Meet a Freethinker: Josephine Rustomji

No two freethinkers are exactly alike; a group of freethinkers contains a great diversity of perspectives, so there is no one, official perspective shared among all of them. This makes the freethought community a truly vibrant source of ideas and opinions!

In this light, Meet a Freethinker is our series featuring freethinkers of all backgrounds and perspectives. We want to introduce you guys to the people who make up the proverbial melting pot of this growing movement.

Our next freethinker is Josephine Rustomji.

  1. Can you briefly introduce yourself (one short paragraph/bio)?

I’m an entrepreneur and management professional, an agnostic atheist since college, and mom to a second generation agnostic atheist who decided for himself that that was what he wanted to identify as when he reached his teens.

  1. How would you define a freethinker?

A freethinker is someone who uses evidence and reason as the bases in the formulation of any opinion.

  1. What belief system do you subscribe to?

Agnostic Atheism. 

  1. What’s your freethinker story? What was the funniest or most interesting reaction you got from a person after you told them that you were a freethinker/atheist/non-religious?

My mom disapproved of my lack of religious belief. And she was appalled when she found out that I had zero plans to have my son, who was a baby then, baptized. I was raised a Catholic. Everyone in the family was Catholic. It was important to her to have her grandson baptized as a Catholic at the very least — our being essentially non-practicing our whole lives regardless. So one fine day, during a visit to my hometown, I left my son to have some quality time with his grandma. When I got back, my mom couldn’t wipe the smug smile off her face. “It’s done,” she tells me. “I have baptized him myself with holy water from the church. He is now safe.” I was speechless. I also couldn’t help but laugh. On the inside, mind you. My mom had always been quite a determined person. I was just glad that that made her happy. This remains one of my favorite memories of her.

  1. How did you get to know Filipino Freethinkers?

Through their Facebook Page! And from there, I started joining the meetups.

  1. What are some of your initiatives in the realm of human rights or the betterment of society?

None at the moment. But I have a soft spot for women’s rights,  children’s rights, animal welfare, the fight for equality on several fronts, and the protection of our environment. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the dangers of misinformation, too.  

  1. Is there anything people can do to help these initiatives?

There are a lot of things one can do to contribute — from simply starting conversations about them, to actively raising awareness of how these initiatives can help us build a better society. There is always a way to get involved. 

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