Meet a Member: Chris Kramer wants to ‘spread the secular gospel’
Name: Chris Kramer.
Where I live: Central Missouri.
Where and when I was born: Louisiana, 1967.
Family: Married to Stacy. We have three wonderful kids, plus cats, goats and a dog.
Education: A bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology, plus numerous military and other educational and training opportunities. Informally, I have a lifetime of dedicated self-education in the sciences and many other subjects, plus I have traveled to multiple states and countries while in and out of uniform.
Occupation: Retired military officer, still defending the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, as a Department of Defense civilian employee, FFRF Lifetime Member and aspiring freethinking writer and warrior for the truth.
Military service: Served 23 years in uniform.
How I got where I am today: Favorable genetics and a mother who showed what true humanism really is. She also expected me to work to my potential and set the conditions for me to do it. I was fortunate to always have a supportive family and great co-workers and friends. Plus, lots of hard work and some plain old good luck. I was also very fortunate to not have been born female under the Taliban, as a freethinking heretic during the Inquisition, as a slave, into a religious cult, into a totalitarian nation or into any group targeted by the faithful for persecution or pogrom.
Person in history I admire and why: Among many, it would be Charles Darwin for his global and permanent impact. His insights revolutionized biology and many other sciences, had a massive impact on philosophy and struck religion a blow from which it will never truly recover.
A quotation I like: “All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically,” by Steven Weinberg. This summarizes religion and uncritical thinking.
My doubts about religion started: Shortly after conception. My DNA requires that I see actual evidence before accepting a proposition, so I could never be religious.
These are a few of my favorite things: Being a husband and father, learning more every day, helping other people improve themselves, spreading humanism and performing overt and covert acts of kindness. Using the written and spoken word to “spread the secular gospel” far and wide and guiding the faithful and uncritical thinkers to the nirvana of secular humanism and true enlightenment.
These are not: Ignorance, stupidity, evil, intolerance, bigotry, misogyny, hypocrisy, uncritical thinking.
Where I’m headed: Hopefully to a place where my writing has armed large numbers of current and future freethinkers with massive amounts of quickly usable information and also inspired them to do their part in the fight against religion and for secular humanism. Also, to a place where my words and those assisted by my words have converted large numbers of the faithful to freethought and mental independence. I am writing under the pen name Max Humana, which is intended to convey the idea of “maximum humanism.”
Before I die: I want to have been a successful husband and father, to have added another massive brick in the wall between church and state in the United States, to have added to the global reduction of religion, and to have furthered the causes of humanism and the betterment of life on this planet.
Ways I promote freethought: After two decades of being constrained by the buttoned-down, religiously inclined and dogmatic military machine and its formal and informal rules, I am now far more free to act.
After retiring from the military, I dedicated myself to fight for truth, science and freethinking, and have written hundreds of thousands of words in that campaign. Finishing my first and forthcoming book, Thank god For Eve, which I subjectively believe is the most antitheistic and practically applicable freethinking book ever written, was like finally crossing the finish line after five long years of research and writing.
I am strong and persistent, taking the Winston Churchill vs. the Neville Chamberlain approach to defending our freedom from those who would take it away in the name of their god. You really can change some people’s minds; it just sometimes takes a different approach, as I describe in Thank god For Eve.
I ran for the local school board and will continue to do so, because critical thinking and a positive role model do much to foster freethinking in young people. I’ve reached out to a local college freethought group and offered mentoring. I participate in a local “intellectual social group” and use that forum to win hearts and minds. I engage with local religious lay leaders to teach them reality and show them a better path. I frequently interact with elected officials from the local to national levels regarding constitutional violations and religiously inspired legislation.
I go to worship services to see what messages are being spread that we freethinkers need to know about. I wear freethought-type clothing, especially when traveling through airports or at large events. I donate to freethought organizations like FFRF and defend their actions to local politicians and citizens. I give freethinking and science books to those who are starting down the path from religion to freethought. I started a publishing company, Reality Publishing, as a vehicle to foster freethought and critical thinking. I never let an opportunity go by to correct or educate someone who is wrong about freethinking, religion, morality and reality, and I encourage everyone to do the same!
What are your thoughts on religion?: The best way to express this is through some of the things I wrote in my forthcoming book, Thank god For Eve:
• “When a person feels his god is on his side, nothing is sacred.”
• “Absolute power corrupts absolutely, which is why god is absolutely corrupt.”
• “Religion doesn’t have the courage of its convictions. Like an insecure bully, it has a compulsive need to plaster itself all over, to unconstitutionally place its statues and signs and teachings in public property and in schools. Secularists wouldn’t have to go around putting up statues of freethinkers or signs saying, ‘Thank Science There Is No God!’ if religion would just leave people alone.”
• “We humans are nothing more than extremely evolved microorganisms, but at the same time so much more. We are animated collections of dead stars, shining with an internal light which expresses itself in the form of wondrous creations of art and architecture, prose and poetry, the exultation of the pursuit of knowledge, the love we feel for our families and the acts of kindness bestowed on others.”
• “The lack of knowledge of their own and of other faiths is why the devotees of religion are called ‘believers’ and not ‘knowers.’ They believe quite a lot, but don’t actually know very much.”
• “Religion is not a fact-based belief system; it is a belief-based belief system.”
• “The average person living in the ancient Middle East during biblical times knew about as much about physics, chemistry, psychology and other sciences as did the flint-knapping prehumans of a million years ago. And we should treat their books accordingly.”
• “We again return to the astronomical arrogance of the believer who says that he personally knows the mind of his god so unbelievably well that he can personally say which words from the holy book are to be taken as literal, which ones are metaphor or allegory and which ones can be safely ignored.”
• “To the secularist, nothing is holy or sacred, particularly religious superstition, and for a bunch of woman-hating sexless semi-evolved mostly hairless aged male primates to gather around ancient mythology and use it to come up with the story that a magic cracker is a reincarnated piece of a two-millennia-dead Israeli demigod preacher who’d already been resurrected once is an invitation in thousand-cubit high flaming letters in the sky for scorn of the highest degree.”