Author Topic: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?  (Read 5230 times)

Nick_Miller

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I have thought about this a LOT over the last 18 months.

Example: I've known "Mike" since high school. He works hard, supports his family, loves his kids. We used to play lots of video games together, and go on adventures in high school. He can be funny, and he does lots of little things that I respect (tips servers well, gives to charity, etc).

BUT...

We don't see eye-to-eye on virtually ANY "big picture" issue:

He's very religious, and one of those types who is more than happy to impose his religious beliefs on others through legislation (transgender bathroom issue, abortion, opposing "fairness" laws to protect LGBTQ folks, etc. I am an atheist who believes that religion has many more cons than pros. I haven't had the courage to straight up ask him "So you think me and my wife and kids are going to burn in hell, huh?" because I pretty much know that would end the relationship.

He's what I would call a "gun nut." I can't even keep track of how many guns he owns. I think he gets sexually aroused shooting off guns at the range. He's always talking about it. I don't own any guns, although I am considering buying one for personal protection. I wouldn't fetishize it though. It would just be a tool, not an object of desire. He views every effort at gun control as "the government is taking my guns!" I think he would be okay with people walking around with bazookas, although I think that's partially because most of those folks doing that would be white guys (like him) and that makes him feel comfortable.

He has what I view as very backwards views on men and women. I don't know how his wife puts up with it. He's always bashing women's groups for seeking equality. He has a victim mentality, thinking that all PoC and all women and gay people are all trying to gang up on the poor straight white Christian males, like he's the oppressed. He doesn't understand when I tell him, YES he and I both enjoy white male privilege.

I could go on and on and on...

And "Mike" is not the only example I could give. I have a few more friends with similar viewpoints.

So my bigger question is, are you really "friends" with someone when you share virtually no common values?

I mean, when Friend A thinks Friend B is going to burn in eternity, how in the world can they really be "friends" in any sense of the term?

When two "friends" can't agree on basic stuff like treating people different than themselves (in our case, women, PoC, gay people, etc) with respect, is there any point in keeping the relationship going, just because there is history, and a basic level of trust?


I'm curious what people think about this. I don't necessarily want to only have an echo chamber of friends, because I like to be challenged intellectually, but I don't think having friends who disagree about almost everything is really the way to go either.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 08:27:31 AM by Nick_Miller »

jimmymango

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Why not try to have an honest conversation with Mike about this topic? Try to be non-confrontational and maybe even bring it up in a curious sort of way (eg, "I was thinking the other day that you and I don't agree on much politically, but we're still able to be good friends. It's weird, but I'm glad." ... that sounds pretty corny, but I couldn't think of another phrasing off the top of my head).

In both my childhood and college group of friends, there's a pretty even divide politically, but we either make fun of each other for it, or have heated debates and then move on. We know we're not going to change each others' minds, but we blow off steam having discussions, and most importantly we don't let our politics define our friendships. I think the important thing to remember is that you were friends for a reason before you were voting for different people/parties.

Obviously it's one thing if the differences have driven you apart to the point that you don't share any interests any longer, but if you still have a lot in common, don't let the differences come between you. Besides, being close to people is how differences are bridged because there's a willingness to get past them in order to maintain relationships.

netskyblue

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In my opinion, not really, no.  You can be polite acquaintances and run in the same social circles and attend the same social events, but I don't think that such a wide disparity in beliefs/values can be overcome to the point of true friendship.  At least, I couldn't be what I'd consider "real friends." 

If their views on certain things were so vastly different from what I believed was right, I can't imagine I'd be able to really like the person.  I can interact with and treat just about anyone respectfully, as long as they are willing to do the same to me.  But that's not friendship.  That's just not being a dick.

scantee

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I think you can be friends, or at least friendly, with people that believe very different things than you. But as @netskyblue says, I think it is hard to have very close trusting relationships in those situations.

I have extended family who are very religious evangelical conservatives (Iím an atheist)  and we have a very cordial and friendly relationship. No fights or animosity on either side, but their is a sustained superficiality to our interactions. Our differences present a barrier that seems impassable. Thatís not to say we hate or dislike each other, we get along fine, but weíll never be close.

These family have mentioned to other family members that they think Iím distant and they wish we could be closer. They also have absolutely no problem being open about the fact that they believe I will burn in hell for all eternity because of my beliefs. That they think that doesnít bother me, however it makes it hard for me to truly trust them in more intimate ways. Thatís is, we can have casual fun together, but when shit gets real they are not the people I would go to for support.

And I think that is okay. Not every relationship is appropriate for higher levels of closeness. My approach is to take people where they are at, enjoy the relationships for what they are, and not try to force closeness that has not developed organically.

Back to your friend, I think you can probably continue to be friends with him in the original way you bonded: over video games. Enjoy that for what it is. If at some point your differences make even that low level interaction unpleasant, then you might think about severing the connection.

Nick_Miller

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@scantee, I think term you used - "superficial" - is the key term. Mike and I can really only be superficial "friends" or whatever now. There's no time for video games as an adult, so we get together for beers from time to time, and inevitably one of us says something the other disagrees with, and then it's argument time. And that wears me out, because I argue enough at work.

And I wonder, if we hadn't known each other for 30 years, would I punch him in the mouth* for some of the crap he says? (I'm constantly tempted to, trust me)

It's like when you realize that some of your "friends" are pretty racist...I mean, what do you do with that? Where is the line?

*I wouldn't really punch anyone unless in an emergency, as I am non-violent



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If both of you have the mindset that you have different beliefs, then yes.  But if just one of you has the mindset that the other has the wrong belief, then probably not. 

I love talking to people that have different beliefs than I do.  I find it fascinating.  I often wish they believed different, but it is not my place to try to change anyone's beliefs.  I do feel that we should share our beliefs in order to have a better understanding of each other. 

If someone is into <activity> that I don't believe in and they engage in <activity> at my house, I should be able to say "please don't do that at my house" and that is the end of it.  If I am at their house and they engage in <activity>, then it is my place to shut the hell up or leave. 
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Kris

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I think it's pretty tough to be friends with someone whose values you don't respect at all.

