As a Cosmotheologian, and having been trained as a Christian Minister, Bill is perfectly qualified to bring into focus the long and often bloody oppression that the Church has exerted on science and free thought. Questions such as "What had science revealed that was so threatening to the Church?" and "Why were those who had made great discoveries forced to recant them on pain of death?" Most importantly, why was humanity forced to wait nearly 1,200 years for society to "re-discover" these great achievements?
There are a great many people who throughout history have thrown about the term “Heretic.” One wonders if they really knew the meaning of the word. According to Webster’s College Dictionary, a heretic is one with “a set of beliefs which are contrary to his or her church.” Should one read a bit further, they will see that the word comes from the Greek, and means simply “to choose” (hairesis, choosing for oneself) Moreover, that is the crux of the problem. These people, these “Heretics” have chosen to use their minds to believe what their senses tell them. Either that or they have simply allowed common sense to steer them, without a conscience choice. This is counter to the demands of the Church in the dark ages. One must not be allowed to make these kinds of choices for oneself. The Church, as the sole representation of God on Earth (I guess Jesus could have saved the trip) can and will speak for all. To think for oneself, or to embrace thoughts or actions not sanctioned by the Church, as decided in some committee, is an act of “Impiety” or a heresy.
The age the persecution of free thought is not yet at an end. College campuses, the last bastions of free thought and science are constantly being bombarded with rhetoric professing this religious system or that religious system. Proselytizing is healthy and active on America soil.
Having been trained as a Minister of the Christian faith, and having studied the arguments both for and against faith, creationism, and belief systems, I could not continue in good conscience on the path toward ordination and/ or teaching. Much to the dismay of many of my associates, I became a “born again humanist.” I suppose I was always somewhat humanists, but wanted very much to believe in all the mystical promises of Christianity. It is attractive. To be in a position of authority in an area of people’s lives where they believe they need you more than you need them. Although this is exactly the opposite. I stood on Sundays and gave great sermons to teach and to uplift my flock. Nevertheless, I began to lose faith myself. On the other hand, perhaps I just came to recognize that I had never had any. I really don’t know the answer to that question, but I would have to suspect that my faith was mostly wishful.
Over the next chapters, I wish to share with you what I have learned through nearly twelve years of study at Colleges, Graduate School, Seminaries and Bible Schools. That is simply this- be aware that some aspects of religion are controlling and pervasive. To state this would likely get a minister censured. For a non-clergy to state this, they would be labeled a heretic. Therefore, to many people I am a heretic. I cannot and will not accept the Churches portrayal of God or gods, nor can I stop thinking for myself. This makes me a humanist, not evil.