Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Last Heretic

Heretic or Martyr?  It just depends upon which side of a doctrinal debate you find yourself.  Personally, I think the whole idea that a person should be put to death for a belief is evil in itself.

In times when personal choice is criminalized, it's wise to look into the long history of heresy. Roman officials executed the first heretic 385, 5 years after the "Edict of Thessalonica" of Theodosius I, which criminalized divergence from established dogma.  In 1836 The Spanish Inquisition condemned its last heretic, Cayetano Ripol, a teacher accused of teaching Deism in his Spanish classroom. The Church held out for burning, but the state executed him by hanging.  His body was then placed in a barrel, painted with flames, and buried in unconsecrated ground.  Deism holds that while God created the world, he does not interfere in the affairs of man. The last heretic apparently proved that.   Incidentally, the word "heretic," comes from the Greek, αἵρεσις, which originally meant "choice." Time travelers, be aware of history, know that bad ideas are never extinct, and plan a good escape route.

One of the joys of working with old found objects is tuning into them and seeing what they may evoke.  This cuff is an altered brass escutcheon embossed with acanthus and urn, funereal in the true Victorian spirit, which I hand painted with flames. The brass chain closure is a vintage chain from Alchemyshop, in Latvia, to which have been added a milagro as toggle closure and a rough garnet crystal as a counterweight.

And remember, one person's heretic is another person's martyr, so keep a sharp, skeptical eye on all true believers and dogmatists.

You have been warned!

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