A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.10 “Glitter” and “Evidence”

Yesterday was a very uneventful Thanksgiving thanks to the pandemic. My daughter is young enough to not really grasp that we missed a major holiday but old enough to really miss her Pop Pop as well as the rest of the family.

Here are two more letters.


Dear daughter,

One word: glitter. You love arts and crafts and have been asking for glitter for a while, and against our better judgment, daddy and I gave in a bought you some two weeks ago. You’ve made some pretty awesome pictures with it, but it’s everywhere. It’s on the floor, in the rug, in the sink, and this morning I even found a couple of flecks in our bed. Even though our house will never be free of glitter again, it was worth it. You are so happy when you are creating art.

You’re four years old right now and the walls of our little house are covered with your beautiful artwork. Since I’m an artist myself, I couldn’t be happier that you have shown a strong interest in art. Maybe it’s a little selfish of me, but I hope that interest never dies. 

It doesn’t matter what I want — I know you will do your own thing and I will support you no matter what.

You seem to be turning into a very passionate person and I hope that continues. Never give up on the things you love.

Your artwork is beautiful, and it has made our home and lives beautiful as well.





Dear daughter,

If someone can’t produce conclusive evidence, whatever it is they are trying to convince you of isn’t true. 

Evidence is everything.

This is my biggest problem with religion — they can’t back up anything they claim. They control people’s lives with their teachings yet there isn’t a single piece of evidence proving that what they preach is true.

If religion did produce conclusive evidence, I would become a believer.

This doesn’t just go for religion. Question the things around you. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people are led by falsehoods. 

This decision-making process is a simple concept. It’s a black and white issue. You either have evidence or you don’t and I will adjust my thinking accordingly. 

If you are presented with new evidence, don’t be afraid to change your opinion. That’s what skeptics and critical thinkers do.

You’re smart — protect yourself and defend the truth.



Zine about Racial Capitalism and Prison Abolition

My husband, being the passionate social justice warrior that he is, shared this zine with me today on racial capitalism and prison abolition. I wasn’t feeling well today so it was nice to have something to read to try and take my mind off my stomach ache. I don’t always fully grasp some of the issues my husband discusses but this zine really spells it out. Please share far and wide.

A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.9 “Be a Sponge”

Dear daughter,

By now I have probably taken you to see the rural area where I grew up. Life is different there — my childhood looked a lot different from yours. There weren’t a lot of opportunities out there but I was very fortunate because grandpa had the means for us to travel, take classes, and just get out of the area occasionally. I knew there was a whole world out there and many of the people I grew up with never saw that. I’m not trying to put anyone down — I had a great childhood there. I just knew when it was time for me to leave.

Whenever grandpa made opportunities available for me outside of our rural area, he always told me to be a sponge and just absorb everything I can. He specifically said this before I left for my exchange year in Denmark. After spending some time abroad, I knew exactly what he meant and I was thankful for his advice. I took in as much as I could while I was in Denmark and it affected me greatly — it affects me to this day. Seeing a different way of life made me want to improve my own. 

So now I’m saying the same to you — be a sponge. You undoubtedly will have many different experiences growing up and I’m happy that we live in a diverse area with many opportunities. Definitely take advantage of that. Who knows where life will take you.

By the way, I am also secretly hoping you will get the chance to study abroad. It is absolutely life-changing.



My poetry book is now available for pre-order on Amazon. :)

My poetry book is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

Everything about Megan Rahm screams “Midwest Mom” with one big exception—she’s a very passionate atheist. While often a source of tension, this juxtaposition in her life is also a source of creativity, and Free to Roam: Poetry from a Heathen Mommy is a result. In this debut collection, Rahm passionately explores coming of age, faith and atheism, motherhood, and womanhood. With honesty, poignancy, and humor, Megan Rahm explores life’s most exhilarating highs and the heartbreaking lows. Her words are sure to both make you cry and awaken your sense of life’s adventure. 


On sale February 2, 2021 

Title: Free to Roam: Poems from a Heathen Mommy 

Author: Megan Rahm lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband and daughter. Her blog, From the Ashes of Faith, can be found at Freethoughtblogs.com. 

Retail price: $14 

Trim size: 6”x9” Format: Paperback 

Page count: 100 

ISBN: 9780988493889 

Publication date: February 2, 2021 

Distribution: Ingram, Amazon, Lightning Source 

Publisher: Freethought House 

Contact: Bill Lehto bill@freethoughthouse.com (651) 605-5275 

Zoom meeting with Great Lakes Atheists – Come Hang Out with Me!


Meet Megan Ginter Rahm, Freethought Blogger as she chats with us about her upcoming poetry book, entitled, “Free to Roam: Poems from a Heathen Mommy”. She lives in Toledo, Ohio. She says that she has not met any of us, so I hope y’all will join us for an evening of conversation and poetry.
Barbara Williams is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: GLA
Time: Dec 14, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Thanksgiving 2020: A Socially-Distanced Holiday

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are no ridiculous religious celebrations or scrambling to buy gifts — it’s just dad’s amazing cooking and my family’s laughter. It’s low key and a social situation I actually look forward to. We all crowd into the kitchen at my dad’s condo and have a beer before the meal. We then stuff ourselves full of yummy food before my uncle leads us outside for a fart walk. 

Thanksgiving is one of our family’s best traditions for sure, so obviously I’m pretty bummed that it’s not going to happen this year. 

But we all know the importance of staying home.

Thanksgiving will just be another day that I keep my head down and write. There’s been a lot of those the past several months.

What’s your socially-distanced holiday going to look like?

Stay safe no matter how you decide to spend your day.