This is the core issue with me. I grew up in what is now Trump country. A ton of my relatives and people I know from high school voted for him.

Ultimately, I have a very difficult time respecting their hypocrisy and the values they profess to hold dear while voluntarily turning a blind eye to all sort of things that three years ago they would have never accepted in this or any president, for example.

There are people whose values I don't share, but whom I can be friends with, no problem. But when I see values that are out and out disgusting to me, and when I see blatant hypocrisy and disregard for one's fellow human, I am unable to feel much positivity toward that person. So, it would be hypocrisy for me to be friends with someone I don't respect at all.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Travis

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I have a few "friends" like this. I used quotes because my interactions with them are largely through social media though we all grew up together.  Some of them I'm able to just ignore their beliefs and focus on what we have in common, but others are so radicalized in that particular area and either that is all they talk about, or I've just lost all respect for them and have tuned them out (openly racist, conspiracy nutters, believes everything they see on the internet, etc).  If our relationship was of the face to face variety, I don't think I could we could hold it together for very long.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 10:59:48 AM by Travis »
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Sibley

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If both of you have the mindset that you have different beliefs, then yes.  But if just one of you has the mindset that the other has the wrong belief, then probably not. 

I love talking to people that have different beliefs than I do.  I find it fascinating.  I often wish they believed different, but it is not my place to try to change anyone's beliefs.  I do feel that we should share our beliefs in order to have a better understanding of each other. 

If someone is into <activity> that I don't believe in and they engage in <activity> at my house, I should be able to say "please don't do that at my house" and that is the end of it.  If I am at their house and they engage in <activity>, then it is my place to shut the hell up or leave.

This. I have friends who have very different beliefs and opinions, even lifestyles, than me. What makes it work is that we each respect the other even if we don't agree. I have also found that if we really dig into specifics, we frequently agree on a lot more than we disagree on.

Example:
I'm pro-choice. My friend is pro-life. We once had a discussion where we determined that we were 100% in alignment on absolutely everything except that I was ok with abortions and she wasn't. We agreed on sex ed, birth control access and availability, social supports for women from the time they were pregnant all the way through the kid growing up, etc. In fact, my view was and is that if we do that, pretty much the only times an abortion might happen would be in case of medical need or rape/incest (which also shouldn't happen cause it's a crime...), and she thought that in those cases abortions would be ok. Once we figured that out, we laughed. In the ideal situation, we're 100% in agreement. It's only in the real world that we have a difference.

netskyblue

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Example:
I'm pro-choice. My friend is pro-life. We once had a discussion where we determined that we were 100% in alignment on absolutely everything except that I was ok with abortions and she wasn't. We agreed on sex ed, birth control access and availability, social supports for women from the time they were pregnant all the way through the kid growing up, etc. In fact, my view was and is that if we do that, pretty much the only times an abortion might happen would be in case of medical need or rape/incest (which also shouldn't happen cause it's a crime...), and she thought that in those cases abortions would be ok. Once we figured that out, we laughed. In the ideal situation, we're 100% in agreement. It's only in the real world that we have a difference.

Theoretical disagreement is one thing.  If all your friend does is walk around saying, "I don't support abortion," well that's her belief and whatever, it's not affecting anyone.  If she's actively trying to prevent you from getting the abortion you are trying to seek, that's something else entirely.  And like it or not, people who vote for politicians who will try to enact policies that will affect you or someone else in a way that you think is wrong, ARE actively trying to ---- do whatever thing it is.

It's the difference between "I think people should/don't think people should (fill in the blank) but it's not actually any of my business what they choose to do" and "I'm going to try to make it so people must/can't (fill in the blank)."
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 11:42:47 AM by netskyblue »

Kyle B

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 12:00:45 PM »
Years ago, my answer would have been 'of course you can still be friends.'  But beliefs are more polarized now, and social media, like other media, prioritizes divisive comments. That's alienating when it's about a region on the other side of the country, but far more so when you're hearing those views directly from individuals you've known for decades.

We evolved for in-person relationships. In person, people won't really ever tell you you're living incorrectly. On social media, you will realize they have those negative judgements about people like you, because now we're all eavesdropping on each other 24/7.

It's a big part of why people feel so alone, despite being more connected than ever.

I have a friend who, before we made a specific agreement that he wouldn't do it, had nothing to say that wasn't angry, red-faced dialog he'd heard on Fox and Friends an hour before. Even with the agreement, I am never particularly excited to hang out with him.

I want to make the effort to do so, though, as he is a very nice person when he's not repeating talking points.

Jrr85

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2018, 12:07:52 PM »
I have thought about this a LOT over the last 18 months.

Example: I've known "Mike" since high school. He works hard, supports his family, loves his kids. We used to play lots of video games together, and go on adventures in high school. He can be funny, and he does lots of little things that I respect (tips servers well, gives to charity, etc).

BUT...

We don't see eye-to-eye on virtually ANY "big picture" issue:

He's very religious, and one of those types who is more than happy to impose his religious beliefs on others through legislation (transgender bathroom issue, abortion, opposing "fairness" laws to protect LGBTQ folks, etc. I am an atheist who believes that religion has many more cons than pros. I haven't had the courage to straight up ask him "So you think me and my wife and kids are going to burn in hell, huh?" because I pretty much know that would end the relationship.

He's what I would call a "gun nut." I can't even keep track of how many guns he owns. I think he gets sexually aroused shooting off guns at the range. He's always talking about it. I don't own any guns, although I am considering buying one for personal protection. I wouldn't fetishize it though. It would just be a tool, not an object of desire. He views every effort at gun control as "the government is taking my guns!" I think he would be okay with people walking around with bazookas, although I think that's partially because most of those folks doing that would be white guys (like him) and that makes him feel comfortable.

He has what I view as very backwards views on men and women. I don't know how his wife puts up with it. He's always bashing women's groups for seeking equality. He has a victim mentality, thinking that all PoC and all women and gay people are all trying to gang up on the poor straight white Christian males, like he's the oppressed. He doesn't understand when I tell him, YES he and I both enjoy white male privilege.

