Share Episode

Shortened URL


Joshua DuBois

is the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

SoundSeen (our multimedia stories)

Religious Life in the Obama Era

Krista's live conversation with Joshua DuBois at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Senator Barack Obama's "Call to Renewal" Speech

June 28, 2006 – Washington DC
This religious tendency is not simply the result of successful marketing by skilled preachers or the draw of popular mega-churches. In fact, it speaks to a hunger that's deeper than that — a hunger that goes beyond any particular issue or cause.

Selected Audio

SOF Salon: Lived Faith and Civic Life

[mp3, 69:45]
Krista joined a diverse group of 13 individuals to react to DuBois' words, and contribute more stories to the dialogue. Download and listen to the lively and insightful conversation in full.

About the Image

Krista Tippett and Joshua DuBois during their live conversation at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Episode Sponsor

Share a Reflection



inspiring action for the common good through bringing our heart and soul to our work within our communities

interested to see what is said... it's interesting to me how the claim has been made we're in the obama era... since, he's only been president for a little over three months...

I am a history instructor who has been interested in religion as it relates to public life for most of my life. This event is important because it starts an important dialogue regarding the place of faith-based communities in public policy. My hope is that it will allow for diversity in those faith-based communities.

I want to be part of that dialogue.

I'm a 27-year old solo pastor of a Disciples of Christ church (Plymouth Creek Christian Church) in the western Minneapolis suburb named Plymouth. So I guess I technically miss out on the salon age-range by 2 years, but figured it wouldn't hurt to express interest, in the event you find yourself in need of another participant.

I began listening to the SoF podcast two years back, during my first year of ordained ministry in Lexington, KY, and enjoyed the broad reach of the show's curiosity. It became a personal favorite after the Joe Carter episode, which told a story about the spiritual "Nobody Knows" that I couldn't get out of my head. I used/sang that in an Independence Day sermon, and thanks in great part to the story, I felt for the first time I preached a sermon that truly connected in a deep way with my congregation. This taught me something visceral about the power of story to buttress, or even undermine broadly shared values like freedom or truth. Hopefully so that a more inclusive, life-giving narrative can be constructed.

Anyway, that was a then, and last August I've was called to serve a small, intimate community in the suburban Twin Cities. As a young adult, first-time solo pastor, I'm constantly aware of challenge and the need for humility in spiritual understanding. With so many of my contemporaries avoiding this suburban environment for hipper, more eclectic urban neighborhoods, what I see and respond to on a day-to-day basis seems like stuff I shouldn't care about. I was taught about urban ministry at a southside Chicago divinity school; I served a downtown congregation in Lexington. The suburbs were supposed to be places of escape, insularity, unacknowledged racism, and an uncritical celebration of sameness. But it's is where I'm from (Littleton, CO), to be fair, and where I now serve. And while sometimes correct, I'm finding this caricature of suburban ministry incomplete.

The people I minister with are reason #1 for that, of course, and as I've grown to love them, my heart has opened to the wisdom of this new environment, and how it might connect even further with the gifts of rural and urban contexts across the globe. I guess that's much of why this event interests me, besides the chance to see SoF live. Joshua DuBois seems like a wise, courageous faith leader, and I'm curious to know more about his vision for connecting people of faith across political, geographic and ideological spectra. I'm aware that much progressive Christian theology (my 'tradition') focuses rightly on the material needs of poor urban neighborhoods, and the unjust lack of balance in living standards throughout the world, environmentally and economically speaking. Suburban folk both can be vilified as poster children for such problems, but also looked to for resources and renewal if a way forward exists. I imagine Joshua DuBois knows more about these issues than I could dream of, and so I wonder how his leadership will help people of faith throughout the country hear each other's wisdom more gracefully, speak more directly with government and 'secular' institutions who care about similar stuff, and how we all can help out in ways that don't get young pastors fired for 'preaching politics'!

Hope that's helpful. Thanks for coming up north. Looking forward to your questions, and Dubois' response.

I really like SOF and Krista's interviewing style and the topics she presents. I also moved to St. Paul recently and would like to get more involved in things. I'm a grad student at St. Kate's, pursuing a master's in theology with a cert. in Spiritual Direction. I recently spent ten years as a live-in assistant in a L'Arche community in Iowa, working with and living with persons with intellectual disabilities.

President Obama brings a far more pluralistic, realistic view of religion's role in not only the historical U.S. but also its role in today's culture. A real breath of fresh air.

To date, the president and his family have expressed little interest in faith, apart from hosting a Seder dinner and attending a church service only twice since the inauguration. And during the campaign after the dispute with Rev. Wright, they apparently didn't attend services at all. Is the president's intent only to support initiatives on faith without modeling faith?

I am very interested in spiritual topics, and I greatly appreciate Speaking of Faith. I often tell others of programs. Some that come to mind are Krista's interviews with Rachel Naomi Remens (great fan with repeated readings of her books), a yoga teacher who told his story of physical disability (sorry I'm not looking up name now), and a very recent one about living aware of each moment with particular interest to send to my son & daughter-in-law his comment about young children who seem to be great zen teachers given to us to grow spiritually (their girls are 2 & 4 with a boy expected in a month).

This event interests me as I have mixed feelings about government funding religious programs. It can be a wonderful thing with some money added to private money to do good, but I have misgivings about it's possible misuse. I feel more trustful of it's use under this president than under the last administration.

I was the founder and for 8 years the director of an alcohol and drug treatment center that started as a division of the Union Gospel Mission; it later incorporated separately as the Shoreview Treatment Center. It was federally funded (through Ramsey County) but later lost its funding with a change of administrations...I am now part of a counseling and consulting staff that specializes in working with stressed clergy persons and their families as well as religious groups and church organizations that need help with orgaizaitonal problems. We serve people of all faiths.

I was educated in the Catholic schools in my area because our public schools have been challenged for quite some time. However those in my family who are "religious" at all are strong Southern Baptist - ministers and people in leadership in the African-American Southern Baptist Church.

In college an older classmate listened to me speak and decided she had to introduce me to Buddhist practice. There I explored several traditions and am now a teacher in the Shambhala tradition.

So, seeing a range of spirituality in America has given me a rich perspective on the benefits and challenges. Seeing how an administration which approaches things through listening and considering various perspectives is facinating and exciting to me!

I with other passionate followers of a Christian tradition reason from a critical biblical hermeneutic that perceives caution on placing undue (idolatrous) dependence on any leader (king, president or nation state) above the reality of "Jesus is Lord". Living by a lively ethic and a politics of the kingdom of God (of Jesus), non-violence and respect of other religions (neighbor) is normative. One of my ongoing questions while seeking to support the Obama administration is this: What kind of development can we expect during the Obama Administration supporting a shift from a strong US narrative that says the state via the military is our “savior” (a sort of Christological narrative that sees the state as savior and protector of security and freedom decreed by God) to an alternative script that helps the US (as a diverse population of people among other peoples) become good neighbors while exercising “neighborly” practices such as more patient and imaginative diplomacy without being naïve, responsibility for the environment that lives with the tension of one’s own economics while remaining keenly aware that we share responsibility for the entire planet?

I'm very interested in in appropriate partnerships between government and faith groups (and appropriate boundaries between the two). Among other experiences, I was a part of recruiting and organizing faith groups in establishing and serving in a homeless shelter in North Carolina and now work in Minneapolis in a Lutheran-associated non-profit specialty longterm care facility as a chaplain and clinical pastoral educator. I am very interested in the subject. I also am very impressed with President Obama's intelligent faithfulness and his clear commitment to social justice and care for all.

I am so hopeful about Obama's presidency and would love to participate in the group.

Everything about the Obama administration interests me. There is a new language that is being used once that is focused more on dialogue. I'm curious to hear what this "Pastor-in-Chief" has to say about the direction of faith based initiatives since our church serves a monthly free community meal to guests who are only increasing in number. Plus, I just saw Krista live in Cleveland last evening, and continue to be stimulated by her thinking and questions.

I'm a 47 year old, Chicago-born African-American Catholic. Many folks, like me; however, my wife (same background as me) and I are raising 2 teen sons as Catholics in suburban Philadelphia. Not many youth, like them; especially African American Suburban Catholics attending a Quaker school with a predominantly Jewish studentbody. The complexity of their lives and our family conversations about matters of Belief, Faith, Morality, Ethics and Values are numerous.

I am an immigrant originally from Madagascar and have lived in Tanzania (East Africa) for 8 yrs before coming to the US. I have gone grown a great deal in the last many years and as an American citizen, I am all of these: Malagasy, Tanzanian, American etc...I am a christian (having gone through my religious and spiritual ups and downs) but I have appreciation for others values in other religions. I attend a buddhist meditation center as well as christian church. I also have been inspired by President Obama and would like to understand how his Faith come into play in his journey. I am simply interested in open discussions about Faith as well..

I'm very interested in learning more about the president's views on religion and its role in public life.

I am very interested in Obama's faith-based initiatives, and I'm sure that Krista will initiate a thoughtful discussion.

I have been listening to Krista's radio broadcasts for about 2yrs. The programming has grown exponentially in quality, content, sophistication, range and depth of coverage of subjects.

I presently reside in St. Paul, MN, and have found the program to be a source of enlightenment and spiritual balance.

The program with J. DuBois is of particular interest, because of my current experiences dealing with the Human Services in Minnesota. I only recently moved here, and only recently became a first time user of the 'welfare system' at 59yrs old. A LOT TO LEARN and not much time to spend on learning.

I will continue to watch online, listen via the airwaves, and thoroughly enjoy your programming.

Thank you for such a high level of performance! OUTSTANDING! BRAVA!

i am a trained hospital chaplain and remain interested in all inquiries of faith.

retired married female, parents of 3 children, member of UCC

I believe religion is the underlying motivator to human life. I'm very interested in listening to what Mr. DuBois has to say about religion in American now since there are many different views.

I had a chance to visit with Mr. Obama in a small group during the Iowa primary while he was carrying his own suitcase. I was impressed with him then and continue to be impressed. He surrounds himself with good people who "carry the suitcase" of the vision he has for our country and the world. Mr. DuBois is one of those good people. I look forward to hearing him.

I have complete faith that the Obama administration will respect the establishment clause of the us constitution so that is not an issue for me.

I am an attorney who worked on an Indian reservation for 11 years as their public defender. Needless to say there is a lot of poverty, alcoholism, and drug abuse. I attended different native churches and services. I found that my clients who really turned it around were those who found or rediscovered a solid foundation in their faith. This seemed to work better than the typical a and d programs or state probation.

I would like to see more faith based groups involved in recovery. I believe there is a difference between faith based and religion based. I believe you can reach people in a powerful way in a faith based context.
Personally, I would like to see more attorneys openly engaging their faith and their legal work. I know this can be done in a positive and non-offensive way.
Of course I was working in a community where faith has always been the central part of life. I suspect there are other communities, non-Indian where spirituality weaved together in social programs can only help create a vibrant healing process.
The truth is, that in poor communities is is often the pastors, medicine men, and other religious who are holding it together for people. The only difference with a faith based initiative is that they would get a little help from the government. I believe this can be done without "establishing a governmental religion." To tell you the truth, when one of the clients is in so much pain with court, incarceration, poverty, addiction....they don't care what religion you are part of but they do seem to light up when you support their faith and hope during the transition period.

I am fascinated by the ever evolving expressions of faith and spirituality in America. I recently heard a snippet on NPR that said that 1/2 of US Adults no longer attend an organized religious service due to disenchantment with religious people or religious organizations. I certainly fall into that category. I am interested in how to participate in and support moral and ethical development and expression for the benefit of our nation, community and environment.

President Obama, in last night's press conference, stressed the importance of holding to our values in the face of adversity. He was speaking about his decision to prohibit torture, but his example as a national leader is so important. We need national leaders such as Mr. Obama to exemplify holding fast to high moral standards in the face of adversity. We need to measure success on our compassion and kindness shown for each other, not just on our material success.

I am so grateful for such a leader who encourages this kind of behavior in our military, our bankers and in each other.

Thank you for hosting this event.

Pluralism in the United States

I was a member of the staff of the Ecumenical Institute in the 60's and 70's and worked with local churches in church renewal efforts. Much of the renewal emphasis was aimed at getting the church active in the world—to turn outward, turning its back on any injustice confronting the church at large. Today the issues would be gay marriage, abortion rights, civil rights. . . Also, today, we have the church predominately looking inward trying to save itself.

I want more information. I am worried about maintaining the separation of church and state and rolling it back to prior to 2000 levels.

Pres. Obama is an even-handed man but what he establishes will be there for the next president, who might have an agenda to elevate one faith to state-supported statis. This will destroy our country.

Kept as equal in the eye of government, faith-based organizations can do much to help the poor and needy in our communities, but nobody should have to pretend to accept religion to partake of services offered by federal funding. This is a fine line to walk.

I teach Religious Studies at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. One of my colleagues is participating in a panel overseen by Dubois's office, and I think the initiative sounds very promising. I'd like to learn more!

The importance of faith and a spiritual guidance in our modern life. To hear of other voices of others in the country, is nourishment.

I am an English teacher in Germany. In various classes I teach about the American dream and it is exciting to see how there are different ways to understand it depending on the presidency. Also I teach religion and here one of the major topics is the relationship between religion and the state. We look at Bonhoeffer and also on the impact he had on theology in the US.
Above all I have a very personal interest in American politics and religion as I have friends and relatives in the US who I share my thoughts with.
I am hoping for interesting new thoughts through your program. Thank you for letting me participate.

(Baby awake gotta makethis short sorry)
Two things have change my life in an unique and profound way,first the election where We the People voted in our first african american President and the second thing is "Speaking of Faith with Krista Tibbet".
I have listened to every show and I have encouraged friends to listen as well,I LOVE SOF!

I am 32 years old, grew up on a North Dakota farm, Lutheran faith, and am currently living in Minneapolis and of open religion.

I am interested in learning about the faith-based initiatives that are being led in our country.

