Live Video: Religious Life in the Obama Era
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
Update: The streaming embed box has been replaced with the recorded versions of the interview, broken into two parts.
This is the place where we are streaming real-time video of Krista and Joshua DuBois’ conversation on Wednesday, May 20th. We’ll begin streaming at 6:45 pm CST with pre-show music through the instrumentation of guitar, oud, and violin. The conversation begins at 7:00.
Their conversation will focus on the changing face of religion in public life in the era of the Obama administration and the perspective DuBois brings through his new role as head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
A Q+A session, moderated by Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, will follow the conversation. The evening will begin with pre-show music of Robert Bell and David Stenshoel, providing some European/American influenced jazz through the instrumentation of guitar, oud, and violin.
Help us cover this event. Whether you live in the Twin Cities metro area or on another continent, you can participate by:
- Watching and Commenting. Submit your questions here, and we’ll ask them during the Q+A session.
- Twittering the Conversation. Respond to Krista or Dubois’ points with a tweet — or ask a question. We’ll feature your tweets on our Web site. The hashtag is #sofevent.
- Participating in a Salon. We’re selecting eight people to be part of a roundtable discussion with Krista and DuBois the next morning. If you live in the metro area, let us know if you’re interested. If you live elsewhere, we’ll inform you on how you can take part in the discussion through our live video feed.
ABOUT THE GUEST
Joshua DuBois heads the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The former associate pastor, advisor to President Obama, and Obama’s campaign Director of Religious Affairs, DuBois is charged with bringing people together around common goals regardless of political affiliation. DuBois received his undergraduate degree in political science from Boston University in 2003 and a master’s in public affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He suspended his pursuit of a J.D. at the Georgetown University Law Center to join Obama’s campaign.
ABOUT THE EVENT
Religious Life in the Obama Era: A Conversation with Joshua DuBois is Wednesday, May 20th at the historic Fitzgerald Theater at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $18 for MPR members. All seats are reserved seating. For tickets, please call the box office at 651-290-1221. This event is being recorded for national broadcast. Broadcast date, May 28, 2009.
The President’s Community-Building Initiative, and Your Role in It
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
This video from The Washington Post features Joshua DuBois talking about the four strategic areas that President Obama’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is focusing on: connecting community organizations as part of the president’s economic recovery plan, encouraging fathers to be active parents, reducing unintended pregnancies, and interfaith dialogue. Large objectives, to be sure.
If you haven’t heard by now due to my barrage of communications, Krista will be interviewing DuBois next week. It’s a live event — online and on the stage. We’re doing all we can to make sure you can take an active role in listening to and asking questions of this national leader. Sign up and we’ll send you all the details and reminders about how to watch the free, live video stream on our Web site (or embed it on your own), ask questions while the interview is happening, and even participate in the SOF Salon the following day.
President Obama Evokes Rabbi Heschel?
Colleen Scheck, Producer
From a Guardian story about President Obama’s press conference at the G20 Summit yesterday:
Asked whether he thought the US should shoulder the blame for causing the crisis, Obama replied America had some accounting to do. But he said he was “a great believer in looking forward rather than looking back”, citing his American law school professor who told him “some are to blame, but all are responsible”.
Surely his law school professor was evoking the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel — “Some are guilty, but all are responsible” — right? Again we feel Heschel’s present-day relevance.
Niebuhr, Heschel — which other SOF biographical series subject will President Obama evoke next? Perhaps Einstein’s post World War II comment: ”…there is no escape into easy comfort, there is no distance ahead for proceeding little by little and delaying the necessary changes into an indefinite future. The situation calls for a courageous effort, for a radical change in our whole attitude in the entire political content.”
Faith as It’s Lived
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
Watching singer Stevie Wonder’s acceptance speech of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, I was struck by the tenor and natural way he spoke about his faith and invoked God’s name.
"But what’s really exciting for me today is that we truly have lived to see a time where America has a chance to again live up to the greatness that it deserves to be seen and known as, through the love and the caring and the commitment of a president, as in our president, Barack Obama.
It’s exciting ‘cause I know my children will be able to say, ‘I was born when there was the first African American president. Yeah, I can do that too!’ But not only can they do that, but all children of all various ethnicities understand that they can speak in truth. They can talk about loving and caring about this country. They can talk about being a united people of the United States of America. They can live that dream that Dr. King talked about so long ago.
And if those in this country and throughout the world — you can put down your spirits of hate and open up your hearts to receive God’s ever commitment of love, then we can be a united people of the world. If we can think that big, and feel that strong, then I believe, as is said to me by my God, impossible is unacceptable. We don’t know the miracles that will be bestown on us because of that.”
President Obama: “Working with Faith”
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
On Thursday, February 5, 2009, President Barack Obama delivered remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He then signed an executive order establishing the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. President Obama named Joshua DuBois the executive director of this office.
Uploading the video of Krista’s public event with David Brooks and E.J. Dionne, I happened upon this White House video in which Mr. DuBois talks about the historical precedent of the office, how it will function, and the role of faith-based and community groups in the administration’s efforts. In recent staff meetings, DuBois name has come up a number of times as a potential guest for Speaking of Faith. Possibly for a public event at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul.
As an aside, a couple of people standing around President Obama in the video’s placeholder image above were immediately recognizable as former guests on the show. I wasn’t surprised to see Jim Wallis at his side, but it was nice to see Bishop Vashti McKenzie in the immediate foreground to his left.
Joseph Lowery’s Benediction for Barack Obama’s Inauguration
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
As I was listening to Dr. Lowery’s benediction, I couldn’t help tweeting about how smitten I was with his understated delivery. Rather than placing a surging emphasis on each word, he expressed a quiet dignity with a wry smile and a confident pause. There’s something to be learned by his choice of opening words from the historic anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” his use of humor and, perhaps more importantly, his subtle call-and-response that cleaved people to one another as fellow humans rather than distant observers.
scoured the scoured the Web looking for a transcript and finally found one by the Federal News Service to complement the video of his speech:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.
We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.
For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.
We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.
And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.
And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.
Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.
We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.
Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.
Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.
REV. LOWERY: Say amen —
REV. LOWERY: — and amen.
AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)
What did you think? What did you think of Rev. Warren’s words? Let’s discuss.