I have found that one's political views are based entirely on where one lives and the demographics there. For example, if I lived in Eugene, Oregon, my conservative, religious views would be seen as radical, close-minded, and prude. I might as well be a member of the KKK and eat live cows.
But living in Mormon-culture-infused-eastern Idaho, well, I'm well aware of my assumed hippie status among my peers here at BYU-Idaho. I'm a bra-burning feminist with an agenda for a redwood. Honestly, I could care less who of my fellow classmates damns me to hell for not having their point of view. I try to ignore my annoyance when a girl in my ward stands in front of the congregation and bears her testimony on how grateful she is for a school with "no liberal bias."
I keep to myself when this happens and think:
"Okay, great. She doesn't like bias. Neither do I. It's totally unavoidable, but great-
This way of thinking has kept me sane in this town.
Where my annoyance infuses into anger, however, is when those that dislike a democratic bias so strongly at other schools willingly accept a republican bias at BYU-Idaho. All of the sudden, it's okay for professors to teach their opinion- as long it's in line with the majority.
Isn't this the principle that everyone was so annoyed with at their other universities?
I sat through a Book of Mormon class where the professor hand picked quotes from Gordon B. Hinkley's 2004 talk "War and Peace" (which, by the way, I highly recommend) and using only these selections of the discourse taught that a prophet of God (therefore God) believed that the war in Iraq was a war of freedom and peace. His argument was a string of logical fallacies! Using his same methods I could have easily taken the same talk and taught that Gordon B. Hinkley (and therefore God) was opposed to the war in Iraq.
The difference in these two arguments would be in the way students would have reacted. Quick to smell the slightest democrat, I'm sure my fellow classmates would have had no problem starting a rousing rendition of Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American" if the left-sided view of the talk was taught. But because it was the conservative bias, everyone nods. If it's pro-Bush, it's suddenly doctrine.
My boiling blood from this experience cooled down with an e-mail to that professor and a few rants to anyone that would listen. But it only took a few days after that incident for it to happen in a different class! While teaching us what a good visual aid was, one of my classmates drew an example on the board: It compared Hilary Clinton to Hitler. It wasn't serious- and everyone laughed. I, of course, sat fuming. I stated my thoughts in a retort.
"Wow. That's really in the spirit of Ricks. And of Christ."
Eyes were rolled at me. I sat taller in my chair.
"You can't tell me that this whole class wouldn't be in total revolt if, instead of Hilary, your sacred cow Mitt Romney was compared to Hitler."
No one could dispute this, so they did what they always do. Ignored it. Ignored me, the visual aid, the issue. God bless America.
And the horrible 16-year-old in me wants to transfer to some hippie college in California and bear my testimony to a small activist LDS singles ward with tears in my overly dramatic eyes and thank God for a school with no conservative bias.
I just hope there won't be another right-winged experience to tempt me.