I could go on and on and on...

And "Mike" is not the only example I could give. I have a few more friends with similar viewpoints.

So my bigger question is, are you really "friends" with someone when you share virtually no common values?

I mean, when Friend A thinks Friend B is going to burn in eternity, how in the world can they really be "friends" in any sense of the term?

When two "friends" can't agree on basic stuff like treating people different than themselves (in our case, women, PoC, gay people, etc) with respect, is there any point in keeping the relationship going, just because there is history, and a basic level of trust?


I'm curious what people think about this. I don't necessarily want to only have an echo chamber of friends, because I like to be challenged intellectually, but I don't think having friends who disagree about almost everything is really the way to go either.

I'm guessing you as an individual can't be friends with people who have different political beliefs because you are unwilling to engage somebody's opinion in good faith and instead attribute a cartoonish version of their beliefs to them.  For example, how did you end up friends with somebody that bashes women's groups for "seeking equality".  Certainly those people exist, but most of the time, when somebody is accusing a person of not wanting women to have equality, it's not because they are making a claim like "women shouldn't be allowed in public without a hijab", but more likely along the lines of "the average/typical woman is more inclined than the average/typical man to time with children over career advancement. 

But again, those people do exist, so maybe it's the opposite of what I am guessing, and you are the outlier in that you have been willing to continue your friendship when he actually believes women shouldn't have equality.   

MasterStache

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2018, 12:08:09 PM »
I think it fully depends on the person.  I have some close friends I don't share some common beliefs with, with no issues (politics, religion, etc.). We just don't really discuss them. I also have family members who are about as far right as it gets. Trump supporters obviously, openly racist, bigoted, "claim" to be religious, anti-science, hate all liberals anyone who disagrees with them, etc. Needless to say I have no relationship with those folks. I'm ok with that though. I prefer not to subject my kids to the kind of hate I was subjected to as a child.   
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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 12:33:09 PM »
I think you can definitely have acquaintances and even hang out from time to time, but political beliefs usually stem from more universal beliefs that wouldn't really be reconcilable on a deep level. So you can be friends at a distance, but it'd be difficult to have close friends who are on the opposite side of the spectrum as you.

Imma

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2018, 12:34:05 PM »
I have a "friend" from college who is just like your friend Mike. We're more distant now because he's a hardcore Trump supporter.

We used to not agree on a lot of things, but we were always able to discuss them. And we shared the same core values, like freedom of speech, freedom of religion and free press. He has always been conservative (wants his wife to be a homemaker, is pro-death penalty, etc) but he used to believe that everyone should live their own life on their own terms and the government should avoid interfering.

He hasn't changed his views that much, but he has become a hypocrite. These days, he believes taxation and guns still aren't the government's business, but suddenly abortion, bathroom politics and gay marriage are.

Ynari

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2018, 03:45:19 PM »
It's not beliefs that end friendships, it's behavior. Totally agree with netskyblue's parameter.

It's the difference between "I think people should/don't think people should (fill in the blank) but it's not actually any of my business what they choose to do" and "I'm going to try to make it so people must/can't (fill in the blank)."

I have a lot of good friends with views I don't also hold - from politics to religion to veganism. Across the board, the common denominator is that their actions and words towards me (and I towards them) are centered around "I'd love it if you came around to my side of things, but I appreciate and respect you as an individual with your own opinions and needs." There are people who hold similar views who use it as a veil for their asshattery - people who demand that I "pray for them" (an actual thing that has happened to me) or who make heavy use of emotional manipulation while they judge my choices are going to be shuffled to a "polite acquaintance" category at best. People who have thought out their opinions and can hold civil discourse on the matter? Wish I had more friends like that!

And, of course, sometimes there are single issues that are totally worth "breaking up" a friendship over for your personal mental health. If you can't trust someone due to their beliefs, that's plenty of reason not to be friends with them! Live your life. I am not judging. ;)

blinx7

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2018, 04:05:19 PM »

I can, but expect the people I am thinking of are not as extreme in their views as the examples proffered and that I am more laid back about politics than the OP to begin with. 

Also, I agree with PP that people frequently (but not always) caricaturize / distort the beliefs of their political opponents as part of rhetorical posturing.  Drives me nuts. 

Anyways I hate debating politics on the internet so I am going to leave it there, but yes it's possible. 

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 04:30:22 PM »
I was friends with someone who, the first time we met, told me that I was going to hell. Ironically, she was a lesbian. Her religion didn't approve of that either. But we mostly didn't talk about religion, and only became friendly months later, when we became roommates.

If we disagree on fiscal or education policy, that's one thing. But if someone is vocally opposed to equal rights for a group of people, I would have a hard time having a close relationship with them. That gets to their human decency, let alone their specific opinion on people like me.

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2018, 04:49:09 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

My closest friends are about half and half what was described in the original post.  My wife and I even have different views from each other on many areas of politics, she is my best friend and we have a wonderful marriage.  I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.

PoutineLover

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2018, 04:56:12 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

My closest friends are about half and half what was described in the original post.  My wife and I even have different views from each other on many areas of politics, she is my best friend and we have a wonderful marriage.  I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.
For me it's because certain beliefs deny basic equality and human rights to groups of people. I don't want to be friends with someone who believes that women, LGBT people, people of other races, refugees, etc. are less worthy humans. Differing opinions on economic policy is one thing, but plenty of people hold dehumanizing views that would make me lose respect for them and be unable to carry on a friendship.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 05:26:22 PM by PoutineLover »
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scantee

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2018, 05:01:24 PM »
Quote
In person, people won't really ever tell you you're living incorrectly

This has not been my experience. My conservative in-laws seem to have no problem being judgemental about my life to my face. Sure, they are passive aggressive rather than direct about it, but someone would have to be completely daft not to grasp their intent.

Example: I am a mom and Iíve always worked. When my kids were young, they would talk in front of me about how very SAD and unnatural it is when women choose their careers over being home with their children. How messed up kids in these homes (their grandkids!) turn out to be. What a shame it is that some women are so selfish. Iíve never engaged in these barbs, or spoken negatively of their life choices in any way, Iíve always just exited the conversations and attempted to keep things friendly and civil.

