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Thread: How important is it to you to have the same political or religious views as your close friends?

  1. #1 How important is it to you to have the same political or religious views as your close friends? 
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    I was talking to a friend the other day about another acquaintance. I said I like him, but he's very opinionated, and I know I will eventually say something that will piss him off, and he takes issues very seriously.

    I like talking about politics, current events etc. I admire people who work for a cause they believe in. On the other hand, its not a litmus test in choosing friends. In fact I can think of a at least one important issue I disagree about with almost everyone I know. My parents are rightwing Republicans and I voted for Obama. I like science but I have several friends with New-Agey beleifs. One practices Reiki and readsTarot cards. (Actually she loves trying stuff out on me because she knows I'm a skeptic.)

    So I'm curious about how important agreeing on things is to other people? Are there some things you can accept but others that are "deal breakers?"


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    My wife believes in God. Anyone who has read more than one or two of my posts on this forum knows my mindset. Yet, we've been happily married for 6 years now.

    Different viewpoints don't have to cause conflict. Different personalities do. Neither my wife nor I demand that the other take our view. We are very accepting of one another even though we have fundamentally different ideals.

    Basically, it's not hard to be friends with someone who has different beliefs or values than you...but it is hard to be friends with an a**hole.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    You can have great relations with someone with different viewpoints, the key is not whether you agree or not, but how each behaves(personality) and reacts(calm? humour?). If someone's an asshole as Flick puts it, imo I would not find their company pleasing regardless of whether they agree with the views I have arrived at so far, where as I do enjoy people with different view point when they have a sense of humour etc.
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    You can pick your friends but not your relatives. I find it best to steer clear of political issues when amongst relatives of a different persuasion. One of my cousins, unfortunately, uses Facebook as a political soapbox. I think this is really annoying, and a poor idea.
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    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    If anything would be a deal breaker it would be religion, but as others have pointed out it's not so much their religion but the fact that they would be pushy with it.
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  7. #6  
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    Not all that important. However:

    . . .he's very opinionated, and I know I will eventually say something that will piss him off, and he takes issues very seriously.
    That's a problem.

    Are there some things you can accept but others that are "deal breakers?"
    I guess. Someone who really hated gays or blacks or something would be a "deal breaker" for me - but again, that's intolerance, not just "having a different belief."
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    I have very good friends who are deeply religious - of various sorts - among them one couple is deeply into wooish health stuff. Doesn't worry us much - though I do respond fairly strongly if the anti-vaccination woo comes up. As it happens, both partners in that marriage are surviving life-threatening conditions quite well, so they can't be criticised too much.

    My closest long-standing friend is a pretty conservative person who very occasionally comes out with a bit of racist crap - but that's only rarely and it's not "central" to her views about life in general. She's not just a good friend, she's a really nice, good person - she's been a Lifeline volunteer for so long, she now trains and supervises other volunteers. We've managed to be good friends for over 40 years despite the fact that she, and particularly her husband, would say that it's me who's the opinionated one. But that's just because my politics are not different just from theirs but from most of their friends, so my views stand out a bit.

    Both my husband and I are pretty tolerant of others and we rarely challenge anyone if they express their different views. The only ones that really get me going are those who advocate against vaccination and the ones who claim that scientists reporting on global warming are doing so dishonestly and that it's not good science anyway. Racist and sexist stuff? I don't challenge my dear old mum, but I'm willing to ignore anyone who'll drop the topic straight away. If they try to stick to their guns, they deserve everything that comes their way from me and from anyone else who decides to pile on.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    You can pick your friends but not your relatives. I find it best to steer clear of political issues when amongst relatives of a different persuasion. One of my cousins, unfortunately, uses Facebook as a political soapbox. I think this is really annoying, and a poor idea.
    agreed. All in my immediate family are conservative Christian, some tea party as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    My wife believes in God. Anyone who has read more than one or two of my posts on this forum knows my mindset. Yet, we've been happily married for 6 years now.

    Different viewpoints don't have to cause conflict. Different personalities do. Neither my wife nor I demand that the other take our view. We are very accepting of one another even though we have fundamentally different ideals.