A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter — no.8 “Your Body is Only Yours” and “Ambitions and Dreams”

Dear strong and beautiful daughter,

Your body is yours — not god’s, not society’s, not your family’s, not the government’s, and not your partner’s. It is only yours.

Say “no” whenever you need to. Say “yes” whenever you want to. 

When I was younger, there were times I wanted to say “no” but didn’t. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or have someone see me as a bitch or tease. The feeling of regret is simply not worth it. If you don’t feel confident or comfortable with a situation, say “no”. 

Don’t feel afraid to say “yes” either. Try new things and learn what you like.

Set your own standards. You don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations.

The most important thing is that you’re happy and healthy, and that looks different for everyone.





My ambitious daughter with dreams and goals,

Pursue the things you love even if there’s a lot of work involved.

They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, but I’ve learned that’s not quite how it works. To be able to do something you love, you usually have to work pretty hard to get to that position.

Here’s the thing — you only get this one short life. There’s nothing after it, so you really have everything to live for. Pursue the things you love. Set big goals. Be ambitious. This is your time.

There’s one very important lesson I’ve learned from working as an artist and writer:

It is more important to be different than good.

There are millions of people that are good in any given field, but you have to find a way to stand out from them. You are smart and unique and I’m sure you will find a way to make your work your own, which leads to another lesson:

Don’t compare yourself to others.

If you do your best and let your passion shine through, I’m sure you will get far in life. Find what you love and find a way to make it work for you. I will be rooting for you every step of the way.

I’ve done a lot of things in my life and here is a formula I tend to follow:

  1. Stay organized. When you’re an adult, no one is going to keep track of your life for you. Write it down and then follow through and do it. Stay on top of the things you need to do.
  2. Take risks. You’re not going to grow if you don’t let go of your doubts and try something new or go for something bigger. It’s the only way to move forward.
  3. Pursue your passions. You only live once so why the hell not? Fuck those who say you can’t. You are the one in control of your life.

A lot of this formula came from grandma and grandpa — especially the organization part. Your grandparents were successful people. I am grateful for the things they taught me, but of course, I had to put my own spin on it as well.

Now it’s your turn. I’m showing what I do but I want you to put your own spin on it, too. Take what you want; leave what you don’t. Find out what turns your dreams into goals and your goals into accomplishments.

I can’t wait to see all the things you do when you get older. I spend a lot of time wondering what you will be interested in. It’s so exciting to watch you grow!



A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.7 “Be Prepared” and “Gratitude”

Dear daughter,

Here are some fun facts about living in Toledo:

We average 180 days of sunshine a year.

We average about three feet of snow each winter.

On average, we have 124 days with precipitation a year. 

As you know, it’s hard to think of averages when you live in a place where the weather changes so frequently and drastically. You — being the smart Toledo girl you are — know to dress in layers and to be prepared for anything. 

You can apply this readiness to any area of your life. 

Who can you lean on when you’re struggling?

Who can you call in an emergency?

You know I’m an anxious person. So always having a plan seems to help me sleep better at night.

Thinking of my car and driving always makes me nervous so I always keep my car in good repair and renew my AAA membership.

That sort of thing, too. Think of what’s important in your daily life and what you would do if it’s gone.

I will help you as much as I can and we will always be here for you. And pack your cardigan.




To my somewhat spoiled daughter,

It’s time to talk about gratitude.

Humans are meant to help each other out. You never have to go it alone so show the people who assist you that you appreciate them.

If someone gives you a gift, it means they were thinking of you and spent their time and money on you — which is more important than the gift itself. Smile and say thank you.

We may not have a lot of money but so far you’ve had a very fortunate life. Life’s situations are fragile and full of surprises, so it may not always be that way. Live in the moment and be grateful for all that you have.



A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.6 “Mental Health”

I have been struggling with my mental health issues lately, so I feel this letter is really important.


Dear daughter,

I have lived with schizoaffective disorder most of my life. Recovery and treatment have taught me to ask for help when I need it.

I hesitated to ask for help for my mental health issues when I was younger, but when I finally asked grandma and grandpa for help, they were right there and with treatment, life got a lot better. I wish I would have addressed my problems sooner. If you ever need help, I will be there for you, too.

I also had a destructive secret as a teenager and young adult — I was struggling with an eating disorder. What started out as skipping meals sometimes as a teen turned into a daily cycle of binging and fasting. Then when I got older I abused diet pills and laxatives. 

As you know me today, I’m no longer obsessed with restrictive diets or weight. In fact, I’ve gained a lot of weight with years of taking medications for schizoaffective disorder. My eating disorder is easier to cope with now that my other mental health issues have been addressed. I’m not saying things are perfect — just easier.

Food still causes me anxiety. I’m a picky eater often scared to eat at other people’s houses or restaurants I don’t know. I tend to eat the same foods over and over again. Sometimes I feel like these behaviors are the “leftovers” of my eating disorder and I really don’t know if they will ever change. Dad and I hope that you don’t inherit these habits.

I never want you to go down the same road I did. Always speak up if you are not feeling well — physically or emotionally. I understand how hard it is, but you really aren’t alone. We all need help sometimes and know that help is available. You don’t have to suffer. I will always support you and help you in any way I can. 

Every day you see me take pills for schizoaffective disorder; I will be taking pills for the rest of my life. It might sound discouraging, but I feel it is a small price to pay to live with fewer symptoms. Just like everyone else, my mental health symptoms are exasperated with stress, so it’s important that we all know our limits and when to say “no”. 

Unfortunately, considering your genetics, you are predisposed to mental health issues, but you should know by now that it’s not the end of the world. I’ve had a lot of success and happiness in my life despite having a serious mental illness. You are a part of that.

Take care of yourself mentally and physically. I will always be here for you.