I am unapologetically, as the title states, a liberal atheist hippie. My politics are often in flux but I currently consider myself to be a Democratic Socialist, most closely aligned with the Green Party. I advocate evolutionary progressive change toward socialistic goals via a democratic process. In the words of the Democratic Socialists of America from http://www.dsausa.org/about/index.html:
We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo.Although I do consider myself a progressive, I will listen respectfully to the viewpoints of others (this does not necessarily mean I will hold any respect for any particular opinion). I have, on occasion, even found myself in agreement with conservatives. I am willing to consider other points of view but if I think you are wrong, I will tell you and I will tell you why. I expect the same from others.
We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.
With regard to my atheism, it is a conclusion I came to after a long and exhaustive search for truth. I was raised in a Methodist household but began to question in my late teens. I remained a Christian still for several years. I read the Bible cover-to-cover twice and realized that I had been misled in a number of ways. I spent some time studying comparative religions and made an effort at Buddhism, which seemed to most closely reflect my values and beliefs. In the end though, I found that even Buddhism did not really ring true for me. After much research and deep thought, the only honest conclusion I could come to was that there is no God and there never was and that religion, as an oppressor of truth, freedom and equality was not something of which I would ever again be a part.
And yes, I am a hippie. Or so I am told. In my teenage years, I became very interested in history, politics and political activism. I found myself greatly inspired by Beat authors Kesey, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs and Cassady which led to learning about sixties counterculture. The messages of equality, feminism and peace resonated with me and hippie history became my history. As one would expect, that road eventually ran past the Grateful Dead and I didn't just get on the bus, I wanted to drive it. I followed them around the USA on various tours from '89 - '95. I long considered the Dead and the culture surrounding them to be my people and my home and in many ways, I still do. When Jerry Garcia died in 1995, it was a devastating loss for me. As most of us do with our losses, I eventually found a way through it and I now consider the jam band scene to be my musical home. Some people choose to apply the "hippie" label to me, some tell me the hippies are all gone and that I can only be a "Deadhead". Whatever. I'm fine with either (or both).
So this is where it begins. It has been many moons since I last did any writing outside of e-mail and what's required of me at work and it feels really good. I am looking forward to seeing where this path leads. If you enjoy reading about politics, philosophy, skepticism and/or music, please consider becoming a follower of Liberal Atheist Hippie.