Baby Peter and I are in Sunday School; the lesson is on the law of consecration. I'm sitting next to a friend who's had a hard time feeling like a part of the ward; the Hillary Clinton bumper sticker on his car hasn't helped things. And then, the lesson being about the law of consecration, someone brings up "Spread the wealth" in a negative manner.
I find myself thinking of the society in 4th Nephi--a pretty much perfect society, with no poor (which could just mean that everyone was industrious and had work)...and no rich. No rich sounds like there's definitely some sort of (perhaps voluntary) spread the wealth thing going on...
My better judgment prevailed, however, and instead of pointing to 4th Nephi and continuing the politics in church thing, I turned to Mosiah 4 (give to the poor even if you think they don't deserve it, because we're all beggars before God). The conversation turned to not judging others, and away from politics.
Afterwords I mentioned to my friend that I hate it when politics is brought up in church. He agreed, noting that it happens frequently.
I believe this is a serious problem. It's hard to feel like you belong at church when it seems like everyone else embraces a different political party. Unfortunately, too often we keep our mouths shut, and the ward suffers because of it.
It's not just politics. I remember at BYU when a student discussed in testimony meeting how happy he was that a class he was in didn't discuss evolution (as his biology class had). A few minutes later, our Sunday School teacher became my immediate hero when she said, at the beginning of Sunday School, that she didn't see a conflict between evolution and the gospel. Then she taught her unrelated lesson.
If I'm teaching, how do I handle things when politics, etc. is brought up? If I'm a class member, how do I handle things?