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Think Out Loud

Staff Pick: Keeping the Faith

Pete Springer/OPB

It is Christmas Eve — a day when many people (Christian or not) give some thought to their beliefs as they face their families and friends for the holiday season. Think Out Loud producer Kate McMahon thought it would be a perfect time to take another listen to our show on how people keep true to their beliefs when faced with doubt.

The original show aired in October. It was recorded in front of a live audience here at OPB. And it was actually Kate’s first day with Think Out Loud! The room was filled with people from many backgrounds — Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Humanism, and more. They talked openly about how they are affected when their beliefs are shaken.

You could hear a pin drop in the room when a rabbi in the audience shared his experience of questioning God’s presence. His infant daughter had been diagnosed with cancer. He said:

One incredible person we met was the surgeon who operated on my daughter. I mean this is a baby. And he had big hands. This was not someone you thought would be manipulating these tiny things. He was a Catholic. Remarkable man. He said he went to his church everyday to have his hands blessed.

The Catholic surgeon helped this rabbi find, as he put it, something holy in the midst of hospital rooms and medical technologies. I think the rabbi reminded many people in the audience of their own searches.

This was part of a three-part series on faith. You might also be interested in our other shows on religious literacy and how religion and politics intersect.

How are you feeling about your faith this holiday season?

What do you believe, and why? And if your beliefs have ever been shaken, what’s helped you to hold on, to not give up?


  • Gregory Gibbs: Minister for Oregon Buddhist Temple, a temple that  follows Jodo Shinshu Buddhism
  • John Clague: Media and legislative liaison for the Christian Science church in Oregon and the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Oregon
  • Mary Lou Stewart: Parishioner at St. Andrews Catholic Church in NE Portland and an organizer of the One Spirit, One Call event
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