QOTD: On polls and popularity contests regarding the issues we face

Read this over the weekend from Pastor Rick Warren on Twitter, and thought it was worth sharing here:

“Popularity has no bearing on what’s true and what’s false. The crowd, and opinion polls, are often wrong.”

I bring this up because of all the bandwagon-jumping I’m seeing on the issue of gay marriage – especially from Democrats (like Senator Claire McCaskill – MO) and some Republicans, most of who are not doing this out of principle but rather out of a moderate to severe case of “opportunistic-itis.” I exempt Senator Portman on this because I can’t hold it against a parent to reverse course, considering the thought I’m sure he put behind this in light of his son coming out as gay. Unlike President Obama, who has strung liberal gays along (and they have allowed him to) with his seesaw positions on gay marriage – positions he took purely for political purposes, Portman has a reason to feel the way he does now, even though I disagree with the notion that you can’t still be supportive of your son or daughter when they “come out of the closet” if you don’t support gay and other alternative forms of marriage. But that’s another topic for another day.

Reasonable people can disagree on the gay marriage issue. Then again, it seems that the loudest voices on this issue are extremists on both sides, with no consideration given for the “in between” people who are ok with civil unions for gay couples but who also believe that ultimately the best environment to raise children in is the traditional male/female two parent husband/wife marital/family structure – and that it should stay that way. There are also those “in between” types who have family members or friends who have ‘come out” who believe in gay marriage but who believe it should be a state-level issue, not one decided by the feds. We need to hear more such voices, rather than the yelling on the far left and far right about “homophobia” and “end times.”

Back to Warren’s quote, it’s interesting when you think about it. Right now, with the SCOTUS poised to take up two “gay rights” cases this week, an increasing number of politicos announcing their support, etc, pundits on the left (and some on the right who have given up on this issue and want us to stop getting beat up over it) are saying the conservative right needs to “get with the times” as a “majority of Americans” now support gay marriage or civil unions. Think about this, though: Remember the run-up to, and the aftermath of the Iraq war, when polls showed the American people overwhelmingly supported taking out Saddam Hussein? Think liberals bought the argument then that because a majority of the American people supported going into Iraq that they needed to hop on board, too? No, they didn’t. They’ve never allowed popular opinion on any issue favorable to conservatives (or America, for that matter) to dissuade them from their viewpoints. Why should we? When you believe in something – no matter what the issue – a poll and popular opinion shouldn’t be your deciding factor in whether you keep your opinion on an issue.

Do your research. Talk to people. Look at ALL facts on the table. Then determine whether or not you feel the same. And stick with it if you think it is right. Over time, you will either be proven to be on the correct side of the issue, and history – or not.

And here’s something else: It’s ok to evolve on an issue. I changed my mind on a number of them during the course of my switch from liberalism to conservatism, and I didn’t base my view point on polls and popularity contests and pop culture, but rather careful thought and consideration. Don’t be afraid to have a change of heart. But also don’t be afraid to stand strong in the face of adversity and major pushback. As the old saying goes, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

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