Freethought Today · June/July 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Coffee distribution, poetry, horses, and Oxford commas By Kristina Daleiden

Name: Kristina Daleiden.

Where and when I was born: Wausau, Wis., way back during the Carter administration.

Education: B.A. in creative writing from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., 2001. Post-baccalaureate certificate in paralegal studies from Madison College, 2009.

Family: Parents, sister, brothers, partner, and teenage son.

How I came to work at FFRF: My oldest brother (Roger Daleiden) got a job at FFRF last year as graphic designer. Naturally, sibling rivalry ensued. I had become a member of FFRF while in college and have been a supporter ever since. When an administrative support position became open, I jumped at the opportunity. I consider it an honor to be able to use my skills to further the cause of protecting the First Amendment. Also, I'm a bit of a groupie.

What I do here: I am the office assistant. I assist the administrative staff with all tasks, big and small. Ask me about our new shipping and receiving procedures or where most of the coffee is distributed. Hint: It's the legal floor. Attorneys love coffee.

What I like best about it: The staff is great, and so are our members. I enjoy interacting with a wide variety of dedicated freethinkers who work tirelessly to advocate for our constitutional right to live in a secular society.

What gets old about it: Callers whose faith in their religion is so flimsy that the mere existence of people whose beliefs differ from theirs drives them into a spittle-flecked rage; and parking on the isthmus in Madison.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: Justice, history, middle-school homework completion rates (household specific), and politics. I also spend a lot of time thinking about how I can have a positive impact on those around me, and what to make for dinner.

I spend little if any time thinking about: How to enlighten intransigent people.

My religious upbringing was: My family had become nonpracticing Catholics by the time I came around. Though all of my siblings went through parochial school and the typical Catholic indoctrination, they advocated for me to be educated in public schools. The extent of our church-going during my childhood was the occasional Easter service.

My doubts about religion started: Early. I do not recall ever believing the God stories. I caught my parents playing the parts of Santa and the Easter Bunny when I was quite young, and I simply assumed that the invisible sky watcher story was also a hoax designed to elicit good behavior from those too innocent to know better. My opinion has not changed much in that regard.

Things I like: The outdoors, classic cars, historical fiction, craft beer, and most of my family.

Things I smite: Recreational snowmobiling, willful ignorance, voter suppression, and the lack of an Oxford comma.

In my golden years: I hope to spend my time writing poetry and riding horses on the beach.

What's your favorite quote: "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." — Thomas Paine.

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