Editor’s note: Joshua DuBois served as director of President Obama’s Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships from 2008 until he stepped down last week.
By Joshua DuBois, Special to CNN
I first heard the name Barack Obama in the summer of 2004 over a half-pound burger and fries on Capitol Hill. I was putting in long hours as a legislative intern for a wily member of Congress between two years of graduate school at Princeton, where I was studying public policy. The pay was meager – enough for gas for my beat-up Chevy Blazer and a tiny Craigslist apartment with two guys and a cat. But it was good to be in Washington and have a few months to wrestle with what in the world I was going to do with the rest of my life.
But by the time my internship was ending in late July, I wasn’t any closer to figuring things out. I knew I loved Christ – I was an associate pastor at a small Pentecostal church back home – and wanted my career to be tied to my faith. I also knew I wanted to help people who were struggling; my grandmother was active in the civil rights movement, and my parents made sure that working for justice and mercy was in my bones. And finally, I knew that I had some serious student loans to pay back. The hard part was figuring out how to balance all three.
Late one day, July 27 to be exact, I walked a couple of blocks to my favorite neighborhood dive, a local spot named the Hawk 'n' Dove. There was always a happy hour special going on at the Hawk, and they showed more Red Sox games than Yankees – which, since I'm a Sox fan, was a good thing in my book.
I settled in to enjoy my burger when the place got quiet on me – and the Hawk 'n' Dove was never quiet. A man was on television, an Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. And this guy was giving quite a speech.
I put my food down and listened. The state senator touched on many themes I loved – themes of justice, of fighting for the vulnerable and sick, of deep love for my country. And then he said, almost out of nowhere: “The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states: red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states. … We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."
"We worship an awesome God."
That line hit me in the gut. This young state senator had reminded me of the songs I had sung at Bible camps growing up, arms upraised: “Our God Is An Awesome God.” He reminded me of long nights, struggles with homelessness and poverty and desperation that I had experienced over the years, and the power of pure worship to shout down life’s loudest dins. He reminded me that the grace I had felt since I became a Christian – felt so fully and so purely – was not relegated to one party or another, to a red state or a blue state, but instead was available to all who sought it. “We worship an awesome God in the blue states.”
I had to work for this guy.
And so, with no inside connections, I set about doing just that. Fortunately for me, Obama and the people around him – folks like Pete Rouse, Valerie Jarrett, Denis McDonough, Melody Barnes, Michael Strautmanis, and Chris Lu – valued results more than reputation, and saw the need to engage people of faith in the public square. So they took a shot on me. I am grateful they did, because it has been an amazing ride ever since.
As U.S. Sen. Obama’s adviser on faith issues on Capitol Hill, as candidate Obama’s religious affairs director on his 2008 campaign, and as President Obama’s director of the White House faith-based initiative, I have had the honor of seeing firsthand the life and heart of a president who cares deeply about his country, his family and his God, in times of prayer, conversation and diligent work. I’ve also been able to manage the White House faith-based office, leading a phenomenal team that expanded partnerships with faith-based and nonprofit groups around the country.
Over the last four years, we’ve dealt with our fair share of challenging issues, and played a role in some of the country’s most contentious debates. But more than anything, we’ve been able to marshal and amplify the extraordinary kindness of millions of Americans: religious and secular groups who are putting it on the line every day, expanding opportunity and dignity to those who need help most.
After this amazing journey, I am leaving the White House to serve in a few new ways.
First, with my friends at HarperOne, I am writing a book of daily devotionals based on the meditations I send Obama each morning. I’m honored that the president has said these reflections have been helpful to him, and excited to share a selection of these thoughts with all kinds of leaders around the country.
Second, with Michael Wear, the 2012 Obama campaign religious affairs director, and a few other dear friends, we will soon launch a new social enterprise, Values Partnerships. Values Partnerships will help public, private and nonprofit organizations bring to scale powerful, measurable partnerships with the faith community that solve big challenges, from improving public health to expanding financial literacy to reducing recidivism. We’ll also help leaders in the church and faith-based nonprofits navigate the public square around them, based on our experiences over the years.
Finally, I’m looking forward to teaching, speaking and writing about life at the intersection of religion and politics, particularly focusing on how believers can live their faith powerfully in the world. Through trial and error, I have a few lessons to share on that point, and many still to learn.
