My name is Jason Racette and I am working on an MA in philosophy at UMass Amherst. In addition to an interest in history and literature, I have always had an interest in politics as well, and I have a strong belief in the goodness of democracy as well as individul freedoms. I like to read (especially Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Emerson), hike, and have pleasant conversation at coffee shops. Politically, I consider myself a passionate centrist. I have no religious beliefs, but I am still interested in the history and sociology of religion, and its place in contemporary society.