Hello. I hope that 2016 has started off well for you.  Damn the years click by fast. I would love to know what everyone has been up to, if you feel like sharing below. Work has been busy for me; I feel as if life is dragging me behind it, and I’m just trying to stay up on my feet. But always, I am grateful for my health, my family and friends, and this amazing opportunity to be on planet earth and have consciousness.  

A couple of weeks ago, I did an interview with an Italian on-line magazine, Parte del Discorso. You can read the Q&A in English (or Italian, if you are fluent).  I thought the questions were good–and relevant to secular parents, especially those who (like me) were raised Catholic. It’s always interesting to read how the US is perceived. 

I’d love to hear what is going on in your lives.  Happy Sunday!


22 responses to “A Q&A

  1. Praise Veles, enjoying a blessedly cool summer down here in Brazil

  2. Love it! I will definitely be re-reading you book soon, as my husband & I plan to start a family this year. 🙂

  3. Funny how the nations geographically closest to the Vatican are full of reasonable people who don’t view challenging the absolute authority of the Church as an act of war. Proud that you have the international imprimatur in validating the importance of your dialog! The work setting has been particularly rewarding – one year into the start up of our prescription dermatology company – things are going well. The FDA accepted our first new drug filing and another is ready to submit, along with a license we signed to acquire an Rx product as well as a long list of dermatology meetings stringing from Philadelphia and New York, to Chicago, San Francisco, Maui, and Osaka, Japan. The experiences collected over the course of living a life (very much including the valuable insights and conversations regularly found on the ‘Raising Kids Without Religion’ blog) all play a role towards turning workplace challenges into workplace success stories. Certainly there are many out there who would first praise God, Allah, Buddha,or Krishna and that is their choice and right. But in the final analysis, as John F. Kennedy proclaimed in his inauguration address: The work here on Earth must truly be our own. Have a fantastic start to 2016 to all the clear and careful thinkers who invest time and consideration making the KW/OR blog so worthwhile … and of course a HUGE debt of appreciation to the blog host and writer! ; – ))) Rob P.

    • Ah, you’re so nice, Rob–and awfully generous with the praise. But I am really happy to hear of all your successes this year. And your travels! It makes me feel so boring!! I imagine the work in a new company can be challenging and rewarding. What a great way to “spend” a year! 🙂

      • Thank you, DM, for your note about ‘what a ay to “spend” a year. It really is more an investment. And just as investments in tolerance, peace, love, and understanding are expected to yield more positive results than bigotry, ignorance, and hate, so too I am hoping that investing efforts in this Rx dermatology venture leads to new and improved products to treat a range of conditions from rosacea and severe acne to psoriasis – the psychological impacts of each being quite significant. Please keep getting us to focus on the really important things … we’ll take care of the minutia! ; – )))) Rob

        • Well, Rob, I hope you’re working on a cure for wrinkles! haha That’s not “minutia!” Seriously, though, my father had cystic acne as a young adult–very painful as well as unsightly. Glad you are working in a field that provides help for people. I hope you find much success.

          • Well, for anyone (RWNJ types excluded, lol) interested in a future investment (we’re not public yet) stay tuned … Cutanea Life Sciences also has a product in development for those fine lines and wrinkles you mentioned – also a source of psychological impact for female AND male employees finding the work environment seemingly populated by ever-younger staff members. The liquid injectable temporary implant (along the lines of a filler material) is called chitosan, chemically, and will allow for much longer duration and thus time between ‘touch up’ injections, while not being a permanent implant that begins to look odd after five years. Cystic acne is indeed a big concern – especially among adolescents who feel that even mild to moderate acne has as much of a self-esteem effect as is measured among adults with severe psoriasis. It’s that important to treat – and blocking sebum production with cystic acne is something only the powerful systemic drug Accutane has been able to accomplish – with some well known side effect issues. But, while it is healthy to live a life free from the mental constraints of an artificial god presence, it is not healthy to live with self-imposed image issues that can be alleviated with the proper care and relatively minor treatment steps. And now I return you to your regularly scheduled program! ; – ) Rob

  4. Hi Deb, nice to hear from you. What have I been up to….this holiday season I asked the Freedom From Religion Foundation for help when I challenged the city I live in on their allowing a Nativity scene on the city property. So in fairness to all beliefs in a public forum, I was able to install a FFRF Winter Solstice banner on the same lot as the nativity and not 24 hours later the banner was stolen. Appears some Christians in town can’t “turn the other cheek” nor “love their neighbor” whatever their beliefs. Not surprising really. But it did drive home even more my reason for being a free thinker!!! The good news is going forward there will be no more nativity scene on city property.