Words can’t express the gratitude I feel for a president and first lady who love so deeply and express that love through service, and for a team of current and former officials who have embraced the importance of people of faith in American life.
And as a committed African-American Pentecostal, I never thought I could become such dear friends with so many in the faith community – Christians and Muslims, Hindus and Jews, conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats – who care first about God, and second about their neighbors, and seek to live this care out into the world. I would hope to honor those friendships, continue to serve this good president, and let my life and work be a song of worship in the exciting days ahead.
have you seen an invisible man in the sky ...
God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.. :) :)
A quiz for you, to be answered YES or NO only. After all, you are either here or not here. You either have a house or are homeless. The world is black or white.
Q 1 -> Is the fetus alive?
Q2 -> Is the fetus composed of human cells?
Q3 -> Does the fetus have its own heart (however badly formed it be) and have unique DNA not found in any other human?
Q4 -> Unless the mom's life is in danger or is a case of r@pe / inc3st where there is severe psychological trauma, is the fetus harming the mom or any one else?
If the answer is YES to all four above then the fetus is a living unique human being with a beating heart, that is not harming any one.
I have then proved that ab0rt1on = murder
Ignore the cut-and-paste herbie. He's spamming this sh!t everywhere.
He's so stupid he hasn't managed to figure out that "abortion" isn't illegal, isn't murder, and isn't one of the words that's kicked out by the filter on this blog. He's an idiot.
No you haven't .. you've only proven your obsession with the fetus.. and the politics involved in it...
My post immediately above yours is the answer to your post.. :) :)
Your 'test' is every bit as disingenuous as Live4Him's. Fucking don't HAVE one, then.
dot, that would be like "if you are against beating up of kids, then dont beat up your kid. Let your neighbor, or anyone else beat up their kids to within an inch of their lives"
coliseum, your above post isnt the answer to my post. the only acceptable answer is a set of four YES/NO
any other answer is a cop out
No, you have not proved that abortion is murder. Murder is defined by society as a wrongful killing. Our society does not define the elimination of a parasitic clump of cells as "murder." Svcks to be you, I guess.
SOC announced months ago that he didn't believe a word he'd posted. He then flounced off, waving his hankie at everyone who'd responded to his drivel, and just recently resurfaced, apparently thinking no one would remember his abrupt departure and confession.
SoldierOfConscience is kind of typical and I actually agree, a fetus is a human being at some stage of development. We endow it with any rights it has. This is true of any human being. And we choose to endow it with rights that are proportional to its stage of development. Properly, when it is entirely and necessarily dependent on its mother, we should derive what rights it has from the rights of the mother. It's right to life should be according to what the mother wants. Abortion is not murder if we don't endow the fetus with an independent right to life.
I'm no fan of SOC, but you must know that the confession and flouncing was most likely done by an impostor.
I agree, TTTOO. SOC is atypical in that he spouts off nonsense about white picket fences and women staying home to care for children. He's just an agitator who like getting attention.
If it had been an impostor, SOC would have responded and said so. He didn't, and was absent thereafter until recently.
Well, knowing ol' "Solder", if he truly did post that - I can easily imagine that he might have made a giant typo or a mangled sentence that he never caught!
SOC: None of your questions matter in the grand scheme of it, a woman can't be charged with a criminal offense for aborting. No matter what your belief may say, it counts for nothing in the governing of the land and it is trumped by science.
@TTtOO & TTtPS –
I propose non-believers should wage a shotless revolution on the blog by only engaging other non-believers. Imagine the interesting, thought provoking, fruitful discussions waiting to take place. Also imagine the rocking, twitching, red-faced, foot-stamping, look-at-me, fits this would evoke from Chad and his ilk...priceless.
You can believe what you wish. If you think his maundering about white picket fences, the "purer 1950s," stay-at-home moms, and no contraceptive measure ever (although he scr@wed up on that one in the Hobby Lobby thread–another telling error), are sincere and believable, I have some lovely swamp land for sale in Arizona.
Interesting idea. The problem is that many of them consider silence as consent or agreement. @True Dichotomy even trumpeted on another article that his/her "work was done" when nobody made a reply.
Yeah, Really-O? And use honest tactics and resources. They would be confused by that.
@OTOH – re: "silence as consent or agreement"
I'm sure that is the case for some believers, but many (Chad, for example) are clearly narcissists who would be driven loopy by being ignored. As for the believers who see silence as consent or agreement...who cares? Their nutty ideas will die out on their own given time.
