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Freethought Today ยท June / July 2016

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Meet a staffer by Amit Pal

Name: Amit Pal

Where and when I was born: Emden, Germany, where my father worked as a naval architect. We moved to the United States when I was a toddler and a decade later to India. I returned to the United States as a young man, and so here I am!

Education: I double majored in geology and chemistry at Lucknow University in India. I then completely switched tack, getting a master's in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master's in political science from North Carolina State University.

Family: I have a lovely and loving wife, Deepa, to whom I've been married for more than a decade. We have two wonderful daughters, Sagarika, age 13 (already freethinking in all sorts of ways!), and Devika, who is 11.

How I came to work at FFRF: I was with The Progressive magazine for a long time here in Madison, and was familiar with FFRF and its work. When I transitioned out of the magazine and saw a job opening here, it seemed a natural fit.

What I do here: As the communications director, I write press releases, communicate with the media, send out weekly reports to members, and help with staff writings, other mailings, and, with lots of delight, Freethought Today.

What I like best about it: Getting my writing and editing creative juices flowing; the niceness of my colleagues.

What gets old about it: Having to fight similar state/church battles over and over again. In my few months here, I'm already noticing a recurrence of the same sorts of violations, with minor variations.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: How this world should be a more just, rational and reasonable place.

I spend little if any time thinking about: What awaits us in the afterlife.

My religious upbringing was: Hindu.

My doubts about religion started: When I couldn't make myself believe even as a kid that a religion supposed to be taken seriously would have such awfully silly priests as its guardians and interpreters.

Things I like: Good books, good movies, good music and a good game of squash.

Things I smite: Typos, ill-informed opinions and a refusal to see reason.

In my golden years: I hope to travel around the world AND catch up on all my reading. (Is it possible to do both simultaneously?)