I'm a big fan of your show and want to find out what Obama's plans are in this area.

I am a liberal American Baptist pastor of a small congregation in upstate New York. A primary concern of mine is for the future of religion in America.

Recent surveys tell us we are becoming more and more of a godless nation and this is at a time when the people of America are in need of a spiritual perspective more than ever.

At the source of every major issue facing our country ~ LGBT rights, stem cell research, the economy, the war ~ there are divisive religious attitudes. I am constantly on the lookout for events that can bring those diverse perspectives together to work together and learn from one another; this program on Religious Life in America may help us do these things.

I love SOF and am delighted Krista and Crew have organized this free and open sharing. Attending on-line and benefiting from the experience even though I am hundreds of miles away is a hoot! Ain't the internet cool!?!
Looking forward to May 20th.

The fact that it is spiritual and linked to President Obama. I am a spiritual person and go to a Christian Church sometimes. I daily read from Science of Mind magazine and Pema Chodron. I often listen to or read from the Dali Lama, Wayne Dyer, The Bible, Marianne Williamson etc.

I'm interested in hearing what part Mr. Dubois thinks religion should play in our country and in our government and how the Obama administration plans to use the "Faith Based Initiative" program.

I'm interested in how the Obama Administration can foster unity through uniting the diverse patchwork of religions and spirituality. I look forward to seeing what faith-based initiatives they attempt to introduce to change the religious as well as political landscape. I'm certain that community service can help bring us together not only as a nation, but as one world with common dreams.

I am a Japanese (retired) pastor, and have been interested in what would occur during Obama-era.

The Obama election pulled me back into the world of American politics after eight years of experiencing despair with the Bush-Cheney way of leadership and goverence. I want to "be a part" of this administration, and listening to what I am sure will be a wonderful conversation is yet another way to stay in touch. And, obviously, as someone who regularly listens to Speaking of Faith, I know that Krista Tippet's encounter with Joshua DuBois will help me better understand the Obama administration's hopes for building spirit anew in our country. I am looking forward to the live feed!

I am a 24 year-old graduate student at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. I am a UUA-Humanist with deep interest in the use of religious symbols, rituals and language and how this connects us to our true human nature. I believe that these things are necessary for a functioning society and I am severly bothered by both the disappearance of public and civic religious practices as well as the idolization of the existing practices that lead to division.
I have a deep appreciation for art and music and the role they play in our religious lives.
I am interested in observing and recording the devolpment of religious language and ritual in public places under this new president. I think there is an opportunity for religioun to be revived as a source of community building as opposed to one of division under the false guise of "family values" as it was under the previous administration.
I am also deeply interested in full GLBTQ participation in religious rituals, as well as the unique gifts, stories, and perspectives that they bring. The rejection of these gifts, stories, and perspectives, in my opinion, has been one of the greatest crimes of the Christian church in the past 50 years. I think it is time for the church to be both inclusive of GLBTQ people and understand how historically and presently they participate in exclusion, and how they can act now for inclusion.

I am a Presbyterian pastor and a local elected official for our school board. The interface between faith, religion and public life has been an area of great interest for me personally.

The Scene and the conversations. Thanks.

I am a 54 year old, Swedish born of American (Irish heritage) and Canadian (Scottish heritage) parents . I am 5th of 7 siblings. I have lived in Sweden, Germany, Long Island (NY), Colorado and Minnesota (for 26 years). I am a lesbian in a (unmarried) loving relationship. I have 2 fabulous grown daughters.
I have a bachelors and 2 masters degrees (over-educated?) and work as a program manager for a non-profit chemical dependency organization.
I have been in recovery from alcholism for 24+ years.
I was raised Catholic but am not religious. I am spiritual. I believe in The Divine (not a god). I have more questions than answers. I am comfortable living in the questions. I try to learn.

What about this event interests me? I am always interested in learning more about spiritual/religious beliefs. I believe religion still divides this country despite that part of its origins stem out of religious intolerance.
I'd like some insight into where our country is headed spiritually. I'd like to know if my identity as a spiritual person is being recognized and respected as an equal and worthwhile being. I'd like to know if my civil rights (including the right to "marriage") are going to be upheld. I'd like to know that we are going to remain a country that seperates church and state.
There are so many religious issues/beliefs that have become political (ie abortion and "gay" marriage). So how is our president being counselled so that he will not put his own biases into the civil rights of others? And how does this country move forward in respecting difference of gender, race, sexuality, spirituality, religion, culture, etc.? Perhaps the quesiton is: how do we continue to move beyond a white, Christian, male hierarchy?

I am a pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Butler, PA... a western Pennsylvania city in the "rust belt" of closed steel plants. We have drug problems, crime and great needs for housing and food here. I'm excited to know more about President Obama's initiatives and would like to know more about Mr. DuBois and his vision. Thanks.

I have been so happy with our president
who never seems to put a foot or a word wrong.
I have been especially impressed by his welcoming,
friendliness to all kinds of people. His search for wisdom as well as intelligence in the people he appoints is wonderful. I would like to know more about the sources of his values and faith. I am an elderly white woman and feel blessed to have been around to see the changes in my country.

I grew up in a very conservative evangelical Christian tradition... I've grown in my faith to the extent that that kind of fundamentalism actually scares me.

I know little about President Obama's faith but I would imagine the convergence of faith and politics will look very different than that of former President Bush... who's one of those guys that scared me! ;)

I wish I could be there! I'm interested in the dialogue that I know will be created with Kristen's superb interviewing skills and insight. I'm an instructor of communications at the College of Southern Idaho in Hailey. My background is broadcast communications and I'm currently in a self-study program through the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago to become a certified Yoga instructor.

I'm a participant, committed to what we can be and accomplish together.

regular listener

I am currently interning at the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding in New York and hope to keep updated on new programs initiated by the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Neighbor Partnerships.

I am a strong supporter of Obama, and am highly religious.

I'm a 47 year old male, divorced father of two, retired from the Army, working in private sector for six figures, but seriously contemplating seminary. I believe that we are in such a transitional era -- due to political, economic, and social trends -- that our nation and its people will have a greater need for faith than ever before.

We are at such a new era for being inclusive of all religions. I feel it is time for American citizens to experience the beauty and richness of each faith...yet keeping what is sacred to them personally...which may also mean NO religion! It is through understanding one another that we grow our respect for all human beings.

For me I have dedicated my life to creating and providing the tools which will help support such awareness with my E-commerce small business - It is my spiritual practice to continually hold a space for religious dialogue and understanding within our local communities! The ripple effects of deepened peace begins to reach out to the globe!

I am a theological person and am very interested in understanding current affairs better, especially as they relate to religious and political issues.

I'm very interested in how President Obama and, by extension, his administration see faith's interaction with politics. One of the early reasons I was attracted to his campaign was his views on religion as expressed during his speech before an audience in June of 2006.

As a neo-Pagan, my sensitivity toward religious minorities is perhaps heightened and during the eight years of the previous administration, I was often fearful of the ways in which larger religious organizations received so much attention from the political establishment. As such, I'm interested to see how this administration will handle such things as tomorrow's National Day of Prayer.

I'm not a rabid "separatist," believing that religion and politics shall never meet; rather I see both as separate institutions seeking to make the world a better place for our society and for humanity. Both have had their rough spots and both have had their shining moments. And, I believe that both have much to offer each other. To that end, this event is quite interesting to me.

Thanks for an enlightening podcast and informational network. I really appreciate what you do and how you do it.

I'm constantly looking for ways to strengthen my beliefs & faith & to feel that I'm okay. "Speaking of Faith" offers fascinating portraits of people & issues that can provide model for my struggle. Krista Tippett asks the questions & encourages a dialogue with people that provide context for the battle.

What interests me is diverse voices focused on that deep part ourselves that's universal. I'm a writer who worked for 8 years in the corporate world. I'm a buddhist meditator. It feels like we're on the verge of a great transformation, and to me, it seems that begins deep inside each one of us. A few days ago I went to the Brooklyn Food Conference and really came away with the feeling that change has to come from us. Raj Patel said that we expect Obama to be our pizza delivery dude of change, but that we have to show him what the change looks like. LaDonna Redmond said that whoever names it defines it. And then there's that idea I heard years ago -- someone told me that Thich Nhat Han said that every age has its spiritual leader, but the next one wouldn't be a person, it would be the sangha.

I am very concerned that spiritual practice and faith-based action be reclaimed by moderate and tolerant, open minded and diversity friendly people. I want very much to participate in the Obama wave of civility and tolerance, hope and justice and peace. to move far away from the fear based actions of the military--fundamentalist movements that have been in ascendence.

I live in a lovely little town in southern Tasmania in Australia. I have moved here recently from the United States. I was in the country for the Obama lead rennaisance and can once again be proud of being American.

I am interested in this event because I would love to learn more about how President Obama and his administration are balancing their approach to issues between faith and politics. Does he solve a problem politically, economically, etc. first, then make sure it is a decisions supported by his spiritual beliefs, or does he first look to his faith when trying to solve a problem?

I personally have struggled with many political issues because of my faith. The biggest struggle is not whether something is right or wrong, but what to do about it. To what extent can we legislate morality? But at the same time, is it possible as a Christian to sit by and allow immorality? Where is the line, what do we do in different positions, for what are we responsible? This includes but also goes beyond the typical issues of abortion and gay marriage, and also applies to war, the economy, welfare, taxes, and just about every political issue we face.

VERY interested in hearing what this new White House leader has to say about Faith and how it's changing in America.

I am the founder and director of Kinetics.

Kinetic Institute (Kinetics) mission is to develop new ideas that work to strengthen social movements within the African-American community; providing them with the tools and skills to pursue justice and better address the needs of those whom they serve.

One of our programs is the Kinetics Faith & Justice Network, a social networking platform designed to form strategic alliances across various disciplines for community empowerment. Members include clergy, scholars, lawyers, social justice advocates, and nonprofitand business professionals.

I was born in Nigeria, West Africa: a product of triple heritage: African Traditional religion, Christianity and Islam. I attended Islamic High School in Nigeria for five years, which was at the time a boarding school, with similar curriculum to a typical British colonial boarding school in Nigeria. It was at the Islamic school that I was exposed to the natural sciences, British and American literature, and general knowledge of the West. This is far cry from the usual category of "Islamic madrasa schools" in the West. In the southwestern part of Nigeria, the peaceful co-existence of Islam and other religions has been the hallmark for a long time. Members of my own immediate families are Muslims. I am not a Muslim.

I am currently Assistant professor of sociology here at Waynesburg University. A faculty member informed me about your program about two weeks ago: since then, I have downloaded over one hundred and fifty of your podcasst to my iphone. It is a remarkably enlightening and instructive program - more people should listen to it.


Ezekiel Olagoke

Worked on the campaign and in the Admin.

I am a President Obama supporter and I am very interested in how he and his affluence and leadership will radiate throughout our society and the world.

Either there is creation or there is accident - or an accident produced the setting for creation to occur - or creation produced a setting in which accidents occur - or it's really quite beyond our figuring which then leads to faith in that which is within and without - beyond us and within our hearts. No religion can or should claim to have all knowledge but each should find the creation within themselves and seek the creative in others. What will a "Pastor-in-Chief" bring to something which is not about nationality to a nation?

I am a potter with a wonderful wife and four adult children. Born into the Christian faith I no longer cling to any one religion but seek to understand the spiritual condition which is within us all.

I'm a 61 year old IrishCatholicDemocrat - all one word - The Gospel according to my parents was about justice and mercy, not condemning others moral choices. When Mrs. Obama speaks of her parents, I hear echoes of my own life, growing up in rural Massachusetts. I believe this administration can help us all to reclaim the strength of community that is the foundation of so many faith traditions. I look forward to the conversation.
Peace and good_____,
Beth Ramos

(Please consider this my comment.)

I think President Obama is the best leader this country could possibly have and we are blessed to have him. He leads us with extraordinary wisdom that seems to me to be faith-based. I want to know more about who he listens to in matters that to him are faith-based. Anyone who he listens to and relies on to inform his faith and his religion is someone who I want to know more about.

I believe this is a crucial opportunity for our nation to understand the appropriate role of such partnerships that do not devolve into religion as partisan politics or as narrow moral agenda. As a United Methodist minister who has worked for thirty years in hospital chaplaincy and who has for the past 12 years had executive responsibility in a large faith-based hospital system, I remain extremely invested in helping to define and make real such partnerships for the benefit of all people.

Is the western world moving away from self and greed? I don't expect a definitive answer, but I hope to discern a direction that our leaders are following.

I am interested to learn more about our leader's spiritual and religious ideas. I want to know what motivates him to be a leader and to care for the well-being of our nation.
I am a believer in God, and a believer in community. I am excited about President Obama and his goals and hopes for our country.

I am interested in this event because I know that people of faith who focus on the positive portions of their religious tradition can live meaningful lives. I want to hear what Obama's administration believes can or should be the role of religion in public life.

I'm interested in seeing a widening of the concept of "religious life" in the U.S. to encompass spiritual practice beyond formal, organized religion, beyond specified belief, beyond amorphous faith. Knowledge available in basic human awareness can be readily awakened by effective simple practice, unadorned by required dogma, ritual, or even strict rules for living.

NIH has examined Transcendental Meditation (TM) and found it to be such a practice. The wordless knowledge it activates is the source of individual and community peace, health, and creativity. With regular practice, it shows itself in daily life as the found answer to all religious questions and leads to an end to illness, violence, and want.

It has been nearly 20 years since I learned TM at age 49. I had had an intense government career while raising children, leading what I thought was a productive life, albeit hectic and unhealthy (smoking and drinking). Within a couple of years of beginning to practice TM, I stopped drinking and smoking, began eating simple, pure food, and have become healthier, happier and more loving and creative than ever.

I know many others who have had a similar experience with TM, and hundreds of studies have verified aspects of this outcome. I therefore am convinced it is the absence of this deep, silent and eternal knowing in the hearts and minds of our citizens that is at the root of the myriad problems our country (and the world) faces.

