Just so we’re all clear

by Erin on September 22, 2006

A recent (and anonymous) commenter posted (on the recent "misconceptions" post) that he or she "could have lived without knowing [I was] an athiest."

Why on earth my religion or lack thereof should matter on a blog about dresses, of all things (it's not like I'm claiming to be a prophet of anything other than the essential goodness of full skirts) is unclear to me, but, just so everyone understands, and so no one else feels a stunning sense of hollowness upon learning this belatedly:

First of all, it's ATHEIST. (It's one of those words that isn't "i before e.") And I never said I was one; just that I don't think God (if there is one) bothers too much with what you wear. I think any putative deity would be much more concerned about whether you show sufficient kindness than a little too much leg.

That "if there is one" should have tipped you off (if it matters) that I'm a card-carrying sealed-in-the-temple (and full-immersion-baptized) agnostic; I belong to the First Pentecostal Evangelical United Agnostic Church of We're-Not-Sure, which holds services whenever it gets around to it and has a very, very short Catechism. (Q. What do we believe? A. We don't know.)

Funnily enough, if you image-google "god dress" one of the pics that comes up is this one, even though I couldn't find the text "god" on the page:


technofur dress

Which, as you might remember, I wrote about here. I might say something about "moving in mysterious ways" or something "being a sign" but that would be unnecessarily provocative, don't you think?

To sum up: if your life is enriched by a strong religious faith, I am very happy for you. I have been privileged to know many sincerely religious people who are kind, thoughtful, and generous, and who live lives that anyone would be proud to emulate. I envy them their faith and certainty, and I am exceedingly grateful to them for not pressuring me to resolve my lack of certainty, because I can't believe (get it?) that will happen any time soon (as I have no plans for a trip to Damascus).

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled semi-Godless posting about dresses. (Although you should really click on that dress link above, if you haven't already. Did you know it's made of "Technofur"?)

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous September 22, 2006 at 11:42 pm

Awesome. I love this entry. Thanks…

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erma September 23, 2006 at 12:30 am

Have you re-read the text of your previous post on the Technofur? Perhaps the exclamation with which you opened the post is responsible for the image turning up in “god dress” search results. It’s a mighty powerful blog you run here.

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Hecate September 23, 2006 at 12:38 am

Aphrodite. Now there’s a deity who cares about clothing.

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lauren September 23, 2006 at 1:18 am

I love that this post happened.

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Zoltar Panaflex September 23, 2006 at 1:45 am

Notice the flamers don’t have the guts to do two simple things1) admit who they are2) spell a really easy word correctlyMy confession is I love Dress a Day. I envy your dress-fascination. I’m not a dress-wearer. I’m ill proportioned, and do better in suitpants.Please, please, keep on doing what you’ve been doing. Please. Please? I thank you. If you’re in the Seattle area, I have some playful silk for you.

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Floridaprincess September 23, 2006 at 3:32 am

Oh for the love of Mike!!! I took a look at this post today. Im the 2nd paragraph if you know what I mean. You that county song ” Im here for the party” Well “Im here for dresses” I hope I spelled everything correctly. Im a horrible speller.

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Amelie September 23, 2006 at 4:34 am

Oh, please don’t waste any time or energy answering the fundamentalists. The should be ashamed of themselves, reading frivolous blogs about dresses instead of the serious materials that would suit their mood better. Besides that, fuck them…

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Cazzy September 23, 2006 at 5:02 am

Bravo Erin! I bought a great full skirt with pockets yesterday and thought about the blog. And a pink dress with midriff banding. yay!

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jill September 23, 2006 at 8:52 am

Would it settle the issue for you if you consider that those who attain heaven reportedly thereafter will be white robed (Revelation 6:11), as opposed to white pantsuited?A wrap dress for eternity. No chance of gaining weight and not fitting it anymore either.God is Love, and He (and we readers)love you very much, even while you are unsure if you believe in God, or when you are unsure if you like a particular dress. You know how it is hard to tell if a dress is right for you until you actually get into it? Same goes for God.

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blueZhift September 23, 2006 at 9:15 am

I think any putative deity would be much more concerned about whether you show sufficient kindness than a little too much leg. All I can say is amen to that! I wish more people thought that way.

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Carolyn September 23, 2006 at 9:21 am

Thank you for your wonderful response, even though I don’t think it was necessary. This is a blog dedicated to dresses for Pete’s Sake! I live in the Bible Belt (Alabama) and get so tired of the judgemental attitudes. I’ve been criticized for being an Episcopalian! Apparently we are not Godly enough! Thanks for your wonderful blog. It has been so inspiring!