This has mostly worked and now they make far fewer comments like this. But now these same people complain that I donít try to have a closer relationships with them! Why in the world would I want to be close to people who put down me down and disrespect me?

Anyway, I have been burned repeatedly by giving people like this very generous extensions of good faith only to have them use it against me. Itís not my job to continue to try to engage in close relationships with people who lack basic respect for me and I would never expect that of anyone else either.

Travis

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2018, 05:04:23 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

My closest friends are about half and half what was described in the original post.  My wife and I even have different views from each other on many areas of politics, she is my best friend and we have a wonderful marriage.  I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.

Most of the examples here appear to be the other party being "close minded."  The example right before yours, the other person opened the conversation with "you're going to hell."  You're asking what's wrong with us?


I've tried to break the ice or find other things to talk about, but when they allow that different opinion to define them that the friendship kind of hits a wall.  I used to work with a guy who I got along with great and we discussed home lives, work, and a few other odd topics. Then we got ourselves a new president and from that point on every Facebook post of his was a meme of why Obama was a traitor, and every conversation practically started with "fuck Obama."  His attitude didn't turn me off from the friendship because I'm a Democrat (I'm not), but rather how that became the only thing he could talk about.  When Bush was President, I could ask him about the weather and he'd start talking about his motorcycle. With Obama it became "man, don't even get me started" and it would turn to the latest political outrage.
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Travis

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2018, 05:07:49 PM »
Quote
In person, people won't really ever tell you you're living incorrectly

This has not been my experience. My conservative in-laws seem to have no problem being judgemental about my life to my face. Sure, they are passive aggressive rather than direct about it, but someone would have to be completely daft not to grasp their intent.


My uncle's wife pretty much introduced herself to my mother with "you're a Native American heathen and you need to be saved."  Great way to break the ice, right?  They never got along because everything in my aunt's life revolved around how more Christian than everybody else she was and to this day she can't make a Facebook post without praise or a prayer being in there somewhere. As I mentioned in an earlier post, how can you become friends with someone despite their political/cultural/religious opinions if they are those opinions?
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wenchsenior

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2018, 05:13:17 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

My closest friends are about half and half what was described in the original post.  My wife and I even have different views from each other on many areas of politics, she is my best friend and we have a wonderful marriage.  I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.
For me it's because certain beliefs deny basic equality and human rights to groups of people. I don't want to be friends with someone who doesn't believe that women, LGBT people, people of other races, refugees, etc. are less worthy humans. Differing opinions on economic policy is one thing, but plenty of people hold dehumanizing views that would make me lose respect for them and be unable to carry on a friendship.

Pretty much.  I personally think literal belief in most tenants of religion is silly, and often damaging to society.  However, I have plenty of religious friends and I recognize the personal and community-level benefits of religion, and how it positively affects my friends and my town in some social arenas. So as long as their religious beliefs don't lead them to subscribe to e.g., what PoutineLover listed, or something to the effect that their deity said it was ok to use and destroy natural resources with no thought to the long term consequences or effects on other species, or that we should teach creationism in science class rather than comparative religion, etc etc etc then I have no problem being friends with them.   Even then, I have some family and friends that I still care about, and have areas of closeness to,  yet who hold views that I absolutely despise and feel contempt toward them for having (e.g., racism).  We try not to talk about those areas and enjoy our commonalities, but I absolutely feel less respect for them than I otherwise would.  Probably they also feel less respect for me than if I agreed with them.  Some people have many strict deal breakers for potential marriage partners, others have fewer, and everyone's are different.  It's the same with friends, IMO.

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2018, 05:18:38 PM »
Quote
In person, people won't really ever tell you you're living incorrectly

This has not been my experience.

Nor mine. I have been told by many, many people that my life was not "correct."

Including a former boyfriend who was a "strong Christian." Yet his girlfriend before me was actually married. And he was with her for two years WHILE they were married. But he was a "Christian." And went to church frequently.

My "crime"? Being an atheist. He had sex with me, out of wedlock, frequently. Even though he "knew" it was wrong, he kept doing it. Over and over. I have no issue with premarital sex -- I am a person who believes in monogamy but I don't feel that marriage has to be part of it -- so I was living fully within my morals. He was someone who believes that sex outside of marriage is a sin. Yet he kept doing it. And judged ME for being a woman of loose morals.

So, yeah. Hypocrisy is absolute freaking bullshit. Believe what you want. But when you impose your beliefs on others -- especially when you don't walk your talk -- is ridiculous, and you should not expect people to "tolerate" your hypocrisy.
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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2018, 08:12:28 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

My closest friends are about half and half what was described in the original post.  My wife and I even have different views from each other on many areas of politics, she is my best friend and we have a wonderful marriage.  I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.

This is exactly what I was thinking!

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2018, 10:01:16 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

My closest friends are about half and half what was described in the original post.  My wife and I even have different views from each other on many areas of politics, she is my best friend and we have a wonderful marriage.  I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.

I couldn't have put it better, v8rx7guy.

If we weren't able to put our differences aside, how would we ever engage in productive conversation and make eventual progress? This is a major issue America is facing.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 10:02:54 PM by Cwadda »

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2018, 10:35:10 PM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

I mean... based on your username, you're a heretic anyway.  Just because your LS1 makes 50% more power, more reliably, doesn't have the rat's nest of unlabeled vacuum lines with random restrictor pills, doesn't really affect the weight balance that much, doesn't require a complex twin turbo setup, lasts nearly forever, and improves fuel economy doesn't mean it has any business in an RX-7!  :p

But, yes, you're hearing it correctly.  It's pretty common on the left.  "Either you think exactly like me, who is obviously right and true and correct about all things, or you're one of them."  Look at the animosity between the Hillary supporters and the Bernie supporters.  I'd say it was before the election, but it's still going on from what I've seen.  You see a bit of a "circular firing squad" going on where everyone is just lashing out at everyone else, even though they're theoretically on the same side.