Fortunately, because the effects spread through "collective consciousness," not everyone has to learn the TM technique. It has been calculated and demonstrated that practitioners equalling a small percentage of an area's population will bring about peace in that area.

The effects of practicing TM are the same as touted by all religions and by such popular figures as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Eckardt Tolle and recent proponents of what was known as "The Secret." Contrary to most religions and to teachers who do not have a proven technique, TM can point to realization of benefits here on earth, "Heaven on Earth."

I feel TM encounters some lingering opposition in this country because, were it to be widely adopted, it would have adverse consequences for many vested interests/engines of our economy: drug companies, hospitals, the packaged foods industry, entertainment media, the war and criminal industrial complexes, etc.

TM is easily targeted because of its ancient Indian "Vedic" roots which echo the Hindu culture of India. For this reason, although many celebrities have practiced TM for years and years, few have come forward. In the past year since its founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed, several have come forward, including Howard Stern. Most recently at a benefit concert last month at Radio City Music Hall in New York City the remaining Beatles, Jerry Seinfeld, Cheryl Crowe, and others joined David Lynch in raising funds to teach TM in middle schools across the U.S. because it has been shown to be wonderfully effective in helping these children focus and achieve in their schoolwork.

I could go on and on. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this conversation.

Thank you so much for the beautiful and accurate assessment and description of TM and what it's practice achieves. I have been a practitioner of TM since 1969, and this technique for experiencing Being saved my life. I am almost 65 and I don't think I would have made it to 21 without TM and the resulting expansion of
Consciousness. Because of doing TM, I have much more of myself with which to function, so everything is easier.

Again thank you very, very much for sharing your experience.

Jai Guru Dev and Maharishi.

I met Eboo Patel last night (May 7th) at the annual meeting of the St. Paul Area Council of Churches and now this May 20th will be an opportunity to meet Joshua DuBois. I've already written to Joshua about interfaith cooperation and understanding so I am pleased that this communication can continue and become more personal. I wish to also voice my view of the importance of spiritual education of children and how the Virtues Project can be key in that for the nation thru its publications, "The Family Virtues Guide" and "The Educators Vurtues Guide". Go to:

I have been reading the poetry of Rumi for quite some time. The manner in which he conveyed his thoughts is fascinating. His words connect to the soul like no other. A discussion like this can only add insight to this poet and how he affects other readers of his work.
I'm a 58 year old automotive designer and appreciate my right brain sensibilities that allow me to appreciate the power of Rumi's words. Rumi and I share the same birthday.

Have long been interested in the history of religion and how it gets lived out in spirituality. With the major shifts we have recently experienced economically, politically, culturally, I am interested in seeing/hearing how our present administration views may affect the changes we are undergoing.

It's a wonderful time to be alive!

As a life coach I study pattens, transformation, fields, matter change, money.

I am teaching a course for high school seniors on religion and politics in America.

I want to hear the real story on religeon in the Whit House. Not the hippcracy and arrogence of the Bush years. Our Nation's God is not a God of war but a God of peace, love, compassion.

I am a telephone prayer associate at Silent Unity.
We have been praying with people of all faiths for over 100 years, taking over two million calls annually from all over the world. I was ordained a Unity minister in 1998.

I was trained as a Presbyterian minister but left after a year. I have taught in Chicago's inner-city schools for years and now reside in Duluth were I teach reading in a Federal Prison to those men who either cannot read at all or do so at very low levels. While I have become disenchanted with the institutional church and no longer attend anywhere, I am reading and studying religious questions continually and at a rather high level. From time to time (I am continually being asked to offer courses)I teach classes at University for Seniors housed at Univ MN Duluth. These arre very invigorating classes and they are always full of both religious,non- and anti-religious people. I am particularly interested in how the church can be more "relevant," more in keeping with the issues of today while being faithful to the themes and values of a Christianity in honest dialogue with other religious faiths.

As a spiritual person I am very interested in our President's views. President Obama is the most dynamic president I have ever experienced. I am 57.

Knowing some of Joshua DuBois's background as well as the outstanding ministry of my #1 nominee, I nominate Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons, Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, as a salon participant.

She is serving and has recently served in several national leadership roles, including currently as Dean of the Humanist Institute.

She would bring to the salon an excellent grasp of the challenges that Mr. DuBois must be dealing with, particularly as regards separation of church and state.

Please reach her at 612-377-6608 x116 or

If she is not available to participate, I would gladly serve in her place.

Though at age 75, I am "retired," I am currently quite active as a member of her congregation and other organizations where I am leading volunteers in several projects:

1> to end homelessness, in part through Project Homeless Connect Minneapolis and Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness,

2> to help immigrants learn English and other needed skills, in part through Minnesota Literacy Council and Common Bond Communities,

3> to help mobilize residents of a Common Bond Community for very low-income people to help as volunteers workers for the local chamber of commerce and the regional food-bank distributor,

4> to help senior citizens active in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the U of MN think about Renewing America, first through a course that I designed and led last winter and now through a special interest group for Renewing America, and

5> by creating and chairing her congregation's committee on emergency preparedness, which helps other congregations and organizations beside my own become more ready to reduce the toll of infectious disease, especially any potentially pandemic strain of influenza A, sending dispatches designed for distribution to members of congregations or only to members of their board.

In addition, I have in the past served as chair of the county association of religious leaders, as president of another Minneapolis congregation's philanthropic foundation, as co-chair of a 500-member Minneapolis club called "Singles All Together" and as a representative of my clergy association and my congregation in the midst of the 1965 crises in Selma, Alabama, and then in Jackson, Mississippi.

My cell phone is 612-751-0445 (7am-11pm).

My budget crunch is the reason that I am watching the live video stream, not attending in person.
I would love to be there to see Rev. DuBois more clearly and feel how the audience responds to him!

Interested in most things spiritual, especially Christian spirituality. Interested to see how the new administration has modified faith-based initiatives and the guest's perception of how those changes will affect the effectiveness of the faith based office.

I am the national program director of a faith-based organization that engages retired men and women in service to the poor. We combine their service with prayerful reflection to support the volunteers and bring deeper meaning to their work. I am thrilled to have a president who values community service - I want to see what we can do to support efforts and promote volunteerism. Tremendous benefits can be mined from the rich faith-based service traditions in this country.

I serve as Legal Counsel and Managing Director for the Hindu American Foundation (HAF). The HAF is a nationally-based advocacy group providing a progressive voice for over two million Hindu Americans. The Foundation interacts with and educates leaders in public policy, academia, media and the public at large about Hinduism and global issues concerning Hindus, such as the free exercise of religion; separation of church and state; the portrayal of Hinduism; hate speech; hate crimes and human rights.

In addition to my work with the Foundation, I have recently gotten involved locally with an organization aiding Bhutanese refugees in resettlement. This work, which admittedly I am only in the very beginning stages of, has already provided an enormous opportunity to see first hand the faith based social services of other faith communities at work as well as some of the issues faced by minority faith communities, whether it be as a social services recipient or as a social services provider.

I hold a law degree from the University of Florida College of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Religion and Economics from the same. I hope to offer the perspective of a second-generation Hindu American layperson engaged in endeavors to serving her faith community and bringing my religious tradition to the national dialogue.

Everything spiritual interests me.
The idea that our president is interested in spirituality is exciting, and if he chose Mr. DuBois, i want to hear what he has to say.
About me:
10 yrs ago i suffered a divorce, job loss, and failure to find new work, onset of palsy and loss of health insurance, in rapid succession.
It was truly the end of my life, as i knew it.
I didn't think i could sink any lower.
But out of the ashes rose a life so rich and wonderful, i could never have dreamed it.
With no alternative, i re-invented myself. I started my own business, found a wonderful boyfriend, took yoga classes, got massage therapy and found out i didn't have palsy, but muscle spasms gripping the nerves in my neck.
I am now happier and healthier than i've been in a long time.
I work very hard at keeping and cultivating my business & spiritual connection to God and the universe i live in and to show my gratitude for His deliverance from the hell that was my life.

I want to have civil conversations and human correspondence with people of religious persuasions other than my own, which is Christian (conservative Lutheran by indoctrination; liberal by persuasion) with deep interest in and respect for other religions, especially Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism (the others with which am somewhat acquainted and in which I find practical, conceptual, and spiritual value). I have the greatest difficulty in correspondence with people of my own religion, other Christians who have a "literalist" view of their faith and feel obliged to convert me or, failing that, get angry because I resist becoming one of them. At best, the ensuing conversations are alienating because of differences in world views altogether, not just religious views. I suspect it has much to do with personality differences, but it's difficult for me to be present to that when I don't think of the other being human when we are in our foxholes of "truth."

I believe that hospitable conversation about our religions and spiritualities is essential to achieve the human correspondence that, I hope and think, most people are looking for. That conversation must include religious beliefs of all faiths, in depth, without prejudice. President Obama's administration, as any American president's administration, is in a uniquely perfect place to set the tone or quality paradigm for the national conversation that circumscribes and influences all other such conversations in our society. The tone I'm looking for is one that encourages us to find the common ground of essential human goodness, of spiritual aspiration, and of religious purpose. Further, beyond the present common ground, I also want my society to benefit from the life-affirming truths and practices which derive from the unique spiritual history and insights of humans other than our own brand -- and not be afraid of the differences between them and us. My interest in hearing Krista's conversation with Mr. DuBois is to hear from him the tone that the Obama administration is setting for this important national conversation.

I am a male of Norwegian descent, 75 years old, retired now from being an architect and a military pilot. I live in a suburb of Minneapolis. I am married; between my wife and myself we have 4 adult children, two of them with spouses, 3 grandchildren, and one cat.

I adore Speaking of Faith and I'm always interested in hearing about religion and related issues in the U.S.

I'm very excited about the Obama administration and the possibilities for our country to get back on the right track of providing opportunities for all citizens. I've was leery about the government's support of faith-based initiatives under the Bush administration but have more confidence that Obama will maintain appropriate church-state separation. I look forward to learning more about these efforts, and I always enjoy the carefully thought out and challenge questions that Krista asks.

Shahir Ahmed
Executive director of P.O.W.E.R. Inc Pursuit Of Wealth Education and Resources

Speak and work with inner city kids, discussing entrepreneurship and business professionals. The company sets up a workshop/curriculum based on entrepreneurship and business professionals. Inspiring youth to find what they are good at, and how they can use their skills in the business world. P.O.W.E.R works with non-profit and profit organizations.

I am a woman living in New York City and I believe that connecting with our spirit is the only way to get us out of the current mess we are in.

I am a L'Arche community member. Our L'Arche community is an interdenominational Christian community. Krista interviewed our founder Jean Vanier a few months ago.

L'Arche is subject in many ways to government regulation because L'Arche community members who have intellectual disabilities receive government funding and because the home life of people with intellectual disabilities is regulated if 4 or more live together, whether they receive funding or not. Governments generally value L'Arche, but the L'Arche vision and way of life is so different from the vision and way of life underlying the regulations that it makes living L'Arche difficult in the United States. I think a lot about how regulations could be changed to make L'Arche and government regulation get along better.

I am a Protestant Christian male of middle age. Religion in the public sphere rightly interests me. The activities, policies, ideologies, etc. that emanate from the White House have the potential of huge impact on me personally and on our nation at large, for good or for ill. Hearing from the man appointed by our latest President, the same President with a rather controversial, and some would say aberrant experience of religion in the Chicago church he attended for so long, is important for discerning what might issue from the White House over the next few years.

I'm not sure what mistakes are attributed to Bush's efforts with "faith-based initiatives", or even how effective they have been, but the whole topic seemed to be largely overshadowed, if not subsumed completely, in other topics. A question of interest to me for Mr. DuBois is, "Bush clearly pioneered a formal effort for the govt. to promote the national interest through so-called govt.-supported faith-based initiatives. There was much resistence among Bush opponents, perhaps effectively minimizing the positive affects if the opposition had not stood and his policies prevailed. How is this administration's approach to faith-based solutions to societal needs and problems different from the prior administration's and how will it avoid the same pitfalls that befell the previous attempts?"

Thank You,
Adam Benson

I live in a rough part of Baltimore,

I am raising a healthy 14 year old Black Male son (Single Dad)

There are a number of children on my block who are not making it and who ( I humbly submit) vicariously are being raised by us.

I want to help but need help Learning the best practices.

Also, in helping I need to associate with others who are interested in helping.

How are you getting the word out to us on what governmental help is available?

What kinds of ideas are you taking? Who are you listening to, to better understand what problems are being addressed?

I eagerly listen to SOF weekly - often it is my catechesis of choice for the week. I am a full-time member (Director of Music) of a pastoral staff in a medium-sized RC parish in the northeast US. My grad studies (St John's Univ, NY) are in Theology and I try to keep current in issues of religion, faith and politics.

I'm a Baby-Boomer who is born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I was brought up in a Reform Jewish synagogue, and still consider myself a classic Reformed Jew. My folks were both born in Germany and left before the war. My father spent several years in Holland before immigrating to the US in the early 40s. My mom's family immigrated to South America in the late 30's and she came to the US in 1955. She met and married my father the same year.

I'm curious to see what Mr. DuBois has to say about the Christian Right's impact on politics today. I strongly believe in the separation between church (or Temple) and State and have concerns about the increasing role religion is playing in American society. I believe in G-d and consider myself spiritual, but I also respect the right of others to feel differently.

Quaker upbringing, existentialist, living in bible-belt usa.
I have grown to understand dogma; the main difference between Friends and Christians.

I'm a big SOF fan who is involved in congregation-based community organizing where I live - Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The name of our organization is JONAH (Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope), affiliated at the state level with WISDOM, and at the international level with the Gamaliel Foundation, which (as I understand it) is the organization through which President Obama did his community organizing in Chicago.

I am an ordained interfaith minister as well as a gothi in the germanic reconstruction tradition. I am interested to know whenever our government attempts to intersect with faith in a public and meaningful way. I don't mind that government recognizes the importance of faith (any faith) for some folks, but I'm cautious about government taking an active role in it.

Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding: our mission & work

The daily abuse of religion threatens world peace. At Tanenbaum - a secular, non-sectarian organization - we work to reduce and prevent the violence perpetrated in the name of religion by supporting religious peacemakers who struggle in areas of armed conflict and by overcoming religious intolerance in workplaces and schools.

education: Children don't begin life filled with fear, hatred and negative stereotypes,
but attitudes form early. We train educators to prepare students to thrive in a multicultural, multi-religious society by providing training and cutting-edge multicultural curricula.

workplace: Religion in the workplace can be tricky. That's why we work with corporations and institutions to create religiously inclusive policies and practices. We train service providers in healthcare and other settings to work with religiously diverse communities.

conflict resolution: Sick of headlines about religion fueling wars? We identify, train and promote religious peacemakers from far and near -- so that they are even more effective in areas of armed conflict.

special programs: Religion has been -- and still is -- used to justify bigotry and hate. Tanenbaum is known for its conferences and publications exploring the religious roots of prejudice.

We would like hear from other people in the interfaith community and be part of the conversation! We have spoken with Joshua DuBois in the last few months and are interested in hearing more of his thoughts.

I'm always interested when Krista Tippett has a conversation with someone.


Everything about this event interests me. I am a strong Obama supporter. I am a searcher. I listen to SOF. And I have hope that one of the results of these difficult times is that our lives will become more spirit filled and values more important.

How faith will look like in public life under Obama vs. Bush

I am a elder of the Shambhala Community here in Minneapolis. We are in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

I am very interested in how we fit into the wider culture and how the wider culture sees Buddhists and Buddhism.

How can communities of Faith work together to help the country in this difficult time? As Buddhists we are committed to creating a culture of peace and of tolerance. This new administration feels very exciting to us, as President Obama seems very aligned with our principles and hopes.

And we are a really new religion in America. Shambhala in America started in 1970; the group here in Minneapolis started in the late 70s. We have grown, and now have our own Meditation Center (We built it 5 years ago) and we are just now beginning to explore how we can offer to the greater Twin Cities community.

I'm in the 4th year of Education for Ministry, a program for the laity on applying your religious beliefs daily in your life. The program is designed by The School of Theology Programs Center, The University of the South • 335 Tennessee Avenue, Sewanee, Tennessee 37383-0001.

I'm an active participant in my church, Ss. Martha & Mary Episcopal Church, a reformed Catholic denomination. I believe God is in every person, and our job is to listen to that voice and apply God's ethics in everyday life.

I'm interested in knowing more about the President's and Mr. Dubois' ideas about community partnership with faith-based groups.

I'm a 42-y-o, stay-at-home mom and breast cancer survivor. Throughout the Bush admin., my husband and I were skeptics on religion, but fairly active in community issues. After surviving cancer, I've taken an about-face with my spirituality and have become very involved in social justice issues as well as founding the Young Women's Breast Cancer Support Group in Minnetonka. I also currently am an ESL tutor at the Deephaven Education Center.

I am feeling "rejuvenated" as an American now that Obama is in office and believe that one major way our country can get "back on track" is through smaller, community efforts that are designed and implimented, and perhaps even funded (partially ?)by the community members, themselves.

As a clergy, who is not Christian, I am very interested how Mr. DuBois will be ensuring that all religions are treated fairly by his office and that non-religious community organizations are not discriminated against. There were many stories about both happening during the previous administration.

I am very interested in the changing face of religion. I am pastor of University Baptist Church right across the street from the University of Minnesota. So much of what has been presented as Christianity, particularly by the media dominance of the Religious Right is antithetical to the teachings and mission of Jesus. I see a hunger amongst younger people for a relevant religion. This is alongside a deep skepticism of religion because it has been used to justify so much wrong in the world. I like the group of advisors President Obama has enlisted and I would like the discussions to continue to mover beyond words and into actions of justice and respect for all peoples.

You can find out more about me by visiting our church web site

This is a fascinating time to be a young person of faith in the US, the most religiously diverse nation in the world, where we have greater access than ever before to encountering, interacting with and learning about cultures and traditions different from our own. We stand at a crossroads in our collective religious narrative where we must make a choice to either continue down the predominant path of isolation, conflict, even violence, or forge a new and more challenging path of pluralism, of inter-religious respect, engagement and solidarity that includes all at the table. I am hopeful and excited that the Obama administration is committed to leading this country – and the world – on the latter path.

I consider myself a life-long Presbyterian with pluralist sensibilities and an interfaith activist. I am working toward a masters degree in Community Change and Civic Leadership with a focus on engaging young people, and I coordinate the Inspired to Serve interfaith youth leadership program with the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches. I use interfaith service-learning and dialogue activities to develop youth leaders who are bridge-builders, agents for change in their faith and civic communities. Twin Cities middle and high school youth of all religions and no religion are invited to build positive interfaith relationships through a youth-led Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition, an annual Interfaith Youth Day of Service that brings together nearly 200 youth and adult allies to act on their different traditions' common call to service and justice, and through school-to-school and congregation-to-congregation partnerships and collaborations. Inspired to Serve is part of a national pilot project led by the Interfaith Youth Core and Search Institute and made possible with major support from Learn and Serve America. Inspired to Serve was also recently selected to receive the MN Governor’s Council on Faith and Community Service Initiatives 2009 Best Practices Award.

Watch our video to get a peek at our amazing Twin Cities youth!

President Barack Obama has repeatedly engaged with Muslims and invited them to the table. In his inaugural speech, he said, “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

This new era of peace is inclusive of Muslims and is based on mutual respect and cooperation. In the previous administration, Muslims were often vilified. Terms such as “Islamofascism” were incorporated to further distance and disparage the Muslim community. It is clear why now the Muslim community is embracing the new administration and their new attitude towards cooperation. It has excited and empowered the Muslim community, which has seen a surge in activism and civic participation in recent months.

I am eager to welcome Joshua DuBois to Minnesota and take part in the roundtable discussion to highlight how the Muslim community has benefited from this “new era of peace.”

Since 2002, I have been the President of the Advisory Board of the Muslim Youth of Minnesota (MYM), a statewide youth group for Muslim teens that participates in events such as the Interfaith Teen Day of Service with the St. Paul Area Council of Churches. I am also a Board Member of Minnesota's only Muslim civil rights organization, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), teach Sunday School at the Islamic Center of Minnesota, am a member of a local speaker’s bureau called the Islamic Resource Group, and am on the Board of Directors of the Muslim Youth Leadership Award.

I worked on the Obama campaign and one thing that struck me through that time and beyond to the election is that we are moving into a new era in this country: An era that embraces authenticity in personal relationships, political process, and moving into religion. Pro forma religion is becoming less acceptable and the concept of spirituality in everyday life is taking center stage. I am curious to hear what Obama's spiritual leader has to say about this movement I am detecting and perhaps how the Obama administration maintains that they will acknowledge this new dimension playing out in society all the while keeping a separation between church and state.

I wish you well.

I do not choose to do this at this time and am annoyed that it is required. I am in a hurry.

I live near St. Vincent College in western PA. The college president was President Bush's Faith-Based Initiative person. I want to compare and contrast the two men.

As for me...Started listening to the SOF program some time ago and have become addicted. Recently, while driving around Southeastern Australia, I introduced my traveling companions to the program via podcasts recorded onto my iPhone...we played them over the car radio.
(I downloaded about 50 SOF podcasts to get me from San Francisco to Sydney and back, and I talked about them so much we started to listen to them together in the car.)

I am a Presbyterian clergywoman working long past retirement age - because I continue to be engaged by the practice of ministry.

I am heartened by Joshua DuBois' assignment's title:: Executive Director of the Office of Faith-based AND neighborhood partnerships. This implies to me that the known resources of successful community organizing will be recognized along with faith community resources that will be drawn upon. I think any administration should walk a very fine line here. It's still an experiment in my mind.

What does the Obama administration want to have happened through the efforts of this office by the end of the four year term?

What wisdom do the faith and neighborhood communities bring to the administration about identifying and prioritizing needs and what is proven to truly help?

What networking will support the work of this office?

What would success look like?

This caught my eye as I would love to know what Obama is doing with and for the people of faith of our country and how he will incorporate faith based initiatives into his administration. I'd like to know a bit more about "the face" of the person heading this up in his cabinet or administration. Thanks!

For me.....I attend Woodland Hills Church in Maplewood, MN. I'd like to think my faith isn't a "tradition" at all - but rather a living and vibrant part of myself that I hope directs what I do on a daily basis. (I guess I say that because "tradition" sounds hollow and boring to me.... like an obligation, almost...) (Sorry!!)
I like to give hope to people on a daily basis and I like to put my money where my mouth is - and volunteer to make a difference in my area of the world, and elsewhere. So, naturally, I'd like to know more about what our administration is going to do RE: poverty here and elsewhere....very pressing issues of human trafficking, modern-day slavery, etc...etc (see for more info on that....) So.....I am just getting more aware and involved in the issues I just mentioned and although we have "other" pressing needs or issues in our own country - we can't forget the life or death struggles of our neighbors elsewhere. Thank you,

Elise Weinberg

I'm really interested in the ongoing evolution of the Faith Based disucssion/program in the country. As a person of Faith, I clearly see that Faith Based programs can positively influence human lives. As an adamant supporter of the separation of Church and State, I worry about the independence and soul of the Church when it aligns itself with secular institutions like government.

No institution has the resources of the government, shouldn't the faith community have access to its resources in meeting human needs? - conversely, what aspects of faith might be compromised when faith based institutions put themselves in the position of being accountable to government. Are we willing to consider applications from "marginal" or "minority" (like Islam) faith based groups to offer services to the public?

I am a mainline Protestant, a Presbyterian elder, raised as a Quaker. I have worked for non-profit institutions like the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, and for church sponsored housing for the poor subsidized by government. My own needs in time of crisis were met by the church.

I have seen the value of the programs initiated by churches, especially in collaboration with one another and in collaboration with government.

Looking forward to the program.

I have been concerned about the portrayal of faith on the political stage for the past twenty plus years. I am anxious to explore how the relationship between faith and politics on the American stage may unfold.

I am an interfaith minister deeply interested in how to deepen our ecumenical reserves as a nation during these interesting times.

I am interested in discussion about faith and religion.

First, I find Krista the most engaging, thoughtful interviewer on matters of faith. I sat on the floor for two hours in New Hampshire when she spoke here on April 1, just to be able to hear her in person. Secondly, I am interested in religious pluralism. I will be teaching a first year college course in Integrative Thinking and Writing in the fall using Eboo Patel's memoir as a core text. I am curious what Joshua DuBois and by extension, President Obama have in mind to foster religious pluralism. What initiatives, ideas and opportunities will this administration seek? I have great hope that having a president familiar with humility and respect will encourage Americans to develop greater spiritual equanimity here and abroad.
I am a Unitarian Universalist minister (raised Jewish) eager to hear cogent and compassionate voices from liberal religious traditions in our national religious conversation.
The attached photo is from a service I co-led with a seven year old who I could tell has the gift of ministry.My ministry is simply to evoke yours.

I am one of those "in between" individuals that is conservative on some issues, but is trending left because of issues like the environment and social justice.

I feel like this is an incredibly dynamic time for faith in public life because the old political/religious associations are falling, but the new alliances are unsettled. As someone who has never fit neatly into either camp, the idea of so much change and a new chance to deal with a whole range of issues and how they relate to politics is exciting.

I am interested in President Obama and his faith and how that is playing out as he is president of the United States. I would love to learn more about Josh DuBois and his views and perspectives as well.

I have been involved in religious communities for over 30 years, both intentional living and churches. I want to know what this young man has to say and how that can be an encouragement to our community in these times. I think many are seeking inspirational leadership that has a prophetic voice, encouragement and hope and vision, that speaks to the heart. I live in the Northeast of the US and there are varities of communities in the Christian church of which I have experienced many, from house church to high church(Episcopal) to charismatic to Baptist. Often this New England area is viewed as 'frozen' but I sense a boil beneath the surface and I wonder if this evening will confirm and affirm my own personal anticipation of what God is going to do in our lives through these tough times.

Beloved SOF,

Please know I've included a link to a recent article I've written, or you may simply search may name on Google and add the term Love :
Darren Meade Love.

Until the email from SOF, I have never heard of Joshua Dubois {aka Pastor-in-Chief}and truly wished I had. Being that I take literally that God is Love (1 john 4:8,16) I believe that is the one common denominator between all faiths.

What interest me about this event, is that we can begin to unite with one another and make true grass root changes. Revealing of the roles of the Sons of God in the healing of this no longer “green” creation. It too moans for relief.

Through the office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships, what is we began a movement to remove all the heavy metals from the soil and Lakes? Essentially removing all the negative elements caused by the Coal plants?

That is something we could do as one-voice, the technology already exists, it is organic and also inexpensive. What if the faith-based and neighborhood partnerships, became the think-tank for improving the countires lives?

Recently lost job and found new one making much much less - applying for bankruptcy. 60 years old
single and worried about my future. trying very
hard to be spiritual about the whole thing, you know?

Just last week, I tuned in to Speaking of Faith for the first time, and I liked what I heard.

I strive to live a faith-based life through daily practice of spiritual principles. I am drawn to works and events that teach me how I can contribute to a collective consciousness that fosters faith, hope, compassion, and tolerance. I think this web cast might be such an event.

I believe that religion should teach us how to live together rather than apart. Living in a nation and a world that consists of a variety of peoples, we have an opportunity to be interested in each other and understand each other, while at the same time not accepting unacceptable behavior. I believe we are here to practice freedom, and I also believe that freedom comes with a great responsibility.

The word "partnerships" in the name of the new office headed by Joshua DuBois attracted me and caused this affirmation to begin formulating in my head: We find common ground in our varied religious and spiritual beliefs (and non-beliefs). With honor and respect, we hold ourselves and all others accountable in returning our nation to a higher consciousness.

This event shows that America is feeling the need for the sense of purpose and morality that can only come from a God-centered view. It is especially interesting to see this event arising from what some might call the "left", proving that the religious right are not the only ones who long for God in their lives.
A life-long Buddhist from the age of 13, I converted to Christianity a couple of years ago after long thought and many "signs" pointing the way. Even during my decades as an atheist, I see now, I really believed in God and Christ, a belief picked up in early childhood and rejected as a teen. But all along I knew that God is. One day He wrestled me to the ground.
I write a blog called Now and Every Moment ( about this journey and about the parallels and similarities between Buddhism and Christianity. I half jokingly tell my friends that Christianity is, for me, like Buddhism on steroids.
I am a professional fine artist living on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

I'm a film producer (television and features) and before that a television reporter, and before that a high school English teacher. the only threads of all those careers: a love of storytelling, and a search for meaning.

this is another way to make sure that I stay connected with real people tackling real spiritual issues. people here in Hollywood are like hydroponic tomatoes, have never put foot or soul into real dirt at any time. I seek to re-plant myself on a regular basis in the world outside the Land of the Lotus Eaters, to seek again what the deeper values are, the more thoughtful people, the more complex questions.

I am interested in hearing others perspectives on "The Changing Face of Religion in the lives of Individuals across this Nation."

I would also like to engage in a facilitated discussion on that issue.

I am a nondenominational minister, spiritual development director, and director of the "Center of Light and Love." Major initiatives include exploring our Spirituality and strengthening our relationship with God in order to function from our highest selves for the highest good of all.

The Center of Light and Love sponsors spiritual retreats, workshops, spiritual direction, a National Prayer Time, and "Gatherings."

Office of faith-based and neighborhood partnerships? It's exciting to see this dimension emerge out of our government. Kind of amazing!

It's especially interesting in the context of the heat the new president is taking from many of the faithful concerning stem cell research and abortion.

I'm also interested in learning more about the office, as I am active in a local coalition of of neighborhood churches who have joined together to help disadvantaged students in our local public schools.

I look forward to seeing it. I'm sure Krista will bring out the real essence of it.

I am a United Methodist pastor (retired) who has been watching the movement of our nation towards a more and more secular position and even hostility towards organized religion over the past 25 years or so. I think the extreme positions of the "evangelical right" have been a major motivation for the anti-church attitude I have experienced. Moderate and liberal churches and synagogues must bear some of the responsibility for not speaking out on the side of reason, generosity and tolerance, but I do not hold the evangelicals innocent, either.

I am interested, even fascinated, with how Obama has been presenting himself as a man of faith and values birthed and reinforced by his faith. I am interested in knowing how we can re-build our nation so that faith organizations are treated with respect and dignity and yet we maintain our separation of church and state position.

I'm interested in hearing a conversation with Krista and a member of the administration. She asks such searching questions. I expect the quality and substance of her conversation will be far above what I would hear if another member of the mainstream media interviewed him.

I listen to Speaking of Faith most Sunday mornings. I am a memeber of the United Methodist Church and am involved in outreach to the community and to the world which I am able to do because I am involved in this church. At least, there, I feel empowered to do it. I believe that many of of the answers to many problems we experience will not be answered by more government involvement, but by more individual involvement in helping our fellow man.

I am a 74 year old single female with five grown children, one recently deceased. I have been on a Spiritual Journey all of my adult life and question the meaning of my life and others. While I belong to a mainstream religion, I am always interested in and inquiring about the beliefs and religions of others including those who identify themselves as pagans, atheists, and agnostics. The separation of church and state and the freedom of religion practice is very important to me. (I hope this "little" is not too much) I am interested in a Salon in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area.

Am interedted in subject.

I am a long time listener of SOF and underwriter via Gross Family Fund and Jewish Community Foundation. The last administration's abuse of the Office of Faith Based Initiatives has greatly disturbed me. I want to believe that the current administration's approach will be more broad based, unbiased, and less self-dealing; but I would very much like to hear an exploration concerning this topic with those who are influential. I would be happy to participate in a salon, however I can think of many other people more qualified and better spoken than I. I would like to see Rabbi Barry Cytron included. He's a most reasonable man.

I am really interested in what Joshua plans for building communities and where the administration is heading. I think Krista adds a unique perspective to this conversation with her extensive experience in "Speaking of Faith". I'm really looking forward to the conversation.

Religion in politics has been a very important instigator of change in our household. Back in 2003, our Denver Archbishop took the position that it was a sin worthy of excommunication in voting for the democratic candidate. Suggesting that you weren't much of a Catholic if you did. That and comments at church services so contradictory to what we believed was right for our country/world drove two cradle Catholics out of the Church and in search of a denomination that valued the social teachings we grew up with in the Catholic church. We found that in the United Church of Christ. In 2004 we became a member. We were happy to later find that candidate Obama was also a UCC member. Both religious and political values are intertwined and finding a balance is a constant call. This topic will be of much interest to us.

I really appreciate the depth of engaging in serious issues that I find in the Speaking of Faith programs.

I'm just about 42, the mother of three children, raised Episcopalian (at the church in New Haven where Krista attended briefly according to my mother, though after I had gone off to college, etc.), married to a Catholic. I worked as a daily newpaper reporter for five years, then lawyer, and now am at home with my children and working on my first novel. I'm finding that religion and spirituality have become a very natural and integral part of my life and my parenting in the past three to four years, reconnecting with something my parents started with exposure to church in my childhood.

I am deeply concerned with both the politicization of religious institutions and how the White House under the Bush organization and the far right wing of the Republican party and the tendency of marketing philosophies, valued and techniques have seeped deeply into our public life, ie. bigger is better, let's ramp it up, etc. There is so much about the way God and things religious are used by politicians today to advance their agendas and electability that harvests cynicism and gives God a bad name.

I would be interested in hearing Krista ask DuBois about what he feels the role of institutional religion should play in the national discourse, in national politics and in this White House. I can't completely articulate what I'm getting at, but guess that you guys will be able to for me.

I'm testing

My wife Lynne and I are fans of SOF and are encouraged that the Obama administration is seeking faith-based partnerships, while at the same time respecting the appropriate separation of church and state.

We are supporters of Jim Wallis' Sojourners and participants in Brian McLaren's Deep Shift Dialogue Forum looking for ways to expand the vision of the Christian church to embrace the depth and width of the call of Jesus' gospel to community, compassion and consciousness.

We have a small group in our church (Saratoga Presbyterian) that has been using your recent series on "Spritual Solutions to the Economic Crisis" as the basis of discussion and have expanded to a study of the Social Creed for the 21st Century.

I am a supporter of President Obama and particularly of the type of grass-roots community support he has inspired. I would like to see how this will continue going forward and how inclusive the religious net will be cast.

I am not affiliated with a major religion, but practice meditation and through that practice seek to infuse every aspect of my life with love and devotion. In the past, the White House has aligned itself with the most popular major religious groups, be they on the left or right and the conversation has not been very meaningful to me.

I would like to gain a better understanding of how the Obama administration will utilize believers of all stripes to build community and strengthen our nation, rather than divide along partisan lines.

I'm an Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of MN and would like to hear about how the Obama administration plans to take seriously the faith journeys of people amidst the challenges of our world.

As a Christian educator, I'm interested in the discussion of trends and practices of faith projected for our future. I'm also interested in hearing discussion about kids growing up in an increasingly religious-diverse culture.

I'm fascinated by the evolving nature of religion and its role in people's lives. I admire our US neighbours and the more open way in which citizens typically embrace and speak about their faith.

I'm very interested in hearing the president's representative speak about faith from a position of national leadership.

Thank you Krista and the members of your team, for bringing us this important presentation.

Wendy Stewart
Victoria, British Columbia

I am an ESL teacher in Warroad, Minnesota, a transplant from my beautiful hometown of Stillwater, over 30 years ago.

Teachers see a number of families that could use SUPPORT to then provide SUPPORT for their children... and yet we know full well we can't "fix" things for everybody.

I believe the answer is in sympathetic, intelligent, well-executed community support, at the right time and place. We need those helping hands doing the little things that end up being major roadblocks to their success.

You can't underestimate the value of honestly caring people and how it affects motivation - the basic tenet for success in education.

I have worked as a pre-school teacher for children at risk since 1973. I started the Southside Family Nurturing Center and continue now as the Chairperson for the Board of Directors.

We will be traveling to Minneapolis from Burlington, Vermont next week for the world premier performance of "A Celtic Mass for Peace: Songs for the Earth", on Thursday, May 20th, at Westminster Presbyterian in downtown Minneapolis.
We would love to invite Krista to join us for this remarkable event! The music was written by Sam Guarnaccia, with lyrics by J. Philip Newell, Celtic Spirituality scholar and teacher, who will be teaching at a conference all of next week in Minneapolis.
We are very involved in peace work both in our own Congregational Church in Charlotte, Vermont as well as throughout Vermont, and in conjunction with national peace efforts. Our hope is that Churches can become a platform for peacemaking in a world of increasing inclusion.
With the start of the Obama administration we have an even greater hope that we are moving toward this vision. This is a conversation to which we feel closely aligned. The story, visual images, and audio segments of the Celtic Mass can be found on the link below (

Sam and Paula Guarnaccia
1699 Irish Hill Road
Shelburne, Vermont 05482

I am an audio book producer who is working on a masters in theology who works with Dr. John Philip
Newell (he is going to be in Minneapolis the same time). He is a Scottish Celtic scholar and wandering lecturer, poet, writer and Church of Scotland minister. Dr. Newell just happened to be in San Antonio the night Obama was elected and we celebrated together with a very happy group of friends. He confirmed to us that the UK had the same hopes we had with Obama's elections for a more ethical, open, responsible and honest America.

You should see if you could get Dr. Newell (he is from Scotland) to be in the Salon. He is a lovely man and very articulate. Or interview him for a different program. He is in Minneapolis for a 3 day event.

I also work with Mary C. Earle, an Episcopal Priest, who writes on the desert mothers, living with illness and Celtic spirituality. And I managed in a liturgical book in San Antonio for 30 years.

I am very interested in the role of religious life and hope it can be redefined in the Obama era to be more focused on generous action, peace, justice and care than on "belief".

I hope I can get a ticket and I love Krista and was so excited that her "Speaking of Faith" is now in San Antonio.

I am retired from correctional chaplaincy, as both a chaplain and the Director of Chaplaincy for the Indiana Dept. of Correction. This work benefited from policy developed by this office of the prior president by utilizing and helping to fund programs developed by community organizations. I hope to hear something of how faith-based groups will continue to be supported for prison and reentry programs as research shows the effectiveness of such efforts.

Was raised "fundamentalist" Lutheran - WELS. Was basically shunned after divorcing a "called worker" for the church. Now remarried for 11 years, am still practicing Lutheranism - for two reasons: parents are still alive and well at 87 & 85 - it would KILL them if I "switched", and I have been singing with a group of wonderful women at my current church for 10 years. It keeps me there. Spiritually, am definitely looking for more.
My husband and I have a total of SIX children, Four girls (2 married - one w/grandbaby #1's arrival due any day, one engaged, and one single), and mirror identical twin boys - 26 - one in Afghanistan (USAF pilot, but embedded with the Army) and one a cinematologist in LA are VERY active in their non-denominational Christian churches/organizations (when not in Afghanistan, of course.) LA Son will take 2nd trip to India, filming documentary of Christian missionaries in the Himalayans, and is very involved in Internation Justice Mission - which has brought me personally to Not For Sale, etc. I believe there are continuums in life that bring polar opposites to the same place. I keep going down the path, wondering where it will lead, but believing I have a Leader to follow.

I am interested in participating in the Thursday morning salon. I think I could bring a distinctive voice to the discussion.

I am a young attorney. I am also a politically and theologically left-leaning Pentecostal who maintains strong ties with the often conservative Assembly of God denomination.

My legal practice is small, but diverse. I represent Christian businesses, a Somali Muslim charity, and secular anarchists. Daily, I live into the complicated tensions that the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships navigate.

It would be my privilege join the conversation. Thank you for considering my request.


I believe community sustainability is vital to creating a strong multi-cultural infrastructure in every city, town, and state. If we as individuals can promote a mind, body, and spirit union at the community level, we can raise awareness to the many national and global challenges staring us in the face.

For example, in my community, we are volunteering to raise awareness and funds for our first food coop in the area. Supporting local farmers goes a long way to creating sustainable neighborhoods and a sense of community. A food coop is a powerful tool for distributing goods and services at the community level. This is just one example of empowering individuals at the community level to create positive change and stimulate social interdependence for the benefit of all aspects of society.

Thank you for this opportunity.
To the health of our planet,

Ken Wickstrom

I'm grateful that we now have a president who is finding so many ways to invite and encourage public involvement/empowerment.

I am a 65 year old interfaith minister.

Everything about this event interests me.

I am interested in politics and spirituality.

Everything and everyone presented on your show is of interest and is vital to the shift that is already in motion. The old paradigm has just not worked, and certainly does not work if the whole world, all sentient beings, are to be honored with consideration and care.

Listening to your guests is both enlightening and humbling, and a joy in knowing that many more people than I ever expected are on the same path. We all know what is essential to our souls' nourishment (for lack of a better word) ....... making a contribution that is real and empowering to others, doing what we need to do in as selfless a manner as possible, expressing gratitude for all that comes our way, whether we deserve it or not, and the warmness in the community that we are capable of creating. And, we need to live in the present and have some semblance of mindfulness to even be aware of this.

My biggest fear was that I would end up without a husband, poorer that I'd known being with a husband, and without a compass. All that has come to pass, but now I actually make wiser choices, have been given the opportunity to live much more simply, something I've wanted to do for many years, the chance to abandon relationships that serve no one and no thing, kindle new ones that warm me and I know are empowering to all concerned. I would not have guessed that life could have been so full and so rich, except that fear and seeming comfort kept me from making that commitment to voluntary change. I have come to trust that we get what we want, perhaps not wrapped the way we'd expected, but we get the gift anyway.

