Every morning, Joshua DuBois sends the President an email. Subject line: “Devotional.” They’re words of inspiration, from Bible quotes to song lyrics.
The President’s Spiritual Emails
When he was just a staffer for then-senator Obama, Joshua DuBois began sending him a short prayer, Bible verse or quotation, designed to help him start his day. Later, Obama would appoint DuBois to Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. It’s an office that’s come under fire from critics who say it crosses the line between church and state. This week, we talk to DuBois about both his roles.
Joshua DuBois, author of The President’s Devotional: The Daily Readings That Inspired President Obama
The Place of Religion After Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan has killed thousands of Filipinos and displaced hundreds of thousands more. Aid is pouring in – but how are individual Filipinos coping, on a spiritual level? One way to find out is to look at the religious atmosphere of this majority Catholic country. Many of the most common practices have roots in Spanish colonization of the Philippines in the 16th Century.
Deirdre de la Cruz, Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Michigan
‘Hillbilly Heaven’: Hell on Earth
The 15 children of the Pilgrim family grew up with only two books in the house, and one of them was the Bible. It was in the Bible that Papa Pilgrim, their cruel but charming father, found all the guidance he needed about how to run their lives. For him, it justified moving them all to the middle of Alaska to create a ‘Hillbilly Heaven,’ exacting frequent beatings (he called them “corrections”), and raping his eldest daughter for more than a decade.
Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier