There is such a thing as the ‘Politics of Belief.’ Opinion shapers know this. Consider these thoughts for a moment. If you walk in to a room full of global warmers - you are marginalized regardless of your opinions and information about the fact that global warming is not caused by the current popular belief of automobile and power plant carbon emissions. A room full of liberal democrats will mock a conservative for his opinions without any consideration when he attempts share his ideas. A room full of republicans will reject without thought a leftist leaning speaker. A room full of young people will reject the viewpoint of an old person. A room full of Christians are not pre-disposed to listen to an atheist with an open mind. Now, is there an objective truth in all of these arenas? I think so, but getting to that truth is often a hard road.
Belief is reliably more stubbornly intransigent than truth. It is why it took so long for the scientific community to accept the fact that the world was round instead of flat. Pontius Pilate understood this when he said to Jesus, “What is truth?” He knew that political winds and current belief were the only truth that he would consider in order to function in the world. Objective, provable truth was irrelevant, since it held no functional sway in “the way things were (perceived to be.)” In other words, if all the bus drivers in the world believe this is Sunday when it is really Monday, you better plan your life on the Sunday bus schedule or you may be walking a lot. Belief is reality…not a good reality, but nonetheless a kind of reality. It is one we live in every day.
Sir Francis Bacon, pioneer of the scientific method once wrote “If a person begins with certainties, he will end in doubts: but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he will end in certainties.” I am encouraged when I talk with someone who openly expresses doubts about things, especially Christianity. Doubt is healthy if it is inquisitive doubt. I remember reading Letters From A Skeptic by Gregory and Edward Boyd with a great deal of appreciation, because even though faith has to have an element of doubt to be “faith,” it is eminently intelligent and supportable in regard to Christianity when questioned honestly.
What is your reality? Do you have enough of an open mind to question commonly held beliefs -- whether it’s about healthcare laws, global warming, or faith in God? Do you recognize that those who hold a belief will see and use only the facts that support that belief to ratify its truth, and that political power is based on shaping your belief irrespective of objective “truth”?