Look at all the people (again, mostly on the left) who were, during and after the 2016 elections, unfriending anyone they thought might be not their particular brand of left.

So it's quite common.  I agree it's a good bit disconcerting how many people on this particular forum seem to agree with the assertion that you can't be friends with someone you disagree with politically, but it shouldn't be surprising if you pay attention.  In my experience, forums like this tend to be more heavily left leaning, with people who have more conservative opinions either not expressing them because it's not worth dealing with the dogpile and bannings, or simply not as active on the internet because they'd rather be out, say, ruining a perfectly good RX-7. :p  Most of the conservatives I know don't spend that much time on internet forums, or at least not the left leaning forums.  There are plenty of good places to hang out that are open to a wide range of viewpoints.

Quote
I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.

Because it requires one to be able to actually back one's beliefs and have a solid debate/discussion about them.  Which is, sadly, harder and harder to find - on both sides.

For me it's because certain beliefs deny basic equality and human rights to groups of people. I don't want to be friends with someone who believes that women, LGBT people, people of other races, refugees, etc. are less worthy humans. Differing opinions on economic policy is one thing, but plenty of people hold dehumanizing views that would make me lose respect for them and be unable to carry on a friendship.

Are you making the common mistake of confusing "equality" with "sameness"?  It's been a thing on the left for a while now (at least in certain circles) to insist at the top of their lungs that gender is a social construct and that men and women are identical in all ways, so any difference in outcome must be the result of the evil patriarchy and oppression (insert your preferred group's terms for the same general concept here if you don't like those).  Yet, at the same time, they're going on about how hormone replacement therapy must be covered by every sort of health insurance and it's cruel if that's not covered.  You can't have both.  Either men and women are the same and there's no difference, or there are fundamental chemical differences between men and women that require changing the chemical balance of a human to "change" from one to the other.

A particular source of annoyance, at least for me, is the insistence that physical standards for physically demanding jobs need to be different for men and women.  Firefighters, police officers, etc.  A fire hose or unconscious person does not magically get easier to handle if it detects that a woman is handling it, so there's no good reason that the physical standards should be different.  Yes, that puts you at odds with the fact that, in general, women aren't as physically strong as men.  The bell curves certainly overlap, but the centers differ, and the absolute values are not even remotely close.  The absolute deadlift record for men is 1102lb, the same record for women is 672lb (61% of the male record).  That's by no means even remotely close to "same" - even if they both are (and should be) equal under the law.

And on the topic of refugees, an opinion of "I don't believe we should let millions of people from a radically different culture, who show no interest in assimilating, into our country" doesn't mean one thinks that they're subhuman.  It just means that one sees this as, based on history, a really dumb idea.  Even some of the people on the left who initially supported it have been rethinking the wisdom of that.

In general, I see a trend (again, heavily from the left) of assuming that anyone who holds opposing (or even slightly differing) views must hold the worst possible version of them, for purely evil reasons, and therefore they are an evil person.  There's no nuance, and there's especially no attempts (anymore) to find some common ground and actually understand the other people's point of view and reasons for it.  It's a lost art in the age of snippy social media responses, and phones have made it far worse, because you don't even have a proper keyboard to type on.  A good computer keyboard is 4-5x as fast as even a fast phone keyboard, so it leads to more expanded responses.  You may be able to, for instance, guess that I'm typing this response on a computer, not a phone.

The correct approach, IMO, is to have the discussions in person.  And, no, not everyone you know with an opposing viewpoint will be up for that, or will be interested in an actual discussion/debate.  But some will.  And it's far harder to decide a person is irredeemably evil when you're sitting across a table from them (preferably over a few pints - even better from a pitcher, because then you know you have some common ground).

If we weren't able to put our differences aside, how would we ever engage in productive conversation and make eventual progress? This is a major issue America is facing.

Unfortunately, one of the fairly common things that happens in an empire/nation in decline is an increase in political polarization.  We're certainly seeing that, and, based on history, it doesn't resolve.  So... good luck!
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MonkeyJenga

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2018, 10:46:40 PM »
Maybe there's a disconnect between what people consider friends? Maybe casual acquaintances count? Or maybe there's a disconnect in what kinds of political disagreements we're talking about. I am referring to extreme, very personal beliefs that would prejudice someone against other people and cause them to constantly talk about or take action on such beliefs. Like if someone is racist and talks about how [X] people are criminals, or stupid, or whatever, I am not going to enjoy their company. On the other hand, if someone thinks charter schools are a good use of resources, or gun violence shouldn't be studied, or immigration needs different reforms than I think it needs, we can talk.

A real example: A friend's dad does not believe women should have the right to vote. I can be polite to this person, I can try to have a rational debate, but it would be real tough to have a close, caring friendship with someone who thinks I literally do not deserve to vote because of my vagina. I look for mutual respect in my relationships, and someone who thinks that way is not going to provide it.

His is "just" a political belief. It is also a statement on how he sees the world, and people within it. If they have that little respect for me, how can you expect me to trust them, open up to them, rely on them?

They are welcome to believe whatever they want, and I am welcome to spend my limited free time and emotional energy on people who respect me and my friends. I engage reasonably and calmly with people who disagree politically all the time. More often than most people can handle, in fact. I have been fairly successful at being a "translator" for various issues.

But someone who refuses to acknowledge my basic rights? We're probably not going past casual acquaintances. And let's be real, that person doesn't want to be friends with me.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 11:13:47 PM by MonkeyJenga »

NorCal

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #29 on: April 13, 2018, 10:59:37 PM »
I will never understand why someone "can't be around" people with different ideas or lifestyles.  I live in the Bay Area, so I see this a lot.  I just don't get it.  If you respect someone less because of their opinions, the problem is you.

If someone disrespects you because of your beliefs, then the problem is theirs. 

I have plenty of friends on the left, and plenty of friends on the right.  I don't respect any of them any less for their views.

Personally, I'm a Trump voting, gun-loving corpratist republican, and my wife is a tree-hugging Obama loving hippie.  While we certainly have our disagreements, it doesn't get between us.

