ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 8/24/09
These are trying times for Republicans. Not only did we lose the election, we got pantsed. Control of both houses and the presidency have been lost. We’re involved in two unpopular wars, we‘re bordering on a third, the government is deeply in debt, the international economy is in the crapper, and whether wrong or right, the strong public consensus is that it’s entirely our fault. Whether you’re a die-hard Bush supporter, or a moderate who feels mistakes were made, I think it’s pretty obvious that the party and its members are having a bit of an image problem right now.
To that end, I humbly submit this guide on how we can change our reputation and not be perceived as paranoid racists and raving religious fanatics, at least on a one-to-one basis.
LESSON 2: “Faith versus Facts.”
First of all, let me point out that you’re probably *not* an idiot. If you’re reading our site regularly then you’ve probably conservative and you’ve probably got some interest in Science Fiction and other theoretical stuff as well. That suggests that you’re at least on the upper half of the bell curve, so don’t take umbrage. You’re probably plenty smart. However society runs on customs and unfair generalizations and preconceptions, and a poorly-defined social code. No matter how smart one may be, they still risk *looking* like a dope if they can’t express themselves adequately, or if they stub their toes on one of those invisible customs. We all know people who are freakishly smart, but can’t remember to close their mouth when they chew food, or who go all squirrelly ‘round the edges when it comes to some aspects of social interaction.
Our purpose is to help you avoid that.
Secondly, today we're going to be a bit more overtly religious than we normally are. This will undoubtedly make all of us - including me - a bit uncomfortable, but as I'm a Christian, and as many of our readers are likewise, I feel the need to explain a fairly common falacy amongs my good-hearted well-meaning bretheren (And sisteren) which has an adverse affect on the left, and will make them look down on you - and perhaps Christ by extension. I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad or look stupid, just trying to point out a problem, an explanation, and then present a possible alternative which you can accept or deny as The Spirit moves you.
“Facts” and “Faith” are two not-terribly-related concepts that frequently get used interchangeably by both sides of the political spectrum. Let’s try to iron out the differences shall we?
Going straight to the source, we’re told “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1) I think we could find a more specific definition than that in the dictionary, but I don’t think we could find a *better* one. Meanwhile, a “Fact” is defined as :
1. Knowledge or information based on real occurrences: an account based on fact; a blur of fact and fancy.
2. a. Something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed: Genetic engineering is now a fact. That Chaucer was a real person is an undisputed fact.
b. A real occurrence; an event: had to prove the facts of the case.
c. Something believed to be true or real: a document laced with mistaken facts.
(Thanks to http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fact)
In short, the fundamental difference is that faith is something you believe without evidence, and facts are something you don’t have to believe in because they’re proven to be true. The operative word here is “Believe.” Faith is based on Belief, and Facts are based on evidence.
There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s the way things should be, really. Some things you believe, and some things you know. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God; I know that China sent their first man in to space in 2003. See the difference there?
I can easily prove that Yang Liwei was the first Chinese citizen in space, I can not prove that Jesus is the Son of God. My inability to prove the latter doesn’t mean it isn’t true, it simply means that it’s a matter of faith, not facts. I can’t prove that my parent’s love for me is real, either, but it is. Some things are simply too intangible to be analytical about, but we accept them as real anyway. There are zillions of examples: We can’t prove that love exists, we can’t prove that our favorite