Just stop it. You can say that you believe any opinion:
- “I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.” -Abraham Lincoln
- “I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.” -Steve Martin
- “I’ll ne’er believe a madman till I see his brains.” -William Shakespeare
- “Despite everything, I believe that all men are really good at heart.” -Anne Frank
- “I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” -Kinky Friedman
You can even say you believe (or disbelieve) dubious or unproven facts:
- “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “I believe that I was a dog in a past life. That’s the only thing that would explain why I like to snack on Purina Dog Chow.” -Dean Koontz
- “I am not a lesbian and I am not a slut, and somehow I am going to make people believe me.” -Vanessa Williams
- “Everytime a child says ‘I don’t believe in fairies,’ there’s a a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.” -J.M. Barrie
But you can’t say you believe or disbelieve a documented fact. Consider this statement by Scott Brown, republican nominee for the vacant Massachusetts US Senate seat.
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. States should be free to make their own laws in this area, so long as they reflect the people’s will as expressed through them directly, or as expressed through their elected representatives.
Guess what, Scott? If you are implicitly saying that you disbelieve that marriage is between two people of the same sex, you believe a lie. Because I’m married to a wonderful guy. There are people all over the globe whose spouses are the same sex they are. I really don’t give a flying fart what you believe.
Isn’t it funny how he avoids using the word “gay” or even “same-sex?” His implicit criticism of the judicial rule that denying same-sex partners marriage licenses is unconstitutional (as opposed to putting minority rights to a majority legislative vote) is really hateful too. Scott, you don’t get to reinterpret what our laws say — an accusation leveled at gay marriage supports frequently.
Now, prepare to lose on Tuesday.