Some specific advice about getting along with those you disagree with:
1. Always have a sense of humor.  Be willing to joke about your own politics the same you would joke about the other sides politics.
2. You are allowed to keep your opinion to yourself.  It doesn't hurt.
3. Always be respectful of others opinions, no matter how much you disagree.
4. Don't take politics too seriously.
5. Remind yourself that considering the world from someone else's point of view is good for your mental well being.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #30 on: April 13, 2018, 11:10:02 PM »
Syonyk, I go out of my way to have conversations with people who hold all kinds of beliefs, and I see intolerance and judgment on all sides. I would weight conservatives at at least 50% in this. I am not sure what your social circle or personal biases are like that make you see it so strongly on one side, but conservatives have plenty of angry purity tests and conspiracy theories. They can assume the worst of people with slightly different beliefs. They can unfriend people for voting for Hillary, or banish their children for being gay, or whatever the issue is.

Again, "both" sides do this, but conservatives do it at least as often as liberals. (I don't like the artificial binary, as many people do not strictly conform to one label, but it's convenient.)

Travis

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #31 on: April 13, 2018, 11:33:57 PM »
I will never understand why someone "can't be around" people with different ideas or lifestyles.  I live in the Bay Area, so I see this a lot.  I just don't get it.  If you respect someone less because of their opinions, the problem is you.

If someone disrespects you because of your beliefs, then the problem is theirs. 

I have plenty of friends on the left, and plenty of friends on the right.  I don't respect any of them any less for their views.

Personally, I'm a Trump voting, gun-loving corpratist republican, and my wife is a tree-hugging Obama loving hippie.  While we certainly have our disagreements, it doesn't get between us.

Some specific advice about getting along with those you disagree with:
1. Always have a sense of humor.  Be willing to joke about your own politics the same you would joke about the other sides politics.
2. You are allowed to keep your opinion to yourself.  It doesn't hurt.
3. Always be respectful of others opinions, no matter how much you disagree.
4. Don't take politics too seriously.
5. Remind yourself that considering the world from someone else's point of view is good for your mental well being.

In other words, just be polite. I think most of us get that.  Polite only gets you so far when the other person walks into the room convinced you might not be a person because of this difference in beliefs.  Monkeyjenga's friend's father doesn't think she's his political equal due to her biology.  My former coworker can't hold a conversation without shouting his gun-nut anti-left conspiracies, and my aunt used to think we were all going to hell for being non-Baptists with a moderate amount of Lakota bloodline.  I get the stink eye from the same group of college students when I run past them at lunch wearing a US Army t-shirt.  There's only so far these relationships are going to go no matter how far we extend the olive branch.  On the other hand, my wife is quite religious and I'm not in the slightest. We've made it work for nearly 16 years.  I'm probably light years apart politically from some of my friends. Either we just don't know it, or it's acknowledged and we all love and respect each other enough to not care.
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Kyle Schuant

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2018, 11:40:48 PM »
Quote
Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
This is a question that, of all Western countries, would only be asked in the USA.
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Sailor Sam

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2018, 11:41:20 PM »
I will never understand why someone "can't be around" people with different ideas or lifestyles.  I live in the Bay Area, so I see this a lot.  I just don't get it.  If you respect someone less because of their opinions, the problem is you.

If someone disrespects you because of your beliefs, then the problem is theirs. 

I have plenty of friends on the left, and plenty of friends on the right.  I don't respect any of them any less for their views.

Personally, I'm a Trump voting, gun-loving corpratist republican, and my wife is a tree-hugging Obama loving hippie.  While we certainly have our disagreements, it doesn't get between us.

Some specific advice about getting along with those you disagree with:
1. Always have a sense of humor.  Be willing to joke about your own politics the same you would joke about the other sides politics.
2. You are allowed to keep your opinion to yourself.  It doesn't hurt.
3. Always be respectful of others opinions, no matter how much you disagree.
4. Don't take politics too seriously.
5. Remind yourself that considering the world from someone else's point of view is good for your mental well being.

In other words, just be polite. I think most of us get that.  Polite only gets you so far when the other person walks into the room convinced you might not be a person because of this difference in beliefs.  Monkeyjenga's friend's father doesn't think she's his political equal due to her biology.  My former coworker can't hold a conversation without shouting his gun-nut anti-left conspiracies, and my aunt used to think we were all going to hell for being non-Baptists with a moderate amount of Lakota bloodline.  I get the stink eye from the same group of college students when I run past them at lunch wearing a US Army t-shirt.  There's only so far these relationships are going to go no matter how far we extend the olive branch.  On the other hand, my wife is quite religious and I'm not in the slightest. We've made it work for nearly 16 years.  I'm probably light years apart politically from some of my friends. Either we just don't know it, or it's acknowledged and we all love and respect each other enough to not care.

Really good post @Travis. I've been typing for 30 minutes, trying to make the exact same points but my proto-post was a convoluted mess. Your's is much more eloquent, so I'll just hang on your coat tails. 

expatartist

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2018, 11:48:34 PM »
Depends on how close you are. A FB friend I've never met - we're in an art group with potential collaboration - insinuated I should have my head cut off, because we disagreed on aspects of Social Security.

He's no longer a "friend".

Imma

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2018, 04:41:19 AM »
I honestly find it shocking that so many people can't be friends with someone who thinks differently.  Am I really hearing this correctly?  What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

I mean... based on your username, you're a heretic anyway.  Just because your LS1 makes 50% more power, more reliably, doesn't have the rat's nest of unlabeled vacuum lines with random restrictor pills, doesn't really affect the weight balance that much, doesn't require a complex twin turbo setup, lasts nearly forever, and improves fuel economy doesn't mean it has any business in an RX-7!  :p

But, yes, you're hearing it correctly.  It's pretty common on the left.  "Either you think exactly like me, who is obviously right and true and correct about all things, or you're one of them." 

Quote
I am baffled as to why differing beliefs would be a bad thing, let alone a deal breaker for a friendship.