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Diane September 23, 2006 at 10:01 am

If you think about it, most of the dresses you showcase would be perfect for wearing to church. Now you have some fodder for a “secret life” story. The dress that fell from grace!!! Really, who cares what your religious beliefs are? I’m here for the dresses and so far I’ve seen no indication that you are the devil. Red dress or no.

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vespabelle September 23, 2006 at 10:54 am

You could teach some of Christian proponents of modest dress a few things about style. Ugly modest clothing just attracts unwanted attention which defeats the purpose of “modest” dress.

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Gidget Bananas September 23, 2006 at 11:37 am

“A wrap dress for eternity.” jill, DVF should pay you to make that her slogan! My fondest memories of my Church-going years was the brand spanking-new outfit, from hat to shoes, including gloves, that I got every Easter. Apparently in that corner of the religious world, God did care what you wore to the party! ;-)

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India September 23, 2006 at 11:50 am

A long time ago, in a city far, far away (Seattle), I lived with a couple of Star Trek geeks. To my still-intense embarrassment, we had a small picture of Lieutenant Worf from STNG stuck on our house’s door. Yes, our front door. No, I don’t want to discuss it. But this caught the fancy of our local Jehovah’s Witness canvassing team, who, undeterred by our initial apparently-too-polite refusal to chat with them, returned a few days later with an issue of Awake! that they thought we would particularly like: the cover story was about space exploration.Anyway, I’m sad to say that despite this thoughtful gesture, not only did none of us end up accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior (though most did concede that He was way cool), but also I do not remember what Awake! had to say about space exploration. However, I do recall that in that same issue, there was an article directed toward young people who wanted to know if it was consistent with God’s word to hang out at the mall and be concerned with fashion. The article assured them that God wanted His followers–especially those whose faith would require them to go door to door, spreading His word–that it was important to look good. And if that required occasional binge-shopping at Strawberry, so be it.So. That’s a long way of saying that while I don’t believe in much, I do believe that insofar as God is concerned with clothes at all, He wants us to look purty. And I believe that dresses are among the best means of doing so. Amen.

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Marnie September 23, 2006 at 12:16 pm

Man alive, what is it with people being all bent out of shape about folks who aren’t of one religion or another. Can you imagine if someone went to another person’s blog and chided them for being jewish instead of catholic? Can you even fathom that comment? Of course not because that would be rude. And the fact is you should be able to believe or not, in anything under the sun, including worshipping Zues if that’s what gets you through the day, and it shouldn’t be any of anyone’s business. Sheesh.

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Robinson September 23, 2006 at 12:39 pm

The only thing worse than having someone tell you that they don’t want to hear about your agnostic tendencies is having someone be magnanimous about your agnostic tendencies.

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rowena___. September 23, 2006 at 12:41 pm

erin, as always that was a very classy response to a seriously silly comment.this poor world is already a place where people are being slaughtered by the dozens every day for not being “believers”. to have refuge in a little corner of the internet where the greatest concern is the fullness of a hemline is indeed a little taste of heaven.now–go find a truly heathen dress and share the link with us. :)

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Anonymous September 23, 2006 at 2:15 pm

Alright, let’s be a bit more objective here. If you are going to say what you think God cares about, you have brought up religion. So, don’t be shocked that those who care about it a bit more than you do are concerned about your comments. It sounds like they are asking you not to mix religion with dresses if you are going to be flippant about it. And, frankly, I concur. I am not saying that you should not be allowed to have your opinion or free speech, but I am suggesting that if you are going to on the world wide web make statements that if you really think about it could offend a large percentage of the population, then you shouldn’t really be surprised or indignant when some give you their opinion in return.I like your site, and I generally appreciate your sense of humor very much. I suggest that you may have been a tad careless in this case, and I encourage you to continue the generally good work, showing a bit more sensitivity to those whose deeply held beliefs may be offended by casual remarks such as you made or be prepared to respectfully discuss the issues you bring up rather than tossing the concerns of others aside as nonsense.With affection and concern,A Fan

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Anonymous September 23, 2006 at 3:11 pm

That doesn’t seem objective to me at all. I could have gone my whole life without knowing that this anonymous person has deeply held religious beliefs. In fact, I find it quite offensive that you have deeply held religious beliefs and I wish you’d stop making them public.

