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Showing posts from March, 2017

Douglas Whaley: Atheist Minister/Officiant/Celebrant

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At a meeting of the Freethinkers Book Club last summer Nathan Weller, its president, mentioned that he and his fiance were looking for a nonreligious officiant at their upcoming wedding.  I casually said I’d been thinking about doing that sort of thing, and within the blink of an eye it was a done deal!  I applied online to the Universal Life Church to become one of their ministers (which costs $25 and included a handsome certificate).  Their "Ministry" has only two tenets: (1) “Do only that which is right,” and (2) “All should be free to worship as they see fit.”  I had no problem agreeing with those precepts.  Next I had to register with the State of Ohio ($10), and then was ready to go.  Nathan and his bride, Karla Norquist, wrote the ceremony with some minor input from me, and the wedding was held on a Monday afternoon, October 17th at a country venue on the north side of Columbus. Everything went off splendidly, and the happy, handsome couple and their guests had a love…

My Parents “Surprise” Gambling Experience

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Robert Whaley, my father was in the Air Force so we moved a lot when I was young.  In the summer of 1954 he was transferred to Yokota Air Force Base in Japan, where we would live for three years without returning to the States.  I turned 11 that September and was 13 when we returned in 1957, and it was an interesting immersion in a completely different world.  All of us change dramatically as we morph into teenagers, and for me it was like coming to life in Japan and not quite knowing who or what I was.  The United States seemed a mythical land which I only vaguely remembered, and appeared to be some sort of paradise for kids my age.  At the base PX I would buy, say, a Superman comic book and see advertised in it all sorts of similar comic books that were not for sale at that PX.  Did American kids really have the ability to go into a drug store in the U.S.A. and walk up to a display of all these comic books, readily available for purchase?  Wow! 



When we did return to America I reme…