A little over two thousand years ago a radical religious teacher organized a protest designed to mock and malign an authoritarian occupying force holding his country hostage. So one day, just after the military governor rode into the city on his great war horse ahead of his soldiers, the radical religious grassroots leader rode into the city on a donkey with his people waving palms instead of spears. He did this to tell the authoritarian occupying force that they may have control, but they only do so because they are bullies. He and his followers staged a non-violent protest ridiculing their power by force.

The next day he made his way into the courtyard of a large religious institution to a common area which served as a way for merchants to sell items used for worship. His goal was to disrupt religious practices that day to show the rest of the people that the leaders of this institution had collaborated with foreign invaders pointing out that they had become mere puppets of those at the top of political power, and that a hierarchy of authority had become an idol surpassing that of God. He taught that God’s message was to call all people into unity.

Their leader was an accomplished community organizer because he knew he could not do things alone. One of the names for his movement was called “The Way”, and he trained and sent his people out into various communities to start small conclaves to show that they were not forgotten, that they were loved, and that his people would serve their needs, not rule over them. He showed that the message of God was about community, not authority. He taught that they should love God with heart, soul and strength, and to be committed to their neighbor’s well being.

He pissed off both the occupying army governor, and the ruling class but since he staged his protests with lots of people, he thought he might get away with his demonstrations, but his plan was thwarted by one of his students. He was captured, and eventually executed by the government. These are some of the events many churches in the land will focus on in what is known as Holy Week; the time between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday on April 5.

I hope this overview exposes the blatant falsehood surrounding the creation of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by  Gov. Mike Pence. Just as in the early first century, religious authority was used as a means to circumvent the well being of people, this act signed into law sets into motion all manner of ways people can use personal belief as a means to idolize bigotry in the name of God.

I can’t help but see a parallel between this type of legislation and the basic rudimentary principles espoused by Fascism.  The basic definition of fascism: ” a movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism.” In the arena of economics, fascism embraces the concept that there is no need for economic infusion from the outside, that the nation or state or individual may take care of itself without relying on outside influence.

In the case of Indiana, the legislators within a hierarchical structure, gave individuals the privilege to openly engage in various forms of bigotry all in the name of purported religious zeal. This law allows the individual to close and cease from taking part in economic infusion from the outside, denying their service to individuals they deem unworthy. People who wish to engage this new law are unwittingly establishing fascist concepts as a means to protect themselves from what has been determined as a threat to their own superiority.

This is not only bad government, ridiculous logic, it is outrageous theology.

At the top of this blog I inserted into the state flag of Indiana the symbol taken from Italian Fascism, a bound bundle of wooden rods, sometimes including an axe with its blade emerging from its core. Inserted into the bound bundle of wood is a representation of a palm cross, which in Indiana’s case, is now used as a weapon.

I found the fascist symbol interesting in that it is a bundle of wood which is the root of the derogatory term used for homosexuality; a “faggot” meaning a bundle of firewood.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has nothing to say about freedom or religion, but it has a lot to say about humanity’s injustice, hubris, and ways in which others will stoop to any length to dominate and thwart liberty and justice for all.