The Power Of Belief

As I pen this article, I’m in the process of Reading Tim Alberta’s book, The Kingdom, The Power, And The Glory.   A passage in Chapter 7 where Alberta describes a conversation that he had with a right wing Christian who is a Trump supporter stuck me. It follows: “He is as convinced that Trump won the 2020 election, he told me, as he is that Jesus rose from the dead two thousand years ago.” Please read on but first take a moment and to let that sink in. We are talking about a man whose religious beliefs are central to his entire existence.

I’m not finished with it yet but Tim’s book deals with American Christians and that is certainly far from the entire electorate. While I’m all for some reaching out – which you might call political missionary work – it’s not the end all and will not succeed in every case. If you engage in such outreach don’t expect to hit 1.000. If after an honest conversational engagement, you run into someone like the man in the above passage politely extricate yourself from the situation and move on. Banging your head against a brick wall won’t topple it.

Belief is stronger than fact in a closed mind! Yes, many of the MAGA people and all of the Q-Anon people are wrong, if not insane, but you will never convince them of that. Proof doesn’t matter to them. I ran into a somewhat similar situation a while back. After I disproved a piece of right wing mythology about the IRS the other person simply replied, “I don’t trust the government”. What they were really telling me is that they choose to believe what they believe and don’t care about facts and reality. Going any further would have been unproductive and harmful to a friendship that, despite the person’s obvious faults and shortcomings, I value.

As long as you don’t break a law in the process, you have the right to your beliefs in America. Whether they are correct or not and whether there is anything to prove them to be either is irrelevant. That is the root of religious freedom and even as an agnostic I am certainly not willing to give that up!

I guess the real lesson here is the old “you can’t win ‘em all” line. In politics you don’t have to. I forget which of his two campaigns it came from but George W. Bush probably put it best when he said something along the lines of, he just wanted to win 50% plus one. More famously in 2012 Mitt Romney had his 47% gaffe. If you analyze the statement itself, Romney was pretty much correct.

Perhaps the best lesson I was ever taught in campaigning is that your biggest enemy is time; it is finite and there just isn’t enough of it. Don’t waste yours trying to dissuade a believer.

This article was written well ahead of publishing in order to accommodate my year end hiatus and is the property of Its content may not be used without citing the source. It may not be reproduced without the permission of Larry Marciniak.

One thought on “The Power Of Belief”

  1. If someone tells you he believes that Jesus rose from the dead, that’s the time to turn and walk away.

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