In last week’s letter, “Liberals are human too,” Mr. Brimhall correctly called for greater civility and respect during political discussion at BYU but incorrectly asserted that separation of religion and politics was necessary to achieve this goal.
Many of today’s political issues are also moral issues, and our religion can and should inform our views on these matters. This happens when a prophet of God makes a direct statement that helps us understand God’s will for us. We oppose same-gender marriage. We oppose abortion. We support religious freedom. We support immigration reform.
Of course, the primary purpose of the church is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ — not to advocate for political issues. But it isn’t necessary to adjust the gospel to exclude certain teachings once they become politically inflamed for the sake of the nation’s political discourse. Although they weren’t the central focus of his ministry, Jesus Christ spoke on the political issues of his time when they were relevant to his message. The idea that the gospel teaches us nothing about how we should govern ourselves is ludicrous.
Should we be respectful of everyone? Always. Does this require a separation of religious and political issues? No. Are all political views always valid? Not if you believe in a living prophet, who has been very clear on certain issues.
Apex, North Carolina