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Anonymous September 23, 2006 at 3:50 pm

Erin – you are a class act! love your site.

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Lorinne September 23, 2006 at 4:18 pm

The bottom line, to me, is:If you are going to decide whether you like this site, or want to visit it, based on whether or not Erin does or doesn’t have certain religious affiliations, that’s your prerogative. She chose to specify that she wasn’t a religious person. If you’re reading her blog, and you like the blog, and her stating that she is an agnostic makes you not want to read the blog, that’s sad, but it’s your choice. There is nothing controversial about what she’s written.Erin, you are wonderful.

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Bellaleigh September 23, 2006 at 4:43 pm

Oh for cripes’ sake! I come here to read about perty dresses and to enjoy your fine writing style. If you want to say other stuff, well, far be it from me to tell you just what you should – or shouldn’t – say on your own blog.Upon the first reading, your supposed offensive comments slipped right by me….shows how much I found them offensive. Or, my comprehensive ability is slipping. Whatever the case, write on! :)

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Francesca September 23, 2006 at 4:58 pm

This was a lovely (although, as some have pointed out, unnecessary) response to those cripcrappy anonymous comments we all get from time to time. And while the anonymous comment didn’t deserve such an elegant riposte, I am glad that we had the chance to read it.

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Jenn September 23, 2006 at 5:34 pm

Preach it, sistah!People are so bizzare about religion sometimes. On with the lovely dresses!

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sisumama September 23, 2006 at 7:05 pm

As with TV (turn the channel), unwanted emails (delete key) and a blog that you don’t agree with (read someone elses, after all, it is call world wide web and I bet you could find someone who agrees with you whatever your religion or not is) there are options. If you do want to post as anonymous, you have no back bone and you are worse than the Bible thumpers that come to your door. At least they leave you information with their names on it. I myself can’t wait to read your blog-I sew and can’t seem to get back in the swing of it and I know that one of these days I will and I’ll have you to thank for that!!!!! I’ll be back tomorrow and the next day and the next. Thanks!!!! Oh and I can’t spell either, my dad said I was looking out the window when they were teaching me that. Sorry

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lynneguist September 23, 2006 at 7:35 pm

I think there’s a problem with claiming (or implying, as has been done in some of the comments) that (a) only the religious (particularly: certain kinds of Christian) have deeply held beliefs, and (b) only their beliefs need tip-toeing around. If some believe it was insensitive of Erin to say something that reflected her beliefs (on her own blog, for goodness sake), then it was doubly insensitive of others to claim that she should, out of politeness to them, not refer to her own beliefs on her own blog. Being agnostic requires conviction too–if you’ve taken the time to realize you are agnostic, then you’ve probably got reasons for believing that you can’t know whether there’s a god. And if you’re atheist, you’ve got reasons for believing there is no god. Everyone’s beliefs–so long as they’re not used to justify harming anyone else–deserve to be treated with civility and respect. Boy, that was a bit preachy.

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Sniper September 23, 2006 at 8:33 pm

“he or she “could have lived without knowing [I was] an athiest.” Heh. I feel that one possible correct response to this kind of comment is to flounce dramatically (think Dr. Frank N. Furter) and exclaim, “I didn’t make it for you!”Seriously, if someone wants to create a Dress for God a Day blog, who’s stopping him?

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Anonymous September 23, 2006 at 8:51 pm

Seems there is a lot of selective tolerance here, a lot of hostility, name-calling and rudeness toward those who are urging some thoughtful sensitivity. The person who urged sensitivity is right, unless you want to have a site that is blatantly thumbing your nose at the beliefs of others. They were not asking you not to state your opinions; they were asking you to be thoughtful to your audience. When you started that one post with “Mother of God,” some may wonder whether you were speaking to Mary or taking her name in vain. I’m not personally someone who thinks you can pray to Mary, but many do, and I think if you choose to say things like that, you are going to affect many of your readers in a negative fashion. Is that really what you want?

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Anonymous September 23, 2006 at 8:55 pm

It’s interesting that those who use profanity, call names, etc. are not considered flamers, but those who urge thoughtfulness are. Does the term “flamers” mean “anyone who has an opinion different than your own?”

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Sniper September 23, 2006 at 9:02 pm

Erin, have you seen the bumper stickers for militant agnostics? “I don’t know, and neither do you!”

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Erin September 23, 2006 at 9:10 pm

Hmm. The reason that I use expletives like “Holy Mother of God” (HMOG for short) is that they are so powerful, and rhetorically interesting. Maybe I should switch to older ones, like “Zounds!” (God’s wounds!) or “Jernie!” (which is a corruption of the French “je renie Dieu” ‘I renounce God’ and has been obsolete since oh … about 1680). If a few mildly religiously themed interjections are enough to be offensive, I am probably doomed to offend. If people want to email me and express their disappointment with those same interjections, that’s fine. Or they can just Not Read It. I have no aspirations to be Blog Queen of All Creation (whoops, there I go again) so if a couple people take me off their morning coffee & blog lists, I can live with that.

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enc September 24, 2006 at 12:10 am

Somehow, religion eventually infiltrates EVERYthing.

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Ivy Frozen September 24, 2006 at 12:32 am

I love your blog! It inspired me to make my first dress and you always have intriguing things to say when you choose another topic for your post. It’s impossible to not offend anyone (unless you’re a technical manuel) and I’m glad you’re not going to compromise yourself and attempt it. Personally, I couldn’t care less whether you’re black, white, Puerto Rican, Chinese, Atheist, Agnostic, purple with yellow spots, Roman Catholic, a member of the Church of Satan (a bit of an oxymoron, aye?), Baptist, Jewish, Sic, Buddhist, Muslim, or worship at an alter of shoes. You blog about dresses, and the occasional other topic that’s on your mind. Blog on! (Though if you did worship at an alter of shoes, that would be interesting to read about, though I might not idolize you so much anymore…) ~*~Ivy~*~

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maggypie September 24, 2006 at 3:33 am

For the love of Pete! (oh, is that too religious?)To the anonymous who keeps preaching about being considerate by respecting his or her particular deeply held beliefs – for heaven’s sake (oh, is that too religious?), go and get a Blogger account and make your own blog. Make it as sweet and charitable and religious as you like. Tell everyone about your deeply held beliefs. Wallow in it. Lecture all you want about how everyone has to bow down to you and what you believe – on your own turf.Dress A Day is about dresses. There are so many evangelical blogs that you could enjoy, which I’m sure would never fail to live up to your standards. As has been said on this thread – if you don’t like it, don’t read it!Unfortunately, there is much misery in the world brought about by religion, and by people insisting that other people believe what they believe, or allow their beliefs to be considered superior. People use religion to justify no end of evil-doing and cruelty. A little less religion – here and in the world at large – might be a very good thing.Erin, great blog. I enjoy it mightily. Don’t let the self-righteous turkeys get you down.

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Anonymous September 24, 2006 at 4:28 am

And they speak of religious fanatism with regards to others who belief differently?!Erin, I am surprised and disturbed that you feel the need to defend yourself on what you do or do not believe in ON YOUR OWN BLOG!! Will these people who have nothing better to do than to try to judge others based on their own narrow perspectives please go elsewhere, I am sure there are other blogs for them, somewhere.My Duro dress pattern arrived it is from Simplicity #4050, a Khaliah Ali design and has a 6 x gore skirt which will be most flattering for plus sizes, I think.Keep on Blogging for what you stand Erin……A Dress A Day……or so.

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Anonymous September 24, 2006 at 4:37 am

One more thing, on the FACE HUNTER, link belowhttp://facehunter.blogspot.com/ are a couple of Duro dresses or close-to to be admired. Scroll down the page.

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oracle September 24, 2006 at 8:17 am

Erin knows where she’s at, and she doesn’t need to be told. The rest of us choose to read this blog or not. That’s all.And Erin, I’m with Carolyn, who so supportively said, “Thank you for your wonderful response, even though I don’t think it was necessary.” You don’t have to defend yourself against this stuff. Or against anything, for that matter! And I’m also with Stuntmother, who said, “(but) I am glad that we had the chance to read it.” And I love Lynneguist’s reasoning. Her first paragraph just nailed it down; what impeccable and good-feeling logic! It’s YOUR blog that I come to A Dress A Day to read, and to which I shall return, again and again. Because of what you say and how you say it. It’s your input that I want to take in every morning when I come here. I’m only interested in how you define yourself, and not in how others would define you (although I’m certainly interested in how other readers, like myself, enjoy your thinking and your writing! And your dress choices.)Besides the dress fix, I come here for your sensitivity. I think that you’re one of the most highly sensitive and generous (to other folks) writers I’ve seen in a long time, and have often said so to my closest friend outside of blog-land. I have long loved the grace with which you respond to so many different people and issues. Your unusually well-developed ability to respect others while differing from them is something I admire and aspire to develop more toward, myself. I’d say that I come here about equally for your dresses, your delicious writing and your lovely attitude.

