Here's Senator Obama's Diwali greetings for 2008 (you can see the PDF version here):
October 24, 2008
Thank you for the opportunity to share a few thoughts with you as we near the night of
Diwali. In the coming days, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and their friends of all faiths will gather across
America and around the world to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Much has happened in the
world since the last Diwali, and this is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the year past and
rededicate ourselves to spreading peace and tolerance in the coming year.
Last year, I wrote that Diwali’s celebration of the triumph of illumination over ignorance
had a special meaning for me. At that time, traveling across America and meeting people of
every spiritual and ethnic background showed me that there’s much more that unites us than
divides us. Now, one year later, I believe this even more strongly.
Americans, despite our varied backgrounds, believe that all people are created equal, and
that each person should be free to practice or not practice religion as they choose. These beliefs
have faced challenges at home and abroad throughout history, but they are the beliefs our nation
was founded on, and we always return to them.
If I’m elected President of the United States, I will work to renew America’s moral
leadership in the world. This is our time to create change, and I believe that we can and must
continue the fight against ignorance and intolerance. I hope you enjoy your celebration and
renew your commitment to overcoming ignorance. I wish you all the best for a joyous Diwali.
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