Because it requires one to be able to actually back one's beliefs and have a solid debate/discussion about them.  Which is, sadly, harder and harder to find - on both sides.

If we weren't able to put our differences aside, how would we ever engage in productive conversation and make eventual progress? This is a major issue America is facing.

Unfortunately, one of the fairly common things that happens in an empire/nation in decline is an increase in political polarization.  We're certainly seeing that, and, based on history, it doesn't resolve.  So... good luck!

I was one of the people who said that under certain circumstances, I have a hard time continuing a friendship with someone. But I think you've turned what I've said and what others have said in this thread into a caricature.

First of all, I don't really consider myself to be on the left. Secondly, I hang out with a lot of people with different views and I'm totally fine with people having different opinions. You can agree to disagree about almost anything and still get along. I have plenty of friends (and a partner) that vote for different parties than I do or have a different religion. I'm not offended when my religious relatives / friends tell me that I will go to hell, because it's not a threat or an offence. It's what they sincerely believe and they are sad about it because they care about me.

But to me there are a few things that are just too sacred to not discuss. When my college friend is talking about banning free press or outlawing religions (and this is literally what he says, I wish I was exaggerating) , I will never let that go just to preserve our friendship. Fascism / neo-nazism are on the rise in Europe (where I live). Many people admire authoritarian leaders like Trump and Duterte ( I have family connections to the Philippines). I believe this is a very dangerous development and as a citizen of my country it is my duty to uphold the values in our constitution. When someone says 'all Muslims should be deported out of this country' or ' the Quran should be completely banned' (and again, those are real things that people say, banning of the Quran is actually one of the main goals of one of our biggest political parties) I don't believe that's something you can agree to disagree about. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are very important constitutional values. If you want to actively ban a religious book, what you are trying to do is undermining our constitution and the core values of our society. I care too much about our society to just shrug that off.

My grandparents' generation tried to stay friends with everyone 70 years ago, regardless of their political beliefs because everyone was entitled to their own. I don't have to tell you what happened back then.

Freedom2016

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2018, 05:56:13 AM »
For me, I can be friendly and sociable with a wide range of people. I used to be quite conservative and had lots of evangelical friends. Then, over time, I became agnostic and liberal and my friend set changed.

*Close* friends are ones I can bare my soul to, and be unguarded with, and for that, a certain set of shared values and beliefs seems to be necessary.

scantee

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2018, 06:21:07 AM »
Quote
What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

Person A: This characteristic of yours make you [or people you care about] makes you inferior to me [ or people I care about].
Person B: I donít like how youíre treating me [or people I care about] and a result I donít want to be around you much anymore.
Person A: Well lookie at the close-minded person we have here!

Itís not close-minded to expect to be treated respectfully as a full human being. I can, and am, able to live and coexist with people who are very different from me. Not just politically, but people of different ethnicities, countries of origin, religions, etc. However,  I only want to be close to people who respect me as a human being. My politics are an important part of my values so usually the place I choose to devote my limited emotional energy is towards people who share similar values.

ender

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2018, 06:33:24 AM »
Political discussions recently have become much more about the individual holding the belief than the actual beliefs.

This is across the board. My father and I agree on a relatively large number of political topics yet I still actively avoid conversation with him because his position often becomes, "how can someone be so <fill in blank with favorite pejorative> to believe this?" which is more or less a reflection of the problem here. I have an inlaw who stopped talking to other family members because of who they voted for.

This scorched earth was particularly bad this election, where you pretty much were viewed as a complete trash of a human being if you voted for <insert mainstream candidate here>. Both sides did this to some level and it's amplified by social/electronic media where grandstanding can become an echo chamber.

For what it's worth, I straight up don't even bother with anything close to politics on this forum purely because of this problem and my historical negative experiences with it here. Folks who want an echo chamber and treat anyone who disagrees as <favorite pejorative> will end up with an echo chamber. This is true in real life, it's true online, and it's true in the context of friendship.

Nick_Miller

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2018, 11:24:55 AM »
Lots of interesting, nuanced comments here.

I reflected on this more last night, and really, I think ANYONE and EVERYONE has their breaking point when it comes to being friends with folks of different beliefs. Some of us might take longer to get to our breaking point, but I challenge anyone to say that we don't all have one. After all, our political beliefs are manifestations of our closely and vigorously held beliefs. They aren't trivial.

It just becomes a matter of degree. Also, some people will differentiate between opinions and actions, but frankly opinions almost always lead to actions, even if the action is "just" something like voting for a politician who has promised to make the voters' opinions into public policy.

Examples:

1) Your friend says things that reveal he is a racist. He calls blacks by the "n" word, says that the country went downhill after civil rights, views them as inferior to white folks and says they should all be removed to Africa. Who among us would be this person's friend after learning he feels this way? Speak up.

2) Your friend says that she believes everyone who does not share her religion will (rightfully) burn in fiery torment for all eternity. Not only does she believe this will happen, but she believes you deserve it (unless, of course, you come around to her way of thinking). Who would be this person's friend after learning she feels this way? Speak up.

3) Your friend says that homosexuals should all be gathered up and put in a special colony because they are "abominations" per her reading of the Bible. Who would be this person's friend after learning she feels this way? Speak up. 

MasterStache

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2018, 11:38:10 AM »
Quote
What a close-minded community I am a part of, that's kind of embarrassing to be honest.

Person A: This characteristic of yours make you [or people you care about] makes you inferior to me [ or people I care about].
Person B: I donít like how youíre treating me [or people I care about] and a result I donít want to be around you much anymore.
Person A: Well lookie at the close-minded person we have here!

Itís not close-minded to expect to be treated respectfully as a full human being. I can, and am, able to live and coexist with people who are very different from me. Not just politically, but people of different ethnicities, countries of origin, religions, etc. However,  I only want to be close to people who respect me as a human being. My politics are an important part of my values so usually the place I choose to devote my limited emotional energy is towards people who share similar values.

