Last Week, Today: Confederate Flag, Senator Shot at AME, Dolezal & Caitlyn Jenner

1. "This Father's Day, let's find common ground for strengthening American families" (Washington Post)

From Melissa Boteach and Neera Tanden:

"...what can conservatives and progressives agree on? Start by boosting take-home pay for workers with fewer years of formal education — a growing number of prominent conservatives are joining progressives in supporting expansion of the earned income tax credit for workers without dependent children. There’s support across the ideological spectrum for addressing marriage penalties in our tax and benefit programs."

2. "Take Down the Confederate Flag" (The Atlantic)

While there have been many laudable calls, including from conservatives such as Mitt Romney and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, Ta-nehisi Coates makes a remarkable historical parallel between Dylan Roof and John Wilkes Booth that is especially worth reading.

3. Address by Clementa Pinckney in 2013 (YouTube)

Pinckney was a South Carolina state senator and Methodist pastor at the Emanuel African Episcopal , and the youngest African African ever elected to South Carolina’s legislature at age 23.

"Many people would say, 'Why would you as a pastor be involved in the public life?' I've already said it but I'll said it again. Our calling is not just within the walls of a congregation. We are part of the life and community in which our congregation resides… we don't like to see our church as a museum but as still a place where of change and where we can hopefully change and work on the hearts, minds and spirits of all people."

4. Black Like Her (The New Yorker)

Jelani Cobb points out what much of the public misses its criticism of Rachel Dolezal. 

Rachel Dolezal is not black—by lineage or lifelong experience—yet I find her deceptions less troubling than the vexed criteria being used to exclude her. If blackness is simply a matter of a preponderance of African ancestry, then we should set about the task of excising a great deal of the canon of black history, up to and including the current President. If it is simply a matter of shared experience, we might excommunicate people like Walter White, whose blue eyes were camouflage that could serve both to spare him the direct indignity of racism and enable him to personally investigate and expose lynchings. Dolezal was dishonest about an undertaking rooted in dishonesty, and no matter how absurd her fictional blackness may appear, it is worth recalling that the former lie is far more dangerous than the latter.

5. What's Missing from the Evangelical Response to Caitlyn Jenner (OnFaith)

I argue that is not as simple as telling transgender people to follow their natural design.

 "...phenomenologically or scientifically, the experience of being trans is not really mind vs. body, but body vs. body. We can’t neatly separate things into “mind” or “body” and view trans people as people who are trying to will their bodies into re-definition."

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Sarah Ngu (@sarahngu) is a freelance writer and an alumni of Trinity Forum Academy and Columbia University. Based in New York, she blogs on faith and culture, and produces thought leadership for businesses.