Anyone else see the problem with his #4 question and his want of a YES answer to it?
What I see is a fraud and a hypocrite. His #4 gives him away. If abortion were murder, as this lunkhead thinks it is, then why would a true believer make any exception for ra-pe or incest?
It just goes right back to the multiple choice thing...whatever suits the delusion-of-the-minute.
Tom. I agree I am conflicted on contraception. Who isnt conflicted on something? only God is 100% consistent all the time.
Def. it is immoral.
1. Do you support realistic reproductive education for children, and available, affordable contraceptives?
2. Do you support available, affordable health care for mothers and their children?
3. Do you support federal aid for families who cannot afford food or shelter without that help?
If you answered no to any of those questions, then you are among those who are responsible for the number of abortions in this country.
You're not "conflicted," you phony. You simply forgot what other nonsense you'd posted while trolling previously.
1. Do you support realistic reproductive education for children, and available, affordable contraceptives?
"realistic reproductive education" should be up to the parents. If I want s3x to be taboo for my kids and dont want them to even think about it then the school district must not talk about it to them. enabling them to have better s3x is taboo...
loaded question. please clarify. Its up to them to get the health care and pay for it. I am not paying for anybody else's food, shelter or health care. This is not a socialist country.
See above answer
How in the world do you keep your kids from thinking about s-ex? Or hearing about s-ex? You don't let them out much, do you? And by much I mean at all.
I make exception for ra-pe or in-cest because I am a compassionate human being and understand that the mom is not just a babby incubator.
TTPS, thx, never heard the word "maundering" before!
A "babby"? What a fvcking idiot you are.
And are you kidding? "Compassionate"? No, you stupid sh!t, you are NOT compassionate. You're an azzhole, front and center, SOC puppet, which is exactly what you intend to be. Poe, through and through.
You're simply portraying the hypocritical views of most dimwits who are opposed to abortion, except in cases of ra pe or incest, not because they're compassionate, but because they want to punish women who have s3x consensually by forcing them to give birth. You aren't nearly as concerned about the fetus as you are about making women pay for their "sins." Fvck you and anyone like you.
I swear, I see 'pasta-in-chief' every time I look at the headline...
"and as President Obama’s director of the White House faith-based initiative, I did absolutely nothing useful or meaningful, just sat around and begged an invisible man in the sky to solve my problems for me"
...and was handsomely paid by the American taxpayer! Money well spent, eh?! *eye roll*
*************** GODisIMAGINARY dot com ***************
.................. and thank goodness because ...................
............... he emanates from the EVILbible dot com *****
......................................................................................(please visit these sites)
***** GODisIMAGINARY dot com ... and thank goodness because ... he emanates from the EVILbible dot com ***** (please visit)
Prayer changes things.
Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!`
Yes we all saw how effective it was for Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Michael Bachman (eye roll)
Could you tell us the actual prayer of any of those mentioned and the resulting answer. Please be accurate.
Actually, religion is bad for children. Anything that instills fear in a child is wrong. Most religions do that very thing. Thankfully, God gave man reason. Man gave man religion.
hilarious what liberals will believe
khrodey, that sentence had more syllables than we're used to seeing from you. Did you read a book while you were gone?
you're so clever?
krode: and how many conservatives believe a supernatural being knocked up a 13 year old virgin to give birth to himself, so he could sacrifice himself to appease himself over laws he himself made?
His blood runs black. The undead, evil incarnate, the original zombie. Jesus. The deceiver of man will have your darkening soul as you spill your own blood willingly before him. Monsters are never satisfied.
S U C K IT, MOHAMMAD
Only for the new members of this blog:
In order to pay down our $16 trillion debt, we need to redirect money used to support/control religions especially the christian and islamic cons and put it towards paying off our financial obligations.
Redirecting our funds and saving a lot of "souls" in the process:
Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.
– One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.
– Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.
– Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.
– 0.5 to 1 billion dollars/yr to Sudan will cease.
Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons and Joshua DuBois:
There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!
– The Mormon ti-the empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.
– the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama will be eliminated saving $385 million/yr and another $2 billion/yr in grants.
– Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
Abraham and Moses never existed.
– Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.
– All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.
Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!
***** YES! ... GODisIMAGINARY dot com and than goodness because he emanates from the EVILbible dot com (please visit)
Impressive guy, he was 26 years old when he started in 2008.. Twenty six....
