In September, I ran across a news story (and accompanying video) about a biracial couple in Mississippi who were turned away from a wedding venue because of the venue owner’s “religious beliefs”. This part of the story was not overlooked – in fact, it went viral. As these things tend to do.
The overlooked part was that, after the video was released, the owner spoke to her pastor and issued an apology on Facebook. The post was quickly deleted, however, which is really disappointing because it was the most remarkable part of the whole chain of events.
“I have, for many years, stood firm on my Christian faith not knowing that biracial relationships were NEVER mentioned in The Bible! All of the years I had ‘assumed’ in my mind that I was correct, but have never taken the opportunity to research and find whether this was correct or incorrect until now.
To all those offended, hurt or felt condemn by my statement I truly apologize to you for my ignorance in not knowing the truth about this.”– Venue Lady
Wow. Just wow.
I have often said that one of the major issues we face as a country is that no one wants to admit when they’re wrong. We have that pesky “confirmation bias” thing that causes us to filter out all information except stuff that confirms what we already believe, so we think we are always right. Then this really annoying “backlash effect” happens: when we are presented with facts that prove us wrong, we not only dismiss those facts, we double-down on our (now-debunked) beliefs. We all have the tendency to do this – it’s kind of how our brains are wired. But that doesn’t get us off the hook of being decent and humble human beings.
We can learn to overcome our tendencies towards bias and sticking to our guns, even in the face of compelling evidence that we are wrong. We just have to remember that we have these filters and it’s possible that we are not exactly correct. With the interwebs, we have an instant and WIDE range of reputable sources that can confirm or disprove what we think. And we can adopt the attitude that it’s ok to admit when you’re wrong.