Even after Muslims in Bernards Township filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that won support from 34 religious and civil liberties groups, and the U.S. Justice Department launched its own probe - and also decided to sue - Mayor Carol Bianchi insisted her town was "inclusive and warm" and being unfairly maligned.
She painted township officials as the real victims, and said there was no "circus of bigotry." Now we have this: Bigoted emails disparaging Muslims and Islam, sent from the personal accounts of the people who run this town - including township and planning board officials, some of them former and incoming mayors.
After Trump takes office this will probably be praised as proper hate
I'm skeptical about fMRI studies, but interesting nonetheless and perhaps an interesting path to test...
The paper mentioned is on Mormons (outside their paywall)
Reward, salience, and attentional networks are activated by religious experience in devout Mormons
Michael A. Fergusona, Jared A. Nielsenb,c, Jace B. Kingd, Li Daie, Danielle M. Giangrassod, Rachel Holmanf, Julie R. Korenbergd,e and Jeffrey S. Anderson a,d,f
aDepartment of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; bDepartment of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA; cDepartment of Psychology and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA; dInterdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; eDepartment of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA; fDepartment of Radiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
High-level cognitive and emotional experience arises from brain activity, but the specific brain substrates for religious and spiritual euphoria remain unclear. We demonstrate using functional magnetic resonance imaging scans in 19 devout Mormons that a recognizable feeling central to their devotional practice was reproducibly associated with activation in nucleus accumbens, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and frontal attentional regions. Nucleus accumbens activation preceded peak spiritual feelings by 1–3 s and was replicated in four separate tasks. Attentional activation in the anterior cingulate and frontal eye fields was greater in the right hemisphere. The association of abstract ideas and brain reward circuitry may interact with frontal attentional and emotive salience processing, suggesting a mechanism whereby doctrinal concepts may come to be intrinsically rewarding and motivate behavior in religious individuals.
But perhaps a more important question — one that will have relevance far beyond the Trump Administration — is not why evangelicals supported Trump, but how white evangelicals’ early and steadfast support for Trump has changed them.
Perhaps the most dramatic example of the shift in white-evangelical political ethics is the way in which white evangelicals have evaluated the personal character of public officials. In 2011 and again just ahead of the election, PRRI asked Americans whether a political leader who committed an immoral act in his or her private life could nonetheless behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public life. Back in 2011, consistent with the “values voter” brand’s insistence on the importance of personal character, only 30% of white evangelical Protestants agreed with this statement. But this year, 72% of white evangelicals now say they believe a candidate can build a kind of moral wall between his private and public life. In a shocking reversal, white evangelicals have gone from being the least likely to the most likely group to agree that a candidate’s personal immorality has no bearing on his performance in public office. Today, in fact, they are more likely than Americans who claim no religious affiliation at all to say such a moral bifurcation is possible.
This about-face is stunning, especially against the backdrop of white evangelicals’ outrage in response to Bill Clinton’s indiscretions in the 1990s. As Jonathan Merritt documented, Pat Robertson called Bill Clinton a “debauched, debased, and defamed” politician. But this year, Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network featured multiple friendly interviews with Trump — the candidate who bragged about sexually assaulting women and appeared on the cover of Playboy. And Robertson had this to say directly to Trump: “You inspire us all.”
Rachel Maddow on the extreme views of Vice President-elect Mike Pence
Religions vary on LGBT tolerance. Public acceptance has seen dramatic increases in the past decade, but some very conservative religions have taken harsher views. They fight LGBT rights at local and national levels and have tightened rhetoric against their own believers. The culture I am from is Mormon - one of those conservative anti-LGBT forces. While some in the church have been working to soften its hard-line position, the official position radically hardened about a year ago. Sometimes art and music are better paths for expression. Heather set official anti-gay speech fragments to "Creep" by Scala and Kolacny Brothers.
Many social organizations have explicit or implicit codes of conduct with religions sometimes being extreme examples. Here's a look at the evolution of an explicit code - BYU's honor code. It recently received national attention as it punished women who were sexually assaulted .. something they claimed to correct a few days ago.