I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Looking for Religion During Easter


For several years, my wife and I have spent Easter weekend in Providence, RI. Our son and granddaughter live there. Since my wife does not enjoy flying we either take the train or drive. This year we drove.
Every year I'm taken aback by how little the City of Providence celebrates Easter as a religious day. There are few signs of it around the city. Stores, restaurants and coffee places seem to regard it as just another Sunday. Rhode Island is, according to polls, the most secular State in the U.S. It was founded, as you may remember, by religious outcast, Roger Williams.
He was a Puritan preacher. But he believed in fair treatment of Indians and strict separation of church and state. Williams was the black sheep of the religious family at the time. His city of Providence seems to continue that tradition.
When I travel I occasionally paste stickers I purchased from the Freedom From Religion Foundation on Gideon Bibles I find in motels. The sticker reminds readers there is another point of view and if they are interested they can contact the Freedom From Religion Foundation. We stayed at what locals call the best hotel in Providence. There was no Bible in the room. Our first night on the return trip we stayed at a Hampton Inn that had no dresser drawers and no Bible.
I mention all this because Easter is claimed by many Christians to be an important religious holiday. This year it was hard for me to locate evidence of religion. It was a much different Easter than one decades ago in Puerto Rico when hardly a store was open on Good Friday. Or a few years back the North Dakota had a law against selling alcohol on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.
Easter is a nice time to have a day off and even old retired guys enjoy the holiday.

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