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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


Sunday Poll: Should The Number of Syrian Refugees Coming to St. Louis Be Changed?

Please vote below
Please vote below

In September we learned St. Louis would welcome refugees from the Syrian civil war.  Last week governors in numerous states changed their minds about accepting these refugees.

Which brings us to today’s poll question:

The poll is open until 8pm, the answers are presented in random order.

— Steve Patterson


Openly Secular: Opening Minds, Changing Hearts

April 23, 2015 Featured, Religion 34 Comments

Today’s post isn’t for everyone, but I know from past experience some of you will appreciate the message. If you’re religious fine, if you’re religious and get offended hearing others say they’re not religious — you’d better stop now.

Click the image for the official website. 
Click the image for the official website.

I learned about Openly Secular Day on the most recent CBS Sunday Morning:

“Like a light switch, it’s, ‘You’re immoral, you’re gonna raise evil children, you’re a bad parent,'” said Todd Stiefel, of Raleigh, North Carolina. A former Catholic, he leads the Openly Secular campaign. “They’re questioning your whole existence. I’d rather somebody assume I’m stupid than assume I’m wicked. It’s painful. It’s discrimination. It’s prejudice.” (Atheists: In godlessness we trust)

Many featured were once theists or like Mandisa Thomas, is assumed to be religious based on race:

It can be extremely difficult to discuss religion objectively in the black community. Many have social, emotional and financial stakes invested in this institution, so for one to even say they have doubts is like committing treason. 

To openly identify as an atheist in the midst of heavy religious influence can be next to impossible, and good luck finding other blacks who also don’t believe. It is very important to note however, that the Internet has made it easier for black atheists to find each other, and there is a large community of us online. (CNN: Confessions of a black atheist

Back to Openly Secular:

Our Mission
The mission of Openly Secular is to eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance by getting secular people – including atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists and nonreligious people – to be open about their beliefs.

Our Vision
Discrimination is rampant against those who are secular. Teens are made homeless after being thrown out of their homes; young activists receive death threats; people lose relationships with friends, family, and coworkers for not believing the same. A 2014 Pew research study, for example, showed 53% of people would be less likely to vote for someone who does not believe in God. Many minority groups, such as gay candidates, were less stigmatized than secular candidates. Disturbingly, respondents were more likely to vote for an adulterous candidate than an openly secular one.

We envision a world where there are no social costs for being secular, where families and communities remain whole when some members have moved away from religion or supernaturalism.

The following videos are some of the many made for today to show you that many people are openly secular:

Most of the videos are not from the well-know, just ordinary folks.

If these messages resonate with you know that you’re not alone — many of us are Openly Secular.

 — Steve Patterson


Happy Holidays

December 25, 2014 Popular Culture, Religion Comments Off on Happy Holidays

Most likely you’re off work today, last night you might’ve celebrated the 8th night of Hanukkah or a family Christmas Eve tradition.  We attended a party in the Shaw neighborhood.

Today we’re staying home, my husband’s family is coming from Springfield IL for a late lunch. Well, I’ve gotta get back in the kitchen.


— Steve Patterson


Favorability Poll on Archbishop Carlson Received More Votes in 24 Hours Than Typical in a Week

June 25, 2014 Religion 17 Comments

The weekly poll here isn’t scientific, the participants self select. Still, the number of participants is pretty consistent week to week. But when last week’s poll, Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Archbishop Robert Carlson?, had more votes in the first 24 hours than most get after 7 days I knew an effort was on to distort the outcome of the results.

Clearly obedient Catholics in St. Louis have a very favorable opinion of Carlson, however, the early results showed twice as many readers had a very unfavorable opinion as those with a very favorable.

The priest, realistically considered, is the most immoral of men, for he is always willing to sacrifice every other sort of good to the one good of his arcanum — the vague body of mysteries that he calls the truth.
— H L Mencken, Treatise on the Gods (1949)

The very first comment said I “hate the Catholic Church and its teachings.” I view all religions pretty much equally, man-made constructs to control the masses. To me it doesn’t matter is someone is a Baptist, Jehovahs Witness, Muslim, Jewish, Scientologist, Mennonite, Presbyterian or Catholic — all are the same to me.

Another comment said St. Louis is a “Catholic city”.    Yes, I had my alderman (Dorothy Kirner) once ask me what parish I lived in.  Huh?  I wasn’t here long before I realized you’re assumed catholic unless stated otherwise.

A small Arkansas town illustrates the problem with this group mentality. Beebe AR  is apparently a Christian town, the mayor doesn’t want to allow a Pagen Temple.

If God is the mystery of the universe, these mysteries, we’re tackling these mysteries one by one. If you’re going to stay religious at the end of the conversation, God has to mean more to you than just where science has yet to tread.

I know one group that doesn’t have a favorable opinion of Archbishop Csrlson: SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests):

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) describes Archbishop Robert Carlson’s deposition statements as “mind-boggling,” “stunning,” and “shocking.”

“That Archbishop Carlson says he doesn’t know when he figured out it was a crime to rape a childthat is a frightening statement,” says SNAP’s Barbara Dorris.

Dorris says that Archbishop Carlson contradicted himself by claiming he didn’t know it was a crime, but also admitting that he advised a bishop to claim memory loss if asked about any case. (KMOX)

Attack me all you want, it only reinforces my view of the religious.

— Steve Patterson, Pastafarian