Meet a Member: From priest to freethinker: Vern Ketter

Name: Vern Ketter.

Where I live: Chillicothe, Mo.

Where and when I was born: Kelly, Kan., Aug. 11, 1929.

Family: Spouse, Janet.

Education: B.A. in philosophy, M.A. in theology, M.A. in education.

Occupation: Catholic priest for 14 years, nursing home owner and administrator for 18 years, retired for 16 years.

Military service: U.S. Air Force chaplain, one year.

How I got where I am today: Experience in the School of Hard Knocks, the priesthood, marriage, divorce and extremely good fortune.

Where I’m headed: Back to where I originally came from!

Person in history I admire: Henry David Thoreau and Robert Green Ingersoll.

A quotation I like: “It is better not to know than to be taught what ain’t so.” (Josh Billings)

These are a few of my favorite things: My wife Janet, discovery of truth and new ideas, reading Freethought Today cover to cover and reading about the lives and thoughts of freethinkers.

These are not: People who claim to know the truth and people who don’t respect other people’s opinions.

How long I’ve been a freethinker: At least 10 years, after 39 years as a Catholic.

Why I’m a freethinker: It’s such a relief compared to living with blinders on. Exercising the use of reason is very refreshing.

Best way I promote freethought: We all need to show by our own example when opportunities arise that freethought just makes good sense. I look forward to the day when we’re not a minority.

I’ve written a book — Think About It! From Priest to Peace — on how my thoughts have changed over 50 years. If those who believe in a superior power become motivated to live a good life out of love instead of out of fear, some good has been accomplished. It’s available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AuthorHouse or by calling 1-888-519-5121.

It’s great to be associated with FFRF as a Life Member. It’s hard to explain the relief and happiness of my freethinking years compared to all the previous years.

Freedom From Religion Foundation