BILL WINTER, CO-06: Rockefeller Republicans?

I was asked by a person after a recent campaign event, if I were at a gathering which included some low key "Rockefeller" type Republicans, what two main points would I make to convince them to vote for me this Fall?

It got me thinking, and when I get to thinking, I often wind up here, so here I go again.

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This morning I spoke at the Parker Breakfast Club, an organization that meets in my District every Monday and that is described as very Republican and very conservative. The response I received to what I had to say was overwhelmingly positive. I definitely won converts throughout the room.

I thought I would share with you what I said to them.

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By reason of insanity

I'll just come out and say it: I'm an atheist. And, while I'm at it, I'll make a second admission. I haven't been following the Andrea Yates trial as closely as many others have. But something has been bugging me ever since yesterday, when I saw that Yates had been found not guilty by reason of insanity in a second murder trial. Yates, if you'll remember, claimed she drowned her children - five in all - because she thought she was saving them from Satan. Further, she believed that she was possessed by the devil, also believing that the media had bugged her house to keep track of her parenting. With Wednesday's decision, Yates will now be committed to a state mental hospital, as opposed to a life in prison. The saga is now complete, and what a sad one it was.

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Karl Rove manipulated church-goers in Ohio to help the Republicans steal the 2004 presidential election.  Now Mega Churches are gaining popularity and political power.  This is a danger to our political system.

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Evolution and Creationism Hand in Hand

My religious beliefs are way off the beaten track. My mom was an evangelical Christian but mostly just for the social life and free food. At least she was cool enough to think the Church of Christ was stupid for banning music and dancing. I hated Church from the first time I was carried into one. I've never stopped finding them creepy. I'm one of those "who needs churches when there are forests" types.

I've been lucky enough to have met some pretty amazing spiritual adventurers in my time. From Taos Pueblo shamans to old rogue philosophers, a few authentic Christians (a rare and delightful breed), I've even met some brain rattlingly good psychics and astrologers who proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that information doesn't only travel by known and acceptable means.

I don't favor one religion over another. To me they are all valuable. To me religions and conceptions of deity are like drawings by babies kept for sentimental value. They are hopelessly inadaquate to convey the reality of something our brains aren't wired to understand. Peculiarities of time and place lend flavors that get mistaken for "the only truth." Well, I like all the flavors.

I even like that blue eyed skinny blond Jesus us whiteys love so much, even though if he really looked like that he would have fried in the desert sun (I can tell you from personal experience having that coloring and living in Los Angeles). No, Jesus was probably a muscular swarthy mofo, skin dark from the sun, big strong legs from all that walking.

How I relate to deity is personal, evolved through out my life by experience, and colored by things I find most precious in life: honesty, justice, mercy, ecstacy, wisdom, beauty, love. But I always remember that the way I choose to visualize what I relate to, adore, and serve is just a convenient symbol of a reality beyond human comprehension , a way to play my own emotions and remind my mind of something it can never really grasp.

Science and religion co-exist for me they aren't adversaries. For materialistic science there can be no proof of the soul since we cannot process knowledge without our brains. For fundamentalist religion, science is an unneccessary and disrespectful prying under God's skirts. But in my world the soul does survive the body. And science is the constant unveiling of wisdom, beauty and mercy.

Imagine alien scientists observing a car with smoked windows driving cross country. Their sensors pick up some strange fleshy mist of electricity water and carbon in the car that seems to be its vital control mechanism, the way breath and consciousness differentiate a dead human body from a live one. But since the alien instruments can't really pin down this fleshy fog it's considered some kind of an exhaust or field generated by the car, only the car is real.

To me scientists who say there is no consciousness without a brain are making the same mistake. Sure the vehicle has a control for every single possible action it can take but those controls are used by a mystery that so far has escaped science.

My own religion has the advantage of allowing for both creationism and evolution. I have no problem believing something was created (while remembering that's just a symbol for something deeper I don't understand) and I have no problem believing life evolves.

If I may slip into my own vernacular: She didn't create it and leave it. She is creating it now and always. So evolution is creation and creation is evolution.

A freaky little Sunday sermon for you,

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