Male Baltimore Oriole / Age of Enlightenment

Male Baltimore Oriole - Age of Enlightenment

The Baltimore Oriole is a small bird in the Icterid Backbirds family. The male has a brilliant orange and black plumage and the female is has a dull orange breast with yellow-brown upper parts and dark wings. It breeds in Eastern North America and winters in Mexico, Florida, Central America and Northern South America. It mainly eats insects, berries and nectar.

The Baltimore Oriole gets its name from the male's colors resembling the coat of arms of the English colonizer 2nd Baron Baltimore. Baron Baltimore was the first proprietor of the Maryland colony, and as a Catholic, he passed the Maryland Toleration Act in 1649 - one of the first laws of religious tolerance in the British North American colonies. The Act predates the Enlightenment.

The Age of Enlightenment in 18th century Europe (approximately about 1650-1700), brought ideas of empiricism, scientific rigor, progress, tolerance, and opposition to abuses in church and state. In the British Colonies, it influenced the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and played a major role in the American Revolution.

It is perplexing that there continues to be voices opposing the fundamental ideas and ideals of Enlightenment. It is further bewildering that some persistently attempt to retract those ideals. Enlightenment has not eradicated the problems of humanity or eliminated ignorance, but, it has provided a framework where individuals may pursue progress without the threats of oppression or discrimination. The ideals of Enlightenment that are universal must be revived to challenge the contemporary disguises of oppression; namely, neocolonialism, concentrated corporate power and the propaganda of infinite distraction.
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