Matt Bors
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Bors Blog

Last week a story in the Telegraph said the former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, "admits" that he is a Christian. This was mentioned on numerous networks and blogs, especially right-wing types who trumpeted this as a victory from the grave for Ronald Reagan and Jesus (some right-wingers have managed to not conflate the two). We are morally superior! Our religion wins! He has denounced communism and atheism!

Well, looks like a reporter bothered to ask him what he believes.

"Over the last few days some media have been disseminating fantasies - I can't use any other word - about my secret Catholicism, citing my visit to the Sacro Convento friary, where the remains of St. Francis of Assisi lie," Gorbachev said, according to an Interfax article posted Friday.

"To sum up and avoid any misunderstandings, let me say that I have been and remain an atheist," he stated.

How many right-wing blogs will note the correction?

I bring this up not because I care what Gorby's religious beliefs are. I don't think famous world leaders thinking like me verifies or discredits any certain belief about the world. But I think it's a great example of how these things work.

Often we are told of a statement, statistic, et al, that confirms something many people want to believe. It might change an election or ruin a career. People who pay attention to the news see the correction and wonder why everyone else is so stupid. Often they hold onto the original belief when confronted with facts refuting it. It's why we have 10% of white Democrats thinking Obama is a muslim.
03.31.2008 |