Biden at National Prayer Breakfast: ‘Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself – That’s the Hardest One I Think’

( – President Biden used his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast to call on the nation to start treating each other with respect.

“We know that faith and history teach us however dark the night, ‘joy cometh in the morning,’ and that joy comes when we apply the commandments of Scripture. ‘Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, all thy mind, and all thy soul, and ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself.’ That’s the hardest one I think, at least it’s hardest here, didn’t use to be as hard,” he said.

“I’ve been here a long time, but it seems to be getting harder. It’s easy to say. It’s hard to do, but in that commandment lies the essence of faith,” the president said. 

“Loving our neighbors is also part of the essence of the American promise – a promise that comes with a new Congress that is more diverse and more different and more — more religions, more races, more co- — more diversity than ever before in our history: people of all faiths, some people of no faith; gay, straight; immigrant, Native American, differences that express the infinite creativity of God who is able to see his reflection in countless ways in different people,” he said.

“It’s also an expression of the American conviction that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. That’s why Jill and I have opened the White House to celebrations of faith in our nation for Easter, for the Jewish High Holidays, for Diwali, and more. That’s America. That’s who we are,” Biden said.


The president challenged the nation to “be doers of the word.”

“Let’s keep the faith. Let’s remember who we are. We’re the United States of America — the United States of America. We’re born out of an idea. No other nation in the world is born of an idea. They’re based on ethnicity, geography, and so many other things, but the idea that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men and women are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights — life, liberty, et cetera,” he said.

Biden said that his prayer for the prayer breakfast is “we start to see each other again, look at each other again, travel with each other again, argue like hell with each other again but then still go to lunch together.”

The president told the story of his early years in the Senate when “there were some very strong segregationists still in the Senate, from James O. Eastland of Mississippi and, you know, Strom Thurmond.”

“I could go down the list, and I used to watch Teddy Kennedy and James O. Eastland argue like hell on the floor. Then they’d go to the Senate Dining Room, sit down, and they’d eat together. They’d eat together. I don’t know how we do that anymore, but we have to. We have to start treating each other in ways different than we have, in my humble opinion,” he said.

He closed by challenging everyone to treat each other with respect.

“It doesn’t mean we’re going to agree, and fight like hell, but let’s treat each other with respect,” Biden said.


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