A woman running for Congress says she's a Christian—and that she was abducted by aliens who looked like Jesus Christ when she was a child.
The Miami Herald recently endorsed Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera in the Republican primary for Congressional District 27.
"We realize that Rodriguez Aguilera is an unusual candidate. Last year, she told the Miami Herald—and several Spanish-language media outlets—that she believes in extra-terrestrials. She says when she was 7, she was taken aboard a spaceship and, throughout her life, she has communicated telepathically with the beings, which remind her of the concrete Christ in Brazil. There you have it," according to the Herald.
But this isn't the outlet's first interaction with the former Doral, Florida, councilwoman.
"For years people, including presidents like Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and astronauts have publicly claimed to have seen unidentified flying objects and scientists like Stephen Hawking and institutions like the Vatican have stated that there are billions of galaxies in the universe and we are probably not alone," Rodriguez Aguilera told the Herald in 2017. "I personally am a Christian and have a strong belief in God, I join the majority of Americans who believe that there must be intelligent life in the billions of planets and galaxies in the universe."
After the endorsement, other outlets started digging.
The Washington Post reports:
In one video that was uploaded to YouTube long before the Herald highlighted it, Rodriguez Aguilera talked about boarding the aliens' spaceship.
"God is a universal energy, not a person," the aliens told her, according to Rodriguez Aguilera. "It's in everything. God talks to people, and they understand it in different ways, but there's only one religion."
In another interview, she said that the beings, with their arms wide open, reminded her of Jesus Christ, and that she saw them again during her teenage years. She said the aliens also talked about Isis, an Egyptian goddess. (It's also an acronym for the Islamic State militant group, which did not exist at the time of Rodriguez Aguilera's interviews).
She made several other claims: Africa is the center of energy. There are 30,000 nonhuman skulls in a subterranean cave on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean. Coral Castle, a limestone structure in South Florida, is an ancient pyramid.
But the Herald says it's a non-issue.
"Her bona fides as a former elected official, and now a businesswoman who spends time in other countries training women to run for office are solid," the paper's editorial board says.
Washington Post reports her credentials:
She first entered politics as a council member from Doral, Fla., from 2012 to 2014. The city's mayor nominated her to replace the vice mayor in 2013. She sponsored a human-trafficking ordinance in 2014 after two massage parlors were shut down for prostitution. She said she helped boost Doral's economic and population growth during her time as the city's economic development coordinator, a position she held for four years. She also previously worked as a social worker for Miami-Dade County and later as an ombudsman at the county manager's office, according to her campaign website.
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