The short answer is: No.
But the background of that answer is complicated.
Let's start at the very beginning.
My grandfather was a Methodist minister. He always had this beloved aura around him. He lived with us when I was very young. He was calm, quiet yet powerful.
My mother and I went to the Methodist church in Medina. We always went with another family. We'd go to Perkins afterwards. Perkins was my favorite part.
In 10th grade I met a girl at a music camp who was a Mennonite. She was very influential to me. (Strong women have significantly influenced me through my life.)
I went to a Mennonite church for some time.
I really liked the people at that church. But it was more restrictive than a teenage boy wanted.
Not long after I found the BahÃ¡'Ã Faith.
I really liked their approach. They look for unity in diversity. They believe all the major religions stem from the same God.
That made a lot of sense to me.
I can't remember why I stopped going to them.
I then went to college.
I very vividly remember standing in my dorm room and officially declaring God was dead to me.
At first I was terrified. Then suddenly I was filled with a huge sense of personal responsibility. I loved it.
I loved being in charge of my life.
I was an avid atheist for years.
I refused to accept anything other than there was nothing but total blackness after death.
As I aged and softened I gradually became more agnostic. No one knows what is on the other side.
Saying I was 100% certain of nothingness made me as fundamentalist as what I was trying to move away from.
I spent a lot of this time reading the Dalai Lama.
He wrote that we all would be best if we stuck with the religion of our region. He was saying I should look back to Christianity.
I then got really into astrophysics. Physicists teach about how we live in a multiverse. How time probably doesn't exist. How we can shape something's existence just by measuring it.
It all makes me realize we have no idea what lays out there. Our comprehension of existence is probably just scratching the surface of what is truth.
I then was shown Richard Rohr. He is a Franciscan friar who has stretched my mind of what Christianity can be. His message is of total inclusion.
There are many things that he says that inspire me so much. But the thing I'm really pondering these days is this:
He says that you are either constructing or deconstructing God. You must have both. Everything must die and rise. He says conservatives continually are constructing God. Liberals are continually deconstructing God. And both are only experiencing half the story.
I am now back to reconstructing my faith. It is a very new way of looking at God for me. In a nutshell it says you were never cast out by God. You were always in and you always will be in.
It's the most loving way I've ever looked at the idea of God before.
So there it is. That's my faith from beginning to end, to date. I have never written this story before. But I thought it might be useful to you as you consider the motivations of your next mayor.
I'm very willing to talk as much as you would like about religion and spirituality. And you are welcome to recite scripture telling me all the ways I'm wrong. But I probably won't fight you on it. Everyone's relationship with God is personal and individual.
I am more inclusive and understanding of all religions more than I ever have been in my life. The best parts of all religions are magical and amazing.