I first met Audrey Kingstrom at a bar in Uptown. (No, it’s not what you may be thinking.) Audrey was hosting a happy hour Meetup for Humanists of Minnesota and I overcame my inertia to go. The Humanists seemed like an interesting group and the venue wasn’t far from where I live.
Audrey Kingstrom made the following remarks at the National Day of Reason in Minnesota breakfast at the State Capitol on May 2.
We are here today to reassert the narrative that our democracy, our government, is rooted in secularism. Democracy is a social contract in which the authority to govern comes from the people – not some higher power.
Hardly a day goes by when the misfortune, violence, and tragedy that befalls people around the world does not hang over me like a dark cloud. I dutifully read the Star Tribune and listen to NPR and can’t escape the grim news.
We were in Lübeck almost two years ago, walking down the street, when we came upon a little brass plaque, about four inches square, embedded in the sidewalk. My Aunt Ursula, who grew up there, explained it was a memorial to a Holocaust victim who lived at that address. I’d never seen these before. It had been a long time since I was last in Germany.
Hope is great when it comes to miracles. Belief is terrific when it comes to the Tooth Fairy. But neither hope nor belief should guide the making of public policy to solve our nation’s or Minnesota’s pressing problems, especially now.
My “descent” into humanism began, like many of us, before I even had a name for it. At the ripe old age of 14, I had a stark realization: the concept of a god seemed silly. Magic was the word I used when I nervously confessed to my then (and still) best friend, Jenna. I grew up going to church, but it was a progressive, open-minded Congregational community that encouraged exploration.