Looking Back On One Year With Russell And Pascal


Thank you for convincing me to join you in carrying our conversation to written form. A year ago today I was tweaking this WordPress theme with custom styling that wouldn’t break the top of the site on certain mobile devices. At that time we’d already published About Russell and About Pascal, you’d just published Why I’m Not A Christian, and my first post, What’s in a Label? (a Christian/atheist by any other name…), was soon to follow.

It’s been a great journey so far. I’ve enjoyed supplementing our face-to-face time with thoughts in writing. A year later, I still don’t consider myself a writer. Sure, I can type and articulate my thoughts, but not with style or natural eloquence like you and my bride. Writing does not come naturally for me. I don’t put my kids to bed and think, I’d like to sit down and write. I’d like to learn, workout, spend time with my hottie (she made me remove it, but she didn’t say how :)) wife CC, or play a game – not write. It’s not a passion for me, but listening, learning, and sharing my thoughts with friends is worthwhile.

So why agree to write with you here?

  1. I hope that any loved one who discovers my doubt may read here and understand rather than fear or hate me. That’s a very large part of why I’m here.  I do this for the potential. These simple posts and comments might even survive our lifetimes – perhaps many times over. Wouldn’t we all like to know that our great great grandparents’ struggles mirrored our own? A common bond that unites a family across time.
  2. I can support and be supported by others who share the journey.
  3. While I’m not a writer, it’s true that writing helps me consider my ideas in a more direct way – which often leads to refining them.
  4. For you – we can communicate more often and more deeply than our schedules would otherwise allow, and I know you are a writer and appreciate this form of communication.

I do get behind on the blog at times, far more than I’d like, and I haven’t even read your last six posts. But I’m still here, plodding away with comments on posts 8 months old. 🙂 Don’t worry. I’m not going to throw the towel in and say, “So Long and Thanks for all the Fish!”

In the past year, I’ve outlined the rough edges of my struggle with faith. I’ve hesitantly hinted at some of the things that pushed me to disbelief while trying to minimize the impact of my own doubts upon others. I still feel that we’ve only scratched the surface on these topics, and I don’t expect to make much of a dent in another 365 days. Maybe in 40 years we’ll have reached an agreement on the definition of terms. If not, that’s okay too. I’m not here for a debate. I’m here for a friendship.

Pascal, thank you. Thank you for being a leader in your church and your home. Thank you for being a leader in our community and in this blog. Thank you for being a genuine Christian. Thank you for opening your home to us and other skeptics in our community. Thank you for all the time and energy you spend on us here at russellandpascal.com. Thank you for being my brother in compassion and a genuine friend. You are the wind beneath my wings. (She said I had to take that out, too, but it’s her fault for mockingly singing it when I was writing this paragraph. Now she rolls her eyes and says men can’t say “I love you” without having to make a joke.) 🙂

Now to appease my wife, and share my heart, I’ll say it. I love you brother. I’m looking forward to our next breakfast and our next Détente. Until then, I’ll find you here.

Another year? Yes, another year.

Gentleness and respect,


  1. Men can say “I love you” without making a joke. But then it’s all awkward… :0p (There. I’ve gone and done it…)

    Keep communicating. Keep the dialogue alive. It’s our only hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m with Madalyn – 3 anniversary posts is a bit too much to handle. 🙂 Since we’re guys, Russell, maybe we should try at least a little bit of fighting to balance out all this sentimentality. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, Howie. I’m not sure we could find anything to argue about if we tried. 🙂

      However, I was thinking about lifting weights and then killing (that’s right, I’m a man) virtual people, and maybe some aliens, with some family members on Xbox tonight. Okay, yes, I’ll be playing princess with my 4-year-old and dancing to “Let It Go” from Frozen on Just Dance 2015 before that, so maybe I don’t deserve a man-card.

      What can I say? I live with women and Pascal is awesome. I’m not embarrassed. Well, not usually. 🙂

      Gentleness and respect,


    2. Good luck, Howie—I’ve been picking fights with Russell for 8.5 years, and he still has never once raised his voice at me. I think he might have interrupted me once. That was as bad as it ever got. You’re barking up the wrong tree if you’re looking for a fight 😉



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