Each one of us needs a hero. An idol, a point of reference, a larger brand identity about which we feel proud to call ourselves fanatics. You get to choose some of these for yourself. Like your favourite song, or your favourite author. For some things, however, the idol or larger identity is thrust upon us. Your religion, your nation, your sect, your football team - you don't really have a choice in these: you inherit them. And, unless you are fiercely independent in thought and had the conviction of your beliefs even during your adolescence, you have also picked up cultural icons simply because your peers believed in them. In a sum total therefore, we all have some larger identities who we simply "belong" to, or our lots are thrust in with them no matter what.
Any such idea or identity whose inception happened within us is usually a stronghold. We do not seek reassurances from outside that indeed our choice is good. Consider your favourite trip you have had so far in life. No contention, no pressure. It was purely yours, based on your own experience and judgement - and you will be able to defend it logically with someone who perhaps accompanied you on that or some other trip as well. You will have an opinion of your "own".
On the other hand, an idea or ideology which you were forced on to, or happened to be attached to by fortune, will always need defense by external means. "Defending" a perceived choice is achieved through a repertoire of facts which someone higher up the chain told you. I belonged to this camp once: fiercely arguing with anyone that I shouldn't (and neither should anyone else) watch any movies because they are inherently bad and cause the society to go astray [Yeah don't ask and I wouldn't tell]. The other form of defending is when you try to convince others actively into buying the same thing you did because of someone else's sales pitch. Remember trying to convince your friend to buy that same overpriced TV you bought because it came with "hyper-anti-aliasing"?
The last example brings us to the intent behind this post. Consider this: one of the greatest sources of adjectives and adulation about the king Harshavardhan who was defeated at the hands of Pulakesi II of the Chalukya dynasty, is ironically, from the annals of Pulakesi II himself. The court poet of Pulakesi II, Ravikirti, had his verses etched in stone on the walls of the Jain temple of Aihole [source]. How did the court poet of the victor end up lavishing praise upon the defeated? The answer: "Look how great our king is... he defeated this other king who was sooooooo powerful".
I therefore consider my friend's mother foolish whenever she starts touting her husband's ability to lift a bicycle up with just his pinkie. The fact that she is so eager to tell everyone about it is the disgusting bit. People who swear by their film star because he can flip a cigarette, or people whose idols can mouth meaningless nothings and still inspire awe - I pity them, because perhaps they don't really believe in their idol. If this is the proof of your hero's divinity, then you are being scammed - whether you accept it or not. Run, every time someone tries to sell something or someone desperately to you. It is a scam. Put your idol to the test, hold their feet to the fire before you believe in their ideas.
To end this post, I quote from Swami Vivekananda, my idol: "Let none regret that they were difficult to convince. I fought my Master (Sri Ramakrishna) for six long years, with the result that I know every inch of the way. Every inch of the way".