You are here

Religion & Spirituality

Religion & Spirituality Logo

Bill Watterson | Being Religious /

Indiana, Religious Liberty, and Religious War


What Republican state legislatures are doing now would establish one religion as supreme over all of the others, with the power of the State to determine which is which.  Above and beyond discrimination against one or more targeted groups of individuals, this is a recipe for a Second Civil War, not only about race, but now about religion. 

Steven Jonas, Planetary Movement

I%20Want%20You.jpgIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

separation-of-church-and-hate-1.jpgApril 2, 2015 | So the Indiana Legislature passed and the Governor signed a law that, claims to the contrary notwithstanding, as Frank Rich and many others have noted, surely seemed intended to permit persons operating public accommodations and publicly licensed and/or per-mitted businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ persons, based on their sexual orientation.  Certainly the list of organizations which sponsored the legislation in Indiana (and have done so in many other states) have not been shy about saying that that’s what it is all about.  Those organizations include the American Family (sic) Association (state and national), “Advance America,”  the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Heritage Institute, and the Family (sic) Research Council.  

Of course, one wonders just how Indiana businesses which want to discriminate against LGBTQ persons would pick out the discriminatees.  Since most LGBTQ persons look just like everyone else, would there be a law in Indiana requiring the known among them to line up to receive, let us say, a Pink Triangle?  Now it is true that that was the insignia the Nazis used to identify homosexuals, starting just after they took power in 1933, two years before they came up with the Yellow Star of David to identify the Jews.  So there might a problem in that.  Perhaps someone in one of the organizations listed above could give it some thought and come up with a better one.

Steven Jonas is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 30 books on health policy, health and wellness, and sports and regular exercise. In addition to being a Trusted Author for OpEdNews, Dr. Jonas is a columnist for, Managing Editor and a Contributing Author for the Political Junkies for Progressive Democracy; a Senior Editor, Politics, for The Greanville Post; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; a Contributor to Dandelion Salad, and a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter.

Full story … 

From the Archives | Easter Messages, 2014


  • Jesus was killed because he was a speaker of God’s truth. He was an unrelenting advocate of justice. The resurrection stories make a profound declaration: Truth can never be killed and the truth-teller can never be defeated. 
  • Part 1:Telling the Truth about Easter
  • Part 2: Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

twitter-4-512.pnNow you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.

Part 1:Telling the Truth about Easter

Jesus, a radical preacher who advocated for the poor, was crucified for turning over money tables at the Temple and other insurrectionary acts. His body was likely left to wild animals, but his chroniclers sought to glorify his ending with myths about a resurrection.

Howard Bess, Consortium News

Depiction of Jesus’s Crucifixion by 16th Century artist Mathis Gothart-Nithart.jesus-crucifixion-Mathis-Gothart-Nithart-222x300.jpg

April 19, 2014 | On Easter morning, at 6:30 a.m. when sunlight is just beginning to glow over the mountains to the east of Palmer, Alaska, I will, as is my custom, arrive at a sunrise Easter service to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord. I have already checked the lectionary and reread the resurrection story as recorded in Matthew 28:1-10. Millions of my Christian brothers and sisters will be reading the same ten verses.

Millions of sermons will be preached based on the Matthew account of the resurrection, but very few preachers will make mention of the history and background of the passage. A typical minister will not share what he/she learned in theological seminary about the resurrection passages.

Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska.

Full story … 

Part 2: Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

jesusmoneychangers-300x244.jpgFrom the Archives (Originally published April 23, 2011): Over the centuries as Christianity bent to the interests of the rich and powerful, the story of Jesus’s fateful week in Jerusalem was reshaped to minimize its pivotal event, overturning the Temple’s money tables, a challenge to religious and political power.

Howard Bess, Consortium News

April 13, 2014 Christians have special celebrations for the key events of Holy Week, but they often overlook one of the most important.

Palm Sunday celebrates the entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. Maunday Thursday is a solemn replay of his last meal with his disciples. Good Friday takes us through his mock trial and his death of horror on a Roman Cross. Easter is the Christians’ triumphant celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead.

Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska.

Full story … 

California Attorney-General Fights To Void Deadly Anti-Gay Ballot Initiative


  • There is nothing religious about hate or about mandating the mass killing of people belong to an identifiable group.  To suggest otherwise is sophistry at its worst.
  • Flipping the Script on Religious Freedom

Adalia Woodbury, PoliticusUSA

20229527c1c240439ddbc81bf821d95e.jpg If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Saturday, March, 28th, 2015 | The far right’s war on the LGBT community took a variety of turns this week. Indiana’s Governor signed a law that confuses bigotry with religion.  Arkansas’ legislature passed a similar law on Friday.  A similar bill was tabled in Georgia. California’s Attorney-General is trying to void a ballot measure that seeks to kill all Gay people.

RFRA and “Super RFRA” laws are under consideration by state legislatures in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Texas West Virginia and Wyoming.

As disturbing as these laws are, a ballot measure that California’s Attorney-General, Kamala Harris, asked a court to void is even more disturbing.

The so called Sodomite Suppression Act seeks to kill Gays and Lesbians “by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

Adalia Woodbury is the Senior legal analyst for PoliticusUSA. Adalia comes to Politicus with a background in politics and law. Adalia’s primary interests are advocating for civil rights and combating hate speech.

Full story … 


Flipping the Script on Religious Freedom, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 


  • “It is absolutely hypocritical for Pence to claim that Indiana’s Christians need legal protections, while its LGBT citizens are left to depend on ‘Hoosier hospitality.’
  • Part 1: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Fails Miserably On ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos
  • Part 2: The Awesome Response to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Why We Must Change How We Change the World

“We are caught in a vicious cycle, a dangerous dynamic that shapes our views about the people who experience suffering. As a result, those trapped in poverty are dehumanized and poverty is dumbed down while good, well-intended people really believe they are caring, world-conscious, and ethical. But change is coming.”  

Stephan Bauman, Sojourners / God's Politics

twitter-4-512.pngNow you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. 

Photo courtesy World ReliefI%20CAN%20CHANGE%20THE%20WORLD.jpeg

02-25-2015 | It’s hard to be optimistic about changing the world when our news cycle is dominated by terrorism, violence, and disease. When world events shock us, sometimes our best hopes cave in to our worst fears. Even the most radical activist may be tempted to give up.


But there is a different narrative that summons those of us who dare to care. It begins when we confront the things that have kept millions from breaking free from poverty and injustice. It ends when we find the courage to change how we change the world.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, which consistently ranks among the
poorest countries in the world and the most dangerous for women, a group of peacemakers are changing the narrative. Last year I met a Congolese woman who told me how her husband was killed in crossfire between warring militias, how she was violently assaulted by the soldiers who were supposed to protect her, and how she fled her village with her eight children under the cover of night. In the wake of her suffering, she joined a group of women to save small amounts of their own money each week. From her savings, she launched a soap-making business. Over time, she employed others and taught her sisters how to do the same. She helps others to forgive their perpetrators and, together, they are determined to stop the violence against women in a land known as the rape capital of the world.

Stephan Bauman is President and CEO of World Relief, which empowers the worldwide church to overcome global poverty and injustice, chair of The Justice Conference, and author of Possible: A Blueprint For Changing How We Change the World.

Full story …