One of the first things we are taught before attending a social event is to never bring up politics or religion. Whenever my friends and I go out on the weekends, they ban me from talking about anything that could become a debate. I understand that constantly fighting over which political party sucks more is unproductive; but never talking about these important topics will produce intolerance and superficial relationships.
Believing in God or registering as a Republican should not be something that people are ashamed of. I am in a sorority with 200 other women, and we obviously do not share the same political and religious views. Yet, this has never stopped me from having a conversation about these topics. I have changed my perspective on many things after talking to other women. If I only talked to people who I knew had the same political beliefs, than I would be living in an echo chamber. Although talking about these controversial topics can become heated; discussing these matters will only bring more patience and understanding. Coming into college I was very intolerant and thought that anyone who didn’t think the same way as I did was stupid. Yet after challenging myself to raise my hand in class and spark conversations among people with opposite views, I found myself becoming more open-minded. I no longer vote based on the “R” or “D” next to a candidate, I listen to my friend’s views, do my own research, and then vote based on what I believe in.
There are so many benefits that come from talking about religion and politics, so why is it discouraged?
Because talking about topics, that could potentially cause an argument, is not politically correct. In today’s society it is better for everyone to agree rather than potentially offend someone by speaking his or her mind. Rather than discussing the effects of fracking or gun control and potentially disagreeing, friends will discuss their favorite TV show. This entire country was built upon religious and political arguments, but for some reason, no one is supposed to talk about it.
The entire country is so concerned with being sensitive towards other’s feelings that they are scared to share their personal beliefs. Anyone who says Merry Christmas is disrespectful towards other religions; if you wear a Donald Trump shirt you are automatically a racist, etc. People are so scared that the PC police will judge them that they completely refrain from sharing anything about politics or religion. On the flip side, if you do talk about these controversial topics, you are labeled as a political freak or a bible thumper. People with different views on topics like abortion, gay marriage, and illegal immigration grow silent when these topics are brought up, for fear of making enemies. How will anyone expand their understanding on an issue if they are too afraid to talk about it? It is no wonder that this country is increasingly polarized.
In addition, if we are too afraid to talk about what we believe in, how are we supposed to build meaningful relationships? I want to be able to talk about my religious and political views openly with my friends. I don’t want to discuss the Kardashian’s latest scandal; I want to share my passions and dreams, and at the end of the day politics and religion is intertwined with who we are. Avoiding these topics because of political correctness is detrimental to relationships and the future of this country.