Most people who know me know that I am a man of strong opinions. Yet recently I’m wondering if my opinions are as well founded as I thought.

I think this, not because I’ve had some massive revelation that undercuts what I believe (quite the contrary in fact). Rather, I have seen a disturbing trend in people around me here in Canada, and have to wonder if I’m like that.

The trend is a simple one. Canadians whose only connection to the United States is through their news media feel confident to refer to the American president as “evil”.

While I do have some questions about the appropriateness of some of his foreign policy decisions, and in the sense that all people are totally depraved, I agree that he’s evil. Yet, when I ask people why they think so, they repeat some rather stupid statements like “Bush’s war for oil” (that lowered our access to oil, increased the price at the tanks, and is virtually guaranteeing that Bush’s policies end with the election of a new president), or how Bush “caused 9/11” (despite the MANY disprovings of “loose change” and their ilk, and the fact that Islamic extremists attacked American targets during the Clinton administration, including a failed attempt at the trade center), or that he “stole” the elections (despite getting the majority of the popular vote the second time around).

It’s almost as inane as the strong opinions people hold about “religion”. Automatically tarring all believers with the same brush (for the record, John Hagee and Tim LaHaye are not in any way my “leaders” even though I am an evangelical Christian), and talking about a massive branch of human experience as all bad (despite the marked inability among most to even explain what they refer to when they speak of religion… they either include what they believe or to include all the things we manifestly refer to when we talk about religion).

This leads me to the conclusion that modern society has become an amalgam of pooled ignorance rather than an embrace of truth.

But am I any different?