Meet a staffer: Chelsea Culver

Name: Chelsea Culver.

Where and when I was born: Green Bay, Wis., Jan. 15, 1991.

Education: B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Stout; master of social work, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

How I came to work at FFRF: The mission and values of FFRF appealed to me. In my role as a social worker, I am not always able to speak up about religiously motivated rejection and stigmatization that indubitably impacts families and communities. FFRF unapologetically voices concerns about the harmful aspects of religion and fights against religious interference in our laws and government. I am incredibly sad to be leaving FFRF as I move into a permanent, hospice social work position.

What I do here: A little of everything! Mailings, sales, organizing storage areas, etc.
What I like best about it: I get to control the temperature and music downstairs. I also know that all of the work done here at FFRF ultimately makes my job as a social worker that much easier, specifically issues surrounding death with dignity and end-of-life decision making.

What gets old about it: So many paper cuts!

I spend a lot of time thinking about: How beautiful the weather looks from my window, and what else can I slather peanut butter on?

I spend little if any time thinking about: This is tough to answer, but probably anything related to computer or video games. I prefer the outdoors!

My religious upbringing was: Freethought.

My doubts about religion started: When my parents decided to send my sister and me to Catholic school for “educational” reasons. We had never been part of a religious community and didn’t quite fit in, though I played along. My skepticism only grew after 12 years of theology classes. Ultimately, it was the hypocrisy, homophobia and bullying behaviors of my classmates and their families that turned me away.

In a quest to save my soul and also find a church for herself, my college roommate convinced me to attend service at every church in the area (all 26 of them) to find a more “agreeable” Christian denomination. We even interviewed every pastor after the ceremony with the same set of questions. I just could not get into any beliefs about the supernatural or eternal salvation, though I met many wonderful, well-meaning people.

It was when I entered the helping profession that I witnessed the harm caused by the judgmental policing behaviors of religious institutions. I switched from being turned off by religion to turning against it.

Things I like: The Green Bay Packers, free and accessible birth control, hugs, Hall and Oates and a good craft brew.

Things I smite: Scott Walker and mayonnaise.

In my golden years: A house and boat up in Door County will be right up my alley.

FFRF sends its best wishes to Chelsea in her new career, and we will miss her.

Freedom From Religion Foundation