General Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Are you very close to anyone with opposing moral/political/religious views?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6834points) April 27th, 2009

I am referring to someone very close to you who has the total opposite view on a subject that you both feel very strongly about (it doesn’t count if one or both of you aren’t particularly concerned about the issue and just happen to have different opinions). Do you completely respect them just the same? Does it limit your friendship/relationship? Just wondering different ways people overcome this.

(Ex: You are hard core pro-life and your best friend gets an abortion, or you’re a vegan and animal cruelty activist married to a die-hard hunter, etc.)

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32 Answers

Facade's avatar

No. But only because I’m close to just three people in the world.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Yes. Religious or political disagreements are not a basis for dismissal with me.
It seems like a foolish thing to hate someone over.

Now if someone commits an act that is objectionable based upon religious/political beliefs, then it’s a different story.

LocoLuke's avatar

Not really. I’d say that this is probably due to the fact that I make friends with people who have interests in common with me, and any difference in opinion rarely occurs in people with similar interests to your own.

Religion doesn’t really come up in everyday conversation for me, so for all I know, half my friends could be hardcore evangelists though.

knitfroggy's avatar

My political views are 100 per cent different from my parents. They are die hard Republicans and I’m not. They are frightened of Barack Obama and I was scared to death of George Bush (They thought he was pretty great-shows how much they know). We had some heated debates during the election, which usually ended in me yelling “I don’t know how I even came from you people!” I think they were probably thinking the same thing.

I don’t think it changes our relationship. We all love each other. I think they just don’t understand me, but then again, they never have.

YARNLADY's avatar

Not all three in one person. My Father-in-law has radically different political views, and my favorite Aunt and Uncle are very strongly religious, and my Daughter-In-Law swears, lies, and is a slob, but I remain on cordial terms with each of them.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Thank you knitfroggy! That was the kind of answer I’m looking for… some difference that actually causes a kink in the relationship and how you make it through it or didn’t make it through.

kenmc's avatar

Oh, I’m sure. Politically, I’m a fish in a sea of turtles.

sjmc1989's avatar

Yes I dated a guy for 2 years that was a strict republican and Im a liberal. We both felt so strongly about are views it was impossible for us to talk about our position on anything. We eventually called it quits it does put a strain on a relationship mostly if the two of you are very passionate about certain things

El_Cadejo's avatar

My girlfriend is a vegetarian. She is pretty passionate about it, i on the other hand LOVE a bloody steak for din din :)

I have a couple other friends that we differ greatly in religious/political views. I never have any issues with people that have different views than me, my problem comes when people cant shut the fuck up. You have your views/beliefs, i have mine. Dont push yours on me, i wont push mine on you. Everyones happy.

cak's avatar

Wooooooooo! I’ve gone round and round with people on this issues before! Yes, I am – I respect their differences and they respect mine. In fact, I’m married to someone that is registered in the opposite political party than the one I am affiliated with and yes, we are very happy. We don’t agree on some of the issues and some could lead to very heated debates, but that’s okay. There has been some growth on both sides and I think that’s a great by-product of such relationships.

I’m also related to someone that is the complete opposite of me when it comes to religious views. My friends are so varied in their beliefs, we’d need a flowchart to identify all of our beliefs. (or non-beliefs)

lisaj89's avatar

One of my very best friends is a Mormon, and I am very Baptist. The friendship works because we simply DON’T talk about religion. We started talking about it only once since we’ve been friends and would have ended horribly had I not changed the subject.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@knitfroggy same with my parents
but their views have affected me negatively
and i don’t love them as much

Likeradar's avatar

One of my best friends doesn’t vote. She doesn’t see the point, and has zero interest in politics aside from incredibly superficial things. I just don’t talk politics with her, which has an impact on how close we can be.

I used to have some conservative Christian friends, but our ideas about things like sex and what’s appropriate to do on a weekend night eventually ended the friendships. It wasn’t because they were Christian, it was because we didn’t have enough in common due to related differences to maintain strong friendships. They became friends I got lunch with, not real, close friends.

knitfroggy's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It’s lucky that none of us have any hard feelings about it For example-I have a lot of gay friends and my dad just thinks it’s terrible. But I don’t blame him for it, I still love him, he’s a good person, just misguided. I remind myself that he was raised that way. I was raised that way too, but thought it was my responsibility to break the cycle so to speak.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I hope you find a way to mend things with your parents.

casheroo's avatar

I have conservative family members. The subject rarely comes up…it was bad around election time, but I just ignored it. I have to block it out, otherwise I wouldn’t have many friends/family.
I can’t force people to believe the same as I do. I’d rather they be true to themselves.
That said, I cannot think of any close friends I have that are conservative. I probably could not become close to them at all, because they would disagree with my lifestyle or my views.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I have two friends who are somewhat fundamentalist Christians. This puts a huge strain on our friendships. I’ve never invited either of them to anything because they can’t deal with certain topics of conversation or how people speak. They can’t watch certain movies because there is swearing or sex. When we have conversations, half of everything they say is something about praising god or following the word of jesus. I can’t discuss a lot of things with them because they would get easily offended. It’s terrible because these girls are wonderful people and I want to be better friends with them, but there are too many blocks.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Likeradar I understand your frustrations with a friend uninterested in politics and who doesn’t vote! It is a right that should be appreciated and not taken for granted.

