Name: Christine Eldridge.
Where I live: East Providence, R.I.
Where and when I was born: Woonsocket, R.I., 1969.
Family: My husband, Darryl, and I share our home with a cat, Lola, and two dogs, Isabella and Kirk. I am child-free by choice and love being an auntie to my nieces and nephews.
Education: B.S. in music education, Rhode Island College. Clarinet is my main instrument, and I play with a chamber music ensemble. I also study piano, having resumed lessons two years ago after about a 20-year hiatus, and started playing the ukulele this year.
Occupation: Nonprofit arts administration.
Volunteer work: Humanists of Rhode Island (vice president), Secular Coalition for Rhode Island (co-chair), active in community service as well as secular, social justice, arts advocacy and animal welfare causes.
How I got where I am today: Help and support from family and friends, random luck, various personal choices and hard work.
Where Iâ€™m headed: I plan to continue to learn, to help others and to enjoy the journey.
Person in history I admire: Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, for his staunch convictions about and advocacy for freedom of conscience and separation of church and state.
A quotation I like: â€śIâ€™m an atheist, and thatâ€™s it. I believe thereâ€™s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other.â€ť (Katharine Hepburn).
â€śHeresy makes for progress.â€ť (Hypatia Bradlaugh Bonner). â€śWe must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.â€ť (Gene Roddenberry). â€śThe time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.â€ť (Robert Ingersoll).
These are a few of my favorite things: â€śStar Trekâ€ť (Iâ€™m a costume-wearing, convention-attending, lifelong Trekkie), octopuses (theyâ€™re such fascinating animals!), music, reading, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking.
These are not: Cruelty, bigotry, pseudoscience.
My doubts about religion started: I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school. My first doubts came as a child, when I tried to reconcile a loving God with the wrathful being portrayed in the bible, the problem of evil and the concept of hell.
Ways I promote freethought: With the Humanists of Rhode Island and the Secular Coalition for Rhode Island, I am active in working to keep religion out of government and to raise visibility for atheists, humanists and other nonbelievers.
I identify openly as an atheist and a humanist and hope to demonstrate by my words and actions that it is indeed possible to live a life that is ethical, happy and fulfilling without belief in a deity.