Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

The New Look of Animal House–Transgender Fraternities and Sororities

Posted by dalekuehne on September 25, 2016

If Hollywood does a remake of Animal House it could look a lot different in the brave new world of gender identity.

How longer will we even use the words Fraternity and Sororities when referring to Greek life on college campuses? What is the difference?

Let me t-t-tell you ’bout some friends I know
They’re kinda crazy but you’ll dig the show
They can party ’till the break of dawn
at Delta Chi you can’t go wrong

Otter, he’s the ladies man
Every girl falls into his hands
Boon and Katy playing “Cat and Mouse”

and Mrs. Wormer, she’s the queen of the




That Pinto he’s a real swell guy
Clorette was jailbait but he gave her a try
Chip, Doug, and Greg, they’re second to none
They studied under Attila the Hun

Mr. Jennings has got his wig on tight
Flouder’s left shoe’s always on his right
Babs and Mandy are having a pillow fight
With D-Day, Hoover, Otis Day and the Knights


Come on baby, dance with me
Maybe if we do the Bluto
We will get an “A” in lobotomy



Aw, come on!
Let me tell ya
Dean Wormer tried to shut us down
But he fell and he broke his crown
He didn’t know about the Delta spunk
He came in handy when we were short a skunk

Animal House by Stephen Bishop (1979)

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Norman William Frederick Kuehne 9/2/1929-7/9/2016

Posted by dalekuehne on July 29, 2016

Eulogy for our father.

A number of years ago our father, Norman, wrote down his preferences for a memorial service to be held after his passing. In this, he stated his reasoning for not wanting a eulogy of his life included. Since what he wrote provides an insight into his thoughts, and him as a person, we thought we’d read it out on this occasion. In his words:

I’ve always felt uncomfortable with services which include eulogies that focus on the life, relationships and/or accomplishments of the deceased. My life was not exemplary nor did I accomplish anything of note. I’m only a poor sinner, saved by God’s grace. Our Lord deserves the focus because he created us, sustained our lives and paid the ultimate price for our redemption. It is he, and he alone, that deserves our worship, honor and praise!

Now with that being said he later gave us a bit more freedom in planning his memorial service, telling us to say what we felt was appropriate, so we have added the following narrative about his life:

On Monday, September 2nd 1929, Norman William Frederich Kuehne was born in a homestead farmhouse in Long Prairie Township, Todd County Minnesota as the eldest child of Otto and Ruth Kuehne. He arrived just a few weeks before the Stock Market Crash that would plunge the country into the Great Depression throughout the 1930’s. Six siblings would follow – four sisters and two brothers – and there was never a shortage of work to be done or hands to do it. The five-bedroom farmhouse had been built by his grandfather to accommodate his eight children, plus relatives from multiple generations, and extra farmhands. The wood to build the house came from trees on their property that were cut and milled locally. Even though the Rural Electrification Act lines had not yet reached their farm, grandpa had the house wired for electricity when it did. Times were difficult, but the family made do with what they had, and were generous to the passing drifters who would knock on their door, asking for something to eat. Not only were they provided for, but were invited to sit at the table and partake with the family.

Though it sounds like something out of Little House On The Prairie, he really did have to walk a fair distance to a one-room elementary schoolhouse in the country, and found his first day there especially daunting, as English was spoken rather than the German he had grown up with at home and church. Students were required to bring their lunch, and leave it in the coatroom, which was unheated in the winter. On many days they all ate frozen sandwiches at lunch. He adjusted quickly to the new routine and did well at school, and blazing a trail for his siblings to follow in the years ahead. This was altered one winter morning when he was about 10 years old. Following a serious asthma attack, he awoke with a terrible headache, finding he couldn’t move one leg; he knew what it was, but he hoped he was wrong. Infantile Paralysis, later known as Polio, was an epidemic in the late 30’s and early 40’s had struck. He was diagnosed by their local doctor and was later admitted to Gillette Children’s Hospital in St Paul for extended inpatient treatment. He said that the lowest point of his life was being dropped off by his parents and entrusted to the care of people he didn’t know in a city far away from home at such a young age, facing a frightening prognosis.

While Polio could be a devastating disease, he was hugely fortunate to be evaluated by Australian nurse Sister Kenny, a groundbreaking pioneer in Polio treatment and physical therapy. Her methods were unconventional and viewed with skepticism by the medical community, until they proved so successful, that her approach became the accepted method of treatment. While Polio left its mark on him for the rest of his life, he eventually returned home able to walk, and with a strength of Faith and a force of Will that that never departed him.

