Heresy. Heretic. Hubris?


And, even if you do have a vagina, you only get to say what happens to your own.

Despite being raised Catholic, I am agnostic.  I think George Clooney said it best for me, even though my opinion was formed long before I found this particular meme:


While I am not of a particularly religious bent, a lot of my family and friends were raised in the church, accept its doctrine, and we have to agree to disagree on topics or we couldn’t be friends anymore due to the disrespect evidenced by the refusal to accept my right to my opinion.

I value my friends in all their levels of complexity and differing outlooks on life, and I don’t want to try and force them to be like me, or make them feel they must try to be something they are not in order for our friendship to survive.

That being said, though, it is not always true in the reverse.  I have to cut my friends a lot of slack when they start to “educate” me about their religious views.  Especially when they seem to forget we were raised in the same church.  They forget I’m not one to be “got” for Jesus.  I left the church as soon as I could, following my confirmation at 14, and once I was legally an adult in the eyes of the church.

The best explanation of what kind of conversation I plan to have with our maker, should I be proven wrong, and he or she exist, goes something like this:


Epicurus has rationalized a circular argument in the picture above, but it’s truly how I feel on this issue.

For me, if there is a supreme being, he or she has quite a lot of ‘splainin to do.

From my own experience in being indoctrinated in the Catholic faith, while also having members of my family be raised as Jews or Protestants, we learned to shelve the need to “get one for Jesus” in family discussions, as arguing about which religion was “most” right was pointless in a multi-religion household.  Religious support or tolerance, and managing the boundaries to avoid conflict as provoked by dogmatic viewpoints was the norm in my household.  However, I was exposed to three clear lines of thought on the religions involved, and I’ll paraphrase them as follows:

In the Jewish faith, they praise the questioners, as only by knowing ourselves and our belief, do we have a chance to know God.

Within the Protestant faith, there’s a lot of reliance placed on acceptance of the divine mystery.  The trust that all things will work out because “God has a plan”, even if we are too ignorant to be able to comprehend it in all its complexity and glory.  Some of our individual sects are part of the holly roller/get one for Jesus coalition, and some are more live-and-let-live.

Regaring my experience with the Catholic faith, there’s a wide variety of viewpoints, depending on whether one is a high holiday church goer (mostly visible at church on Christmas, Easter, etc.), or if one believes that the Pope is the living embodiment of God’s word on this earthly plane (i.e., those members are usually identified as Roman Catholics, send their kids to parochial school, know every saint’s day and holy observance on a weekly basis, are members of the John Birch society, etc.).

So, there’s a lot going on in my extended family, and I was raised to respect the boundaries as blood was thicker than any religious dogma for getting along and thriving as a cohesive team.

Into this picture comes the 2016 election nonsense, and facebook.  (You knew it was going there, right?).

I’ve been posting a lot of supportive items that members of my family and friends disagree with, but we manage the boundaries respectfully, as the postings are not directed to anyone specifically.  There’s no bullying.  It’s more a general rah-rah for my team’s views as we’re working through the political process to see who in a position of political authority is going to be steering the country over the next 4 years or so as it comes to public policies, and the laws which affect our individual rights.

Into this arena comes the private messaging, and the need for people to cross the line with conversations that they don’t have the balls to post on my facebook wall.

Two recent abortion-centric discussions have been had privately, and I’m about to lose a friendship of 40-plus years if the other person doesn’t knock it off.  All because of private messaging and what I see as disrespect or bullying.

Whether my opinion is heresy, the work of a heretic, or hubris, it’s still my opinion.  Opinions are vital to interesting conversations.  However, when one cries, “uncle” to stop the attack against an opinion, the courteous will back off.

Not change their own view.

But, simply, to agree to disagree.  It’s called mutual respect.  A friendship can’t survive without it.





4 thoughts on “Heresy. Heretic. Hubris?

  1. The things that go on behind the scenes, huh. Um, read the post “disrespect” and I remain confused. And (referring to your Silence is Golden post): it’s none of my business, so I’m MMOBing. Funny the memories random comments raise though. In 1985 I went to work for a clinical genetics team. I was the secretary and transcriber of medical records and general dogsbody, and woefully UNDEReducated. I don’t think that schoolin’ necessarily gives anyone any smarts or wisdom or even common sense, all it seems to give some people is a piece of paper saying they completed a course of study. Nothing else. I’ve run across those folk in my life, and I’ve run across the most intelligent “un-educated” folk too. Smart, wise and sensible. Prior to 1985 and my employment with the genetics people (and they did genetic counseling there…pregnant women and their families who had legitimate genetic reasons for abortion sometimes), I thought abortion was the ultimate evil. I had a friend for a couple of years that got one and I couldn’t bring myself to associate with her after she had it done. She was broken after in a way that makes me wonder sometimes how she mended or if she chose suicide as a way out – the trauma of the whole business was that severe. She was Catholic and conversations and education on my part about Catholicism explain to me now why she reacted as she did. Mormons also take a ‘no abortion’ stance. I’ve had some unfriendly conversations about the issue, as I now know (from working with the genetics people) that there are sometimes damn good reasons for an abortion, quality of life (anencephaly in the fetus for example…the brain and skull do not develop and the ‘person’ (if you wanna give a fetus personhood…another sticky opinion) doesn’t have cognisance. Will die horribly (in my opinion) if they are able to be carried to term in the first place. Trauma and PTSD to the parents of such a child. There are other damn good reasons for abortion. But prior to learning and growing myself and forming a reasonable opinion, I was firmly “no abortion”. I was judgmental and snotty to those I had to be in contact with who had one. And I have come to realize that I am both pro-choice and anti-abortion; a conundrum. It’s gray for me, not black and white. Because this is the difference: if one chooses to get the abortion because one is loose of morals and uses the procedure as a kind of birth control, I’m pretty firmly ANTI. Why doesn’t the woman in question just get fixed and have done with it all? To me that’s murder. But the woman who carries the child such as I’ve described above – I’m firmly PRO CHOICE… she has a hard decision ahead of her because whatever she decides to do, there’s trauma and angst and regret. The first woman (to me) is the worst case scenario – uncaring, reckless, a ‘whore’ to use rough language; and the second is in a situation nobody would wish on anyone – and deserves nothing but compassion.

    >whew< I'm sorry!! I've hijacked your blog. And I know that all of what I wrote is merely my opinion. It doesn't have to be anyone elses. Maybe this little saying should be told to your friend: "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one and they usually stink." If she's got a sense of humor, it might lighten the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your response, and if we were sitting over a pizza, face to face, I’d call my friend on her crap, we’d laugh and agree to disagree.

    That’s the difference between social, face-to-face conversations and all their tribal warfare nuances, and texting. I’m really hating (what amounts to) texting for making complex situations to discuss in person impossible to resolve in the written form.

    If we can’t resolve it, our relationship will simply be allowed to fade away. Sad, but that’s one way to end a problem without blowing it up among all our shared friends.


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