Why We Need to Talk About Politics and Religion
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why We Need to Talk About Politics and Religion

What brings us together is so much bigger than what divides us.

Why We Need to Talk About Politics and Religion

If you sit down at the average American dinner table, you likely know the two topics you simply don't bring to the conversation: politics and religion.

There has always been a sort of "taboo" around them. First date? Don't mention you lean toward the liberal side. Thanksgiving dinner? Don't bring up church if Pap is in the room.

Why? Well, maybe it has something to do with the fact we can't ever start one of these conversations without feeling burnt up by the end of it. Even when we try our hardest to respect others' opinions, we somehow can't get away from the inevitable debate when views clash.

Making people uncomfortable isn't a nice thing to do.

That is kind of a problem. Because think of it this way: If we can't talk about politics or religion within our social circles and families, our own networks, where else are we going to be able to talk about it?

I'm not talking about shoving flaming signs in people's faces outlined with our beliefs. Just simple conversation: stepping in the other person's shoes for a few moments, and really trying to understand their point of view. And then, them doing the same for you.

You see, there is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. Frankly, it's the dismissal of science, arts, religions, and humanities, and their replacement with self-righteousness, entertainment, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.

Think specifically about politics for a moment. Growing up, if you had a free public school education like me (and over 90% of America), you probably didn't talk about it much. When you did, it was superficial, or sort of laissez-faire. You probably learned the names of the US presidents and had to memorize the names of political parties. But what about the things each party stands for? If you had asked me in high school, I could have given you a textbook definition for each.

Honestly, right now, it's even a little bit hazy. That's not because I'm ill-informed. It's because, based on their behavior, Democrats and Republicans don't seem to stand for much anymore, except ensuring that their party candidates get in and their personal agendas are met.

What about religion? Why are we so offended if someone simply brings the subject to the surface?

We can inquire about it all day, but the bottom line is this:

We need to talk about these things to understand one another.

We need not agree with everyone, but we can at least give each other the rights to our own opinions.

This is authenticity. This is real.

Our culture has become so twisted that informational debates have turned into spitting our egos back and forth to each other.

We can't just sit here and superficially argue about things we don't even have the respect to try to understand.

We won't ever move forward if we can't simply do this.

"Its only in the finer points that it gets complicated and contentious, the inability to realize that no matter what our religion or gender or race or geographic background, we will have about 98 percent in common with each other. And religion – whether you believe in God or Allah or Yahweh or something else, odds are that at the heart you want the same things. For whatever reason, we like to focus on the 2 percent that’s different, and most of the conflict in this world comes from that." -David Levithan

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less

Take A Look At The Extravagant Lane Woods Jewelry Collection For Valentine's Gift Ideas

So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection


Just like diamonds are a girl's best friend, so are pearls, rubies, gold, emeralds, and any type of luxurious jewelry you can get your hands on! A woman is incomplete without a piece of jewelry on her and it is a gorgeous accessory required for all occasions. So if you are currently looking to purchase jewelry for yourself or as a romantic gift for your S.O., you should definitely look at the marvelous and ornately designed Lane Woods Jewelry collection.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments