Meet a member: After three churches, Brooks Rimes found reason
Name: Brooks Rimes.
Where I live: Grand Island, N.Y.
Where and when I was born: Buffalo, N.Y., 1953.
Family: I live with my wife, Brenda. We celebrated our 40th anniversary in March. Sons, their spouses and grandchildren live nearby.
Education: I have an associate of applied sciences degree in data processing and professional certifications from Microsoft.
Occupation: I retired in 2015 from software work with a major regional bank headquartered in Buffalo. During my career, I spent many years at Moore Business Forms and Electronic Data Systems (during the Ross Perot years). I also have a sole proprietorship (“The Access Guy”) and continue to do a small amount of paid and pro-bono work.
How I got where I am today: I was raised Roman Catholic, attended a public school, but once a week was sent to “religious instructions” and made my first communion and confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church. Later, my mother took my brother and me to a Wesleyan Methodist church. Members jumping out of their pews to give personal testimonials in the middle of a sermon were quite a departure from the Catholic Church. Later, I joined a Presbyterian church due to the minister being such a nice fellow and became a deacon and quite involved in that church.
Where I’m headed: Doing snowbirding throughout the United States in a motorhome with my wife. Later, traveling to a long bucket list of international destinations when the Covid-19 situation improves.
Person in history I admire and why: Carl Sagan, both for his work in astronomy (creator of “Cosmos”) and his freethinking writing.
A quotation I like: “I feel that we should stop wasting our time trying to please the supernatural and concentrate on improving the welfare of human beings.” — Ruth Hurmence Green, American author.
Things I like: Travel, hiking, biking, doing things with our sons and grandchildren, board games, puzzles, writing software, mysteries, science fiction, libraries and Mensa gatherings.
Things I smite: All those who try to force their religion onto others and/or remove the separation between church and state.
My doubts about religion started: The three churches I attended raised many unanswerable questions in my mind. My tipping point came shortly after a family member joined a born-again Christian church and I learned of their beliefs that they were the only ones that would go to heaven. It became apparent that all the major religions have conflicting and ludicrous supernatural beliefs. It was time to stop thinking about which was “correct” and to come to the obvious conclusion that they are all false and based on fables.
Before I die: I would like to live for one or more months in one or more foreign countries and I would like to see the percent of “Nones” in the USA dramatically increase.
Ways I promote freethought: Belonging to and supporting FFRF, the Center For Inquiry and American Atheists. And writing the book Freethinking Cryptograms (available on Amazon).
[Editor’s note: His cryptogram puzzles are featured in each issue on Page 4.]
I wish you had asked me about: Volunteer work. I am a past member of the Lions Club International and Rotary International and currently work with the local chapter of SCORE, an arm of the Small Business Administration that mentors entrepreneurs.