I am still considering a change, or perhaps even an end to God's Mote as it. Feedback is not only welcome but eagerly desired.
However, I saw this and felt it deserved a post.
Simply put a Russian law makes illegal any missionary activity from what they consider non-traditional beliefs. Similar laws also require clear labeling of anything that might be considered religious literature. These are part of a suite of so called anti-extremist laws designed, in theory, to tamp down on the rise of domestic terrorism.
>emotionally charged expletive redacted< No. These laws are deliberately vague excuses for law enforcement to harass anyone and anything outside of the desired cultural norm. They are not new in Russia, nor anywhere else in the world. Want to stop the Salvation Army? They are, after all, a radical Christian sect that does not even observe baptism or communion nor any official clergy. Destroy their Bibles for failure to be approved as religious literature, as happened in Vladivostok in December. In America the thought of harassing the Salvation Army seems ridiculous; but they are a deviation from the norm and that is enough for some to see them as a danger. As they see anyone who is not just like them to be a danger. In the US there was a fringe movement in the 70s and 80s that got labeled "Dominionism", although they do not like that term and so I will use it all I can. On occasion I choose to violate my "call people what they ask to be called" rule but I save it for people like this and Alister Crowley. The name comes from the KJV reading of Genesis 1:28 where man is told to subdue the earth and have dominion over it. They go by things like Calvinist Christian Reconstructionism, Charismatic/Pentecostal Kingdom Now theology, New Apostolic Reformation and others. Basically this group would like to eliminate the separation of Church and State in favor of what they consider to be a nation governed by Biblical laws. Rousas Rushdoony, wrote in The Institutes of Biblical Law that Old Testament law should be applied to modern society and he advocates the reinstatement of the Mosaic law's penal sanctions. Under such a system, the list of civil crimes which carried a death sentence would include homosexuality, adultery, incest, lying about one's virginity, bestiality, witchcraft, idolatry or apostasy, public blasphemy, false prophesying, kidnapping, rape, and bearing false witness in a capital case. He wrote "Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies", and he said elsewhere that "Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristocracy," and characterized democracy as "the great love of the failures and cowards of life".
Sometimes a distinction is made between "Soft" Dominionist theology ("America is a Christian Nation") and "Hard" Dominionist Theology ("America's laws need to be Bible based.") Either way, what was once a fringe movement has grown in prominence in the last twenty to thirty years. It does not take long to see elements of Dominionist theology in the avowed beliefs of many leaders on the political Right, some extending the label to Mike Pence and Ted Cruz. Personally, I am not satisfied with what I have found to apply those labels myself to individuals, but I do believe they have been influenced by the movement. Dominionist theology is certainly evident in the creeds of numerous militia groups in the so-called Christian Patriot movement.
What does this mean? If you are not a Christian then it should scare you death. If you are a Christian it should scare you to death. It means that a narrow segment of society decides what is and is not God's Will and has the power of law to enforce it. They decide what is normal and acceptable and what is not. Contradicting them or correcting with them is to thwart the will of God.
>emotionally charged expletive redacted< Do you think Muslims should register? Do you think that America's laws should be based on the Old Testament? Do you think creationism and not evolution should be taught in schools? Do you think Israel should be supported no matter what they do? You might be a dominonist. You might be responsible for putting them in power. You had better be prepared to tow the party line or you might wind up on a list of undesirables yourself. As for me I believe in democracy, I believe in the separation of church and state, and I believe in God - but you don't get to dictate to me or my children what that means. And if some registry of undesirables -be they Muslim or gay or whatever - gets made law I am signing up. I will stand with the persecuted, the imprisoned, and the outcast. I will oppose the enforcement of someone's idea of religion on others in every way possible. Why? Because that is what Jesus would do.