Last Week, Today: Keeping Faith Without Hurting LGBT Students

Essential Reads on Faith, Politics & Culture

Update: Ryan Nobles interviews Michael on faith & politics, as well as Michael's upcoming book, for his podcast, "RunningMate," on CNN.

Keeping Faith Without Hurting LGBT Students

Alan Nobles writes in The Atlantic about how conservative religious colleges and universities should be allowed to continue receiving federal funds, as it allows poorer students to attend these schools. But he also points out that there are concrete steps that many Christian schools can take to improve their environment for LGBT students.

The Watchmen: What became of the Christian intellectuals?

During the World Wars, Christian intellectuals such as Reinhold Niebuhr and CS Lewis were dominant figures in the public arena. After the '60s, however, the "Christian intellectual" disappeared. Alan Jacobs investigates why this happened and why current figures like Cornel West and Marilynne Robinson ultimately fall short in Harpers Magazine.

In hourlong sermon, Tim Kaine appeals to black voters with his faith story and a plea to vote

Tim Kaine delivered a "sermon-like" speech to Progressive National Baptist Convention, a 2.5-million-member, liberal black denomination on the story of Job, his life-changing experience as a missionary in Honduras, and the ways Latino and African-American Christians have shaped his faith.

Here’s how racial bias plays out in policing according to the Justice Department's reports

The Justice Department has conducted nearly two dozen investigations into police departments across the country, uncovering "patterns of racial bias, use of excessive force, tactical blunders and poor oversight."

An excerpt: "Black drivers were more than twice as likely to be searched after being stopped as white drivers were," but "officers found contraband in the possession of African-Americans 26 percent less frequently than they did in the possession of white drivers."

David Brooks on Trump (Charlie Rose)

Charlie Rose interviews David Brooks on Trump's psychology and what his immense appeal to many voters means.

Also worth reading in tandem is Rod Dreher's interview with J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a book whose excerpt we included in last week's newsletter.

Olympics & Faith

▪ Michael Phelps read Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life during his time rehab and partly credits it for helping him find a different purpose - other than winning more medals than any other Olympian - for living.
▪ Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to win gold at a swimming event, gives "God all the glory" for her performances. Her gold medal is all the more significant given that 70% of African-American children don't really know how to swim, a statistic that is rooted in the history of segregated public pools.
▪ Katie Ledecky, an American swimmer who has shattered world records in distance-swimming, grew up in Catholic schools and remains, it seems, very tied to her faith. Simone Biles, a gold-medalist who has been hailed as the world's best gymnast, keeps a rosary in her duffel bag and prays before events.

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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,IndieBoundBooks-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble.