In their conversation, Reverend Madison Shockley tells Robert Scheer about his family's path from Tennessee to Los Angeles and how his father's clear character inspired him to take an unconventional path toward religion. Shockley, who is African-American discusses his experience at the helm of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, California, a predominantly white church with progressive values. He also talks about how his research on what in the scripture did and did not come directly from Jesus informed his ideas on what it means to be a Christian. Lastly, he calls for a more widespread discussion on the issue of white privilege and its effects to move the country forward on race relations.
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