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Sunday Poll: Are Disasters Part of God’s Plan?

September 24, 2017 Featured, Religion, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Are Disasters Part of God’s Plan?
Please vote below

There have been quite a few recent disasters: multiple hurricanes and the earthquake in Mexico. Some reactions differed from the rest. For example, actor Kirk Cameron.

The former child actor posted a video on Facebook saying that Hurricane Harvey and Irma were all a part of God’s plan and sent by Him so we can repent.
“How should we look at two giant hurricanes coming back to back like this?” Cameron said in a Facebook video posted from the airport in Orlando Thursday. “Do we write them off as coincidence? Do we write it off as a statistical anomaly? Wow! Who would’ve thought? Is it just Mother Nature in a bad mood?” (Miami Herald)

You can watch Cameron’s video here. A well-known member of clergy, Joel Osteen had a more positive message for those dealing withHarvey:

During his televised sermon today, Osteen seemed to reference the storm that devastated huge swaths of Texas and Louisiana. And the way the preacher told it, hurricanes like Harvey are just God’s way of saying you can take a great and life-altering tragedy.

Bringing up a biblical story involving Jesus and his apostles sailing across a lake during a hurricane-like storm, Osteen said that Jesus didn’t wake up during the squall because he knew they could handle it. “If they were all going to die, he would have gotten up without them having to wake him up,” he exclaimed.

Osteen then went on to tell his congregation that sometimes they may call on God to “fix this right now” as they panic during a storm, but that God apparently has a plan.

“The reason it may seem like God is not waking up is not because he’s ignoring you, not because he’s uninterested, it’s because he knows you can handle it,” he stated.

Osteen added, “Take it as a compliment.” (Mediaite)

You can see Osteen’s sermon here.

Which brings us to today’s poll.

This poll will close at 8pm tonight, though any attempt to skew the results will prompt me to close it early.

— Steve Patterson

 

Christmas Is A Religious Holiday For Many, Cultural For The Rest Of Us

December 28, 2016 Featured, Popular Culture, Religion Comments Off on Christmas Is A Religious Holiday For Many, Cultural For The Rest Of Us
We buy a new ornament every year, this year we got a leg lamp ornament -- a reference to the 1983 classic: A Christmas Story (click image to watch video clip)
We buy a new ornament every year, this year we got a leg lamp ornament — a reference to the 1983 classic: A Christmas Story (click image to watch video clip)

For many of us, Christmas is an important holiday. My husband and I are both atheists, but we have a Christmas tree every year. Sunday his family came down from Springfield IL for brunch at our loft, it’s an important cultural holiday for us.

We’re not alone:

About nine-in-ten Americans (92%) and nearly all Christians (96%) say they celebrate Christmas, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey. This is no surprise, but what might be more unexpected is that a big majority (81%) of non-Christians in the U.S. also celebrate Christmas. This includes 87% of people with no religion and even about three-quarters of Asian-American Buddhists (76%) and Hindus (73%). Roughly a third of U.S. Jews (32%) – many of whom have non-Jewish spouses – said in a 2013 survey that they had a Christmas tree in their homes during the most recent holiday season. Among Americans overall, about half (51%) say they celebrate Christmas as more of a religious holiday, while roughly a third (32%) say it is more of a cultural holiday to them personally. (Pew)

The results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll reelected this diversity of views:

Q: For you personally, is Christmas a religious or cultural holiday?

  • Very religious 3 [10%]
  • Religious 7 [23.33%]
  • Somewhat religious 0 [0%]
  • Equally religious & cultural 7 [23.33%]
  • Somewhat cultural 0 [0%]
  • Cultural 8 [26.67%]
  • Very cultural 5 [16.67%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

Though not reflected above, the 25th is just another day in December for others.

However you spent the 25th I hope you had a great day. Trying to decide if I’ll stay up late to ring in 2017 this weekend.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: For You Personally, Is Christmas A Religious Or Cultural Holiday?

December 25, 2016 Featured, Popular Culture, Religion, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: For You Personally, Is Christmas A Religious Or Cultural Holiday?

The last Sunday Poll of  2016 happens to fall on a holiday. Today’s question is what type of holiday is it for you personally.

The poll will be open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Strongly Opposed To Possible Missouri “Religious Freedom” Constitutional Amendment

In August 2004 Missouri voters approved a state constitutional amendment that barred legal recognition of same-sex marriages, it passed with 71% support. This was ruled unconstitutional in June 2015 when the US Supreme Court ruled states cannot ban same-sex marriages. Eleven years.

Some view LGBT rights as an affront to their religion:

In 1993, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Originally, the federal law was intended to apply to federal, state, and local governments. In 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court in City of Boerne v. Flores held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act only applies to the federal government, but not states and other local municipalities within them. As a result, 21 states passed state RFRAs before 2014.

In 2014, the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. recognizing a for-profit corporation’s claim of religious belief. Nineteen members of Congress who signed the original RFRA stated in a submission to the Supreme Court that they “could not have anticipated, and did not intend, such a broad and unprecedented expansion of RFRA”. The members further stated that RFRA “extended free-exercise rights only to individuals and to religious, non-profit organizations. No Supreme Court precedent had extended free-exercise rights to secular, for-profit corporations.” Following this decision, many states have proposed expanding state RFRA laws to include for-profit corporations, including in Arizona where SB 1062 was passed but was vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer in 2014. (Wikipedia: Religious Freedom Restoration Act)

Which brings us to Indiana’s 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

After the law passed on March 26, 2015, reaction was swift, strong and negative, with cancellations of planned events and business expansions, travel bans and denunciations from across the spectrum: companies including Salesforce, Apple, Eli Lilly and Angie’s List; sports leagues including the NCAA, NBA and WNBA; states and municipalities coast to coast; rock concerts; comedy shows and church groups. (Forbes: Indiana’s Religious Freedom Act Cost Indianapolis $60 Million In Lost Revenue)

And now the Missouri legislature wants to join the cause, which will cost its two biggest and liberal cities. Kansas City & St. Louis.

Should either SB 916 or SJR 39 become law, Missouri could experience the same kind of backlash as Indiana. Expect cancellations of conventions in St. Louis and Kansas City. Businesses worried about protecting their reputations would put expansion plans on hold in Missouri. Lawsuits would ring down like thunder. (Post-Dispatch Editorial: The no-catering-gay-weddings issue comes to Missouri)

Thankfully the readers here are strongly opposed to such measures, from the Sunday Poll:

Q: Missouri is one step closer to having a “religious freedom” constitutional amendment on a ballot. Support or oppose such an amendment?

  • Strongly support 5 [10.2%] Note: one reader says he voted for this by mistake, wanted “Strongly oppose” instead.
  • Support 1 [2.04%]
  • Somewhat support 0 [0%]
  • Neither support or oppose 2 [4.08%]
  • Somewhat oppose 0 [0%]
  • Oppose 4 [8.16%]
  • Strongly oppose 37 [75.51%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

If it clears the last vote in the legislature Gov Nixon can’t veto it — he can only decide if placed on the August or November ballot.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

 

Sunday Poll: Support or Oppose a “Religious Freedom” Constitutional Amendment in Missouri?

Please vote below
Please vote below

Last week a bill moved closer to being placed on the August or November ballot.

The measure would amend the Missouri Constitution to prohibit the government from punishing individuals and businesses that refuse on religious grounds to provide goods or services for marriage ceremonies or celebrations of same-sex couples. (Kansas City Star)

So this is the topic for today’s poll:

The poll is open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

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