Since starting my recent tour of the blogosphere, I've been impressed with the difficulty of remaining objective on some given topic. That is, I see how plenty of people aren't able to accomplish it, and I wonder whether it can be done at all.
For example. I'm gay and Mormon. If I really want to be gay deep down and not Mormon, it seems I could come up with plenty of reasons to dislike the church. After all, they have a record of polygamy, perceived intolerance, militant government opposition, doctrines that have supposedly been factually discredited, etc. Having all that in front of me makes it a lot easier to convince myself that leaving the church is not a sacrifice but a blessing. The gay part becomes a separate issue--suddenly not as controversial. Suddenly I can give my whole-hearted support to a particular political camp instead of seeing merits on both sides of the argument as I did before.
On the other hand, if I really want to be a faithful Mormon and seek to fight against my gay self, it's so easy to be an apologetic. Every criticism, every nuanced flaw in the church can be shored up against, rationalized away. The bad things about the church cited by others are all the results of misunderstandings, misinterpretation, opinion being perceived as authoritative when it was not. It's a defensive mechanism to sweep away the genuine problems and dismiss the controversial issues as irrelevant in the name of faith.
So how does one avoid these traps?
I can't say I have the answers, but I figure knowing about the problem ought to be a good start.