Indiana governor Mike Pence signed into law the 'Religious Freedom Bill' that allows businesses to discriminate against the LGBT community on religious grounds. Within minutes, a boycott on Indiana began
Here is a list of Indiana based companies: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Companies_based_in_Indiana
Things are heating up. Religion in the U.S. is losing its influence and people are leaving religion in droves. The remaining extremists are becoming more isolated and marginalized, and more extreme with their rhetoric. The extremists are preparing for violence.
The American Family Association (AFA) published a map of "Anti-Christian Bigots."
A tool for mentally unbalanced extremists to find their target. Of course they would deny it's purpose, but what other motive is there?
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists the AFA as a hate group
. The SPLC has a detailed archive of extremists as well.
We can't ignore them and assume that religions will fight among themselves, like the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland
. or the Shiah and Sunni conflict
, or the ongoing "Armageddon
" in the Middle East. Now they are all targeting the non-religious. Their frustration will grow and they will become violent as their ideological influence fades into oblivion.
The first of their "soft targets" has been abortion clinics. Threats and intimidation has dramatically increased since 2010
. The LGBT community is slightly more difficult for them to find but when they do, the odds of confrontations getting violent has skyrocketed as more states legalize gay marriage
It's getting exceedingly difficult to remain tolerant. We face the possibility of regressing into a long, dark period in our history. I hope we can win with only reason and time.
What is the true nature and intent of religious writings? In one context it's a compilation of historical tales of supernatural triumphs in favor of one culture over others. Tales which instill in young children the fear of punishment they need to survive until they are at least twelve or thirteen years old, when they begin to develop formal operational thinking skills.
Coincidentally this is roughly the same age that Jewish children celebrate their Bar Mitzvahs or Bat Mitzvahs
. Through a lot of research, Jean Piaget arrived at roughly the same period in life when formal operational skills were well into development and children should be capable of enough empathy and reason to take responsibility for their actions, providing, of course, that they were taught proper critical thinking skills. This is one example where science appears to validate a tradition, depending on whether or not you think Piaget was pure in his research or just anecdotal.
There are many examples in the Bible of parables that reflect what the people of the period understood about human behavior.
In the "Parable of the Wicked Tenants" (Mark 12:1-12) A landlord sets up a winery and rents it to some tenants who later refuse to pay rent. They maimed or killed any collectors who came their way, and finally the son of the landlord came to collect and they believed that if they killed him, they would win squatters rights on the property. I can only infer from this that it was accepted at the time, which makes sense under traditional tribal warlord conditions.
In Mark 12:10 Jesus recounts an existing scripture about a stone rejected by the builders, which becomes a "cornerstone" or in the case of this parable, an integral part of the structure, but this is only mentioned after it is assumed by Jesus that the landlord will arrive on the scene himself and evict the tenants with extreme prejudice.
I found this confusing at first. It might refer to the tenacity of the landlord to hold onto his property despite what has become commonplace at that time, of acquiescing to the brute force of the existing power structure. This tiny paragraph of scripture eludes to the construct of the bureaucracy of it's time, and one man's fight against the bureaucracy. The priests at that time were of course, political appointees.