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Sunday Poll: Should Larry Rice Be Allowed To Reopen His Homeless Shelter?

October 14, 2018 Downtown, Featured, Homeless, NLEC, Religion, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Larry Rice Be Allowed To Reopen His Homeless Shelter?
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Last month a 2nd court ruled against Larry Rice and his downtown homeless shelter:

The Missouri Court of Appeals upholds a lower court ruling that found the city of St. Louis acted properly when it shut down the New Life Evangelistic Center homeless mission in April of 2017.

The center’s director, the Reverend Larry Rice says, it’s hard to re-open when he can’t get petition signatures from neighbors in the locked loft next door.

“What’s really made this difficult is the people they want us to get signatures from are the people that put in the petition in order to stop us from doing the shelter,” Rice said, “At the same time, we’re willing to do our individual appeal to each person that lives in the loft next door at 15th and Locust, the management of those lofts refused to give us access.”

Rice says he may seek a court order granting him access to the building to talk to knock on doors of residents.

Also, he plans to appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court and argue that his homeless shelter is a “local church” and has a Consitutional right to stay open to serve its congregation–the homeless. (KMOX)

Today’s non-scientific poll is about Larry Rice and his former shelter.

Today’s poll closes at 8pm tonight. The usual number of votes is around 28-32 so if there’s an effort to influence the outcome it’ll be very obvious. My thoughts on Wednesday.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: Missouri’s Investigation Into Clergy Abuse Will Find Results Similar To Pennsylvania

August 29, 2018 Crime, Featured, Missouri, Religion Comments Off on Opinion: Missouri’s Investigation Into Clergy Abuse Will Find Results Similar To Pennsylvania

Missouri Attorney General, Josh Hawley, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate, recently opened an investigation into sex abuse by priests within the Catholic church:

This review makes Missouri the first state to publicly announce such an inquiry after the searing Pennsylvania grand jury report released last week, which documented a wave of abuses and coverups spanning decades and involving more than 300 Catholic priests.

It remains unclear whether other states have launched new efforts to investigate alleged abuses after the Pennsylvania report. While other states may be conducting or considering beginning investigations, none has said so publicly. The Washington Post reached out to the offices of attorneys general in 49 states and the District of Columbia after the Pennsylvania report was released to survey their responses. Authorities in most of these offices either said that they could not comment on potential investigations or that their offices lacked the authority to immediately act and investigate local cases.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis said Thursday that it welcomed the review in Missouri and that the examination was being conducted at its request. St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson said he knew the public was calling on the attorney general’s office to investigate the Catholic Church and that “we have nothing to hide,” adding that he was inviting Hawley to review the church’s files on anyone who has been accused of sexual abuse. (Washington Post)

How did we get to this point?

Although some accusations date back to the 1950s, molestation by priests was first given significant media attention in the 1980s, in the US and Canada.

In the 1990s the issue began to grow, with stories emerging in Argentina, Australia and elsewhere. In 1995, the Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, stepped down amid sexual abuse allegations, rocking the Church there.

Also in that decade, revelations began of widespread historical abuse in Ireland. By the early 2000s, Church sexual abuse was a major global story. (BBC)

So a worldwide problem brought to light, once again, this time by Pennsylvania’s grand jury investigation.

It has even reached the head of the church.

A report released this weekend by a former Vatican ambassador to the United States charges that Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, removed a suspension placed on him by Pope Benedict, and proceeded to make the known abuser one of his most trusted advisors. Pope Francis “knew from at least June 23, 2013 that McCarrick was a serial predator, [but] he covered for him to the bitter end,” wrote Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, nuncio to Washington from 2011-2016, before demanding the pontiff resign. (USA Today)

Vigano is a right-wing critic of Pope Francis, so make of this what you will.

Cathedral Basilica St. Louis

The recent non-scientific Sunday Poll was on this topic. I phrased the question from the positive view — that Missouri wouldn’t be as bad as Pennsylvania.

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri’s investigation into clergy sex abuse will uncover nothing like Pennsylvania’s recent case, on a per capita basis.

  • Strongly agree 2 [10%]
  • Agree 3 [15%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [15%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 1 [5%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 6 [30%]
  • Strongly disagree 1 [5%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 4 [20%]

Until it’s done none of us know what the outcome will be, but Bernard Law went to Boston from more than a decade in Springfield MO.

Law’s name became emblematic of the scandal that continues to trouble the church and its followers after a Boston Globe investigation revealed that he and other bishops covered up child abuse by priests in the Boston Archdiocese.

Law at the time apologized to victims of John Geoghan, a priest who had been moved from parish to parish, despite Law’s knowledge of his abuse of young boys. Geoghan was convicted in 2002 of indecent assault and battery on a 10-year-old boy. (CNN)

It seems likely priests were shifted around here just as they were in other states/countries.  Assuming the investigation isn’t just a political campaign stunt, I anticipate similar results to Pennsylvania — on a per capita basis. Pennsylvania has more than twice the population of Missouri.

Meanwhile the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue said the Pennsylvania report was lies.  “Most of the alleged victims were not raped: they were groped or otherwise abused, but not penetrated, which is what the word “rape” means.” 

My question is why does it appear clergy abusing children is more prevalent in Catholicism, compared to other religions around the world? Is my perception incorrect, are clergy in other religions doing the same thing? Leaders of other religions covering it up?

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Sunday Poll: How Will Missouri’s Clergy Sex Abuse Investigation Compare To Pennsylvania’s?

August 26, 2018 Featured, Religion, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: How Will Missouri’s Clergy Sex Abuse Investigation Compare To Pennsylvania’s?
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Recent news in Pennsylvania making national headlines is getting attention here in Missouri:

Pennsylvania officials last week released the results of a two-year grand jury probe that found evidence that at least 1,000 people, mostly children, had been sexually abused by some 300 clergymen in the state during the past 70 years. The most-wide ranging report on clergy sex abuse in the United States said the numbers of actual victims and abusers could be much higher.

Similar reports have emerged in Europe, Australia and Chile, prompting lawsuits and investigations, sending dioceses into bankruptcy and undercutting the moral authority of the leadership of the Catholic Church, which has some 1.2 billion members around the world. (Reuters)

In response, Missouri’s Attorney General opened an investigation here.

Jefferson City, Mo.  – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today announced that his office has launched an independent review of the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members. This comes after the Archdiocese agreed to voluntarily cooperate with the Attorney General’s Office. 

“Victims of sexual abuse of any kind deserve to have their voices heard and Missourians deserve to know if this misconduct has occurred in their communities,” Hawley said. “By inviting this independent review, the Archdiocese is demonstrating a willingness to be transparent and expose any potential wrongdoing.”

In Missouri, jurisdiction for crimes of this nature lies with the elected local prosecutor. However, because the Archdiocese has agreed to voluntarily cooperate, the Attorney General’s Office will be able to conduct an independent review for the purpose of public transparency and accountability. (Missouri Attorney General)

St. Louis isn’t statewide, as news reports indicate the investigation will be. It does appear other diocese in the state will cooperate.

The following is something I wasn’t aware of before Friday.

From 1973 to 1983, the leader of the Springfield diocese was Cardinal Bernard Law, who is remembered for his time as archbishop of Boston, where he and other officials shuffled priests from church to church even as reports of clergy sex abuse mounted. (USA Today)

For more on Boston, see the 2015 film Spotlight.

Today’s poll is about what Missouri’s investigation will find compared to Pennsylvania. That state has twice the population, so the totals should be higher. So the question is based on per capita. Note: If you think the findings will be less per capita, then you’re in the agree camp. If you think the results will be higher, per capita, then you’re in the disagree camp.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

Opinion: ‘In God We Trust’ Should Be Removed From Wentzville’s City Hall

March 21, 2018 Featured, Religion Comments Off on Opinion: ‘In God We Trust’ Should Be Removed From Wentzville’s City Hall

Last week we were in Wentzville buying a newer car so we decided to make a quick detour to see the controversial motto inside the recently opened Wentzville City Hall.

Chambers of the Wentzville Board of Aldermen

Lawsuits to have this motto removed from currency have failed due to lack on burden, but in a legislative chamber where all citizens should feel welcomed this should not be allowed. It’s unquestionably religious.