Your show is part of each and every Sunday morning, and I am indebted to you for all that I've learned from you and your staff and guests. I've always considered myself an outside the box kind of thinker, but any box I may have created as a non-box is in small pieces that scattered with the wind. My gratitude to you all.

Dear Krista,

I am a high school teacher of 15 years in a hard-hit small city in southeastern lower Michigan. Around half of the students attending the high school here live at or below the poverty line. Many of their parents are losing their jobs as more and more businesses and factories close. At the same time, military recruiters visit the school often, offering many seemingly un-reachable things to students in poverty: training, wages, travel, educational opportunities, health care benefits.

Although I, too, want more than anything for my students to have all these things and more, I am deeply concerned about the practice of military recruitment in high schools on a couple of levels. First of all, I do not support war. Violence is not an appropriate response to fellow citizens of a global society. It is a contradiction of the founding principles of American public education to accept war. I do not accept the premise that to live the American dream, our young people should have to kill, risk being killed, or submit to a lifetime of suffering the aftermath of war. The students I serve deserve to live in a peaceful society that provides them with jobs where they can earn a living wage and expect access to food, shelter, health care, and education.

Secondly, and this is the concern I would like Mr. Dubois to address in the program: I do not support the practice of the U.S. military acting as an agent of Christian fundamentalists who openly defy US Central Command’s General Order Number One-- that explicitly forbids active-duty troops from trying to convert people to any religion.

A small mountain of evidence exists that clearly shows that many in the Officer Corps currently sees it's military mission in Iraq and Afghanistan as a religious crusade. One source that introduces readers to an officer who places his allegiance to religious zealotry over his sworn duty to uphold the U.S. constitution is Jeff Sharlet's “Jesus Killed Mohammed: The Crusade for a Christian Military,” in the May issue Harper's magazine. In it, readers meet "Lieutenant-Colonel Bob Young, who is also in Afghanistan at Kandahar Air Base, and he was quite plain in boasting about a PowerPoint presentation he had given to Afghan warlords explaining that American government was based on Christianity, that our Christian god was what made it great, and Afghanistan had a choice if it wanted to achieve democracy. And of course that choice was going to be for Jesus."

In an interview on Democracy Now, Mikey Weistein, Air Force veteran and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, is asked to "talk about how common this is." He describes the situation this way: "It is...ubiquitous. It is that—it is in the very particulate of the technologically most lethal organization ever created by humankind, which is our US military. It’s everywhere. We’re about two inches away, you know, from a fundamentalist Christian America through our US military."

In a military that sees itself on a religious crusade, what the recruiters offer my students (with slick marketing tools that include action-packed video games that are literally "a blast" to play) looks very much like what terrorist organizations offer their age-mates overseas. This is not the future I want for my students or for my country, the United States, which I deeply love, or for my world.

I would like to know if Mr. DuBois is aware of the Christian fundamentalist take-over of the U.S. military, and if so, what is his response? If this is the first time he has confronted the situation, what does he think? As President Obama's "Pastor-in-Chief," does he support the idea as that the goal of military operations is to spread the Christian faith through armed occupation? Which document does he believe U.S. military personnel should call upon as the final arbiter when faced with decisions that may bring Constitutional law and religious belief into conflict: the U.S. Constitution or the Bible?

As a teacher, I, too, am a public servant, and I am faced with questions about what and how to teach U.S. and World history, literature, and mythology. I am absolutely certain that the Word that must guide my decisions and to shape the ethical position I must embody in the position of authority I have been entrusted with, is the U.S. constitution. U.S. military personnel should be as certain in their duty to uphold Constitutional Law as am I.

In closing, I call upon Mr. DuBois to take this issue back to President Obama and Congress for their immediate attention. It is urgent for the Obama administration and our representatives in Congress take immediate action to restore Constitutional supremacy in military operations and to insure that the U.S. military follows the letter and the spirit of US Central Command’s General Order Number One that explicitly forbids active-duty troops from trying to convert people to any religion.

I look forward to a thoughtful response from Mr. DuBois.

Thank you, Ms. Tippett. Your show is an important part of my life as a human being, as a teacher, and as a citizen of Earth.

Peace to You

Source Information

Goodman, Amy. (2009) Democracy Now. Retrieved 17 May 2009 from

I am interested in the community of faith as a way to conflict resolution and a movement for change in tolerance, and understanding of all the different ways in which we, as Americans, express our belief in a divine power. Grassroots movements can be the most compelling and positive way in which we express ourselves as citizens and connect with others who are committed to change in a positive peaceful manner. Thank you for "Speaking of Faith,"
it has the power to transform spirits and minds in ways that are mystical and magic.
Peace and Blessings,
Chaplain Deb Dockery
Akron, Ohio

I am a theology major working in IT. I want to see what Mr DuBois sees as his role as a pastor to the president, what he wants to see done in the White House, and what programs he is fighting for against the bully pulpit.

Born and raised on a southern Minnesota dairy farm. High achiever through high school, and transformed from dualistic religious thinking and militarism during the Vietnam era. Have incorporated traditional faith with Zen Buddhist practice. Fascinated with how we language our world and dedicated much of my life to abnormal communication and transcending communication practice. This lands me square in the distinction of religion (thought) and spirituality (heart), in the distinction between small circles of belonging and the grand circle of belonging.

I've trained and taught General Semantics, practice Zen meditation for over thirty years, play the blues as a deep spiritual activity, and engage in multiple board sports as 'doing from the heart' outside the subject/object dichotomy.

My communication focus has me deeply involved in the study of the listening process (something I greatly admire Krista for). I participate and direct various forms of Circle Process communication events in the form of Conversational Cafe, Council, and Peer Spirit. The aim is to empty the belief system (where learning stops) and courageously enter a circle, speaking from the heart.

We're in a critical phase of the planet where we either open to 'allow' one another religious freedom outside all notions of 'right or wrong'. We are so much more than 'a Christian nation'. As a Christian/Buddhist focus, it's now time to step from our differences to the common spiritual experience of our oneness. The healing of our nation and planet depends upon this and hopefully Obama will start to move in this direction.

My have Comparative Religions taught in all schools from kindergarten on, with a focus on the core aspects: compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. At some point we'll touch one another in our felt interconnection...and I honor my grandchildren in the stewardship we carry to this.

Speaking of Faith has contributed so much to this. Thank you from the depth of my heart.

In these ever changing times, I want to gain perspective of the "official line" of the government regarding religion. I also live with a variety of disabilities so I want to know about his views on inclusion and accessibility in churches.

A longtime SOF listener, my faith and beliefs (though perhaps more, my spirituality) motivate my interests and actions as well as enlighten my perspective on the events of the day and the challenges we face. I have been concerned with the role religion has been playing (or that some have been asserting it should play) in our public life and am optimistic that Obama may be able to guide a course-correction with regard to the relationship between religion and public policy.

I spent 2003-07 teaching English in China, and am now retired.

I love how Speaking of Faith encourages us to explore and converse with those who think differently about the world. Spitting holy verse to one-up only creates more divides, but Speaking of Faith insists on hearing depth from multiple perspectives.

This event in particular, caught my attention because I work in a secular non-profit that is based out of public schools. However, the people that I serve are all Muslims and work and study in an environment that is intentionally accommodating to the practices of Islam. It is interesting to do the separation of church and state dance and yet see how faith infiltrates all parts of their lives. After serving in this environment for the last nine months, I see a lot of potential for faith-based initiatives in the next few years to really get at some of the systemic social injustices that face our society.

I am a 23 year old Christian raised and educated in mostly conservative geographic locations. I have recently found myself in a diverse, politically left-leaning setting that includes a majority of nonbelievers when I am not at work. I generally fall under the “liberal” title in terms of politics, so people are particularly surprised when they find out that I am Christian. While I see the need for state not to establish religion/church, I hope that Obama paves the way for other moderate Christians to have both “liberal” ideology and maintain their faith. I am passionate about justice for all. My passion is largely enlightened in my understanding of servitude from Christ's teachings.

I'm a seminary grad, current doctoral student in religious studies and a practicing Christian. My area of research is religion and health in African American communities. I see REAL opportunities for the expansion of how these intersections are interpreted and expressed in the Obama Administration. However, coming out of the prophetic tradition of the "black church," I am concerned about what I perceive to be its reduced status in the public sphere--although I also see many places where that tradition can add voice to policy discourse. I look forward to how the new Administration finds opportunities for a variety of religious voices, including that of my own tradition. Participating in this event will give me first-hand exposure to their ideas about this variety of issues.

(Plus, I have not heard Krista Tippett since I moved here from Atlanta!)

All the best for the program!

I'm encouraged that the current administration wants to connect with spiritual leaders and the religious community. I believe that part of the current economic crisis was due to people neglecting or totally ignoring their spiritual connection with their employees, customers, families and neighbors. Materialism, wealth and personal status became more important that working together for a common good.

My essay for the "Repossessing Virtue" series is already posted at the SOF web site, so that will provide you with a good snapshot of who I am. Since I submitted it, I am now doing contract work for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I have redesigned an outreach brochure that I and another contractor will offer to non-psychiatric doctors and clinics in the Howard county Maryland area. It's important that people with mental illness not be overlooked. In the midst of difficult financial situations, there are many services, agencies and support networks for these people. The project I'm working on will attempt to connect with people with mental illness who are in need. My Christian foundation is based on Jesus' words, "Love one another." I believe this is key to getting us over the hurdles ahead of us.

Everything. I am a resident of St. Paul, MN but I am currently in Boulder, CO visiting my son on my way back from a work internship at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM. I am very interested in discussing the ways we can become more spiritually aware in this country.

I am a former journalist and personal student of comparative religion. I was born and raised in the Presbyterian faith, but have spent quality time with many religions including: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and the sects of Sikhs, Siddhas, Bahai and Krishna consciousness. It has become clear to me that miracles and precious, saintly souls exist within all of these paths.

This is a time of heightened awareness when more and more of us are becoming aware that genetically, we all share the same DNA as we all share this one sacred earthly membrane.

In my heart, I feel that God gave each religion a part of the spiritual puzzle so that we could come together to learn from one another.

In order for us to create any kind of true peace and brotherhood, the fundamental religions that see themselves as the "only" path to God and who preach division instead of acceptance need to find the heart of compassion for all of the earth's citizens as opposed to encouraging separation, exclusivity, judgment and even death.

I've very recently been introduced to the teachings of Swami Vivekananda who came to America in the mid 1800's. He was among the first to teach the acceptance of all religious paths as examples of the true spirituality taught by Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed and all of the world's saints and Avatars.

He taught that we are all sacred individuals who have different human experiences and we should all be honored for whatever way we choose to demonstrate our journey toward God.

He had the deep understanding and compassion to recognize the divinity of all souls - completely free of judgment and cultural influence.

He understood that religion is an evolving process beginning from original myth to present day as human knowledge has been expanded through science and education. He did not separate science or any kind of knowledge from religious thought. He saw it as the all encompassing, natural progression of the human soul. His timeless, all-embracing philosophy stands as an example for how our world needs to proceed toward building a more compassionate, peaceful future - respectful of plants, animals and all of the earth's living beings.

I was indoctrinated in the Presbyterian tradition, but currently am closest to an atheist than anything. I am interested in knowing how strongly committed President Obama is to keeping religion/faith out of government decision making.

I'm an orthodox christian and I'm interested to learning more about Obama's approach to religion, diversity, and the American peoples right to freedom of religion.

I was raised by a Jewish-turned-Christian minister, with 6 brothers and sisters, and spent much of my childhood immersed in environment focusing on "the Lord," and what it means to love others. Now, at 30 years old, as a wife of one, mother of two, and high school teacher of many thoughtful teens, I have found myself trying to understand young peoples' rapid disillusionment with so many traditional religions. I have about a dozen books stacked up beside my bed - most of them dealing with some aspect of religion. One of my greatest goals in life would be to help understand atheism/agnosticism better, and to help open a path back to spirituality for those who've been turned off by "religion."

I believe my faith calls me to be engaged in the world, to be in relationship. I believe that faith-based individuals and organizations are to be the voice of the marginalized, calling the justice issues to the attention of policy makers. I also believe that all faiths have their unique perspective to offer; given our diverse God-given natures and cultures we would naturally have diverse faith journeys.I'm excited to have this perspective realized at the level of our executive office in Washington, and so look forward to Mr. DuBois' comments.
I'm an OB/gyn,, with an MPH in international health I live and work in Fargo, but am very involved in a hospital in rural Haiti, working to improve the available healthcare there.

I am a very intelligent, intellectual, and spiritual twenty-four year old young man with so much love in my heart for my fellow man (and woman), and so many ideas for this lovely Mother Earth and our beautiful country.

I am a true patriot. And only true patriots complain. Our country was designed, by the founding fathers, to have malleable and changeable government.

I mean, just look at the Introduction by Thomas Jefferson in "America, the Book", he's rolling over in his grave.
(Sorry, I had to.)

I am a Unitarian Universalist, a Church that has less than three hundred thousand members on the planet. But our Ministry and congregation members have probably affected the most change for progressive ideas and social justice more than any other one single group.

UU Church is about what Church is supposed to be about. Community. People. Love of your fellow human being. Sermons that teach love, and don't sow seeds of hate and intolerance.
And it feels like plain old church. Hymnal singing, choir, Sunday school. But we also, especially since our last change of Minister in my congregation, Really want to build up the progressive ideals in the larger community. Whether it be volunteering or donating to the local Food Bank, or rallying in Sacramento or Fresno for Marriage Equality and LGBT Rights.
In fact, Cleve Jones (of "Milk" and Global AIDS quilt fame) spoke at my church last friday. Right now he is working as a hospitality/hotel workers union spokesperson. Though of course he is for LGBT rights in jobs and marriage as well. And that's the point.

