Being skeptical can be a good thing. These are my magazines from the 1970’s that I was reading just after graduating from St. John’s University. I have the very first issue of Skeptic: The Forum For Contemporary History (note that this magazine was published for less than a decade and later another magazine was started, also called “Skeptic” but it was by a totally different group of people).

Note that I purposely included the word “proper” in the title to this article because it is a critically important aspect of skepticism. You won’t have a problem finding plenty of conspiracies and theories of how something may have happened or may happen in the future. But remember that a theory is not evidence, and many (most?) of these theories tend to have no proper evidence.

And that was what was so good about the Skeptic magazines that I was reading 40 years ago. The magazine included reprints of articles from reputable news sources like New York Magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Harper’s, Science, Natural History, Harvard Magazine, Congressional Quarterly, Smithsonian, The Economist and US News & World Report. Articles were by respected authors such as Alexander Hamilton (yes!), George Will, Senator George McGovern, Arnold Toynbee, Isaac Asimov, Harry S Truman, James R Schlesinger, Arthur Schlesinger Jr, Henry Kissinger and Eric Hoffer (see below).

Being a proper skeptic means doing research and reading from reputable sources and authors that would report on issues from all sides and viewpoints. Being a skeptic who only reads things from one view point from questionable sources is not something I would suggest because if you only hear the same viewpoint over and over you lose perspective and can be misled and deceived.

Another critically important aspect is to also have a good understanding of our past history and it’s implications.  For example, all of a sudden being afraid that our country is becoming fascist or socialist or communist needs some historical background PLUS an understanding of just what “fascism” is … just what “socialism” is (and is NOT). There is a noted political historian (Heather Cox Richardson) who has authored many books and decided when the pandemic struck to host hour long video’s twice a week to help people who are staying at home have something meaningful to watch. She has presented a history of the Republican Party (in 17 hour long segments), a history of our country (called American Paradox in 10 segments) and is now in the midst of a series about the Reconstruction after the Civil War. She also has a history and politics chat session once a week that talks about what is currently happening in our country. She reads and researches A LOT.  She also writes a daily “Letters From An American” newsletter that sums up what she sees happening for that day. These “letters” have a lengthy list of resources at the end that you can click on to read the full information for more details or to verify that her summary was accurate.

NOW…… what is interesting is that right when I started researching and praying about this article she had a very interesting current history and politics chat that covered many issues that people have on their minds. She noted that we are NOT becoming a Fascist country, we are NOT moving towards Socialism (and definitely NOT towards Communism) … she talked about sedition, secession, authoritarianism, oligarchy, the pandemic and how our election is over and was secure. But what surprised me is that she highly recommended a book by Eric Hoffer … yes, the SAME Eric Hoffer that I was reading back in the ’70’s in Skeptic magazine (see above).

Here is a link to that hour long history and politics chat (on her facebook page):

And here is a link to the Eric Hoffer book that she was highly recommending (The True Believer):

Now … for some resources for you to keep your skepticism proper:

And finally … just to set your minds at ease … our country is NOT going to become socialist as this one article in a very reputable newspaper (with 8 Pulitzer Prize Winners over the past decade): So much for “Biden the socialist”

I personally wrote this and grant permission to copy or use any of this for your own articles or posts – Len Lindsay (God Is In Our Midst)