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861. It was written to Secretary Chase by Rev. M. R. Watkinson, Minister of the Gospel from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania (US Treasury)

So the motto began on coins because of “religious sentiment” at the beginning of the Civil War. Yes, but “In God We Trust” is the national motto, you might say. Sure — since 1956 during the Cold War.  Another great period in US history — U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy was trying to find all the “reds” in Hollywood.  The same period “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance. For most of the nation’s history the national motto was E Pluribus Unum — out of many, one.

Although “In God We Trust” is the official motto, “E Pluribus Unum” has long been acknowledged as a de facto national motto. After all, it is on the Great Seal of the United States, which was adopted in 1782. Moreover, in the 1770s and ’80s Congress opposed a theistic motto for the nation, and many of the founders worked hard to prevent one from being established.

In July 1776, almost immediately after signing the Declaration of Independence, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson were tasked with designing a seal and motto for the new nation. In August John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, that he had proposed the “Choice of Hercules” as the image for the seal. Adams believed that individuals should choose to lead moral personal lives and to devote themselves to civic duty, and he preferred a secular allegory for that moral lesson.

The other two committee members proposed images that drew on Old Testament teachings, but neither shared the beliefs of those today who assert the role of God in our national government. Benjamin Franklin, a deist who did not believe in the divinity of Christ, proposed “Moses lifting up his Wand, and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh, in his Chariot overwhelmed with the Waters.” This motto he believed, captured the principle that “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Thomas Jefferson, who later created his own Bible by cutting out all mentions of the miracles of Jesus Christ (as well as his divine birth and resurrection), envisioned “The Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by day, and a Pillar of Fire by night, and on the other Side Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon Chiefs, from whom We claim the Honour of being descended and whose Political Principles and Form of Government We have assumed.” Of all of his accomplishments, Jefferson selected just three for his tombstone, one of which was writing the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which established a separation of church and state.

The three men worked in consultation with an artist, Eugène Pierre Du Simitière, who rejected all of the ideas of the three committee members. His own first attempt was also rejected by Congress. It would take years and several more committees before Congress would approve the final design, still in use today, of an American bald eagle clutching thirteen arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other.

Only the motto “E Pluribus Unum” (“from many, one”) survived from the committee on which Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin had served. All had agreed on that motto from the beginning.The current motto, “In God We Trust,” was developed by a later generation. It was used on some coinage at the height of religious fervor during the upheaval of the Civil War.

It was made the official national motto in 1956, at the height of the Cold War, to signal opposition to the feared secularizing ideology of communism.

In other words, “In God We Trust” is a legacy of founders, but not the founders of the nation. As the official national motto, it is a legacy of the founders of modern American conservatism — a legacy reaffirmed by the current Congress. (Ohio State University)

Here are the results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: The phrase ‘In God We Trust’ is on our currency, so I don’t have a problem with it on the dais of the Wentzville Board of Alde

  • Strongly agree 7 [24.14%]
  • Agree 2 [6.9%]
  • Somewhat agree 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 2 [6.9%]
  • Somewhat disagree 3 [10.34%]
  • Disagree 3 [10.34%]
  • Strongly disagree 11 [37.93%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 [3.45%]

It sickens me some are so insecure about their religious beliefs they’re only happy if they force them on the rest of us.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: Any Issues With ‘In God We Trust’ on Wentzville’s Board of Alderman Dais?

March 18, 2018 Featured, Religion, St. Charles County, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Any Issues With ‘In God We Trust’ on Wentzville’s Board of Alderman Dais?
Please vote below

The opening of new buildings can sometimes be controversial, but using things like proportions, materials, colors, etc.  Wentzville’s new city hall opened last year and 12 letters are sparking protest & debate.

From earlier this month:

Dozens of people packed Wentzville City Hall on Wednesday night to rally behind a display of “In God We Trust” in the City Council chambers.

But their show of support didn’t stop several opponents of the motto’s display from voicing their opposition to the council.

The motto has been on display in large letters on the council dais since the building opened in November. (Post-Dispatch)

The phrase appears on the dais where the aldermen sit during their meetings. This issue is the subject of today’s non-scientific poll.

This poll will close automatically at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

 

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