My name is David Deyo and I’m the heretic behind this blog. While labels are limited mental cartoons, they can be useful in an elevator pitch like this one. So the labels that brush in the broad strokes of my identity include writer, teacher, artist, designer, poet, democratic socialist, liberal, unorthodox Christian, post-gay, philosopher, programmer, student of science, seeker of truth, storyteller.
Here’s the thing. Do you know the children’s tale about the Emperor’s New Clothes? The one person who spoke truth in the face of social convention and conformity was a heretic. So was Galileo.
Despite what you might read on bathroom walls, a heretic isn’t necessarily a bad person. While not all heretics are visionaries, all visionaries began as heretics. Steve Jobs was a heretic. Rosa Parks was a heretic. Jesus Christ was a heretic, which is what got him in so much trouble with the religious authorities of his time.
I think there’s much to admire about heretics. Every new idea. Every paradigm shift. Every revolution began with heretics. Human beings willing and able to dared to birth ideas outside orthodoxy, above entrenched thinking, and beyond confining ideology.
Something I’ve learned about myself over the decades of my life so far is that for just about any bucket or box for kinds of people you could reasonably place me into, invariably my thoughts or values place me outside the mainstream defined by that box or bucket.
I’m a believing Christian who embraces science. I’m a gay man who still believes in monogamy. I’m a liberal who believes tradition and custom have their value and are not to be discarded lightly. I’m a gay man who doesn’t consider Christianity my mortal enemy nor the effort to serve more sexual partners than McDonald’s serves burgers any badge of honor.
I’m a heretic. Whether or not that makes me visionary is in the eye of the beholder.
I can live with that.