Sometimes it's very heartening to find validation when you're not looking for it. This is a terrific op-ed piece from the Los Angeles Times that I found thanks to advice columnist extraordinaire, Carolyn Hax. My two grown sons, aside from being my two favorite people in the world, have turned out to be exceptional young men. Kind, intelligent, goofy, thoughtful and just plain wonderful. I know, this isn't something I can be objective about. But if you have met either of them you are likely to agree. In choosing to raise my sons without the involvement of a church or religion, I (and my ex, their father, deserves credit here as well) made a point of instilling in them what I later discovered is called a strong moral compass. Which is primarily teaching right from wrong and good from bad absent the whole heaven/eternal reward, hell/eternal punishment, all-seeing deity concept. They treat others with respect and empathy because that is what they were taught and what they observed while they grew. And even if they choose to follow a religion as adults, that is their right that I will respect. We all have our own path to follow. Most of my life I have lived in something of a self imposed closet where I keep my spiritual beliefs to myself. Reading an article like this makes me feel like I can crack that door open a little more and speak a little more freely. This country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. Which means freedom from religion just as much as it means freedom of religion, a distinction that should be recognized and remembered.