This is our truth, tell us yours
So Jem and myself were trying to make sense of the schismatic episode that is the Labour leadership contest, and my brain went into one of its free wheeling modes.
I’vealways understood orthodoxy of thought as it was explained to me by a bishop at my confirmation classes; agreeing on essentials, tolerant on non-essentials, and charitable in everything. It stuck with me as an idea, and it has returned at times of crisis, even if my belief in god has not.
I’vealways thought unorthodox to be an unhelpful word.It’s simply the opposite of orthodox, but it might describe either a different canon of beliefs, or a different approach to the idea of agreement. Jem and myself are heterodox to much of the modern left, because of our views on sex and gender, consent and autonomy, but within our thought system we actually practice orthodoxy – we agree on essentials, we are tolerant on non-essentials,and we try to do everything charitably and with love.
The Blairites are homodox.
They are all of the same idea, and that idea is that only winning elections matter, and the key to winning elections is strong leadership, which is defined as sharing the characteristics of Tony Blair.
Homodoxy is a reassuring and simple form of belief; it asks only that you believe and repeat the central tenets, irrespective of how the world around you might have changed. The majority of successful organizations, and churches, have prospered by practicing orthodoxy, not homodoxy.The reason is simple. Homodoxy is incredibly strong, like glass, and brittle, like glass, so that it shatters when stressed by unexpected shocks or forces. Homodoxy might be useful as the defining characteristic of a sect, as opposed to the broad church implied by orthodoxy. I know which I would prefer my Labour Party to be.