We need to have more conversations with people outside of our comfort zone. If you talk to someone in the "religious right" about marriage and children, visitation rights and benefits after death. And make the conversation civil and intelligent: They are going to listen and maybe that seed can be planted. A seed of tolerance.
If you talk to migrant workers (most of whom are either in the hospitality, construction, or agricultural industries) about on the job equality, fair pay, and anti-discrimination laws, in possibly their native tongue even, they are going to understand your side of the argument. And though they may have a prejudice, the majority being Catholic (in terms of latino workers), they are going to understand that humans have a basic right to not be discriminated against at work.

And these are the type of things that I can already tell are beginning to change in this country.
I am proud to have voted for Obama.
But we still have so much to do.

And we are the generation that gets to do it. Quite a lot of people are talking about "The Mayans and 2012" and it's either the apocalypse or something better but it's still that same old prophecy/doomsday kind of talk, at least much of the time.

Though I do believe it may be an important date; and who knows if something weird happens; but the later Mayans--who were around much later than those who appeared, built the temples and the ballgame/creation myth, and disappeared into the jungle--just considered a cycle change a day of celebration. To celebrate Creation in its infinite and powerful beauty. And humans Create just as much as the Universal Consciousness creating itself. Every time we paint a picture, compose and play a song, write a poem: That is Creation as much as anything else. God is within us all and some of us find that Infinite Truth and Beauty better than others; but it's obviously what we all strive for.

Love. Family. Knowledge. Enlightenment.
We all want the same things in life.
Even Hitler, in his own fucked up genocidal way, believed he was helping the evolution of Man.

But I digress,
I just want to do good work in the world in all walks of life; and am interested in learning just about everything.
I also have a manic form of bi-polar disorder with psychotic features; which is both a gift and a curse. Creativity, Spirituality and Transcendental thought and possibility are the gift. Illness, Mania, and Delusionality are the curse. Regardless, I am definitely someone who has found Divinity, Beauty, and Truth in my life. And if we don't build Community in this world soon, by the time of our generation's grandchildren; we'll probably have passed the point of no return on this Spaceship Earth. Though, throughout the ages, the next generation has never failed.

We have evolved, and though spiritually over the last 2,000 - 10,000 years we may have been devolving though technologically evolving. That's okay. Because most of us, those not full of greed and hate and corruption in our hearts, we know we have work to do, and we know we either change or go extinct. Mother Nature is pretty much indifferent to our survival. Though we may have a very high and Holy purpose in the Universe, and we are capable of such great things: We also have a self destructive and almost suicidal streak as well; at a species wide level.

There's a little about me and my thoughts on Community, Humanity, and Cosmology.
Hope you made it this far. :)

Peace and Blessings,
Gavin Jules Stringer-Sonne

I am a Legacy Coach and working on my new book about spirituality in the everyday. I work with corporations, individuals and educators to help them identify the mark they are making, and become more intentional about it. The anchor question of the work I do is "What mark are you making?"

Religious diversity in a topic of great interest to me and my husband.

I know personally how faith gives shape to identity. The path begun during my conversion to Catholicism back in college provided the deep grounding to navigate my process of coming-out, and pursuing a career in adolescent faith formation.

My professional work entails creating faith-based service retreats for adolescents. Our focus is handing on a relevant faith to a next generation, one that is up to the task of engaging the realities of poverty and inequality. My hope is that young people leave our retreats with a stronger sense of how their faith inspires them to act with compassion in response to the world's greatest needs.

But I am most interested in this conversation because so many of my peers--30 somethings--no longer attend church. In the coming months, I am attending a number of weddings. The first is for some dear friends, a Christian couple, that has, with much thought, decided to get married in a restaurant. I am officiating at my cousin's secular wedding in Toronto later this summer. Later, I have the honour of officiating at a gay friend's marriage to his partner. These three weddings for me are windows into the lives of my friends and family, where the common theme is deep desire for meaning. But this seeking does not find expression in institutional religion.

President Obama has already demonstrated his capacity to mobilize the talent of my peers in responding to the needs of our nation. But given our diverse spiritual paths, I wonder what religious/spiritual vocabulary/ies President Obama will craft that further invites our participation.

My daughter and I hope to attend. I am a Lutheran pastor, my daughter is the 2009-2010 front page editor of the Bethel University Clarion (campus newsletter).

I'm looking into topics for Adult Sunday School, and exploring my faith and beliefs. I love the speaking of faith show - i recently downloaded 20 podcasts and listened to them all and loved them.

Middle school English teacher in Compton, CA. 10 years teaching in an economically and socially challenged area. Love my work and my students. Need to develop community service programs at the middle school level that empowers the students as well as serves the community.

NEA provides support for student in the arts, what can we do for student commnity service in public schools.

I have a strong interest in the role religion plays in politics. As a Christian, I am a bit disenfranchised with the American Church and its pursuit to supposedly "take America back for God." On all sides, there are self-proclaimed Christians espousing diametrically opposed viewpoints regarding the stances Christians should or shouldn't take on many a social and political issue. Any conversation which has potential to center around this issue will certainly perk my ear.

Spritual information.

I am an avid listener to Speaking of Faith, and am on a spiritual path that has taken me on many adventures. I was raised Jewish, and go on mission trips with a Baptist Church and an Evangelical one to both both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I also meditate and am involved in the Course in Miracles. So - a bit eclectic. I live in a very involved community where there is energy abounding for support of the arts and events. Religion does, among many people, become a difficult issue to discuss - mostly because most of my friends are not religious at all. That's enough.....the event interests me greatly as I am a strong supporter of President Obama, and his manner of getting individuals of disparate thoughts to speak - which is great value. How we take that energy that I see with my friends on the Mission trips and combine that with a less religious population is an interesting dilemma.

I'd like to follow along, provide support, and perhaps most importantly provide promotion during the event.

I am a person of faith, wife, mother, friend, volunteer, listener, and tender. Since becoming a mother over twenty one years ago, I have had paid employment (at schools and churches) on a part-time, intermittant basis only. It has been by intention that I've left myself open and available to the needs of our children and community. During this current time of economic stress, I struggle with the decision to seek paid employment again, even though my husband was recently laid off. It seems as if need for the kinds of unpaid work I've been doing might be increasingly important. I'm feeling a strong pull to be more intentional about how our family lives, eats, makes decisions, and how we support others.

I believe the long ignored virtues of helping, caring, listening, and tending are so important to the healing of our collective health and soul. Doing those things require time - which is often difficult to find when much of our energies are used to achieve success as we have come to know it in our current culture of competition and material wealth.

I am curious to hear more about how the Obama administration will listen to, and utilize the energies of, people of faith. I am hopeful that President Obama continues to have the courage to be guided not by fear, but by hope.

I am an African American Evangelical Christian who was a friend of the President when he was in high school. I work for a national agency of the moderate United Methodist Church. I am intrigued by the President's approach to faith and politics and particularly how Joshua Dubois has operated both during the campaign and in his new role.

As a Christian (as well as pastor of an urban church in a very progressive Mpls. neighborhood)I desire to better learn how culture and faith intersect in the public square, especially amidst our increasingly religious pluralistic fabric.

I also desire to dialogue with others (some who I may not theologically agree with) how to not only coexist but to live for the mutual good of our culture--even amidst very profoundly real differences.

I am interested in this event because my world-view is shaped by my deepest beliefs in Jesus, my grateful appreciation for my country and strong interest in seeing it live up to its noblest aspirations.

I have a large family living in the Nashville area. I'm not as conservative as I used to be and have gone from 20 years of being a one issue voter (that of abortion) to a bigger picture, varied approach regarding minimizing unwanted pregnancies. However, I voted for President Obama with the hopes that his faith, intelligence and transparent dialogue about difficult issues provide better solutions than non-productive ideologues of any party.

I also strongly believe in the voice of dissent, free exchange of ideas, and listening to those with whom I disagree. I hope to gain a better understanding of how President Obama's administration adds measurable actions to the many words spoken regarding limiting unplanned pregnancies but also how this administration can support productive, faith-based initiatives while resisting the castigation of faith by those who believe one must not admit to making any decision because of their faith alone.

i am 41 years old single mother of 5,i am looking for work but it,s hard for me becouse i have a felony record from 1996,i am trying to get it exspunge.ihave change my life around i help kid's now that live in drug infested home's and community's i have fish fry's to raise money's to help with new shoe's and clothing and personal item's.i think the community should help out more and come together.i think if the community would come togeter with me and help i would be able to do more.but blessed to do what i can.

My belief in Christianity and my uncompromising Faith in GOD. I would like to learn more about the Obama's religious beliefs and practices in choosing his former Assistant Pastor as the White House Faith-based Executive Director. I would love to attend in person, but due to conflict of interest and time restaint the live-internet video watch will suffice. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this fascinating discussion.

I'm interested in learning more about the faith-based initiatives of the Obama administration and how they contract with those of the previous administration. Are they more consistent with Obama's perceived approach, which is more compassionate and pragmatic, and less dogmatic than those of the Bush administration? Where does DuBois stand on the coupling of financial aid for family planning that includes birth control/contraception?

Searching for answers about religion and spirituality.

I am public policy advocate and writer based in Washington, DC. I worked on various domestic issues for the MCC Washington Office, 1998-2005, as well as other organizations before and after. Presently, I consult for religious and non-profit groups regarding civil rights and criminal justice issues.
I am interested in deeply democratic processes and recently attended an urban ministry conference(for Washington and Baltimore stakeholders) at which Mr. DuBois spoke briefly.

What markers are being tracked to determine your effectiveness?

I am an avid consumer of any theological discussion, debate, study, etc.! World belief systems and sacred practices is my passion. SO many people now seem to be on journey's of faith to choose a belief system that calls to them. I was wondering if there has been any study done on people beginning more and more to "choose their own religion" as opposed to assuming the religious practice one was born into. Do you see this as a positive step in uniting us as people of faith?

I am aware of how historical an event this election was for many African-American people. For the first time in a long time, I feel our country is building good karma and working with a global vision.

I'm vitally interested in bringing people from various backgrounds together. I was a Minneapolis 1st/2nd grade teacher and co-chair of the Minneapolis Public Schools Human Relations Committee during the desegregation process.

After two years of going to seminars, conducting seminars, meeting with various civic groups, etc. while teaching school, my husband and I took a hiatus from our city jobs. We moved to a run-down log cabin on a one acre island on a wilderness lake in the Chippawa National Forest of northern Minnesota. We lived primarily off the land-fishing, hunting, gathering, ricing, grinding our own grain for flour, gardening, baking bread on a cookstove, etc. We bathed in the lake in the summer and in the winter we had a tub like the ones we see in old-time movies. I traveled across the lake mostly by canoe in the summer because I didn't like motor boats. I resigned from teaching and we stayed at the lake.

I tend to define myself as on a spiritual path rather than a religious one. Our minister is a rabbi and a minister. Our congregation is small but includes people from several different religions as well as some who have not had a church home in the past. My religious background has been in the Luteran church as a young child and in the Christian Science church for the years since. There is no C.S. Church nearby so I joined a small but active non-denominational church. We meet in the Town Hall and all of our funds go to feeding, providing medical and dental services, school supplies, etc. for those who lack such necessities here and in a rural area of Honduras.

I'm 83 years young and working in the Activities Division of our local nursing home. I don't have a great deal of time or money to donate, but I would like to help wherever I am able.

I'm vitally interested in bringing people from various backgrounds together. I was a Minneapolis 1st/2nd grade teacher and co-chair of the Minneapolis Public Schools Human Relations Committee during the desegregation process.

After two years of going to seminars, conducting seminars, meeting with various civic groups, etc. while teaching school, my husband and I took a hiatus from our city jobs. We moved to a run-down log cabin on a one acre island on a wilderness lake in the Chippawa National Forest of northern Minnesota. We lived primarily off the land-fishing, hunting, gathering, ricing, grinding our own grain for flour, gardening, baking bread on a cookstove, etc. We bathed in the lake in the summer and in the winter we had a tub like the ones we see in old-time movies. I traveled across the lake mostly by canoe in the summer because I didn't like motor boats. I resigned from teaching and we stayed at the lake.

I tend to define myself as on a spiritual path rather than a religious one. Our minister is a rabbi and a minister. Our congregation is small but includes people from several different religions as well as some who have not had a church home in the past. My religious background has been in the Luteran church as a young child and in the Christian Science church for the years since. There is no C.S. Church nearby so I joined a small but active non-denominational church. We meet in the Town Hall and all of our funds go to feeding, providing medical and dental services, school supplies, etc. for those who lack such necessities here and in a rural area of Honduras.

I'm 83 years young and working in the Activities Division of our local nursing home. I don't have a great deal of time or money to donate, but I would like to help wherever I am able.

I am a tenured teacher in the public school system on Long Island and have long believed that the element most lacking in our daily lives is the awareness that "Spirit" must have an integral role in our character, our thoughts and our actions. Too often, the mere mention of the word "Spirit" sends people into panic mode, for many equate this with dogmatic religion. Instead, I would state that the difference between truancy and excellence in school is totally one of 'spirit'. The difference between waking up in the morning, energized to embrace a new day of work and refusing to get out of bed is again the presence of spirit. The question is one that needs to be addressed in all that we do, be it in the world of education, industry, business or whatever realm encompasses our daily lives. Spirit is our "essence" and is "essential" in giving rise to life in all we seek to do, to accomplish and to master. Spirit may struggle, Spirit may falter, but with perseverance, it will always succeed and prosper, leading to joy, peace and understanding for self and in selflessness with others.
The spirit and leadership qualities that President Obama has demonstrated from the onset are the hallmarks of character we as educators try to instill daily in and out of the classrooms and more importantly, as exemplary in our lives. I would ask Mr. DuBois and the President's Interfaith planning to emphasize those universals, those absolutes that deal with integrity, character, ethical decision-making, empathy, Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence and Spiritual Intelligence as well. These are the values we must cultivate in ourselves and our children for a better world.

