Why do prominent public figures such as George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Alberto Gonzalez, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, James Inhofe, and a host of others make public statements that are obviously either incomprehensible, inconsistent, or impossible?
French philosopher and 18th century wit Voltaire explains it:
“Formerly there were those who said: You believe things that are incomprehensible, inconsistent, impossible because we have commanded you to believe them; go then and do what is unjust because we command it. Such people show admirable reasoning. In truth whoever is able to make you believe in absurdities will also be able to make you commit atrocities. If the God-given understanding of your mind does not resist a demand to believe what is impossible, then you will not resist a demand to do wrong to that God-given sense of justice in your heart. As soon as one faculty of your soul has been dominated, other faculties will follow as well. And from this derives all those crimes of religion which have overrun the world.”
In short, if you can be made to believe one whopper, you're likely to swallow the rest, even to the point of committing outrageous acts.