It never ceases to astound me how the lemming like quality of Tribal Mindsets work. The result is almost always the same; Selective Invincible Ignorance, with rarely the necessary attendant humility to acknowledge the possibility of being even a smidgen wrong.
As I read the thoughts and opinions of self appointed “experts” on all manner of matters, but most easily distinguished in religious and political circles, my response generally wavers between highly amused and resigned to the tragic truth that empty vessels make the loudest sound.
There have always been, and will always be, those who blindly and ignorantly follow and praise their ideology, while demonizing dissent and foreign ideas. I think it’s safe to say that 99% of such behaviour is due to primitive emotions married to arrogant invincible ignorance and based out of a common hive-mind that rewards the adherent and devalues dissent, in ways designed to protect the hive from internal division and by identifying the dissenter as a “heretic”, and punish them with emotional, physical and mental harm.
After what the hive determines to be adequate attempts to reform, chastise and educate the free thinking dissenter, usually all in the name of Love or Logic, next comes the punishment. This is usually accompanied by words such as “discipline, “rebuke”, reproof” etc. and ALWAYS includes some form of shunning. There is not one group, as far as I can determine, who do not practice this form of emotional blackmail, and it is the most primitive of all motivations used to dissuade individuals of thinking for themselves.
One might ask, if the policies, practices and beliefs of the hive were so clear, true and correct, then why would ANYONE want to disagree?
In Christianity, we see the stark reality of a simple truth. Orthodox Christianity declares promotes and relentlessly preaches the “truth” that there is ONLY ONE way to God and that is through Jesus. They call this “orthodox”. At the same time though, there are multiple thousands of differing cliques, sects, denominations and divisions, many of whom would gladly murder each other, and have; ALL claiming that THEY are orthodox; ALL claiming that the same Holy Spirit, led them to such divergent positions; ALL calling some other one’s by the title, heretics; ALL claiming that THEIR belief brand is the apex of orthodoxy. If “orthodoxy” were to be in the least bit credible, wouldn’t there only be one version of it? And here is the kicker, they ALL resort to phrases such as, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” in order to co-exist until they can start destroying each other again.
The very word “heretic” has its origins in the Greek word αἵρεσις (hairesis), meaning to choose. Earliest forms of Christianity were first deemed to be heretics by their Jewish brothers and wore it as a badge of honour – as free thinkers, as those who thought for them selves, as those who exercised their own choice in what they believed and held to. But as soon as they grew sufficiently strong, they in turn used it disparagingly against those in their own ranks who dared to exercise self choice.
Ah! And the band plays on!
In politics we see the same thing, taken to such extremes now in 2017, after the election of President Trump in what might have been the most divisive US election in history, we are hearing such terms as “alternative Universes”. Really? Rather than elect to dialogue, we are so far removed from each other that we must invent alternative universes? Rather amusing to say the least.