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Palmer Forness, Published July 12 2010

Don’t want to be a ‘Freethinker’

I was prompted to write after the article on former Fargo Mayor Jon Lindgren, president of the Freethinkers, and their upcoming convention appeared in The Forum (July 4).

Being a Fargo firefighter for 27 years, I know Lindgren well and consider him a good friend.

We had a meeting several months ago during which I expressed my displeasure about his followers wanting to remove the large monument located downtown with the Ten Commandments inscribed on it.

This of course led to a discussion on the Freethinkers; I felt there was no such thing. We all get our thoughts from others or things we hear on TV. We parted after further discussion, still friends.

Then one day I received a notice that someone had paid my membership fees and I was now a member of the Freethinkers.

This troubled me greatly. I have no desire to be a member of a group that is considered quite proud of being atheistic. I did approach the secretary of the organization at her home and expressed my desire to have my name removed from the membership or I would be forced to take other actions. Of course I never had any response from her.

It really is a form of blackmail, and I suppose I could sue, but I do not wish to at this time.

My faith is important to me, always has been and always will be. Whoever put my name on that list should be very ashamed.

I could never do that to anybody; it’s disrespectful. And when a person gets to be over 80 years of age, he needs his peace.