Politics and religion shouldn’t be off-limits: writer

Wetaskiwin resident says politically correct people stifle free speech

There are two topics that we have all been told to never talk about in polite company. Of course we all know that those are politics and religion.

I would like to challenge that narrative. The two largest factors of our lives should not be reduced to quiet whispers or closet chatter, we all should be able to have civil discussion on the issues that are most important to us. Scratch the surface of most decisions and you will find the value system which is the framework of our daily lives. Teaching your children manners, well that would be the belief that we are all worthy of respect, which has the larger implications found in our legislation.

One’s views on politics and religion can be found in a simple conversation about the weather. Within just a few phrases a polite conversation and devolve into a heated argument over climate change. Want to talk with a fellow parent about different parenting styles and again, within a few phrases parents are setting an example that their children should not be following as harsh words and yelling take over. Talk to two different farmers at seeding and harvest and you can get some passionate views on that topic as well. I have been to sporting events that have been reduced to out-right violent masses burning and looting, just because a team lost a hockey game.

It is not the topics that are the cause of our hostilities, it is our inability of understanding how to discuss the topic. Disagreement is not a nasty word, it is what helps to form, shape and sharpen our deeply held beliefs. I will not agree 100 per cent with most of the people that come into my life. Even Jesus could not get his disciples to agree on everything either. That is what makes us so wonderful, creative and animated.

We must bring back the grace of good conversation. To learn to disagree and still be civil. We are talking about the sharing of ideas, it is ideas that we accept or reject, not the person holding them.

Let us open the doors on all topics, Religion and Politics included. Let us bring back civility, and good discourse in our conversations, we can develop those ideas, challenge those ideas, and always be ready to accept the person.

Sandra Kim

Wetaskiwin

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