active member of the chapter must submit the application form to the Registrar’s office, each semester, to participate in the program.
– To be eligible, active member must be in “good standing” with the Chapter, which means the following, must be accomplished:
- Member must live in the Chapter house and be in good standing with the Fraternity.
- Member must pay his house bill on time.
- Member must be a full time undergraduate student (minimum of 12 credit hours contributing to chapter GPA) at University of Missouri-Columbia.
- Each member will be eligible for only one award per semester.
- The Star and Crescent Educational Foundation reserves the right to modify the terms, conditions, and amounts of the Awards Program as it deems appropriate in its sole discretion, including but not limited to availability of funds.
At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. We seek no military bases there. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s.
Hope in the face of difficulty. Because whether it’s poverty or racism, the uninsured or the unemployed, war or peace, the challenges we face today are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten-point plan. And then another one. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. This history is well known.
The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. That’s what compromise is about.
It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma. And if we can do that – if we can embrace a common destiny – then I believe we’ll not just help bring about a more hopeful day in America, we’ll not just be caring for our own souls, we’ll be doing God’s work here on Earth. America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights.
King delivered his prayer for our country. I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America.
Thank you very much everybody.