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carmen September 24, 2006 at 8:23 pm

Holy crap. I’m an atheist, for real. Card carrying member of the Society for Ethical Culture. And there’s nothing wrong with that.I like pretty dresses too.

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andrea September 24, 2006 at 11:12 pm

“but I am suggesting that if you are going to on the world wide web make statements that if you really think about it could offend a large percentage of the population”I’m pretty sure there are no guarantees to freedom from being offended.Preachy zealots (and that includes those who politely cough and point out how we have offended them) should go stand in front of the mirror and judge themselves, leaving the rest of us alone to look at pretty dresses.If you’ll excuse me, my mirror is lonely.

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Anonymous September 25, 2006 at 8:32 am

Just want to let you know that you have touched my heart and in response, for the next few Sundays, I’ll be taking a beginning sewing class at FIT. Amen.

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the dame September 25, 2006 at 8:43 am

I have “deeply held” beliefs BUT I’m not “religious” AND I’m a member of the Church of We-Don’t-Know! I understand that people take their faiths very seriously and that those belief systems are often pervasive in their life as they relate to all manner of daily decisions, etc. I respect that.But let’s ask the important question. Do the dresses have deeply held religious beliefs? Are the dresses of one or another particular religious affiliation?In most cases, I think it is safe to say that, NO, the dresses are non-denominational dresses and would like to be worn by all manner of nice ladies who will take care of them, hang them up at the end of a long day and remember to dry clean only. Nevermind who they do or don’t pray to.I don’t think it really matters what you believe in as far as a dress is concerned. I also think this is Erin’s blog so if she wants to mention her beliefs about god or money management or genetic research or cabbage – she can certainly do so. That’s her business. We just have to decide if we want to read it.And I DO.

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Lia September 25, 2006 at 10:22 am

Bravo, Erin!!! Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Lee Anne September 25, 2006 at 1:56 pm

What an exceptional place — where women of all colors, creeds (or not), ethnicities, whatever — can get together to oooh and ahhh over pretty dresses. Peace on earth.

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catalina September 25, 2006 at 4:54 pm

As an atheist, I find all this discussion of god deeply offensive.Ok, no I don’t. But I would rather talk about dresses!Love this blog.

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Daphne September 25, 2006 at 6:57 pm

Have you seen that bumber sticker — “After the rapture, can I have your car?” I think this would work for so many things. “Can I have your dresses?” fits perfectly.

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Linda September 25, 2006 at 7:30 pm

Blogs are just like TV. If you don’t like what you are watching, turn the channel. You do have choice.I choose to come here and read almost daily. It is entertaining, informative and a pleasure. It has nothing to do with someone’s religion or politics or whatever.I like many others come to read about dresses and today blue roses!

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Anonymous September 26, 2006 at 8:33 am

It only has something to do with religion, b/c Erin brought up religion…or lack of it. The comment that has ignited such a hateful backlash was not hateful…pretty sad.

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La BellaDonna September 26, 2006 at 5:08 pm

Erin, your gentle and sensible response saved me from having to send an email asking if it was all right to answer that post a risk a Flaming Troll War.On your blog you have shown nothing but kindness and a genuine generosity of spirit which those who are a lot more certain about their connection with their deity of choice would do well to emulate. Theres not much thats certain in this life; knowing that I will enjoy whatever youve provided for our entertainment here on Dress A Day is one of the few certainties I have in mine. Youve brightened up a lot of lives; I wonder if the sanctimonious can claim as much.I love Dress A Day, and I love you just the way you are.Oh, and Sniper? Heeee! to “a Dress for God a Day.” I pick Wrap Dress, and The Morrighan, as a salute to my Celtic ancestors. What’s your God-a-Day?

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Anonymous September 26, 2006 at 10:57 pm

Than, there’s always the Church of the Plain Brown Wrapper….

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Erin in Arkansas September 28, 2006 at 10:02 am

oh my. Well, since we’re on beliefs, I wonder if anyone’s been paying attention to the NPR “This I Believe” series? I found this essay this weekend on atheism by Penn from the magic comedy team Penn and Teller. I know, I know, magicians are nerds. The essay is enjoyable. AND can you believe they risked offending all the christians by broadcasting it on NPR in the middle of broad daylight! check it out…www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557Love to Dress a Day, no love to anonymous posters who are totally tripping.

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