Guess we'll be hearing more from him!!
He's a pentacostal, so when you hear more from him, it will sound like this:
Yeah, America needs more of this magic
omg what was the cafeteria serving that day??
@Johnny Guitar, Setting aside how disturbing that video is, but am I the only one who finds this video sad? Really broke my heart to see these people doing this. I hope it makes them happy.
Christians, there are many foul smelling evil beasts trolling our little piece of the universe. Your Jesus is but one of these ghouls. Pledge your allegiance to him and close your eyes to truth at your peril. It will not end well for you.
Well good luck with that doom thing! La-la-LA-la-la-la-la!
I dont believe a word of what I type here. Luuuuv to troll.
So you can't grow a set? Good to know.
I really fuc king hate all of you. Dimwits. Take you for a ride. wheeeeeee
Faux TTTPS, you can't come close to imitating her style; I'm sure you're fucking hated by all who know you.
How odd that Tom, Tom calls out someone, and then immediately after, her handle gets stolen. Riiiiiight.
I'm sure that would hurt trolly a lot more if anyone knew him. Fortunately, he/Mary is shunned by everyone already and it can't get much worse for him.
Obama needs a pastor in chief who will tell him to allow people to follow their faith on contraception. Also one who will tell him to defend and strengthen DOMA. re-instate DADT and try to convert it to ATF (ask, tell and fire)
Why do you continue to pretend you are anything but a troll?
Another Christian closet case obsessed with gay sex.
Tom, why do you continue to pretend that you are anything but an ass?
What's the matter, SOC puppet? Don't like it when you're called out? You posted months ago that you didn't mean a word of the drivel you posted, thanked those who'd debated with you, and left. You show up here again and think anyone takes your idiocy seriously? How fvcking retarded are you?
SOC puppet – okay that got a laugh out of me!
Then my work here is done, Z.
I dont know who is the obsessed. I mentioned liberalizing contraception too.
Tom that was not me. it was some idiot posting as me
Bullsh!t. If it wasn't you, you'd have called that impostor out then and there. You didn't. You were the one who posted and then left. Your nonsensical sh!te about "picket fences" and the rest of the dreck you have posted is pure balderdash.
Stop lying about it.
I took a break from posting on the internet for some time. by the time I came back someone had posted sh!te as me. bad timing.
Oh, please. Don't pi ss on my leg and tell me it's raining. You're a fraud, SOC. The stupidity of your posts precludes any possibility that you aren anything but a troll. Pretending you are against any contraception for anyone when you know that 99% of all women use some form of contraception. Insisting that children must be with mommy at home, never in a day-care or pre-school program.
Just phony baloney. You're not fooling anyone, troll.
** TRUTHS: GODisIMAGINARY dot com and than goodness because he emanates from the EVILbible dot com (please visit)
S(ame) O(ld) C(ocksucker) is blathering again...,
Jeebus is waiting, SOC. If you had a sidearm, you could be doing the Lewinsky thing on the savior tonight. Don't hesitate
Sam stone, that was rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. I like the way you think.
Agreed. sam stone rocks. ;)
Hello and welcome to the HeavenSent blog. This is YOUR opportunity to voice your HeavenSent opinions!
Please frame your posts to best preach to Atheists about the dangers of a Godless life-style.
Here are some suggested key words to get you started:
Personal worm that feeds off them, is never quenched, for eternity
Believing the lies of satan that they will be collectively mini-gods
Do as the atheists do in this country to ensure the USA goes belly up
Too blind to see His truth whether I write it in street language or scripture form
Jesus told us to send r-apists and murderers back to Him
Atheists lie when they talk about freedom of speech
He ran off all the Christians from the other site he oversaw
That will be the end of you
God doesn't have favorites
You're a putz, cough fool
Liar against His truth
Abide in Jesus' truth
Stay on the wrong side of the gulf until you are blotted out for eternity
Minions of satan
Prayer changes things
Man-made lies of the talmud
Jesus’ letter, the Bible
Jesus Christ's truth are resurrected to eternity
I am flying with Evil
I know from Moe Curly of the 3 stooges that nothing works
Those that believe in Him go with Him to eternity
Lies lies lies
Horrors, earth quakes, floods, disasters are God's wrath against all of us
You fools doing evil
Throw away that users manual
Prayer really works
No eyes to see or hear His truth
Blotted out for eternity
Burn burn burn for all eternity
Writing your filth
The liar satan
Snakes in your Belly
Athiests at CNN
They are blocking my posts again
Logic?? I don't require a single shred to define my beliefs
You must like worms
Pay no attention to the small minded fools that got their brain fried
Read back through the previous articles for over a year dummy
I know you atheists to be fools
Notice who is most quoted in the Golden rule. Jesus Christ's wisdom
You believing something doesn't make it true
I'm not holding my breath
You own those labels
Humble yourself and ask Jesus for forgiveness
Jesus told us he would give you reprobate minds
After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears
Satan's lies causes confusion
Atheists write this garbage
Satan is death
You are fooling yourself if you don't tell gays they suffer for eternity
Tortured for eternity
Blame it on the Christians for having the guts to tell idiots God's truth
Your father Satan
End of days taught in Jesus' truth is nothing new to Christians
Another rock. Nothing new under the sun
You insist on your lies having wings to fly
You are still a pigeon
The entire MO behind the atheist is to throw out as many lies and see what sticks
Debating is the atheists game
Satan impregnated Eve with Cain
I know you atheists to be fools
Christians are on these articles to ensure Jesus Christ's truth is posted
Start your walk with Jesus
Blinded by satan's lies
Test from God. Do you have what it takes to pass?
Serpent is just one of the multiple names of Lucifer aka satan
The big bang and evolution are lies against Jesus’ truth to cause doubt, creating confusion
Satan's lies are built on quick sand foundation
What part of Jesus' truth is clarity and satan's lies are confusion do you not comprehend?
There are no flaws in His word
Jesus' truth stands for eternity
Get over your obsession with me
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my
Rocks, everywhere on this site, rocks
Seeds of Jesus falling on rock.
Stepping over His seeds that get blown by the wind to find their way to fertile grounds
Typical of swines trampling
It's obsessive compulsion to grab at any straw to give a reason not to learn or understand
Go back to posting under my handle and answering yourself
Get a life and try to grow
Singular swine using multiple handles.
You still continue to refuse to learn your heritage
I've posted the answer numerous times
I'm glad the line from the movie Secretariat sticks in your mind
Statistics prove that the more devout someone is, the higher IQ they have
Read the Bible. It is 100 percent accurate in every facet
It makes me smile to know that people will be tortured in hell for eternity
He steals their handles to write his evil
You atheists steal my handle to post your evil will
Reap the sword of the Lord Jesus when He returns
Stealing our handles
Why are you lying?
Get an education to His truth
What's your point small god savior?
I expect foolish thinking from an atheist
Jesus’ wisdom is roaring it's ugly head throughout the world
Another Pharisees jealous that Jesus is God and not them
The atheist that hijacks my handle to spew their lies
Remember….Muslims, Jews and Atheists need not apply!
Prez. B. Hussein REALLY needs an imam in chief if he is to be true to himself. But again, how does truth matter? One can be born anywhere and claim to be born in Hawaii....
You annual budget for foil would feed a family of four for a month.
I agree. We all know you were born on Dagobah. That birth certificate of yours proves nothing.
PeaTatriot, I am glad you're so loyal to Lipton.
Welcome HeavenSent Thrill Seekers! Wow, what a great job you are doing. Thank YOU for making this HeavenSent event a huge success! Our HeavenSent engineers are working around the clock to make your HeavenSent experience the best ever.
Carnal!?!?! I love it when the carnal comes to town!
Russ is dumb. His god wouldn't even be worthy to wipe Zeus' ass.
Yea all christians shall despair the fate laid out clearly unto them yet ignored or misunderstood. Each layer of ash, strata of infinite doomed lifetimes. You place your faith in the evil one. Jesus the great deceiver. Heed this warning and turn away from the lies and darkness of "god" who would have you sprinkled on his second helping of screams.
Mohammad is burning in hell right now for not following Jesus' truth. My camel-toe is so large one of my cats gave birth to a litter of 7 kittens in there. It is time for you to walk hand in hand with your best friend, Jesus Christ and save your soul. Read the bible and be saved from hell.
Nice effort fake, fake HeavenSent. Practice your subtlety a bit.
Carnal?!?! I love it when the carnal comes to town!
I heard carnals smell like cabbage.
nice fancy cover, I can tell foul smelling Mohammad from miles away. SUCK IT, MOHAMMAD
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.