Last Week, Today: Orlando

Last Week's Roundup on Faith, Culture & Politics

1. Orlando

We mourn with the families of the slain in Orlando, their city, LGBT Americans and our entire nation in the wake of the horrific shooting in Orlando this weekend. The President delivered remarks on Sunday afternoon. Religious leaders, includingMuslim leaders, spoke out to condemn the violence, express their solidarity and urge action. Americans gathered in vigil Sunday night across the country. 

2. Islamic Exceptionalism

Shadi Hamid's newly published book on "Islamic Exceptionalism" challenges both how the left and the right approach Islam. Emma Green interviews Hamid on why Islam will not follow the linear trajectory of secularization that the Christian West has followed. (For a short version of his argument, read his Time article.)

3. Evangelicals like me can’t vote for Trump — or Clinton. Here’s what we can do instead

Alan Noble explains why he can't vote for Trump or Clinton, and lays out what he thinks the future of conservatism should look like.

4. Open letter to my prenatal specialist

A mother writes a Facebook letter - which has now been shared on Facebook hundreds of times - to her prenatal specialist who suggested that she abort her child with Down's syndrome.

5. Melissa Harris-Perry: I've Failed, Over and Over Again

Melissa Harris-Perry is a professor, television host and political commentator, with a focus on African-American politics. Her four-year-long television show was canceled by MSNBC to the outrage of the show's loyal following. She is now an editor-at-large at Elle; here is her recent reflection on failure and shame: 

"Turns out my journals are mostly full of my perceived failures. They are remarkably consistent. I am perpetually trying to lose 15 pounds, pay off debt, and get over some boy. I have been writing for three decades. I have varied from a size 4 to a 14. I have earned between four figures and seven in a single year. I have been single, engaged, married, divorced, and remarried. I have earned a PhD, written two books, hosted a national television show, had two beautiful daughters, lived in some of the nation's greatest cities, interviewed world leaders, and realized dreams I didn't even dare to dream at 11. All the while I am trying to lose 15 pounds, pay off debt, and deal with heartache. 

How wonderfully human I am. Not a failure at all. Just a girl who fails even as she slays."

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Michael’s book, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America is available for pre-order now on Amazon.