Crazy as it seems, tensions are already heating up for the 2016 presidential election — turn on the TV to any news station, and you’ll see it. The ongoing coverage has a thick layer of insults you have to slog through to get to any actual policy. It happens everywhere; BYU is no exception. Right here on campus politics have been entwined with religion in an unhealthy way, and because of this tangle liberals at BYU are often seen as sinful for their beliefs and receive a great deal of political spite. To achieve a campus that is politically healthy, we must all untie the knots that keep religion and politics together.
The way BYU incorporates religion into every aspect of the culture makes the intertwining of politics and religion inevitable. You’ve almost certainly taken a class from a Republican, and we’ve all heard that person who will spout off something about how Mitt Romney was God’s chosen president. When a thing like that happens, it harms the chance for reasonable debate — how can you argue against someone who honestly believes Mitt Romney was chosen by God to be the president? Anyone who disagrees must be a sinner who doesn’t truly know God.
So how do we separate religion and politics?
Treat everyone as equal even when you disagree. Accept them for who they are, remembering that acceptance does not equal approval — you’re not required to approve, but you are required to treat everyone with respect.