Update: The streaming embed box has been replaced with the recorded versions of the interview, broken into two parts.

This is the place where we are streaming real-time video of Krista and Joshua DuBois’ conversation on Wednesday, May 20th. We’ll begin streaming at 6:45 pm CST with pre-show music through the instrumentation of guitar, oud, and violin. The conversation begins at 7:00.

Their conversation will focus on the changing face of religion in public life in the era of the Obama administration and the perspective DuBois brings through his new role as head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

A Q+A session, moderated by Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, will follow the conversation. The evening will begin with pre-show music of Robert Bell and David Stenshoel, providing some European/American influenced jazz through the instrumentation of guitar, oud, and violin.

Help us cover this event. Whether you live in the Twin Cities metro area or on another continent, you can participate by:

  • Watching and Commenting. Submit your questions here, and we’ll ask them during the Q+A session.
  • Twittering the Conversation. Respond to Krista or Dubois’ points with a tweet — or ask a question. We’ll feature your tweets on our Web site. The hashtag is #sofevent.
  • Participating in a Salon. We’re selecting eight people to be part of a roundtable discussion with Krista and DuBois the next morning. If you live in the metro area, let us know if you’re interested. If you live elsewhere, we’ll inform you on how you can take part in the discussion through our live video feed.

Sign up and share your ideas with us!

ABOUT THE GUEST
Joshua DuBois heads the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The former associate pastor, advisor to President Obama, and Obama’s campaign Director of Religious Affairs, DuBois is charged with bringing people together around common goals regardless of political affiliation. DuBois received his undergraduate degree in political science from Boston University in 2003 and a master’s in public affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He suspended his pursuit of a J.D. at the Georgetown University Law Center to join Obama’s campaign.

ABOUT THE EVENT
Religious Life in the Obama Era: A Conversation with Joshua DuBois is Wednesday, May 20th at the historic Fitzgerald Theater at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $18 for MPR members. All seats are reserved seating. For tickets, please call the box office at 651-290-1221. This event is being recorded for national broadcast. Broadcast date, May 28, 2009.


Share Your Reflection

20Reflections

Reflections

If you're still looking for people for the round table discussion the next morning, I'd love to partake. (FYI, I'm also a pastor of a church in Mpls.)

Michael L. Johnson

Thanks for the offer, Michael, but we are maxed out. Will you be attending the event in-person tomorrow night?

Hello and thanks for hosting this important dialogue. What ideas does Mr. DuBois have (and perhaps the President) for developing experiential opportunities that enhance religious pluralism? Given how parochial civic conversation can get, what initiatives are in the works to foster a religiously diverse conversation that goes deeper that sound bites and theological posturing devoid of real complexity (kudos by the way to Pres. Obama on his Notre Dame speech)? Does Mr. DuBois have programs in mind to involve faith partners from liberal religious traditions?

Leaf, thanks for the question. What's your location? As I submit these questions, I'd like to identify where you're living or where you're from.

Hi Trent. Leaf Seligman here. I posted a question yesterday and you asked for my location. Southwestern New Hampshire, and I am a Unitarian Universalist minister ministering in Fitchburg, MA. Thanks so much for this program and live conversation.
Leaf

The PEW Forum’s recent study, “Faith in Flux: Changes in Religious Affiliation in the U.S.” reveals that 50% of people that have become unaffiliated did so because they “think of religious people as hypocritical, judgmental or insincere.” Why do you think half of all unaffiliated Americans feel this way about religious people? As Obama’s “Pastor-in-Chief” what will you do to undermine this misconception?

Despite the increasing numbers of self-defined “unaffiliated” Americans, religiosity continues to be a significant component of identity for many students. We have worked with a number of public school teachers who say they avoid interreligious education; either they are not clear on the laws around teaching about religion, or they fear offending students and their parents. Given globalization, and the need to cultivate multicultural literacy in our students, how do you think teachers can approach religion in their classrooms without treading on dangerous ground?

One’s faith can both end conflicts and ignite them. The current American wars, whether or not we choose to ignore the rhetoric about a clash of civilizations, has nonetheless found us in Islamic countries. By lashing out against the insurgencies, often with unintended casualties, we alienate swathes of the population with whom we seek to ingratiate ourselves with. Under the new administration has outreach to Muslim communities and leadership, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, improved? If so, how and what initiatives have been put in place?

Not long ago, Colin Powell importantly reminded America – amidst false assertions during the election campaign that President Obama is Muslim – that there should be nothing wrong with being Muslim in this country in the first place. His statement was a powerful reminder that this country is comprised of an awesome diversity of faithful and patriotic Americans. Yet, surely we cannot leave the task of conveying such critical messages to one ex-secretary of state. In this age, where it has become far too common to assume our Muslim brothers and sisters are not “one of us”, what initiatives can your office launch to change these perceptions, and to engage the American people in recognizing that we are all – Hindu, Christian, Jew, Baha’i, or Muslim – part of the American fabric?

Today, the younger generation is increasingly realizing that pursuing social justice is an imperative component of their faith commitments. Newer minority faith communities are changing the public square with new ways of participating in the civic life of American society. How will your office incorporate a more complex understanding of “we” into your efforts to involve youth in civic participation?

There are many faith-based ministries that produce outstanding results for supplemental prison rehabilitation, recovery from additions, acquiring life-skills, and supporting women with unplanned pregnancies to name a few.

My question: How will this administration show measureable action to partner with or utilize the most effective of faith-based endeavors while remaining true to the demarcation of separation of church and state? Without real action we are left with mere wishful thinking and rhetoric.

There are many faith-based ministries that produce outstanding results for supplemental prison rehabilitation, recovery from additions, acquiring life-skills, and supporting women with unplanned pregnancies to name a few.
My question: How will this administration show measureable action to partner with or utilize the most effective of faith-based endeavors while remaining true to the demarcation of separation of church and state? Without real action we are left with mere wishful thinking and rhetoric.

Hi Steve, we'd like to include your first name and where you're from when asking the questions. Could you let me know?

sbell = Steve from Murfreesboro, TN (near Nashville). Thanks!

Oh, Tanenbaums! What wonderful questions. Thank you, and I will forward them to Kate and Mitch for screening. Cheers.

I am troubled that President Obama’s expansion of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships cements in American government the idea that “persons of faith” somehow have more to say about moral issues than those of no faith at all. I come from an Anabaptist tradition where the separation between church and state was essentially something people were willing to die for. As an atheist today, I am still someone who is deeply committed to working on issues of social justice. I understand the role faith can play in meeting social needs as well as spiritual ones. However, it seems that President Obama is seeking to insert the private role of religion into government, codifying it. How does your office deal with these concerns? What lines will it not cross and has the constitutional separation of church and state come up in discussions with the President?

Does the Obama Faith Based Initiatives fund international ministries, based in the US?

The Nazi holocaust was seen, rightly so, as an indictment of organized Christianity - what was wrong with Christianity as practiced and preached that allowed it to happen?

Can a similar point be made our the economic meltdown - it is not "an act of God," but of man? What is wrong with Christianity as practiced and preached that allowed it to happen?

Joshua - You are sitting in St. Paul, MN - capital to the state where the state, not the banks, are offering Sharia compliant morgages. How can we talk about separation of church and state, and go forward with preferential treatment for one religious segment of the population, while ignoring all others?

The state is offering Sharia complian mortgages? Please...get some education and stop fearing Muslims. They are our fellow Americans and we need to accept and embrace them and their culture.
Your post illustrates why this faith-based initiative exists in the first place.