Back on the farm, they had begun transitioning from farming with horse teams to early tractors. Even so, when it snowed heavily in the winter, Dad’s father Otto still used a horse-drawn sleigh with a heavy blanket in the back for warmth, to ferry the children back and forth to their township school. Stories such as these come from a time that feels distant to us now, and unfathomable to a younger generation. Indeed, upon hearing about the sleigh a few years ago, Ross’s young son Zachary pondered it for a bit, and asked with a quizzical look: “Does Farfar know any Reindeer?”

Dad’s education in the one-room schoolhouse continued through 8th grade, progressing on to Long Prairie High School, graduating in 1947. He then moved to the Twin Cities to attend Minneapolis Business College, graduating in 1948. He started work as a bookkeeper at International Milling, and later moved on to Lew Bonn Electronics, where he became an Office Manager in charge of Credit. He then spent 25 years at Douglas Corporation, retiring in 1998 as Vice President of Finance. While working for Doug Skanse at Douglas, he had a serious pituitary incident, which went undiagnosed for several months. This was discovered during an examination at the University of Minnesota hospital, which referred him to the Mayo Clinic. Over the next 30 years he received outstanding care from multiple departments at Mayo, and Doug Skanse supported Dad above and beyond, every step of the way.

Yet, for all he achieved from modest beginnings, there is no question that his greatest accomplishment came in 1953 when he married Janet Mae Stanway of Virginia Minnesota. He told me more than once, that the biggest problem in the world was that there weren’t enough Methodist Minister’s Daughters from the Iron Range to go around. She stood by his side through good times and challenging ones for 62 years, and we cannot understate our profound appreciation of what she has done in single-handedly caring for him over these past few difficult years. Our father never played the lottery, perhaps because he knew he had already struck the jackpot at home.

Without question, the underlying bedrock of our father’s life was an abiding faith in Christ, a source of strength and comfort throughout his days. He grew up in a Christian family, being baptized and confirmed at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Long Prairie Township. He and our Mom were married at the Covenant Church in Virginia Minnesota, and when they moved to Southwest Minneapolis, became active members of Edina Covenant Church, serving in a number of roles over many years. When growing up, our family’s circle of friends were drawn as much from the families we knew through church, as it was from our extended family of relatives, friends, and our home neighborhood. I also want to mention how much all of those groups supported our parents over these past few years, and how grateful we are for their assistance.

Now, because our father was a stoic man who dressed neatly, drove a sensible car, and brushed after meals, he sometimes gave the impression of being the sort of person who loosened his tie before going to bed. And while it’s true that he was a serious man of purpose who had lived though some difficult times, he also had a dry wit and a genuine enjoyment of life which might not have always been obvious to others. He was an avid follower of Minnesota sports, loved the outdoors and playing golf, and was a very good writer, in later years emailing reflections on events and life far and wide. He was willing to join in with his sons’ childhood hobbies and interests, to the point of playing Frisbee, driving us out of the city to launch Model Rockets, and getting up at 4am on cold winter mornings to help drive us along our newspaper routes. Especially treasured memories are numerous family vacations over the years from Florida to the Canadian Rockies, and later from England to Germany.

As for his Dry humor, as a teenager I remember coming home one summer night in the 1980’s when our mother was away for the week, opening up the refrigerator, and seeing a six pack of beer, which was quite a surprise in a household such as ours, which seemed unaware that Prohibition had ever ended. Playing it as low-key as possible, I walked into the den, sat down on the couch and after a minute or so asked my father if he had noticed that there was a six-pack of Bud in the fridge. Without missing a beat, or lowering the newspaper he was reading, he told me it was for watering the tomato plants in the garden. I never did see what happened to the beer, but couldn’t deny that the tomatoes grew well that summer.

Our father lived a surprisingly long life for someone who faced as many physical and medical challenges as he did, and I don’t think that anyone was more surprised about that than he was. Such challenges were not easy to face, and he certainly didn’t welcome them, but he accepted them, and moved on. I remember once when I was young, asking him if he was bitter about having had so many hurdles to overcome. His response has stayed with me: “You can be defined by what happens to you, or you can be defined by how you work to overcome what happens to you.”

Until we are reunited by Faith and Grace in the next life, here’s to us all working to overcome the challenges we face in this life.

We give thanks for the life of Norman William Frederich Kuehne, grateful for all he accomplished, and thankful he is now free of earthly tribulations, and starting again with a new body, and a new life, eternal.

Amen and Amen.

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Coming Out as Trans-Everything

Posted by dalekuehne on June 22, 2016

College students demonstrate understanding of the future of identity in the West.

