Name: Kathryn Rose Daniel.
Where and when I was born: Long Beach, Calif., March 9, 1987. I’ve lived all around the country because my dad was in the Navy.
Education: Notre Dame High School, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; the University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. in gender and women’s studies and a certificate in LGBT studies.
What I want to do when I grow up: Rest on my laurels.
I spend a lot of time thinking about: FOOD!
My religious upbringing was: Too much! I spent K—12 years in Catholic schools. In grade school, I had to go to church six days a week. After I got my driver’s license I started pretending to go to church and just driving around or going to a park (when I didn’t have to attend with my family). One Ash Wednesday, I started the tip of a stick on fire so I could smudge the ash on my forehead to “prove” I had gone to Mass.
My doubts about religion started: When I was cognizant enough to realize how bored I was in church. Eventually my doubts solidified when I learned about the role of women in the eyes of the church and understood the misnomer “pro-life.”
I’ve pretty much always hated going to church, religion class, mandatory singing and — well, everything about religion except the communion wine (and not because of the quality)! My mother made me go through confirmation and attend church, but once I turned 18 I never went back.
How I came to work at FFRF: I heard FFRF was looking for a clerical student worker, so I came in to interview and quit my job as a receptionist at a hair salon shortly thereafter. After I graduated from college, I transitioned to the position of full-time bookkeeper and executive assistant.
What I do here: My main duties include keeping our books up to date and reconciled, paying the bills and processing donations. Otherwise, I dabble in social media, member relations, event organizing and a large amount of miscellany.
What I like best about it here: Morning and afternoon tea, staff birthday lunches, days when I bake cookies at the office for our lovely staff, Dan’s jokes and the ridiculous crank mail/calls. It’s very fun to end someone’s hateful telephone rant about how we’re all “fucking heathens,” going to hell, etc., with “I love you!” or non parlo inglese and a hang-up.
What sucks about it: The quirks of QuickBooks, violent threats directed at us from those who “don’t yet realize they too are atheists,” and “posting” (recording membership data onto manual cards).
Things I like: Barbecue, sushi, rutabagas, charcuterie, corn on the cob, game meat, steamed buns, ramen, beer, baking, biking, roller derby, yoga, video games, animals, protests and rallies, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Green Bay Packers, Words With Friends (an online game).
Things I smite: Anise, fennel, okra, fresh tomatoes, mushy bananas, “pro-lifers,” aka “anti-choicers,” open-mouth chewers and persistent “trolls” on FFRF’s Facebook page.
How did you “come out” as an atheist: I never claimed to be a Christian, so I am just an atheist by default I guess. However, once a congregation of about 30 people from the Pentecostal church came to my mom’s front door in Missouri. I answered, and they asked if we were saved.
I said, “I’m an atheist but my mom’s religious, so she should be good, you don’t need to worry about her.” They asked if they could pray for me, and I said, sure. My mother was mortified.
Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
Meet a Staffer: Katie Daniel
Name: Kathryn Rose Daniel.