Great thread topic! I'll have to break it up because I'm sucha wordsmith.
Never was very religious but I was curious about Christianinty. My mother allowed me the freedom to explore and attend church wherever I wanted, what harm could that do right? So I bounced around to different churches to see the differences between the faiths and between the people. I went to Catholic Mass, Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, Evengelical and eventually came to one conclusion: I was Non-Religious.
I have a great deal of respect for those who follow Religion, who believe in God, Allah, Buddha and even John Smith but none of it was for me. I looked into other religions and came to the same conclusion, I'm not a believer.
Not to be confused for Atheism, or worse yet Anti-Theism, Non-Religious more closely resembles Agnosticism. I believe in "God" just not in the mystical religious sense of an omnipotent superbeing. To me: God is the sum of all energy in the universe, he represents the light. The devil is darkness and he is represented by the darkness - which is the emptiness that completely envelopes the known universe. The black holes and dark matter inside the universe, which can seemingly "Destroy" that which Einstein tells us cannot be destroyed, is the epic eternal battle between good and evil. Galaxies are created and destroyed in the wake of their battles that slowly criss cross the universe.
I began paying attention to politics around the 7th grade and naturally gravitated toward the Left, and sad to say, Micheal Moore was a particular Idol of mine
. (They use such wonderful propaganda its hard to resist, at least until you begin watching more C-Span than M-TV)
In my early twenties, I went off to Oxford England where my G/F was attending college (University for you English blokes). Well she was a Communist originally from Germany - guess which side - and constantly teased me for being a Capitalist pig. I returned to America Sept 10, 2001.
On the morning of 9/11 I was driving to work. I arrived at work, my first day back from vacation mind you, to find the entire buildings staff huddled in front of the only TV located at the bar. The first plane impacted the first tower minutes before I got to work and minutes later... the second one hit right before our eyes.
That single event pushed my interest in politics to overdrive and I began gobbling up everything conspiracy theorists were pushing.
Well I soon felt out of place in my hometown because it was so Conservative, and you Liberals know how unbearable the mere presence of Conservatives can be... So in my mid twenties I moved to Austin TX and found a new group of friends eager to indoctrinate me. I read everything my new friends suggested, like Chomsky - who was sold to me as "prolific" and "ultra-Intelligent", and I quickly found myself espousing Socialist clap-trap.
Being one who likes to know his opponents to better defeat them, I began reading every piece of Conservative literature I could get my hands on. I started with the United States Constitution... Looking for weaknesses to exploit
then moved onto the guide to our Constitution - The Federalist Papers. Before long I was reading AUH2O and Reagan speeches, all the while finding them frustratingly likable and accurate.
Ever heard of "Democracy in America" by Alexi de Tocqueville? As I read it, one particular oddity stood out... This was the road map to America's future. Depending on your viewpoint, you can use this incredible piece of literature to destroy or protect the American Republic - just by following its suggestions. It was eye opening to say the least and that book deserves credit for turning me toward Conservatism.
I began looking for facts and records instead of mantra's and emotions and found the Political Left to be following the Tocquevillian playbook - in the destruction direction. Sad to say, many Republicans have jumped on that very popular
bandwagon as well.
Did you know Micheal Moore is a lier?
Or that people like Chomsky and Conspiracy theorists are full of shat?
I found out the hard way, by finding the truth on my own... Probably means more that way. And because I can no longer trust either party:
CaLiCo - Capitalist, Libertarian, Conservative. Free markets with limited government meant to maximize personal responsibility and freedom.
You're not really free if you are dependent on the state.