IN MEMORIAM: “Dave Zirin on the Whitewashing of Muhammad Ali: He Wasn’t Against Just War, But Empire” / Amy Goodman ☮

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine, joins us from Muhammad Ali’s hometown, Louisville, Kentucky, where he will attend Ali’s funeral. Zirin recounts Ali’s activism against racism in the city and says, “[T]his funeral is, in so many respects, Muhammad Ali’s last act of resistance, because what he is doing is pushing the country to come together to honor the most famous Muslim in the world at a time when a presidential candidate is running on a program of abject bigotry against the Muslim people, and the other presidential candidate is somebody who has proudly stood with the wars in the Middle East.” Zirin’s recent article in The Nation is called “‘I Just Wanted to Be Free’: The Radical Reverberations of Muhammad Ali.” He’s the author of the Ali-themed book, “What’s My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States.”

CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION COMPLEX: “Righteous Defiance in Mississippi” / VICE News ☮

A Mississippi law that protects individuals, businesses, and even government employees who refuse to provide services for gay weddings will go into effect July 1.

The controversial legislation is one example of a spate of so-called “Religious Freedom” laws that carve out legal protections for people who object to gay marriage on religious grounds. The Mississippi law covers a range of professions who don’t want to provide their services to members of the LGBT community, from therapists, to adoption services, and wedding DJs.

Critics of the law say it discriminates against an LGBT minority in an overwhelmingly Christian state. But supporters argue the law is necessary to protect Christians from a rising tide of anti-Christian discrimination and a growing cultural hostility across the United States to personal religious beliefs.