Beliefs which are not subject to question or verification. Seen another way: a virulent, stable meme complex with a strong capability to replicate.
For example: "The Bible (i.e. the Protestant Canon) is the Word of God" - no evidence; not subject to rational examination; believed in whole or part by hundreds of millions of people. Once a dogma gets rolling, it's very hard to kill it, since those infected are impossible to reason with.

Dogma: Loosely speaking, dogma is received truth of a religious nature. That which people believe to be true because they have been told to believe it.

Also, a funny but ultimately futile movie by Kevin Smith, released in 1999. Cheese covered with tasty icing is still cheese.

The movie deals with Christian conceptions of God. With regard to the opinion that the movie tries to portray both sides, being neither "pro-God" nor "anti-God", I must disagree. I would class it as Catholic propaganda in bite-sized chunks.

Aside from the yuks and entertainment value, what is this movie really I mean deep down at the core of it's being trying to say?

Nothing at all? That would be cheap, to use the subject matter in that way. I think not.

Is he trying to say that God, and I mean specifically the God of Christian dogma, loves you and everything will be ok? Not biased, eh?

If the subject is a debate about God, then why is the terrain chosen that of biblical literalism? The author knows where he wants to go, and is choosing a loaded arena accordingly. His task then is to disguise just how cheesy all that God/heaven/Jesus/Angel stuff is if you take it literally. Of course, if the world depicted in the movie bore any relation to real life, a less god-affirming conclusion would most likely have been drawn.

Despite what Webster 1913 says, religious dogma and religious doctrine should not be considered the same thing.

Dogma is a religious belief that is considered essential by the practicioners and leaders of that religion or denomination. If you do not agree with that belief, you are not considered a member of that religion or denomination at all.

In contrast, doctrine may vary from congregation to congregation. For instance, your town's Catholic or Presbyterian or Islamic house of worship may expect all its members to believe certain things in additional to their dogma. If you refuse to accept those beliefs, you may still be welcome at other Catholic or Presbyterian or Islamic houses of worship; just not that one.

A third category, religious opinion, is purely personal. Different members and leaders of a particular congregation may hold different opinions about religious issues, but as long as those issues do not contradict dogma or doctrine, they do not affect their membership. Opinions are not considered essential to the religion or religious body.

A highly conservative or orthodox denomination or congregation will empty the opinion category as much as possible and fill up dogma, perhaps by requiring people to dress a certain way or prohibiting men or women from certain activities. A highly liberal will do the opposite; beliefs about the nature of creation, the end times, or divine nature may all regarded as personal and debatable. Neither extreme is really healthy, since all three categories do and should exist in any belief system. A strong church understands that while some truths are absolute and essential, there are always others which are debatable and less certain.

Starring: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Janeane Garofalo, George Carlin, Brian O'Halloran and Kevin Smith.
Written And Directed By: Kevin Smith

I first saw Dogma when it was originally released back in 1999. I had seen all of Kevin Smith's prior films (Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy) and was excited beyond belief. As it turns out, my excitement prior did not come close to how excited I was afterwards. I realized I had just seen a brilliant piece of filmaking, something rare in Hollywood these days. Written to near perfection by writer/director/actor Smith who must have done extensive research on the Catholic religion for this script which was originally written before Clerks. The said reason for not making Dogma earlier is lack of budget and Smith had not yet established a name for himself. The DVD special edition of Dogma contains an essay written by Smith about the long road to create his "biblical" masterpiece.

The cast gave performances to die for, despite on the set dificulties with Linda Fiorentino, her performance was still admirable. However, I believe the real acting geniuses came in the form of angels, Bartleby and Loki, played by Affleck and Damon respectively. Personally, this is Matt Damon's best performance I have seen, oh and I did see Good Will Hunting in case you thought I was a moron. He was hilarious and his lines were delivered with conviction and perfect timing. Affleck also shined in what could have been an award winning performance, if not for the film's "controversial" premise. Controversial because the Church hates anything depicting religion as anything but flawless which really bothers me how such a great film can be shrouded with hate because of religion. Anyway, back to the performances, Alan Rickman, as always is top-notch as God's messenger Metatron. Jason Lee, whom is so under-appreciated it isn't even funny, Chris Rock playing the 13th apostle Rufus is also key, and how can a Kevin Smith movie be mentioned without Jay and Silent Bob. Like Smith's other movies, the dynamic duo of Jersey return playing a larger part in the film's outcome than Smith's earlier work.

The plot is not too simple, it focuses on two renegade angels attempting to gain access back into heaven. They must move through the doors of a Catholic church in New Jersey where they accept anyone and declare them wiped free of sins. Because God wished to banish the two forever, they can never return, or it would prove God wrong. To do this, the world would end because God is flawless. To prevent their entry, the voice of God(Metatron) is sent to retrieve a mere mortal to save the world. This is all I will say to save thse who haven't seen it.

The hidden messages in the film are somewhat subtle but at times obvious. The one that initially comes to mind is Mooby. Mooby is said to be the biggest false idol on the face of the planet. When people should idolize God, they spend their money on Mooby merchandise. Ultimately this is View Askew's own Mickey Mouse. Try to find the other more subtle messages, it gives the film extra replay value. Because of the replay value, tremendous script, fabulous acting and Alanis Morissette as God (I found it amusing) I give Dogma a 9/10.

Dog"ma (?), n.; pl. E. Dogmas (#), L. Dogmata (#). [L. dogma, Gr. , pl. , fr. to think, seem, appear; akin to L. decet it is becoming. Cf. Decent.]


That which is held as an opinion; a tenet; a doctrine.

The obscure and loose dogmas of early antiquity. Whewell.


A formally stated and authoritatively settled doctrine; a definite, established, and authoritative tenet.


A doctrinal notion asserted without regard to evidence or truth; an arbitrary dictum.

Syn. -- tenet; opinion; proposition; doctrine. -- Dogma, Tenet. A tenet is that which is maintained as true with great firmness; as, the tenets of our holy religion. A dogma is that which is laid down with authority as indubitably true, especially a religious doctrine; as, the dogmas of the church. A tenet rests on its own intrinsic merits or demerits; a dogma rests on authority regarded as competent to decide and determine. Dogma has in our language acquired, to some extent, a repulsive sense, from its carrying with it the idea of undue authority or assumption. this is more fully the case with its derivatives dogmatical and dogmatism.


© Webster 1913.

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