I am an agnostic.

I began the day with a delightful discursive conversation with my French penpal S. Highlights included my mentioning that Bastille Day (the French Fourth of July) was approaching and joking how the French emptied the jail then filled it up again. S’s comment that the “cent culottes” attacked it. (a typing mistake) My suggesting that S. meant “sans” not “cent” and then looking to see what google translate made of the term. “hundred panties” was the answer. And my joking before S got a chance to make a correction that it sounded like one of my college year’s more humorous pastimes, “pantie raids” where amorous and perhaps drunken young men crowded around girl’s dormitories demanding to see their panties and the girls reciprocating by waving them out of their windows.

I should simply paste the entire conversation here but I’m not that devoted to my eight loyal readers. I have to compose a letter to my favorite aunt who is turning 90 in a couple days.

What prompted me to sit down now was thinking about how the Republican Party once the province of Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists has become the prisoner of evangelical Christians who all attend churches that are like Ivory soap 99.9 percent pure…….white.

The mainline churches of my youth whose well taught Sunday school students became freedom riders traveling to the South to register fearful blacks to vote have largely emptied out. I still attend. I did it at first to have my children exposed to a religion for which I had long been agnostic. I remain so to this day and yet I’ve been attending our church since March on my living room coach every Sunday to watch it on Corvid TV.

I do it perhaps in honor of the church’s fundemental decency much as I have hated to stop thinking of myself as a Republican even though that church was taken over long ago by idolaters who never paid attention to Jesus when he told his tormentors to “render unto Caesar….” Today his critics are devotees of Caesar.

That got me thinking about how often I have warned people that I am an agnostic lest they assume because I am a Republican by inclination I too am a ferociously ignorant evangelical. If you check the link at the top I’ve written the phrase six times. But I know that in most cases I just used the phrase parenthetically to say I hadn’t made up my mind about something… the value of wood mulch over rubber mulch.

But one of those six was worth reexamining now in light of my campaign against Pete Stauber for Congress. Its this one:
A question for Pete Stauber. It begins: This is why I have to run against Pete Stauber. He is too timid to contradict his most virulent supporters the way John McCain corrected a woman on election night who screamed abuse at President-elect Barack Obama. For such people its not about socialism. Its not about saving mining. Its about preparing for the next Civil War a theme which you may remember I memorialized in my last snow sculpture this year.

I got a second phone call from Pete’s never ending town hall conversation with voters about the corona virus. He’s been inviting his constituents for a month or more to hear him answer questions on the subject. Apparently he still cares unlike his President who has realized it is simply an obstacle to getting reelected. All Pete really would ever have to say is do exactly the opposite of what Donald Trump tells you to do. But Pete Stauber, man with guns on his hips and a one time wearer of policeman blue hasn’t got the courage to do such an honest thing. The tens of thousands of people who will die in our nation so that Donald Trump can still boast about our lost roaring economy are all one Pete Stauber’s conscience too.

And yet I still would like to be a Republican. Maybe that’s because when I was a child and would go crying to my mother about some injury she told me over and over. “Don’t cry Harry. Your Grandfather was shot and he didn’t cry.” It seems I have told this story at least six times on the blog. I can be faithful to my party for his history than to its current state. I feel the same way about a deeply flawed Christian experience. A worship service and a reading of the Bible can give nourishment to the soul. Even for an agnostic.

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