    • Hi Josieg! It’s disappointing to hear the banner was stolen, but it was a worthy request you made–and definitely time well spent. Can you imagine the outrage if someone had taken part of the nativity scene instead? Remind me which town you live in?

      • Hi Deb, yes outrage and the what if it were an Islamic display? Can you imagine? I live in Belle Plaine, MN. While I did have some common sense supporters in my corner, the few irrational folks were really off the wall, taking it so personal. I am not offended by their beliefs, why are they mine? Seems as if these towns/cities will continue hosting Christian displays on Government property until someone complains and or requests an open forum for more than one belief. But the latter doesn’t go over well. The staff at FFRF were great. They also helped Wadena, MN, another small town, get their nativity moved off city property.

  5. I found this interesting:
    The nativity scene is discussed in #6.

    • Hi Deb – I do not recommend that people click on links to google docs. Can you cut and paste the info into your comment?

      • Certainly Deb – apologies for the delay… This is an extract from the minutes of the BELLE PLAINE CITY COUNCIL REGULAR SESSION on DECEMBER 21, 2015:
        Melissa Saxe, 11875 Murphy Lane, Belle Plaine, addressed the City Council regarding a recent incident involving a Freedom from Religion Foundation banner that was placed on City property, near the Rotary Club’s Nativity Scene. She commented the language on the banner was not about freedom of religion and in her opinion, it was an attack on Christianity. Ms. Saxe believes the sign should be considered advertising because of the website listed on the banner and thus should be banned from being displayed on city property. She asked Councilmember Coop why he supports the sign. Coop responded that he is considered the “go to” guy for complaints about the Nativity Scene located on public property. He did have conversations with the individual who placed the subject sign on City property and supports the First Amendment. Councilmember Coop commented the banner was stolen twice from the site and questioned Chief Stolee’s ability to protect a sign located in front of the Police Department.
        Councilmember Trost supports the Nativity Scene on public property and believes the banner listing statements against Christianity should not have been allowed. He would welcome a policy of a prayer prior to the start of a council meeting. In an effort to move onto the business portion of the agenda, Mayor Pingalore invited those present to visit with the Council Members on this matter after the adjournment of the Council meeting.

        • Hi Deb – Thanks so much for posting this. Jeez. “…Listing statements against Christianity”??? It’s that simple mentality, “if they’re not with us, they’re against us.” Seems unbelievable that some folks can’t understand that prayer, nativity scenes, etc., on public property, to the exclusion of other beliefs and nonbelief systems, is not only unfair and prejudiced, it is mimicking the same behaviors they complain about. If Trost welcomes prayer, well then, bring in a Muslim or Hindu and let him/her lead the prayer.

  6. Exactly! It’s really disgusting when their bigotry is so blatant. And that they don’t even know the basic laws! Or choose to ignore them. Even the police chief via Facebook didn’t stick up for freedom of speech and set the angry commenters straight. Instead he said they should take it up at city council ! Nevermind that the property was stolen outright!

    Then….I got a letter mailed to me from the Catholic priest in town wanting to debate science, religion, government with me. I’m not an expert! So I send it to the experts, the lawyer at FFRF who contacted the priest with an offer to have the Co-President of FFRF, a former preacher turned atheist. Fair and square right? Nope….the priest only wanted to debate me! It would’ve been a public lynching. His followers were the most angry online. I guess I’m not surprised.

  7. Just saw your interview on the David Packman show. I used to be Mormon and am an emerging atheist. I have 3 young children who are much better off growing up outside of the Mormon church and culture. My 10 yr old son is already quite the skeptic and has had conversations with his friends about why he doesn’t believe in god. I have to admit that it makes me proud. Life can sure be full of interesting twists! Looking forward to reading your blog and checking out your book!

    • Hi Ayon, Kudos to you for leaving the Mormon church. I know it is not easy. Already, your kids have demonstrated their ability to question things that don’t make sense-that’s wonderful. Stop by and share your stories any time and enjoy the journey!

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