Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rattling Chains: How to Be the Best Heretic Ever!

By Richard Kent Matthews

Burning the certainty....

Sheepwalk: The practice of following blindly

Heresy: Unorthodoxy; any opinions or doctrines at variance with the official or orthodox position. A belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion.
Heresy is my very favorite word and I do everything I can to make sure I practice it well…and with regularity. Am I the only one? I think not.
All of the religions of the world have groups within them that could be accurately called heretics. Many Catholics roundly criticize the heresy known as the Assumption of Mary. And, since the Vatican supports this dogma, those who call it heresy are themselves called heretics.
(In case you didn't know, the Assumption of Mary dogma is not Biblical, as most Catholics and all Protestants know. And for those of you who aren't aware of what it even is, it's simple: Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken bodily into heaven and never experienced earthly death. She remained a virgin her entire life and is considered sinless.)
The Holy Rollers (I can use that term; I used to be one of them!) are called heretics by the conservative Protestant churches. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are called heretics by almost all of the rest of Christendom; so are the Mormons. Methodists are verging on heresy if you’re a Southern Baptist. And Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and all the other Orthodoxes have their lists of heresies as well. 
And, of course, ultra-conservative fundamentalist Far Right Christians, both in the U.S. and around the world, consider ALL other forms of Christianity as either heresy or bordering on it.
Islam calls many of its own followers heretics. Sunni against Shiite against Sufi. The rest of us are simply infidels.
And many Hindus are looked upon by other Hindus as heretics, especially if one tries to crawl out of the caste into which they have been cast. 
Funny thing is, even if you come out from among them, declare yourself a heretic, ultimately you become part of just another group called orthodox heretics. Yes, even heretics have their clubs.
But you probably won’t do that. You’re comfortably ensconced in your tidy little belief system, following the rules or feeling guilty when you break them. Or perhaps bellowing that you no longer believe, but you know you really do. In fact, the louder you are, the angrier you are, the more rebellious you are, the more we know that you still are trapped in the old orthodoxy.
There’s only one way to be a true heretic. Question everything. Religion, education, government, even, and maybe especially, science. They all have their agendas. And they usually don’t care about yours.
One final piece of unsolicited advice: Turn off all news. You’re not getting any real info anyway. It’s all done for ratings. Bottom line. Nothing else. You haven't heard the 'whole truth and nothing but the truth' since you first arrived on Planet Earth. And the possibility of that happening any time soon by way of the media is tiny at best.
Heresy. It’s not easy. It’s not for everyone, especially the faint of heart.
To question everything, then, is the beginning of freedom.
Heresy is a calling. Are you in?

(Note: In case you might be wondering about heresy in Buddhism, it's an interesting concept. This link will take you to what I think is a pretty fair answer to the possibility: Buddhist Heresy )