Your tells are so obvious,
shoulders too broad for a girl.
It keeps you reminded,
helps you remember where you come from.

You want them to notice,
the ragged ends of your summer dress.
You want them to see you
like they see every other girl.
They just see a faggot.
They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick.

Washed off on the coast,
I wish I could’ve spent the whole day
alone with you.
With you.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me! from Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014)

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A Wondrous Valentine’s Day Massacre

Posted by dalekuehne on February 14, 2016

The question is not whether God made us to passionate, but how.

A Valentine’s Day meditation on one dimension of love.

Don’t the hours grow shorter as the days go by
You never get to stop and open your eyes
One day you’re waiting for the sky to fall
The next you’re dazzled by the beauty of it all
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin — this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time

Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime —
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight —
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight
When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time
And we’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

Lovers in a Dangerous Time by Bruce Cockburn from Stealing Fire (1984)

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My 2016 NH Primary Post-Mortem

Posted by dalekuehne on February 11, 2016

Here is my 2016 NH Primary “take” on the state of the presidential race and what it all means.

Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together
I’ve got some real estate here in my bag
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner’s pies
And we walked off to look for America
Cathy, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America

Laughing on the bus, playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
I said, be careful, his bowtie is really a camera
Toss me a cigarette, I think there’s one in my raincoat
We smoked the last one an hour ago
So I looked at the scenery
She read her magazine
And the moon rose over an open field

Cathy, I’m lost, I said though I knew she was sleeping
And I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America
All come to look for America
All come to look for America

America by Paul Simon from Simon and Garfunkel’s Bookends (1968)

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The Last Reality TV Show: Democracy in America

Posted by dalekuehne on February 1, 2016

My Quadrennial New Hampshire Primary blog on the state of Democracy in America.

It is not too late for uncommon sense.

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one but I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you can hurt you somehow

Don’t you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Desperado, oh you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom, well that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walkin’ through this world all alone

Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feelin’ goes away?

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’ but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you
(Let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you before it’s too late

Desperado by Don Henley and Glenn Frey from Desperado by the Eagles (1973)

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To “Trans” and How— at the University of Wisconsin

Posted by dalekuehne on November 5, 2015

The University of Wisconsin offers a wide variety of resources for students who are considering whether to pursue a gender transition and a welcoming set of rules for those who have. All of this is coming soon to K-12 near you soon, if it hasn’t already. With the possible exception of Houston.

Who am I?

Can I condemn this man to slavery
Pretend I do not feel his agony
This innocent who bears my face
Who goes to judgement in my place

Who am I?

Can I conceal myself for evermore?
Pretend I’m not the man I was before?
And must my name until I die
Be no more than an alibi?
Must I lie?

How can I ever face my fellow men?
How can I ever face myself again?
My soul belongs to God, I know
I made that bargain long ago
He gave me hope when hope was gone
He gave me strength to journey on

Who am I?

Who am I from Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schöneberg and Alain Boublil (1980)

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Robotic Sex: To be or to decide not to be …

Posted by dalekuehne on November 4, 2015

Sex with robots. Just another brick in the wall of the iWorld.

It’s every move that you make
And every look that you fake
I must give into
And so you punish me right
I’m beggin’ for you tonight
I want you now, or else it’s
M** …

I can already see what you want from me
You can lay me down
And teach me how to

Make make make me perfect if you
Take take take me, all that you can use
I’m ready
You’re steady
You oughtta do me like a sex robot should

And I may kiss you tonight
Because I’m programmed just right
I never see this
And every look that you give
I’m yearning for you to live
It leads me to this

I can already see what you want from me
You can lay me down
And teach me how to

Sex Robot by Neo Geo (2012)

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Who’s Next?: Transgender Baptism

Posted by dalekuehne on July 29, 2015

Is there any boundary the church will regard as sacred?

Will you ever preserve will you ever exhume
Will you watch petals shed from flowers in bloom
Nothing can live up to promise
Nothing can stop its narrative
Nothing in place of catalysts
And you’ll never be pure again

Transgender by Crystal Castles from III (2012)

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Tomorrow’s Headlines: Looking Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by dalekuehne on July 2, 2015

The Supreme Court has made its ruling. What’s next? It’s time to look at tomorrow’s headlines. My take can be found here at the Qideas website:

The sun will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There’ll be sun

Just thinkin’ about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
’til there’s none

When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh

The sun will come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
’til tomorrow, come what may!

Tomorrow from the musical Annie by Charles Strauss and Martin Chardin (1977)

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