Meet an Intern: Brendan Moriarty

Name: Brendan Moriarty.
Where and when I was born: In a Chicago hospital in 1993.
Family: My father, Aiden; my mother, Eileen; and my brother, Michael.
Education: Graduate of Prospect High School, Mount Prospect, Ill. I’m in my first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I’m studying philosophy.
My religious upbringing was: I was raised Roman Catholic.
How I came to work as an FFRF legal intern: I saw a post on the Facebook page for AHA (Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics), a student group at UW-Madison, that said FFRF was looking for undergraduate interns.
What I do here: I help investigate claims for the staff attorneys, write follow-up letters and mail letters out.
What I like best about it: I get to read about the different legal concerns that people bring up, and the fact that I can help protect the rights of minorities.
Something funny that’s happened: It’s less something that happened than what I read here — the ridiculous obviousness of some of the constitutional violations that officials believe they can get away with.
My legal interests are: Constitutional and criminal law, specifically the issues of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The balance between protecting freedom of speech against the government’s interest to maintain order often creates tricky situations that delve into legal and political philosophy and not just legal precedent.
My legal heroes are: Clarence Darrow and Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston’s character on “Law and Order”).
These three words sum me up: Intelligent, opinionated, persistent.
Things I like: Playing the cello, politics, economics, law, philosophy, history, video games and arguing.
Things I smite: Ignorance and doubt.
When did I realize that I was an atheist? When I was 16 or 17 in my junior year of high school.

Freedom From Religion Foundation