Heresy : noun- (1) An opinion or a doctrine at variance with established religious beliefs, especially dissension from or denial of Roman Catholic dogma by a professed believer or baptized church member.
(2) Adherence to such dissenting opinion or doctrine.
(3) A controversial or unorthodox opinion or doctrine, as in politics, philosophy, or science.
Heretic: A person holding an opinion at odds with what is generally accepted.
It has been said, and paraphrased by myself in my books, that a murderer can be forgiven more easily than a heretic. After all, the murder only killed a man (or maybe even several), but a heretic threatens the entire world-view the majority. The heretic can potentially cause massive civil unrest and revolutions, make individuals uncertain and fearful, and generally sow strife, dysfunction, and disorder. Devout orthodox believers tend to react powerfully, emotionally, violently, and immediately to heretics when they hear the heresy. It is often not a logical or proportional response, it’s a fight-or-flight amygdala triggered near-hysteria.
Here is the thing, though: devout orthodox belief is not limited only to purely traditional religious points of doctrine. It applies to many things, including beliefs about global warming, issues of race, sex, the environment, education, nature vs nurture, gun control, child-rearing, history, education pedagogy, gender, language, IQ, tax and economic policy, and nearly every potentially controversial secular subject. The pagan god worshiped by the secular religion of the political left is State (government) Authority.
The “generic” left (i.e., the average Dem / Progressive / Ordinary Leftie, 2nd Class) sees the government as it generally presents itself to be: helpful, well-intended, honest, impartial, doing good, and fair. Flawed, to be sure, they will admit, but a force for good. They view the good things done as being by the government, and the bad things it does as being a few bad apples doing bad things (usually conservatives). They don’t really connect the actions of the government as the actions of people in the government drawing a paycheck. The activist left sees government as a powerful tool of coercion to force bad people (always the “other guy”) to do the right thing. And, importantly, they see themselves not only as driving those decisions of what is “right” and “wrong,” but they see themselves as wise and worthy, even uniquely qualified, to make the decisions and use their discretion on behalf of government to force others to do (or not do) what the lefty demands. By definition, what they tell others to do is good and just. It must be.
Calling out the internal contradictions of their policies or actions makes you a heretic.
Calling out the impossibility of their desires makes you a heretic.
Pointing out the logical consequences of their actions makes you a heretic.
Illustrating the flaws in their assumptions, facts, or logic makes you a heretic.
To help you understand all this, allow me to illustrate:
|Problem||Rational man||Traditional Religion||Government Worship|
|Bad harvest||Study agronomy, Diversify crops||Study entrails,
|Study eating habits,
Spend more on farm subsidies
|Murder using a stolen gun||Punish murder,
Leave laws alone
|Punish but forgive murderer, Spend on penitentiaries, Pray for perp||Punish but forgive murderer, Punish original gun owner, Make both crimes more illegal, Spend more on gang outreach|
You get the point. I’m sure you can find many things where those who worship the power of government behave much more like cult members than rational people.
And they aim to be the shaman at the top with the fanciest titles calling the shots.
1 thought on “Heresy”
While I agree that historically the Catholic Church, who I am assuming you meant in almost all mentions of ‘orthodox belief’, has oppressed those who dared to disagree with the people in charge (Martin Luther, Galileo Galilei, etc), I feel obliged to point out that other religions are a good deal more tolerant of scientific advancements in general. In regards to your table on farming, I have these responses (can’t format a table in comments, so I’m going to have to address each point individually):
1. Traditional Religion: Study Entrails, Pray More – By ‘study entrails’, you probably meant ‘seek divine guidance in one way or another’, which is pretty accurate. I would like to point out that (by this assumed definition) studying entrails and praying are roughly the same thing. However, it is important to note that Traditional Religion has historically been scientific – the Judeo-Christian religion involved letting the field lie fallow (basically early crop rotation) according to Exodus 23:11, and ancient Hindus used seamless celestial globes to predict seasonal changes. Furthermore, the existence of religious scientists (George Washington Carver, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Louis Pasteur, etc) would seem to negate your point that only the rational man would turn to science as an answer.
2. Traditional Religion: Punish But Forgive, Spend on Penitentiaries, Pray for Perp – I assume in this comment, you were referring to the practices of the predominantly Christian USA, and so will ignore any other religions in this response:
i) I feel as though you have equated ‘Forgiveness’ with ‘Lack of Punishment’. Forgiveness is done on the part of the victim, and usually helps everyone involved move on with their lives. Festering resentment can really eat at the brain (no evidence, but experience), and once you let it go you can return to a semblance of normality. The criminal, however, is 100% unaffected in this situation – he still serves jail time, gets the chair, w/e. Forgiveness is for the victim.
ii) I am not the biggest fan of the current legal system, but precisely what is wrong with having penitentiaries? If we gave everyone the death penalty, erroneous convictions would become literally fatal. If we returned to the Code of Hammurabi (cut off criminal’s hands, etc), net productivity suffers and human life becomes cheap. I agree that we need to fix America’s bloated prison system, but the problem fundamentally lies with our bureaucracy, not our religious tenets.
iii) Again, prayer is merely the Christian version of reading entrails – it’s an attempt to communicate with God. There is nothing wrong with praying for the perp from any perspective that I can see. If you’re a Christian, praying for those who wrong you is literally in the Bible (Matthew 5:44), making it the correct thing to do. If you’re not a Christian, you don’t believe in the Christian god, so prayer is a harmless waste of time. If you’re the perp, nothing changes inside the prison whether or not someone on the outside is praying for you.
Anyway, just some thoughts. I don’t really know much about government worship (I agree that it exists, and has existed in some form or another throughout history) so I won’t be addressing it at all. Sorry for the ramble, and have a nice day.