I wish to thank B. Harry Dyck for succinctly covering a span of dogma, in this case, religious, that has most likely existed from the beginning of the first human tribes, eons ago ("Christians need to look past religious tradition," Jan. 25 People's Forum).
I had the good fortune of graduating from an academically recognized Church of Christ University, Harding University, in Searcy, Ark. As with most schools associated with a given religious tenet, we were required to take a Bible course each semester, those courses centering on Church of Christ Doctrine. Senior year was quite the shock; we were assigned to research dogma of religions that differ, sometimes quite drastically, from that to which I had been exposed as an undergraduate.
Being reasonably inquisitive, I asked the professor about the purpose of the assignment. The simple answer was that we all have the right to choose those very personal beliefs that may provide comfort in this ongoing swirl of daily life. If the university’s mantra was satisfactory to oneself, then simply live it, explore it, and in good faith, ask — the key word is "ask," not "demand" — that others join with you during the journey of life in expectation that the tenets are correct. As I have moved through life and exploration has led me to other viewpoints and tenets, I still only ask if I may share, not demand on the penalty that anyone who disagrees will be damned forever, now and in the mystical hereafter.
Again, thanks Mr. Dyck for your essay; would that I had written it; it encapsulates the strife of those persons who demand blind allegiance to their particular brands of dogma.