You can think of me what you will for claiming the title of Latter-Day Saint better known as a Mormon, but the one thing I know is that I am a better man today then I was before I joined the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was raised by Christian parents, a mother who tried to bring religion into my brother and my life at different times. It seemed we went to church most around holidays like Easter or Christmas or when there was some kind of traumatic incident in our families life. I remember one of my favorite books growing up was a picture bible that was set up like a comic book. I loved to read it and enjoyed the stories especially the ones in the Old Testament. I remember being puzzled by the words at the end of the Old Testament that said, "end of the prophets" it was many years later that I finally came to understand this. However as I got older like some children I began to drift away from the teaching of my youth. This was much to the dismay of my maternal grandmother who is one of the most saint-like women I have ever known. As I continued to grow older this schism in what I thought and believed about religion only grew wider. I began to embrace the philosophy of men rather than the teaching of God and Jesus. I began to idolize such men as Nietzsche and Machiavelli for the logic they sought and wrote about. I begin to use reason and logic rather then upon that still small voice that speaks eternal truth. As I progressed further and further down this part of my life pragmatism and cold hard logic and science replaced any lingering thoughts about a higher power. I remember arguing with a former girl friend about her beliefs regarding Wiccan thoughts and her belief in dragons and fairies. I took the same line of thought when arguing with those who believed in any higher law than themselves. I compared them to primitive cave men who saw lighting and came up with some Deity who must be behind the scenes hurling lighting bolts from the heavens. As friends would talk to about Jesus and God I would ridicule them the same way I would someone who believed in Zeus or Thor and thought they really existed and lived somewhere. I began to believe that in Science, Logic and myself lay where truth really existed. I ended up graduating High School and looked forward to college as a place where I might meet like minded men and women who would not believe in as George Carlin put it, "The greatest BS story of all time." I ended up picking political science as my major and one of the reasons was a professor named Jim Schampel who taught at the college and I saw myself as following in his footsteps. I took delight in his logic and in how he dealt with those who believed in Christianity or any other religion. From him I took my cues and began to argue against the existence of God in many of my classes. I remember being in a introduction to philosophy class and making some eighteen or nineteen girls cry because I used logic and reason and straw man type arguments to show them how their beliefs were no better than Greek mythology and were just set up by con men. I remember blatantly yelling that God was dead and no longer cared if he even existed in the first place and challenging those who thought differently to argue with me. When people would try to bear testimony of what they believed to me I would compare that burning in the bosom to when I ate something spicy and later got heart burn and asked them if what I was thinking when I got heart burn was the spirit speaking to me. I would tell them that God was only a grown up version of Santa Claus that people went to. My skills in logic and argumentation were only strengthened by my joining the debate team. This however was not all I did to destroy those who I saw as having an archaic view of the world. Those same young girls who so passionately argued that God existed I sought to take that which is most precious from them. This is one of the things that I most regret about that period of my life. I also dressed up as a dead missionary that year for Halloween. Drilling a hole in a Book Of Mormon and splashing fake blood all over a white shirt and then proceeding to go trick or treating throughout the dorms. I lived to show those who believed how wrong they were. I remember later talking to the Stake President and he told me what a trouble maker I was and how many people would come crying into the institute on campus and wanting to know if what I said was true. I also sought to dissuade those who were investigating both the Mormon Church and religion in general and I relied upon the sophistry of men to dissuade them from what they were searching for. I friend of mine who was on the debate started to investigate the Mormon Church and myself and others ridiculed him and sought to re-corrupt him so he could join in our fun again. So for my freshman year I went about trying to destroy the works of God and his church. I thought I was in the right and everyone else was being astray by religious con men who were only using religion as an opiate for the masses or to make money for themselves. I sought to bring people to realize the errors of their way. I wanted to help them see they believed in vain superstitions as real as the Easter bunny, Santa Claus or the tooth fairy. I was to only learn how wrong I was.
I am a paleoconservative with some libertarian leanings entrenched in classical Jefforsonian liberalism. A question I ask is if you tell someone a penny for your thoughts and they give you their two cents what happens to that extra penny? Could that explain the national debt?