On the flip side of that, I do think there should be a basic competency test to be able to register to vote… things like the basics of how our government system works or at least know the definition of democracy!, and basic knowledge of the candidates should be included. That would weed out a lot of uneducated voters and in my opinion be a fairer way of electing our presidents. I catch flack for this opinion around election time in some cases, but have found many that agree with me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@BBSDTfamily thanks, but it’s not a goal of mine

Likeradar's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Ugh, it’s not even plain disinterest. She has said things like “I read that so-and-so has Social D on this ipod… that’s the kind of guy I want for president!” I mean, seriously?!?! Even just thinking about it makes me stabby… so yeah, it definitley plays a role in how close we can be!!!

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@Likeradar Wow. That is probably the worst reason I’ve ever heard given on why to vote for someone! Wow.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

if we aren’t judging our compatability with someone based on their morals, what are we basing it on? although i have relatives with differing political ideas and some moral differences – and most with religious differences – i find it very difficult to respect someone who has completely opposite moral ideas. i consider myself very tolerant, and i accept people with different ideas than mine. however, i can’t be that close with someone who basically has completely opposing views on a variety of things very important to me. someone who is bigoted is not someone i feel like i can be comfortable around, for example.

Likeradar's avatar

@BBSDTfamily probably a good thing she doesn’t vote.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@tiffyandthewall Compatability-wise, you are right. What about a friend though? Someone can be a good friend and still have different views.

cak's avatar

@tiffyandthewall – When it comes to my husband – one of us is Republican and the other Democrat, the one that is Republican, is moderate, almost a “liberal” Republican and has shown signs of changing. The Dem is not so far left where they can’t see the point the other is trying to make. My parents were the same way. My father was Republican, my other, Democratic. There are lots of couples like this. It’s just not some people’s cup of tea. I do say, it’s not impossible, though.

I embrace differences, I doubt, though, if we were so far apart that we could be married, I don’t think we could pull of a James Carville and Mary Matalin marriage; however, we may pull of the friendship – just with a lot of heated debates.

augustlan's avatar

Both my best friend and my husband are Republicans while I am a Democrat. However, on the main ‘moral’ issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc) we are all in agreement with each other (liberal). That said, they were both quite committed to voting for McCain and it became quite heated around my house during the election. For the first time in my life I fought with my spouse over politics… I felt it was too important not to this time around. In the end, I convinced both of them to vote for Obama! Yay me. :D

phoenyx's avatar

Politically, I’m registered as “unaffiliated,” so I guess the opposite would be to have a party affiliation? I have friends in the Libertarian, Republican, Democrat, Green and Constitution parties.

I have also have friends with different religious views, but we know where the points of disagreement are and we don’t talk about them anymore.

cookieman's avatar

My aunt and I were two peas in a pod when I was younger.

Then she moved to Florida for sixteen years. When she returned to Massachusetts, I had no idea who she was.

She had become racist, narrow minded, religious and conservative. I am the exact opposite.

It took us about five years, but we’re finally really close again. We didn’t meet in the middle. She finally realized what she had become (with a lot of prodding from close family and friends).

I’m really glad because I missed having her in my life.

bythebay's avatar

I have both friends and family with whom I am in direct opposition with on subjects ranging from religion to life choices. It’s all about respect. While I simply cannot understand their choices, nor they mine, we respect each other enough not to attack. We have intelligent conversations; we respectfully debate; we even try and sway each other from time to time. I do not feel threatened by our differences in any way.

I love them because they hear me. They don’t always like what they hear, but they listen. I do the same. I suppose if our choices became a matter of life & death, things might change. Realistically, we’re all smart enough to realize that there are merits and demerits to all choices. I am beyond offended when someone makes a blanket statement like “all conservatives are crazy’; or “people that eat meat are cruel”; or “religious people are fanatical and weak”. Truth be told, our differences are what make us unique. Honestly, the world would be a scary place if we all felt the same, as none of us are perfect.

astrocom's avatar

This is an interesting question for me, because any views of mine that I’m sufficiently convinced of that I’d say I feel strongly about are very basic and I have very few of them. Things like economics and religion are just such incredibly complex subjects that I can’t bring myself to permanent concrete conclusions about them, and at times I don’t understand how other people can. That said I get very defensive when people fail to understand a viewpoint I find relevant, to the point where I will argue said viewpoint as though I fully believe in it. This causes me to get into heated debates with close friends on a somewhat regular basis, which usually die down with both sides making concessions and admitting validity in each others viewpoints, or at least walking away with a better understanding of the other’s viewpoint.

I think this probably comes from the fact that any time I see something I don’t immediately understand or agree with I want to know why I don’t agree or understand. It’s a tendency that’s given me a lot of perspective on various subjects. And because of this tendency, I don’t see how I could ever let a disagreement like that interfere with a relationship I have, because, in general, if I can understand it, I can accept it (even if I don’t agree with it).

I’ve also found that most of the time, differing views, especially when it comes to politics, isn’t so much a difference of basic beliefs or morals so much as it is a difference in the extrapolation of those beliefs/morals. For example: a friend and I once had a heated discussion about reasonable responses to home invasion, one of us felt that force was a reasonable response, whereas the other did not. At the core of it, we both based these views on our belief in the inalienability of personal rights, and while one of us thought that the violation of these rights was such a serious offense that the victim deserved to take any action to protect their rights, the other believed that the other party didn’t deserve excessive response, views which don’t actually inherently contradict.

MrItty's avatar

Sure. My college roommate, who I remain very good friends with, is very Republican. I’m a left-leaning independent. We don’t talk about politics often, and when we do, it’s with the understanding that neither of us are going to convince the other to “convert”, but that we just want to try to undertstand the other’s logic in voting a certain way or agreeing or disagreeing with a particular politician.

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