Religious Freedom Restoration Act laws, currently active in 20 states, and under Federal Law, may or may not lead to discrimination against the LGBT community. (There is a pretty good discussion of RFRAs here.) But there is NO doubt that intolerance towards believers of various religious faiths is increasing within the United States.

The Pew Research Center’s 2012 study, the Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion, not only reported a world-wide increase in government restrictions and social hostilities toward members of faith, but an increase in government restrictions and social hostilities within the US. In both indexes, the US was moved from a “low” measure to “moderate” measure of intolerance. Pew’s most recent study of hostilities towards religions and followers (2015) shows that the US is still listed as “moderate” for government restrictions and social hostilities towards religious believers.

libya

According to the Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman, Congressman Trey Gowdy, Hillary Clinton unilaterally chose to permanently delete all of her e-mails she had as Secretary of State on her private server, and have the server wiped clean of all data. Apparently, she did this AFTER the US Department of State asked her to return her “public record” to the department. Read details of Gowdy’s announcement here.

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in Colorado for one year. The Colorado Springs Gazette has published a review of how this “grand experiment” by the state is going. The special publication is available here.

Cannabis-illustrated

Let’s see if Washington, Oregon, Alaska (and soon to be District of Columbia) are paying attention. I doubt it.

Reader with Magnifying Glass by Lesser Ury (1895)

Reader with Magnifying Glass (Lesser Ury)

This week’s reading are all about honesty (or the lack thereof). The Prescience of Daniel Patrick Moynihan questions whether we can be honest with ourselves in dealing with society’s on-going problems. The Real Price of Lies questions the actions of an administration that consistently lies. and CBS gives us a visual history of recent Infamous Political Lies.

Hezbollah Parade in Lebanon

The Obama administration has removed Hezbollah and Iran from the list of terror threats, even while acknowledging Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and Iran’s pursuit of intercontinental ballistic missile technology. Just last year, both Hezbollah and Iran were tagged as major threats to world peace and US national security. Now, in the face of President Obama’s goal of a deal with Iran, they have both been reclassified as a reduced threat. You can read the full report here.