The Brights' Bulletin

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Issue #212 (latest issue)

(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)



Action Paths

The verse above says: “You decide where you’re bound.” And most of us are, as individuals, determining our own pathways in life. We set the direction and identify our aims. We decide how far and long we wish to maintain our pursuits.

Something more, however: The fact of your having signed into this online constituency as a Bright distinguishes you from brights in general who are not registered Brights. It means that you share with other constituents an overarching action direction.

The Brights’ action direction is best summed up in our tagline: illuminate and elevate the naturalistic worldview. No matter how Brights choose to interpret that phrase, or how seriously they choose to take it, it is the bottom line for Brights’ action.

The website offers numerous suggestions regarding the general “illuminate and elevate” thrust. Have you perused those recommendations?  Perhaps you can put them to good use as you go about your daily life?  Remember…

  • Brights undertake to be as candid as we can be about our worldview. Everyone must of course consider the degree to which they can safely make openness and visibility integral to their activities. (In some locations, the vulnerability is serious and even prohibitive.) But most of us can step a bit beyond passivity and an easy comfort level to let our worldview become evident.
  • Brights strive to engage constructively with persons we encounter. Our exchanges about worldviews with fellow citizens can lean in a more positive direction if we are evading use of customary religious references and terms that tend to drive us into an oppositional stance or argumentative bearing. There is value in using novel terms (brights, naturalistic)! (Further elaboration regarding “sticking to a civics framework” is on the website.)

Each of us serves as a case example of someone living contentedly with a supernatural-free understanding of the world. If others are to view, then it is up to us to display.


A Helping Hand

If you are interested in assisting with the overall Brights endeavor, then you can also check into the priority “Action Arenas” highlighted on the website. You can pursue independently or join with others. All personal efforts advantage the global movement.

Arena 1, which to date has been the subject of Brights’ most extensive collaborative efforts, continues to have specific needs.

Background: Many volunteers joined in a formal “task team” project hoping to directly counter - with science - the myth that some sort of divinity underpins morality. As science shows: human morality is grounded in biological and cultural evolution — nothing supernatural about it.

The “Morality Project produced an online information portal with concise explanations in different languages.

Opportunities: Some of the language translations are incomplete (e.g., Chinese). Also, the posted research selection needs updating with recent peer-reviewed studies. If either of these activities appeals to you, email to and express your interest in volunteering to handle a short page of translation or look into the latest in morality research.

  • There are other opportunities to help out. We will give mention to those in a subsequent bulletin. In the meantime, perhaps you have ideas of your own. Feel free to email to if you have specific skills or ways that you would like to contribute.

Next Generation Action Direction

The photo of the child traversing corn rows (positioned atop this bulletin, and repeated here) has a history with the Brights. The photo was obtained initially from to illustrate one month in a twelve-month paper calendar. (Forum volunteers produced that year’s “Brights Calendar” for Brights to use or perhaps give as a gift.) The base photo credit goes to Anita Patterson Peppers. For both superimposed verses we must thank Dr. Seuss.

Rhyme and picture together bring us to Action Arena 2: Budding Brights. (BC hasn’t highlighted that Arena in a while, so we’d like to do so now.) Arena 2 is intended to stimulate Brights’ thinking about approaches to the rearing of children.

In today’s world, there are many difficulties to bringing up youngsters to be reasonable thinkers and considerate citizens. Reasonable thinkers. Considerate citizens.

Just imagine the likely influences of differing heights of those corn rows on how the child traverses the landscape. They illustrate how social or parental pressures can be influential in channeling youngsters' explorations and freedom of thought.  

Children growing up can’t help but be influenced when their society is permeated with widespread beliefs in supernatural realms. They soak it all in.

Adult guidance plays its role, and adults must decide the degree to which they “restrict” the ability of the child to explore and to exercise autonomy of thought. For consideration, the website presents a discussion under the title, “Erecting Walls; Opening Horizons.” The essay touches on education as distinguished from indoctrination.


Parenting Values & Religion

Pew Research Center just released in January a study focused on how children are brought up nowadays. The overall report, “Parenting in America Today,” includes a look at the many challenges parents face today, particularly in the post-Covid timeframe. It also explores parents’ aspirations for their children, parenting styles, stress levels and rewards. (Note: The study involved surveying U.S. parents, but its results may be of interest to others as well.)

If asked about religion, approximately a third of the parents overall say it is extremely or very important to them that their children share their religious beliefs. Considerable variations, however, are notable in the data due to race, ethnicity and religion.

One particular focus of the survey involves inquiring into how the parents’ approaches compare to how they themselves were reared.

  • About as many parents say they are following how they were brought up as say they are departing from their own upbringing.
  • Religion and values are mentioned by 63% of the parents who are sticking to how they were raised. (Responses from those folks “tended to center around instilling respect for others, good morals, and a strong work ethic.)
  • A notable share (17%) of the “using same approaches” parents specifically mentioned religion, saying that “…they want to pass along the same religious beliefs and values their parents instilled in them.” These parents pointed to faith and spirituality as a focus in raising their kids, just as it was when they were growing up.

Compassion and open-mindedness. These attributes were among the items mentioned as hoped-for “different values” by 7% of the parents interested in departing from how they were raised.

