Finding Truth, Part 2

In Part 1, I briefly discussed different ways that human beings can be misled into believing a lie. Human beings are biased. They are suggestible and easily persuaded by “experts” and sophisticated language. They are loyal to political and religious ideologies, even to their own detriment. And here’s where I will expand on my last post, as it is one of the more disturbing and damaging things I’ve encountered as an adult and requires attention.

A couple of prefatory notes: I don’t subscribe to a political party. And I never will.

I try my best to not take sides on issues, at least not until I understand each side. So please don’t take anything I say as a sort of attack on either side of the political aisle. I’m going to be making some generalizations about Republicans and Democrats. I know there are plenty of exceptions to the things I am about to say. My statements below are based on personal observation and what I know about current events. It seems that those who are most vocal about politics are usually the most foolish. Accordingly, the truth of what each person believes is not well represented by these political parties.

I understand that the majority of people want more intellectual conversations surrounding political issues. Unfortunately, many intellectuals aren’t willing to engage in these conversations because they fear hostility from the other side. After all, they’ve been warned about the other side. They’re crazy! Evil!

Actually, not so much.

I’ve gotten to know both Republicans and Democrats. I went to a very conservative, Catholic college and then to a very liberal law school. Let me make this very clear: there is a difference between the crazy people on the internet and real-life intellectuals. It turns out, each side of every political issue has merit, and often comes from a place of compassion. Yes, really. It may be misguided at times, but except for the few greedy, malicious types in our society, each side truly believes that their position is what is best for everyone. I would love to explain this issue by issue, but that is better saved for a separate post.

All this to say, if I’m mistaken about anything concerning the Democratic or Republican parties, consider it just that, a mistake. And perhaps consider your own willingness to take part in the conversation. People only know as much about your position as you allow them to. If you don’t engage with others, people far less competent will do it for you.

Tribalism as a Form of Self-Deception

In today’s political climate, I’ve noticed, as I’m sure most of you reading have, that people have become more and more divided over politics, more and more divided over truth. They’ve latched onto their political beliefs, as if it is an arbiter for morality. And they hold onto it, even when faced with information that would disprove their position. As Father Joseph Byerley puts it, “It’s good to be loyal to our ‘tribe,’ but an irrational loyalty that does not permit our side to ever be wrong or the other side to ever be right is toxic and immoral.” (Byerley, Joseph, “Pride Fueled by Hyper-Tribalism is Toxic,” November 14, 2019,

We’re all capable of falling into certain biases, believing what we desperately want to be the truth. Then we find a verse in the Bible that supposedly confirms it, or a scientific article that vaguely describes the possibility of its truth. This is called confirmation bias. People have used it to convince themselves of far uglier things than merely their own beliefs about God or conspiracy theories. You can convince yourself to believe absolutely anything. See Finding Truth, Part 1.

Take for example the James Younger case in Texas. James Younger is a seven-year-old boy whose mother became convinced that he is a girl after he showed interest in traditionally ‘girly’ things, despite the fact that he is biologically male from birth. I won’t indulge in discussing how much this illustrates the shallowness of society’s understanding of sex. For now, let’s just talk about transgenderism generally.

It seems that the transgender issue is one that the Democratic party has taken upon itself to hail as the next big civil rights movement. To be honest though, I’m a little confused by what Democrats believe about transgenderism. Either they believe it is a disorder, whose cure requires sex reassignment, or they actually believe that someone can be “born in the wrong body.” Neither of these is a truly intellectual response to the situation. The former seeks to alter the body to fit the delusion of a disordered mind instead of seeking to alter the mind so as to be rid of the delusion. And the latter requires a total leap of faith, a spiritual belief that a female soul could enter a male body or vice versa.

If we want to be totally unbiased, we have to consider scientific facts, namely that a human being is either male or female according to their biology. A male can enjoy stereotypically feminine things. A female can enjoy stereotypically masculine things. Personality is not an indicator of biological truth. A female lumberjack is as much of a woman as a female homemaker. To think otherwise is narrow-minded and, quite frankly, sexist.

Now, is it possible for a transgender child to have some form of hidden hermaphroditism? Of course. But the majority of transgender cases I hear about never mention any biological reason for the person’s gender dysphoria. Various articles and videos talk instead about how the person “feels.” Now, that in itself doesn’t mean that there is no such biological explanation, but it would be quite curious to omit such a vital piece of information in a story about growing up transgender.

It’s times like these when I am truly amazed by people’s loyalty to their political party, that they would ignore science, history, common sense, in order to further the party’s platform. People are so convinced that they are on the winning side, that politics and morality begin to blend into each other. As the saying goes, a person who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. By the same token, a person without a firm moral foundation will have to find a sense of morality somewhere. The most probable explanation for fully grown people to so blindly follow the transgender narrative is that they have made politics and politicians equal to God. There is nary a concept so powerful or triggering as ideology. Truly, it has given us suicide bombers, the Holocaust, and yes, sex reassignment for children.

The only comparable situation to this sort of denial of science is when Bible-believing Christians claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old because the Bible says so. Many people on the left have found their morality in their politics, so they must believe in supporting sex-reassignment, even for children. Their religion, that is liberalism, tells them they must.

Republicans have done the same thing with climate change and environmental issues, though the truth of these matters don’t appear as dire as leftists and AOC loyalists would have us believe. But both sides are guilty of the same mistakes. Republicans and Democrats both believe this one critical thing: that the world would be a better place if everyone would just agree with us. The two groups diverge, not because one is right and the other is wrong, but because both cling unquestioningly to their respective tribes, regardless of truth.

We must break out of this groupthink, or it will destroy us. Remember when Karl Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.” Funny how someone so blinded by his own erroneous thinking would have the audacity to make such a blanket statement on others’ beliefs. It isn’t religion that people necessarily need to question. It’s ideology, religious or otherwise. It is tribalism. It is the belief that the side we are on is incapable of error.

Saint Athanasius said, “Even if the whole world is against the truth, then I am against the world.” May each of us carry that same bold sentiment within ourselves, that we may always question, always listen for a response to those questions, in order to always find truth.


  1. Well reasoned and balanced discussion here and in Part 1 (Finding Truth). Maybe now more than ever the world needs people who are more interested in truth than in promoting agendas of self-interest. That requires an open mind and dedication to honest discernment.

    Fortunately, there do exist truth seekers across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, they are too few.

    I've grown to admire the Jesuits, who have garnered more attention since Francis's election to the Papacy. Their emphasis on honest discernment and open-mindedness rubs some Right-leaning people in the Church the wrong way, just as their being followers of Christ rubs some Left-leaning secular folks the wrong way.

    Seems to me they must be doing something right.


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