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Hemant Mehta
Both Friendly and Atheist
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Rarely are the words “friendly” and “atheist” juxtaposed in American culture. But, on the internet today, one U.S. citizen is linked with that identify more than any other: Hemant Mehta. Hemant was born to Indian parents of the Jain religion. Like many others in this book, his worldview was profoundly shaped by the internet and the arguments for atheism that can be found within it. In college, largely because of the resources he found online, he became more comfortable with his worldview and began a group to socialize with his nonreligious peers.

Following a brief stint in medical school, Hemant began writing a book, I Sold My Soul on Ebay, which was eventually published by WaterBrook Press. During his research for the book he found, to his surprise, most religious people, Christians specifically, to be friendly and, in many instances, open-minded. Although his public atheism has been challenging at times -- the Illinois Family Institute contacted the administrators of the high school at which he teaches to inform them of his heresy -- Hemant continues to be both an optimist about the secular movement and an open and eager communicator with the religious community at large.