Other survey areas explored with the same/different upbringing comparisons include love and relationships, behavior and discipline, freedom and autonomy, and education.


Conveying Values & Wisdom

Parents and others giving serious thought to their interactions with children might want to set aside a bit of time to ponder the “Seven Secular Virtues” set out some years ago by Dale McGowen within his book, Parenting beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids without Religion.

The aspirational qualities that McGowan presented (“not carved in stone, but in butter, meant to stimulate your thinking about virtue rather than to dictate an immutable set of commandments”) are: Humility. Empathy. Courage. Honesty. Openness. Generosity. Gratitude.

A quick route to pondering these seven virtues can be pursued via the Brights’ website. (The discussion has been excerpted with the author’s permission and is available for downloading as a 10-page PDF).


Book by a Bright – A Personal View

As years go by, most adults will much come to personal conclusions about life that they like to think of (and label) as their wisdom. They may discuss their personal philosophy while they live, but when life is over, whatever particular insights they have discerned become inaccessible.

Who among us will ever proceed to sift and sort our thoughts and package them into an actual issued book that, while we still live, we can show to others and gift to others? Not many ever do it. But some do and some even illustrate their book!

Congratulations, Charlotte! 

Over a decade ago that this artistic Bright happened to mention that, after pondering what would she like to say to her grandchildren, she would like hand them a book. Thus, we at BC were especially delighted to learn quite recently that she has published those thoughts from back then (perhaps refined or tweaked them since).

Charlotte has formalized her personal wisdom into finished artwork and packaged it between the covers of her illustrated book, Things I Wanted You to Know. The book is now available not only to the targeted readers she had in mind (her grandchildren), but also to anyone interested.

BC has posted the book’s full description in our “Books by Brights” segment for parents and children. Here’s some of how Charlotte introduces it:

I wrote this book for my grandchildren over 21 years ago to give them a logical, realistic perspective on life… and yes indeed, life is amazing.”

Charlotte’s effort to convey to her grandchildren her own philosophy (by means of a book) is illustrative of many parents’ own efforts to carry forward their perspectives by exposing their offspring to books.


Logo-themed Merchandise

Logo-themed merchandise draws others’ attention and opens up opportunities to talk about the Brights. If you are wearing a T-shirt or carrying a tote bag emblazoned with a Brights icon, you may get a chance to offer insight into the Brights initiative, its egalitarian vision and civic aims.

The Brights Shop at Café Press is one avenue to obtaining merchandise. Its offerings can display the Brights' logo in either its standard or horizontal form.

Of interest? — Some designs have a “Brights flavor,” such as the one shown here. There are also several maxims that could grab someone’s attention and spur their questions. Example saying: “Supers, Brights / One humanity, One world.

The Brights’ Kiosk at is another avenue to Brights-themed merchandise. Zazzle has a T-shirt available in a style more suited to the female shape. Their canvas tote bag (great for carrying groceries, or exercise bands and weights) is made of organic cotton.

Of interest? — From coffee mugs to buttons and Tees, Zazzle’s kiosk carries plenty of items with the “Living on the Bright Side of Life” maxim. (A contrast to living on the super side)

These items make excellent conversation starters. All are priced at the minimum mark-up available to Brights Central.  BC arranges for merchandise as a service to Brights who would like to participate in a bit of activism. Whether coming via Zazzle, Café Press, or direct from BC, purchases are not fundraisers for the hub.

Our nonprofit is funded primarily by direct donations from Brights themselves. (See the website’s donation page.) So, from BC’s perspective, perhaps best of all the merchandise items available is Zazzle’s magnet! Accompanied by the horizontal logo, it says “Proud supporter of the Brights”! You can get one for display on your refrigerator or around your employment workspace.


New Place – Across Town

Have you heard that moving next door is as hard as moving a thousand miles? It’s a saying that sure seems to fit us at Brights Central.

  • We have moved our office! Having been over a decade in one location, the preparation, sorting, weeding and boxing up aspects were extensive.
  • By the time everything was transferred to the truck, travel distance was of little concern. And from one 2nd floor to another 2nd floor didn’t much matter either.

The prior time BC moved its quarters, the distance was actually a mere city block (same block, just from one end to the other)! This time, the distance traversed was 4.4 miles, about a 15-minute drive.

This move was necessitated. The building owner had decided he wanted our office for his own office! (So, an eviction, actually. But we left on good terms.) We found a new location without difficulty— somewhat smaller but actually nicer!

The new location offers a really pleasant situation upstairs of the new, post-pandemic Reason Center. Lovely communal spaces downstairs. Nice neighbors, too!

  • Invited to move to the former Reason Center facility several times in the past, Dr. Futrell had declined each time. (Although no one else at BC minded, she just didn’t want to face a car commute and give up the option of a pleasant 15-minute walk from her home!)
  • Now, with no choice in the matter and the facility itself having moved to a new location, she must drive. (Given how rivers and freeways meet in Sacramento, a bike ride would take well over an hour.) But, despite that car commute, she enjoys a better view out the window.

So here we are, at 1300 Ethan Way, Ste. 675, Sacramento CA 95816. We had some difficulty with getting internet established suitably, but the 3rd vendor finally achieved success and activities are now resuming. (If you plan to mail anything in an envelope, do keep using the postal address on the website to avoid forwarding issues.)


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The Brights' Net
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