When I search for the definition of the word “dogma” the definition is “as a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as an incontrovertible truth.” It is a doctrine of beliefs deeply rooted in our culture and way of life that challenging those beliefs and thoughts is tantamount to blasphemy. It’s something so deep in our marrow we don’t even remember a time when it was absent in our lives. The more I read and study about it, I’m amazed at the strength and tentacles it has on our lives. In a lot of ways, it's the fabric of our society and keeps us from going sane. Some of the dogmatic thinking in American life is built on fear, half truths, and lack of information. Basically, it’s helped to build a successful campaign for Donald Trump. The “spook the dumb” tactic is brilliant and has helped him have staying power no one would have ever thought possible when he first announced he was running. Dogma has staying power because we not only are scared to go against the grain but mostly the ostracization of making that decision. It is very lonely to move from the pack.
Many of the ironclad beliefs we hold in America are flatly wrong. It is often thought that legalizing marijuana, same sex marriage, restricting gun control, or any other progressive mantra will send America to hell in a hand basket, and will be the end of society.1 That America will completely cave under in a jungle of marijuana plants if we decide to make it legal. But alcohol and all its integrity is completely legal and embraced in every facet of our social identity. Alcohol has proven to be much much worse than weed and honestly makes no sense that we elected for it to be our drug of choice. Many of the negative stigmas associated with marijuana are patently false but begin to be etched into our subconscious at a very young age. That’s the key to dogma, start young and never question. Snowball and overwhelm so by the time one matures it is so ingrained mentally that for them to shift away from that thinking would take a monumental amount of force.
It's amazing how much of life, how we identify ourselves and our values, moreover what we give value to is mental. Really how you look at something and your emotions towards it play a huge role. Part of dogmas role is to diminish thinking to an extent. It works best when it is unchallenged or questioned. That's how it festers and grows. It's what we rely on when we don't have the energy or courage to think for ourselves. Legalizing gay marriage was supposed to destroy America's moral fabric and send us to hell in a hand basket. But for a country built on not only the backs of spaces but claimed by the mass execution and exile of native Americans, one that has rigorously and consistently denied women's rights and is supporting a candidate who has the gall to want to not allow Muslim immigration, how are we not already in that hand basket?2 America's morality has always been skewed and hypocritical. Legalizing gay marriage has not or will not destroy whatever fantasies one has about America's values.
Admittedly, my studies of dogma and what it entails are fairly new and by no means I am an expert. It’s an interesting concept and the more I research its effect on our lives the more i am both fascinated by its power and its effects both good and bad in our society. I do know that much of the dogma in America, is as much as to cover the tracks of a blood stained past as it is to ensure order and the way things are.