Excellent point. It's easier for people to put labels on something they don't understand in order to evoke some sort of stance. I tend to distance myself from folks who undoubtedly are not accepting of others based on outward appearances and/or sexual preferences, etc. People will see that as closed minded, but ho well. I think the company you keep around you is a reflection of yourself.   
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Kyle B

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2018, 12:16:47 PM »
There are so many people on earth and such little time left.

To spend time with people who think you're going to hell makes zero sense to me. Likewise if they think that because you voted differently your character is suspect.

Perhaps see them sparingly, if they're immediate family. Perhaps.

Hirondelle

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2018, 12:45:26 PM »
Interesting topic/thread. I agree that I guess everyone has some breaking points towards the size of the difference that people find bearable.

However, I do feel like the examples in this thread are slightly too extreme. One thing that's very important to me and that I've been missing in this thread is WHY the person has these beliefs. For the past few years, I've met a wide variety of people (religion, culture, class, politics) and when they talk to me about beliefs that are very different from my own and that sometimes make me feel defensive or offended I always try to ask them WHY. Many are a little surprised by this question as they expect either support or resistance. However, their stories often help me understand why they do belief the things they belief, regardless of whether I agree with them. I feel like asking the WHY question also makes them (and me!) more open to discuss the topic.

Some examples:
- When living overseas, I met a really fun American guy. Since he was black/latino, from a democrat city, just moved to a (on paper) communist country and as most traveling Americans I met were democratic or even Bernie voters, I expected him to be a democrat. However, a few weeks into dating him, I figured he was a Trump supporter. Being a left-wing environmentalist European that thinks Bernie is a mild socialist, I was rather shocked. So I asked him WHY. He told me about his family background. How his grandparents were immigrants that worked in a factory, used the money to buy real estate and made a good fortune that way that they used to retire in their home country. He was disappointed that all the factory work had been exported to low income countries as he'd like to do this work (body wasn't able to do demanding physical work, brain damage prevented him from doing more analytic or even manager jobs). His dream was to get himself wealthy the way his grandpa did, but global development had made this impossible and he hoped that Trump would be able to get the factories back by putting America first. This made me understand where he was coming from. I still disagreed and also don't believe that Trump would be able to get the factories back (or if he would, this would heavily increase COL in the USA) but by understanding his point of view we've been able to have some good and respectful discussions on the topic.

- Another day, I met a young Egyptian boy. We invited him for lunch several times, but he'd always deny as he only went to places that he was 100% sure of they'd be halal. When we told him we had another Egyptian friend and asked if he'd like to meet him, he finally accepted our invitation. Still, he didn't eat a thing and when ordering a drink he asked whether the orange juice would be halal. I had to chuckle, because how can orange juice NOT be halal? When talking to him longer, I realized he was from a very conservative islamic family and that they were members of the muslim brotherhood (before they were forbidden). He'd never been to a non-muslim country and suddenly he was in Vietnam where everything gets fried in pork fat and you could unexpectedly end up getting a piece of dog meat on your plate. Ofcourse he was terrified of the chance of eating the wrong thing and ending up in hell! The other Egyptian kinda took up the job of guiding him through all the possible dangers of VN life and slowly he started to loosen up, joining us at the bar (but drinking juice), ordering vegetarian food at places where they also sold pork and discussing philosophy, religion, and every other topic on earth with us girls being dressed in shorts and sleeveless tops. On his birthday he shocked all of us by ordering a beer, but after a few weeks of drinking alcohol he decided it wasn't for him and quit again.

Both people taught me a lot about things I was sometimes judgemental about (Trump, muslim brotherhood) but actually had barely any knowledge on. Respectfully discussing these topics with real life people increased my understanding, but also their understanding for my viewpoints. In the end, I'm still friends with both of those guys (and many more people) even though we still disagree on some very fundamental topics :)

Psychstache

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2018, 01:05:57 PM »
I think there's a point in every adults life where they should reexamine friendships that were forged in grade school, because often these relationships are both out of practicality of being around each other all the time, not out of a real collection on anything substantial.

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BlueMR2

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2018, 01:36:53 PM »
I mean, when Friend A thinks Friend B is going to burn in eternity, how in the world can they really be "friends" in any sense of the term?

I'm not sure why that's a problem?  "B" either doesn't believe in Hell (in which case there's no conflict at all), or disagrees on burning there (which doesn't seem like a friendship destroying even to me).  "A" could have a problem with association with those Hell-bound, but not necessarily.  One is not directly responsible for another's route, but can be a friend to present as best an example as possible.

Syonyk

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2018, 04:54:35 PM »
To spend time with people who think you're going to hell makes zero sense to me.

That dude Jesus was pretty clear with his last instructions (emphasis mine).

Quote
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Pretty clear that one is not supposed to hang out in a "holy huddle."
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Kyle B

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2018, 05:17:47 PM »
To spend time with people who think you're going to hell makes zero sense to me.

That dude Jesus was pretty clear with his last instructions (emphasis mine).

Quote
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Pretty clear that one is not supposed to hang out in a "holy huddle."

Did you mean to post this on a religious forum somewhere?

Syonyk

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2018, 05:33:23 PM »
Did you mean to post this on a religious forum somewhere?

Nope.  It was quite directed at you.

You said, "To spend time with people who think you're going to hell makes zero sense to me."

I explained why someone might think it makes sense.
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Kyle B

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2018, 05:39:13 PM »
Did you mean to post this on a religious forum somewhere?

Nope.  It was quite directed at you.

You said, "To spend time with people who think you're going to hell makes zero sense to me."

I explained why someone might think it makes sense.

 I think you are proving the point of a lot of people in this thread.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Can you really be friends if your political beliefs are much different?
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2018, 06:21:44 PM »
I would stay friends with someone despite them having very different opinions about things than me and speaking out about them.  I don't care if they are a left wing nut jobs or a radical right wingers as long as they aren't doing anything illegal, unethical, or otherwise not respecting me and the friendship.  I will voice my own opinion as well.  I haven't ever had a friendship end under the circumstances discussed in this thread.

The OP looks like he has some issues to work out.  I would have never posted to an internet forum just to rant about a friend of mine having a different opinion asking others whether we can still be friends.