Religious groups show harmony

Daily Editorial Board

This month, religion has been an especially divisive flashpoint across the nation. Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States and Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson’s recent comments concerning Muslims have caused media coverage of religious issues to rise to a fever pitch. 
 
As religious rhetoric grows increasingly hostile, some of the University of Minnesota’s religious student groups have increased their outreach efforts. But instead of just targeting new members, these groups have made sure they’re talking to each other as well.
 
The Lutheran Campus Ministry and the Muslim Students Association have blazed the trail for cooperation and understanding between different religions. The groups have several events planned together throughout the year, and they recently joined forces to pick up trash along the Mississippi River. 
 
In today’s polarized religious and political climate, we commend both student groups for being unafraid of each other’s differences. Actively seeking out and attempting to understand those who think differently than we do is an essential component of higher education. Local student group efforts will have ripple effects that extend far beyond any campus. 
 
Other student groups that are not associated with religion should also make attempts to reach out to groups with different viewpoints. On such a large campus, it’s easy to remain in one social circle. However, we urge students to challenge themselves and to reach out to others. Deliberate efforts to understand differences are the only way the campus — and the world — can work toward greater peace and cooperation.