It is fascinating to me how real, deep issues have become taboo to discuss in our society.
I studied at a state college in Florida before moving to Chicago. I took a speech class my final semester at this state college. On the first night of class the teacher, after briefly introducing herself, welcomed the class by saying, “I don’t want any speeches discussing religion, abortion, same-sex marriage, politics, or anything controversial.” This certainly narrowed the field of choices a bit. In effect, she was saying, “I don’t want you to address anything that may offend anyone else in the class.” But I heard a deeper underlying principle in her words: “I don’t want you to actually think or debate.”
How the laws of public discourse have shifted from the past! This is the current state of our culture; it seems as though the attitude is, “The only things worth presenting must be entertaining.” As Neil Postman observed, the entertainment industry finds little time for allowing its audience to think.
Perhaps instead of stifling these difficult and controversial topics, we should instead bring them up. Debate is a perfectly healthy endeavor, and one can learn much by engaging in an honest discussion with someone who holds an opposing stance.