Cognitive Dissonance Run Amok

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Contradicting the Obvious is Crazy

  • “in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2)

American psychologist Leon Festinger first developed the concept in the 1950s. It’s thought cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon that can happen to anyone. In our world today, and painfully so in a country that could once claim moral superiority in the world, we could say that cognitive dissonance is running rampant. But sadly, it has always been a social phenomenon. It only seems more so owing to factors like, complex social constructs, advancing communications, and the shift away from traditional beliefs passed down generationally. This last factor is the result of the orchestrated breakdown of the nuclear family.

Festinger and his university colleagues, posing as “believers,” infiltrated a UFO doomsday cult in the fifties that believed the world would end in a great flood on a certain date. By observation and study, he discovered that followers who should have been the most devastated when the prediction failed to happen, instead became rabid proselytes. Faced with humiliation and disappointment—compounded by selling all their possessions and forsaking friends and family, they rationalized that the aliens actually did save the planet, so as to ensure the survival of the cult. This rationale was the easiest way to resolve the stress associated with cognitive dissonance rather than dismiss the original failed prophesy.

The inconsistency between what people believe and how they behave motivates them to engage in actions that will help minimize feelings of discomfort. People attempt to relieve this tension in different ways, such as by rejecting, explaining away, or avoiding new information. For reasons we will see, too many people fail to consider there is a perfectly good way to avoid this discomfort with something profoundly superior.

Cognitive dissonance, is the painful mental discomfort that results from holding two conflicting beliefs, values, or attitudes. We choose this instead of cognitive consonance.

People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so this conflict causes unpleasant feelings of unease or discomfort.

If we were to spend the time observing, as Festinger did, we would see this as one possible explanation for the eruption of an otherwise phenomenally inexplicable mass psychosis in the form of a cult called the “trans movement.” 

Writing for the Heritage Foundation, [“Transgender Ideology Is Riddled With Contradictions: Here Are the Big Ones” 2/9/2018] Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., observes, “People say we live in a postmodern age that has rejected metaphysics, [but] that’s not quite true.” Instead, he continues, “We live in a postmodern age that promotes an alternative metaphysics.”

Festinger wrote this more than five years ago. Now, the notion has developed exponentially, shaking the entire socio-political realm in this country, and by extension, the entire world. Only last week it was the tragic shooting of children and teachers of Nashville’s Covenant Christian school by a transgender. This week the news is all about the outrages of Dylan Mulvaney. The content creator, who, following facial feminization surgery, has amassed 10.8 million TikTok followers, 1.7 million Instagram followers, and signed several lucrative commercial partnerships, has amassed a net worth of $1.5 million. “All of those numbers continue to grow, and Mulvaney’s dominance in headlines does not appear to be going away anytime soon.” (Washington Examiner)

Mulvaney is at the center of more than a couple of controversial marketing campaigns. First, it was Ulta beauty products, then Nike, and just recently, Bud Light. Not everybody is okay with these partnership promotional campaigns. The blowback from their customer base has been very strong, with sales of Bud Light dropping 30-50% in the first few days of the announcement. This is likely due to the probability that, like the doomsday cult, not everyone suffers from cognitive dissonance. Certainly not like Dylan Mulvaney does.

So, how do we explain the numbers of people—whole swaths of the populace—who accept, agree, and even promote transgenderism? Matt Walsh (pictured) has an interesting hypothesis. In his podcast, “Bud Light’s New Strategy Is As Bad As The Beer Itself,” he cuts to a clip of Bud Light’s VP of Marketing, Alissa Heinerscheid, who interviewed with the podcast “Make Yourself At Home” March 30. She “explained” her work in transforming the Bud Light brand as described in this New York Post online story:

After the host asked Heinerscheid about how her background, perspective, and values impacted the Bud Light brand, the Bud Light vice president said, “I’m a businesswoman, I had a really clear job to do when I took over Bud Light, and it was ‘This brand is in decline, it’s been in a decline for a really long time, and if we do not attract young drinkers to come and drink this brand there will be no future for Bud Light.’”

This is what Walsh believes is Heinerscheid’s problem, “She doesn’t like the product, she doesn’t like the company, she doesn’t like the customer base.” He may be on to something. She is like many of her generation who have little or no understanding of the sociology that explains why and how men and women think and act as they do. Instead, her thinking is clouded with suffocatingly obtuse ideology. This is where her cognitive dissonance enters into the equation.

Transgenderism is a component of wokism, and plays a huge role in the cultural Marxist agenda. It’s the “me-too” movement morphing into the “all about me” generation. Heinerscheid is the right hire for the worst idea because her employers are every bit as confused as she is; marketing to the wrong customers, who, likewise, struggle for truth and reality. There should be no doubt she’s in a state of shock over the colossal rejection of her marketing campaign.

So what can anyone do to stop this freight train of a crazy idea? The answer you’ve been hoping and waiting for is found at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The best antidote to cognitive dissonance is cognitive consonance: the harmony of ideas and beliefs; cohabiting in cultural agreement; living in and with the practical values that have stood the test of time down through the ages. There’s no way to even compare Mulvaney and his clownish drag queen mentality with the truth and beauty of genuine womanhood:

  • Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

We must be promoting the virtues we should have learned at the feet of our fathers. Consider the timeless praises found in Proverbs 31:10-31. These and the sanctifying values of those taught and modeled by our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians, more than any other, should understand these values and be willing and able to be His beautiful feet who bring good news. We ought to. Now more than ever. People who struggle with “gender dysphoria” are essentially extremely unhappy with who they are. If they could only know how much God loves them, surely they would abandon their confusion. 

  • How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7 NIV)

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Shenandoah Christian Alliance
Shenandoah Christian Alliance is a Christian organization devoted to the promotion and education of biblical truths, faith, and spiritual equipping. We believe in the sanctity of marriage as defined in God’s revealed word. We oppose the practice of abortion, and respectfully object to its funding and facilitation as currently promoted by our elected leaders. We understand homosexuality to be something that God—whom we worship and honor—does not approve among his creation. Our faith in God as revealed in scripture is not something we are ashamed of, or for which we must apologize.