Since this is off-topic on the Trump thread, started a new one for it.
So how can a freedom-loving IEE submit herself to rigid dogma?
The word "dogma" is popularly bandied about by folk these days as a bad thing, something terribly oppressing. But I find it is freedom.
Actually, Duschia, these other Q's aren't so hard to answer if I answer them one at a time.
But first, I would like to draw your attention to a quote I have kept at the bottom of my signature for a long time because it is timeless in explaining a great truth I subscribe to, and might answer your question of how I can be dogmatic. I am dogmatic because WHEN the dogma is TRUE, there is great freedom in it. And I love freedom. It's a big value for me.
Re: Freedom: Back when I was a Protestant [specifically: an Evangelical, "non-denom," Bible-alone, Faith-alone Christian], I was helping at a Vacation Bible Camp and we had the children singing a song about being free to do God's will in our lives. I remember kind of stumbling on that concept, thinking to myself, "Well that doesn't sound very freeing". So I continued to live my Christian life asking myself daily, "So what is my will for today?" while also praying, "Thy will be done." After so many years a Christian I am only just beginning to see the freedom and ease of asking instead each day, "What is thy will for me today?" But I am not very good at it yet. But I think it is the route to true freedom! One can soar! I have had dreams regularly throughout my life that I am walking, then running, then suddenly soaring over things and realizing I can easily fly if I choose, and I love it. I think maybe that is God's will for me (really for everyone), and where i am supposed to head, and then I will know soaring like I have only dreamed of.
The Quote: "Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as fundamentalism... Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along by every wind of teaching, looks like the only attitude acceptable to today's standards." - Pope Benedict the XVI, "The Dictatorship of Relativism"
So, I like what the Papa said there. One is actually freer being stationary and centered than when one is whipped about this way and that, or is spinning like a zoetrope. These things restrict ones movements!
I also know that one's freedom is severely limited when one's life and decisions are governed by lies and falsehoods. I chose Catholic Dogma because I sought truth, wherever it took me, and unexpectedly found it in the teaching and the dogmas of the Catholic Church, the last place I though I would ever find it. I was very happy as a Protestant. A little confused by some of their (scant) dogma, and confused by some inconsistencies and conflicts in it, but it was no biggie. I also was aware of some false teachers and how they badly affected some people's lives, and in fact there was a false teaching I had subscribed to that did bear (naturally) bad fruit in my life. But all I needed was Jesus, my Bible, and church with its fallible but mostly-nice people and rich fellowship.
It least it seemed that was all I would ever need but something nagged it me - there must be something more. So I began seeking more truth, and found it in a totally unexpected place, the catholic Church. Which caused quite a crisis in m life. It was for me, like many others, a pearl of great price.
Yes, I believe everything in this book:
Because it is ALL TRUTH, every word of it. There is GREAT FREEDOM in it, in every word.
Having life in us is much freer than not having life in us.
In order to have this life we must receive worthily. So we have the Sacrament of Confession, another way God pours Grace down from Heaven on us. Through the priests, we hear with our ears that God forgives us our sins, so that we may be worthy to receive him. Its a pretty powerful formula.
In the same way basically go the rest of the dogma. They help us live free.
Jesuits (Oops! Can that one!) - just to name a few. Each of these orders has a "rule"; to be a member you agree to live you life a certain way, certain many prayers a day, following these rules. There are so many wonderful, inspiring spiritual disciplines to practice, by being a 3rd order, or "lay" (not priest, not monk, not brother or sister but a regular person) member of these wonderful orders. a member. I want to join them all! Well, that's impossible, but I can't pick one because, yes, there are all those duties and disciplines to commit to, so I hesitate and then I never choose anything. Until I came upon The Apostolate for Jesus Christ the Returning King - that one could be mine, as the requirements and disciplines are very simple, very scant, so, lots of freedom and flexibility to suit me!