Meet a member: Dianne Post

Name: Dianne Post

Where I live: Phoenix.

Where and when I was born: I was born in Muscoda, Wis., halfway between Madison and Dubuque, in January 1947.

Family: Two sisters, one in Milwaukee and one in California; two brothers, both in Muscoda.

Education: I received my bachelor’s degree in correctional administration in 1969 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I worked with Anne Nicol Gaylor on women’s abortion rights. Then I was off to California for my first professional job as a parole officer and then to graduate school in San Jose in psychology. Then I moved back to Wisconsin to work in a series of jobs around the state with alcoholics and the mentally challenged. Psychology was not for me, so I applied to only one law school and got in — UW-Madison. After graduating in December 1979, I left for the sunny and hot clime of Arizona and have been here ever since.

Occupation: International human rights lawyer. My last gig was in Moldova in November 2015 training judges on women’s rights and LGBT rights.

How I got where I am today: Hard work, stubbornness, brains and guts.

Where I’m headed: Well, I wanted to be the first woman president, but that doesn’t seem too likely. I’ll settle for making maximum use of the talents I have to bring about a better world before I leave it.

Person in history I admire and why: Charlotte Gilman Perkins was the ultimate in women rebels of her time. She left her marriage, gave up her child, saved herself from insanity and wrote profound books to lead the way for those who came after her.

A quotation I like: “There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.” – Ruth Hurmence Green.
These are a few of my favorite things: The cosmos, hummingbirds, books.
These are not: Mosquitos, temperatures more than 110 degrees.

My doubts about religion started: When I was sent to Sunday school. I was the kid who asked all those impossible-to-answer questions: “But teacher, we learned in school that you can’t turn water into wine.” I was told that these were just mysteries that people were not meant to understand and to stop asking questions. That didn’t sit well. In high school, a very enlightened Presbyterian minister moved to town and I babysat his kids and started going to his church. He encouraged questions and didn’t hesitate to say he didn’t understand, either. Not surprisingly, he left the church himself after three particularly horrible events. By the time I was 16, I was done with religion.

Before I die: I’d love to see a socialist woman president.

Ways I promote freethought: Agitating against prayer in governmental spaces. I gave the first (as far as I know) secular invocation in Phoenix in February 2015. That practice is now ended and we turn our sights toward the state Capitol!

Freedom From Religion Foundation