I enjoyed your discussion today with Joshua DuBois very much. I believe the intelligent and civil discussion of religion in America is critical to moving us forward on so many issue of human dignity. However, as a person whose views no longer incorporate those of formal religion, I am disappointed to hear those of faith speak of the rest of us as having no values or as not having values-based lives. Many of the most moral, generous, and humanistic people I know do not attend a church or affiliate themselves with a particular religion. (Think of Einstein, Schweitzer, etc.) Their values I hold in the utmost respect, as do many others. The words used to describe others and groups DO matter, most basically in how we openly we can interact with one another.

Ms. Cris Winters

In reality, as regards the abortion debate, the Obama Administration is bought and paid for by Planned Parenthood, etc. The administration's policies and appointment are evidence of this, as well as they give evidence that they are anti-Catholic, and are trying to divide the Catholic community. They talk a lot, and by doing so hope to keep the situation just as it is, which is what they want, don't be fooled.
President Obama is the abortion president. At Notre Dame he, as expected, never made any reference to the idea that the unborn child has any rights at all.

Also, there is no common ground on abortion. Just like the slavery issue, one is for it, or against it. One person thinks it's OK to kill an unborn child, another person thinks isn't - how can there be common ground?
Speaking of common ground, though, does keep things just the way they are, which is what the administration wants: abortion on demand, embryonic stem cell research, etc.

I am so glad that political materialism is being addressed. There is more to life, more than what is material- and this was self-evident to our founding fathers. The principal of "indivisibility" wis understood as the basic tenet of life itself; the creation is not separate from the Creator.

All of life is meant to be spiritualized in oneness, but not sameness, for the experience of God in man- man as an individualization of God - is unique for each being and that is why all truly are equal, for in God's eyes all are of infinite value. It is time now for America to recapitalize our hearts in oneness, and to not be afraid of the freedom that comes with a worldview that includes the Infinite, for what we face cannot be overcome with intellectually finite resources alone.

I submit to all American hearts and lovers of spiritual freedom everywhere, that what needs recapitalization is our fundamental outlook on life! Our moral fundamentals have fallen apart, our ideal for upholding the right of equal opportunity is buried under the weight of dueling politics, dogmatic religion and the institutionalization of life.

Our worth, our means for being an individual yet part of the whole society is not measured by GDP, trade deficits or balance sheets of any kind. What is good for the one and the many must be reached for by going beyond what can be counted, tallied, labeled, charted or weighed.

How can the true health of any economy, of any nation or individual therein – be diagnosed by how well or not credit is flowing? How can health or anything about life or part of life be measured at all? Isn’t it all just relative? Society has created standards that attempt to define how life should be, but how can love be measured, or joy produced from a financial instrument? Open your eyes and see that life itself is worthy, worth an infinite amount of love that can always be given freely to all.

It is this principle- of freely giving what you freely receive that is priceless! No container could ever hold the infinite essence of life, and our bodies appear as fixed containers yet the mind and the expansion of the heart faculty is not limited to the body. There is no monopoly on the true measure of abundance. One’s spirit to give unconditionally is multiplied in so doing; the one giving then receives more to give.

You may say- “but I have nothing to give” yet the world would be transformed by the simple act of giving out smiles and appreciation for all beings and the Earth itself. For when you smile at life, life smiles back even if it is not obvious. The only way life can be experienced as something less than wonder and joy is by accepting the false belief that life is a struggle. Don’t you hear the birds singing every morning no matter what the headlines say? A rose blooms despite stock market losses and scandals. And you are worth more than all of the lilies in the field; YOU are the apple of God’s eye. YOU are the seeds of creation sown by the creator. We already have every true thing that is needed; imagination, free-will, self-awareness and the ability to create change all within our greater Self.

I pray for the soul of our nation and all peoples, that we may remember in our hearts the simple and free gifts we are endowed with. For if we had naught, no possessions- could we still choose to sing a song of praise? Would we? There is always a seed of life everywhere and in all things. Being able to think a creative thought of freedom- as did our forefathers- is a step toward true abundance, for what it represents deep down is a longing for a return to life with the Spirit of Freedom, the Spirit of Life flowing freely without the damns of fear, anger, envy, greed, competition, selfishness and pride – all these things that weigh heavy on our heart and the planet; and thus she tilts from this burden.

The heart must be freed from negative feelings, the mind freed from negative thought, the Spirit liberated from the mortal chains of bank accounts! BE reborn into the true wealth that is as countless as the stars in the Heavens. Is it not wondrous each day to behold the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets; and to know that this blessed Earth is precious?

How can we fail to appreciate the limitless seed of life that blossoms into the beauty and majesty of oceans, mountains, rivers, forests and continents; for the purpose of supporting us as the ever-flowing streams of life that we are? The sun does not decide who to shine on or not, it perfectly sustains life and shines on ALL people, isn’t that a symbol of true equality? Appreciate a blade of grass, a grain of sand, a raindrop – for life is there and it is abundant.

You see, abundance is a state of consciousness; life is a state of consciousness. The kingdom of God is a state of consciousness! Consciousness is the element of life itself, born into the world but not of it.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not the object beholden, it is an internal knowing not an external judgment. One simply knows and recognizes beauty as that which is mirrored from within. Worthiness of being who you are is not in the perceived value of outer characteristics or possessions. The right to live free and pursue happiness isn’t dependent on owning or defending anything.

The real abundance of life isn’t anything to compete for, because it is not finite, it is free to all who are willing to be harmonious with the principle of unity. It is time to recapitalize our hearts with the joy de vive which can only come from the source of life itself; for we all know in our hearts that money can’t buy happiness or health or love or wisdom.

Life is empty, a shell, a façade and a struggle without the connection to its essence, without the realization that there is more, that there is but One Source and we are all unique expressions of it. The trumpeter heralds the dawn and softly sets the sun; the music and the musician are one. It is the artist, not the art that is unique; it is the scientist not the science that is being discovered. The creation is not separate from its creator; and so it is with humankind – the world here below is meant to be like the heavens above.
The kingdom of God is meant to be expressed here on Earth by US, for we are here as co-creators. If you think you should wait until you die to be in Heaven, think again – you already came from Heaven and you desired to come to Earth and learn to create, for you are a God in the making. Rejoice! Celebrate! Choose to BE the star that you are!

Dear hearts – there is only heart, for all have loved and lost, all have lived and cried in agony and joy. We are having the same experience in different ways so why see your neighbor not as yourself? Stock up on charity, invest in faith, bond in forgiveness and accumulate the gold of grace from above.

Recapitalize the virtues of living in harmony with each other, for there is only victory when all are victorious in the light of truth. There is health and prosperity when wholeness is desired in Spirit more than anything of this world.

Recapitalize your courage to share, to give, to be royal in your own purple heart of service to others, for in thinking and doing not for self is found the fount of youth. The seed of the abundant life is multiplied when sown with unconditional love, watered with joy, and freely shared. Take care to remove the hardness of heart that causes one to be selfish, for those walls are your own prison of lack. Open your heart, and therein you will find the true treasury of life, for the softest overcomes the hardest.

There is no way to defeat the outer conditions of depression, recession or poverty by doing something to the same system. There really is only one struggle that is repeating itself in different ways. There are some persons seeking to obtain absolute control over people’s minds to prevent the destiny of unity because they don’t want to progress to the next stage of human development- the giving up of the separate-self; the selfish ego.

Many of the world’s leaders have become closed off from the abundant life by believing in the lie that money and power is the end all be all. NO single nation or person has an ideology, a philosophy, or system – be it capitalism or communism; that is right for everyone. There is no doctrine or “special” group of people – Christian, Muslim or Jew that has a monopoly on truth. The reality of this crisis is to awaken the heart which knows the truth as universal and sheds its light on all sentient beings.

Give up the impossible quest for the ultimate system that is the perfect answer and if we had it, then we would never have to change – there would be security, stability. Beware, this is false security because we as a species are meant to continuously re-invent and discover progressive revelations about life. Our societal problems stem from limiting beliefs to stay put in a certain expression, stuck in a snapshot in time; resisting the force of life which is both evolutionary and revolutionary.

The way out is the way up, raising our awareness and that is how humankind has always progressed. The world was not flat even though for a time people believed it was. Beliefs are not inherently true. We must ask ourselves again- “is what we collectively believe about the world true?” We know that there is no state of “total knowledge”. What the world sees is not as it seems; knowledge is incomplete. We do not know what we think we know, we assume too much and those assumptions are based on manipulations.
It is time now to come up higher and see that there is no man-made system that is not built on the sands of time. All things transcend, nothing is permanent. Change is the only constant! We are here to create a better and better world, and this is the time to realize the opportunity at hand.

What is our right, our liberty to pursue happiness? Is it not that we can choose to be this or that – whatever makes us happy, and haven’t there always been people who have demonstrated that no handicap, condition of birth, or circumstance could stop them from experiencing life and being who they want to be despite seemingly insurmountable odds? These examples are countless. What is behind this?

The spark of life is the drive to be more; creativity is not a system- it is the gift we are endowed with in the very core of our awareness that gives us the potential to be all that we can be. Creativity and the impulse of life that drives us to want change is what brought freedom-seeking persons to America and to create a New World. Do not forget that we created what we have, for there is no something from nothing.

This spirit of creativity is the key to breaking free from the spiral of materialism. We will not get anywhere following the blind leaders into the bottomless pit of problems that are unsolvable form the same state of consciousness that created them. These false leaders are trying to stop the flow of creativity, to trap your free mind in their trap of status quo. Don’t be fooled. Realism is realizing there is an alternative state of mind that is beyond the level of elitism and separation by superiority. By taking a revolutionary leap in thought we can create a new platform that is above the old mentality of monopolistic rule.

How do we get to this new platform? People must take back their freedom to choose, loose themselves from the lies of the wolves in sheep’s clothing and let go down the drain that which is not based on the foundation of universality – the rock of the higher law that is incorruptible for it is not of this world. Only a raising of one’s own self-awareness to a new sense of identity as being here to co-create in harmony can lead to change spoken by Martin Luther King in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. And I too have a dream- a dream for the overcoming of the sense of separation from God and each other once and for all.

We can leave behind the lessons of the past, the rise and fall of civilizations, the drowning in the Red Sea, the idol worship of money and the golden calf culture by getting connected to our own higher sense of being and purpose. You have your own lamp of inexhaustible light within you, and that light is the same light that lights every being that comes into the world.

If you are willing to TRY to find this light within, then know that the Light has already found you, for God is the only power that can act. Just keep taking one small step and have faith that if you ask it will be given to you, if you seek the truth you will find it, and if you knock on Heaven’s door- that door will be opened to the magnificence of your own God-presence, the Light that never fails.

The meaning and purpose of life is to grow in awareness until you know yourself as God, to love yourself as God loves you, to know that every creature great and small, every living being was made by the same Creator. And in that knowing, you are enlightened to the truth of unity which shall set you free from the prejudices that make peace seem impossible. But it is not.

With all your getting, get the idea of Oneness and you will find the wholeness and healing you’ve always wanted, for it is the higher law that works for you when you work for the sake of another. This is why selfishness is one and the same as disease manifest in many forms, for the root of all human dis-ease lies in seeking something, an advantage, for your self in some way.

Looking out for #1 perpetuates the collective human struggle. To let it go from your life, simply engage in real life as a real person with a heart of gold that is not stained or tarnished by greed, envy or jealousy over perceptions which are usually untrue anyway. Fear not! For we always have the angels of Faith, Hope and Charity at our side, waiting for us to cry out to God with our heart, for only the heart can speak the truth and that is the language of oneness that will break down all walls of pride and prejudice; freeing us even from the images of death.

Choose this day Oneness, and you will be blessed with every good and perfect gift – for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give you His kingdom while you and all other co-creators are here on Earth.

I so enjoyed this recent episode of Speaking of Faith. As one of the founders of a non profit in Cincinnati called 'New Life Furniture', I am very encouraged by what Mr. Dubois had to say about our governments role in community Service. Thank you so much for airing it. I am hoping that you will provide your listeners with more information about Mr. Dubois's office as it becomes available.

New Life Furniture collect gently used furniture in the Cincinnati Ohio area and delivers the items directly to families and individuals that have overcome homelessness, women escaping abusive situations and those that are living at or well below the poverty line.

Again, thank you for your consistantly excellent programing!

Why doesn't Obama or Dubois mention Buddhists, when according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey, there are more Buddhists in the U.S. then Muslims or Hindus?

I look forward to hearing more from Joshua DuBois on future endeavors of the constitutionality of federal funding to non-profits.

What a wonderful sharing and group of people. It is good to see this energy happening in so manny different situations in our world.It is also refreshing to hear new possiblities of bringing our nation together in a positive manner to give responsiblity to people to bond in common purpose and to value life and the human person.

I am employed at a Retreat Center in Southern California as a massage therapist. The South Bay Interfaith Group came into being as the result of our Catholic group inviting other relious groups to celebrate the Christian "Holy Year" in 2000. All the leaders from the different faith communities; ministers,priests, sisters, Rabi and leaders met regularly for the year. It was decided that we would honored the Jewish Community by gifting them with an art piece acknowledging Krystal knock. The art piece continues to be rotated between all the Jewish Temples in the area. The Holy Year celebration ended by joining all the congregations for a candel lite walk from the Retreat Center, one-half a mile to the Temple were the Rabi was presented the art work honoring our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Every one became so invested that the group has continued as the South Bay Interfaith Group and we have four annual events rotated and hosted by the different congregations: a Lectures Series, create musical exhanges and create apportunity for the congrgations to meet. There is mutual respect which opens the door for new possiblities.
After listening to the exchange with the group at your meeting with Joshua DuBois, I saw how addressing the poverty issue may be a challange of new depth to this South Bay Interfaith Group.

Krista thank you for the openess you have created through Speaking of Faith programing.

Why is Joshua Dubois on Don Lemon tonight ? He's not a part of the Obama administration . He's a has been that still wants to be. Melissa Rodgers replaced him.