Dria and I used to play a game where we would shout out political and cultural buzzwords, chosen specifically to generate controversy. These hot-button words included, "Obamacare!" "Abortion!" "NCMO!" "Gay Marriage!" "Islam!" "R-rated movies!" "Caffeine!". The rule was, you could yell out the topic, but never actually state your opinion on it, and then just watch the people around you start to argue. We always wanted to try it on campus but it never quite made it out of the apartment. Now, I'm not trying to intentionally stir up controversy, but having just had a fascinating conversation on the need for honesty and diversity of opinion at BYU, I would like to share a few opinions I have that may or may not mesh with those of my peers.
I don't think caffeine is against the Word of Wisdom. Honestly, as a lifeguard, I feel better about downing some Dr. Pepper at the beginning of my shift than I would about falling asleep and letting someone drown.
If I don't get married before I graduate...I'll be happy.
I don't want to go on a mission. I never have. If I had been born a boy, I probably still wouldn't want to go. The fact that I was born a girl is an immense relief to me in that sense.
I don't think that an R-rating necessarily makes a movie off limits. There are a lot of PG-13 movies that I will never watch (or will never watch again), and a few R-rated movies I'd be totally fine with watching.
I think that gossiping is worse than swearing.
I don't think In 'N Out Burger is very good.
I don't like Twilight. However, I get annoyed by the people who rant about how terrible it is. Guys, Stephenie Meyer's writing is a lot better than most romance novelists out there. It's not classic literature, that's for sure, but she's a good storyteller and she's obviously appealing to a specific target audience. You are not in her target audience. Stop whining about it.
I don't really see why gay marriage is such a big deal.
I don't like Glenn Beck. Or Sean Hannity.
I don't think mental illness is a sign of weakness. Just because I don't always have "sunshine in my soul" doesn't mean I'm doing something wrong. The scriptures show multiple instances of disiples, prophets, and even the Savior himself feeling depressed. Don't try to tell me that they just "didn't have enough faith".
I would be totally ok with marrying someone who wasn't an RM.
The Honor Code really bothers me sometimes.
I like facial hair. A lot (see above).
I am a major opponent of NCMO. I think it's stupid, shallow, and selfish.
I love being single.
I think that the Simpson's is a great show in every sense possible.
I don't yet have a burning testimony of every aspect of the Church. My faith is much like Nephi's : "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."
I don't think that we as Mormons have a monopoly on truth. Rather, I believe there is much that we can learn from our brothers and sisters of other faiths.
Mostly, I think that we at BYU (and elsewhere) tend to forget that we don't all have to think the same. Yes, we share many common beliefs. Yes, we're striving for unity. But I feel that sometimes we're all a little too afraid to rock the boat. I think we could do with a little more openness, a little more honesty, a little more willingness to admit our faults, express our differences, and share our burdens. Let's stop pretending we're all perfect. Let's stop pretending we're all the same. Let's say what we think, but say it with love.