Biden talks about religious faith in South Carolina church
Written by Steve Holland
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA (Reuters) – President Joe Biden He spoke about his religious faith at a Sunday service at an African-American church in South Carolina, where he is working to shore up black support that is likely to be crucial to his re-election chances in November.
Biden, a devout Catholic, was wrapping up a two-day visit to the state, where Democrats will hold their first primary election in the country on February 3.
At St. John the Baptist Church in Columbia on Sunday, Biden sat next to US Rep. Jim Clyburn, whose support for Biden in 2020 was crucial to his winning the Democratic presidential nomination.
At the end of the service, Biden spoke from the pulpit, saying: “In my life, I have tried to walk by my faith.
“Here’s what I’ve learned: We are all imperfect beings. We don’t know where faith will take us, or when it will take us. … But we can do our best to search for light, hope and love,” he said. “Where I come from, that’s the power of faith.”
While Biden will easily win the Democratic primary in South Carolina, his goal is to boost black turnout nationally and hopes minority turnout will help give him an advantage in closely contested states over his Republican opponent, who is likely to be a former Republican. President Donald Trump.
White Christian evangelicals have flocked to Trump, and some evangelical leaders see Trump’s quest for a second term as a God-ordained mission.
Biden arrived in Colombia on Saturday, visited a black-run barber shop and spoke at a dinner attended by African American leaders on Saturday evening before visiting a church on Sunday.
The president is receiving mixed reviews from some Black voters who supported him in 2020, including dissatisfaction with his failure to implement voting rights legislation and other issues.
Biden helped shift the nation’s first Democratic primary to the more diverse state of South Carolina this year, ending the nominating contest roles played by Iowa and New Hampshire in recent decades.
However, the Republican Party stuck to its tradition of holding the first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)