I found this at PJM: The Seven Deadly Sins of Conversation.
Speaking of someone being wrong on the Internet, I disagree with certain suggestions in the PJM article. Though I link to stories in PJM and comment there fairly often, I find that, by and large, the site is too centrist and too politically correct for my taste. Case in point:
3) Race, religion, politics: I’m a conservative Christian and you might very well guess that if you talk to me for awhile, but I generally don’t bring up race, religion, or politics first with people I don’t know well. Those can be emotional subjects and people don’t like to have unpleasant conversations about emotional topics. So, you’re always rolling the dice if you dip your toe into those three areas.
Some people, however, take it to the next level and torture everyone around them by obsessively focusing on one of the big three. You can’t have a ten minute conversation with these people without ‘em touching on some race they don’t like, wondering how you can possibly like Person X from the political party they hate, or finding a reason to quote scripture. Even if you agree with someone like that, it’s still tedious to hear him raise his leg and spew his tired opinion all over you like a dog with a bladder control problem. Spare us the blather.
You generally CAN talk religion and politics – just not to a Marxist/leftist/eco-freak or to a Muslim. If you can manage to figure out who those are and avoid them entirely, you’ll be pretty safe.
As far as race – I’d leave that topic alone. If somebody else brings it up, I’d say, “I don’t even discuss that topic any more. These days, it’s too easy to get into trouble just for bringing it up.”
Explaining why you won’t talk about race subtly lets the other person know that the tyranny of political correctness makes you uncomfortable, without risking getting yourself in trouble by saying something that a stranger or casual acquaintance might complain about.
Regarding politics and religion, if you discuss those topics in a reasonable manner and if you have the facts and logic to back up what you are saying, you are likely to have an engaging and productive discussion, and you may end up learning something from it.
On the other hand…Got courage?