“Got Faith? Your Life Has Meaning: Live It. Love It. Pass It On.”
Mitch Hanley, Senior Producer (from the road)

Great event yesterday afternoon at Maria Shriver’s 2008 Women’s Conference. Krista moderated a wide-ranging and lively conversation with Benedictine sister and author, Joan Chittister; Tim Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics; and spiritual teacher and author, Sylvia Boorstein. Ingrid Mattson, professor and president of the Islamic Society of North America was scheduled to participate but had to cancel due to a family emergency. Regrettably, the hour-long discussion among the four was so moving that there was no time to include questions from the audience.

A rough transcript of just one of the highlights:

Krista had just mentioned that often, some religious leaders appear to have all the answers to the large questions of meaning, not only for themselves, but for everyone. And that there is value in the questions, and we need to honor that mystery.

Sylvia Boorstein: Instead of saying, this is how it is, start with, “In my experience…”

Krista Tippett: I can disagree with your opinion, but I cannot disagree with your experience.

Tim Shriver: There are a lot of questions that have nothing to do with God […] I think God is a starting point, not a possession. “God is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, but he is mine.” What a ridiculous idea.

Joan Chittister: A period of questions is a period that takes us into the soul, where less and less is more and more, where we can let God be God. Without questions, you never move off of the place where you are.

Tim Shriver: We are always asking the questions. The questions are the journey. Get comfortable in that search.

The Women’s Conference concluded with a keynote speech by Bono, who described himself as a salesman who, at times, has new U2 albums to vend and now comes calling with his plea for ending global poverty and disease through the (RED) and ONE campaigns.

Being fully aware of our rational inclination to focus our attention inward at such a challenging time, Bono’s closing remarks included a plea to Americans, “We are not asking you to put another man or woman on the moon. We are asking you to put humanity back on earth.”

Bonnie Raitt followed up with a great concert, but I was so tired I could only stay for two songs. Man, did she sound good!

Share Your Reflection



Krista: I am an avid fan, which is interesting, since I am a convinced atheist! Fun, and quite philosophically defensible, arguments. Despite being irreligious, and certainly "god less", I still come from a Muslim background, and I am a linguist to boot (!), and so I always wonder about one thing. Why is it that the English speakers, and mostly evangelical christians, use the term "Allah" to refer to the god of the Muslims as if he is a different god? As I am sure you know, Allah is the Arabic word for god, and in Persian he is "khoda" and in other languages, other things. A Russian Muslim still believes in "bog" and an English one in "god" and a French one in "dieu". It also is not like Jesus used the word "God" to refer to his god, he actually used something close to Arabic "allah", namely "ilah". So, why has no one picked up on this.

Also, why don't you talk more about historical faiths such as Manichaism? I like to hear about those...