We too have grown beyond
The dark oppression of Sharia;
The plethora of impossible Hindu devas;
The Christian myths of salvation, virgin birth, resurrection, and miracle;
The countless obscure gods in arcane pantheons.

Many of us have never truly believed in a deity,
Nor outlandish concepts of judgment, heaven, and hell,
Nor incoherent dogma,
Nor coercion through fear and shame,
Nor pointless theater of ritual and ceremony,
Nor hypocrisy of clerics and believers,
Nor admonishments against looking within,
Nor themes and policies of male dominance,
Nor inferior status of women, minorities, and other faiths.

We too eased away from fear-based faith and the supernatural.
We found the freedom to define our deepest values and truths.
We evolved our own unique and relevant philosophies of life.
We found self-respect through virtue and ethics.
We found joy and fulfillment through pursuit of the greater good.
We found new awareness, reality, and enlightenment.

May you continue to assert your independence.
May you continue to seek personal truth and mutual growth.
May you continue to gain wisdom, tolerance, and understanding.
May you continue to expand circles of compassion and awareness.
May you continue to live in harmony with people of all faiths and no faith.
May you continue to express your character through good actions.

We embrace you – with love, honor, and validation.

–Will Walsh ©2017