    Basically, it's not hard to be friends with someone who has different beliefs or values than you...but it is hard to be friends with an a**hole.
    Sorry this makes no sense at all.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
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    Not at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    If anything would be a deal breaker it would be religion, but as others have pointed out it's not so much their religion but the fact that they would be pushy with it.
    They say love conquers all, true or false.
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  13. #12  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    My wife believes in God. Anyone who has read more than one or two of my posts on this forum knows my mindset. Yet, we've been happily married for 6 years now.

    Different viewpoints don't have to cause conflict. Different personalities do. Neither my wife nor I demand that the other take our view. We are very accepting of one another even though we have fundamentally different ideals.

    Basically, it's not hard to be friends with someone who has different beliefs or values than you...but it is hard to be friends with an a**hole.
    Sorry this makes no sense at all.
    Now you know how I feel about everything you post.

    What part doesn't make sense? The part where I am capable of loving a woman who thinks differently than me? Mind = blown?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I have dated many different women In my life and they all had different viewpoint about religion and politics. I just did not try to change their views at all and listened to what their views were If they wanted to discuss them with me. Since I have a good listening ability It really never bothered me to talk to them about their views after they understood that I was not going to chastise them about them. By listening to them I gained understanding and just let them talk away without once getting upset myself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    My wife believes in God. Anyone who has read more than one or two of my posts on this forum knows my mindset. Yet, we've been happily married for 6 years now.

    Different viewpoints don't have to cause conflict. Different personalities do. Neither my wife nor I demand that the other take our view. We are very accepting of one another even though we have fundamentally different ideals.

    Basically, it's not hard to be friends with someone who has different beliefs or values than you...but it is hard to be friends with an a**hole.
    Sorry this makes no sense at all.
    Now you know how I feel about everything you post.

    What part doesn't make sense? The part where I am capable of loving a woman who thinks differently than me? Mind = blown?
    So you cannot be friends with an as**hole? but you can get on with a wife who is religious. I forgot you are educated, so it must make sense. I am sorry.
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  16. #15  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    So you cannot be friends with an as**hole? but you can get on with a wife who is religious. I forgot you are educated, so it must make sense. I am sorry.
    Interesting.
    Can you tell me why you equate "being religious" with "being an a**hole"?
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  17. #16  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    So you cannot be friends with an as**hole? but you can get on with a wife who is religious. I forgot you are educated, so it must make sense. I am sorry.
    My point was simply that different ideologies do not make people incompatible. It is how we present our ideologies which causes conflicts.
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  18. #17  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    It's 'nice' for lack of a better word, to have like minded friends, but the world becomes a rather dull place when everyone around you is nodding their collective heads, in agreement. lol I do like differing opinions, and most of my friends, while we have tons in common, we spar on some issues. And that's a healthy thing! Interesting thread topic, Diane!
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    So you cannot be friends with an as**hole? but you can get on with a wife who is religious. I forgot you are educated, so it must make sense. I am sorry.
    Are you trying to equate religious people with assholes? That isn't even close to true in my experience. Assholes come in a wide variety of of religious and atheist types.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    So you cannot be friends with an as**hole? but you can get on with a wife who is religious. I forgot you are educated, so it must make sense. I am sorry.
    Are you trying to equate religious people with assholes? That isn't even close to true in my experience. Assholes come in a wide variety of of religious and atheist types.
    No Billvon, religious people can be as**holes like anybody else, or as**hls can be religious people. Flick was actually differentiating and I was trying to point it out to him, maybe I did not make myself clear enough.
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  21. #20  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    I wasn't differentiating. I avoid calculus whenever possible.
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  22. #21  
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    I have plenty of friends that lean a little too far to the left and right for my liking, as well as friends with beliefs that I vehemently oppose - and it's never a deal breaker. I try to tone out what I think is drivel, but occasionally I'll find myself in a heated debate with a friend or two... Having said that, I guess my friends and I just know how to keep disagreements from ruining a good thing. Friendship is more important to me than a person's politics. That's half the fun of a wholesome friendship, being able to see things from different perspectives, having different interests, beliefs... What kind of boring world would I live in if all my friends had the same socio-politico inclinations that I do?

    To take this even further, one of my friends is practically a skeleton in the closet. He believes in 9/11 conspiracy theories, is antisemitic, and a borderline racist... All three of those things would be major deal breakers... But he's been a friend since I was 16, has always been a good friend, and despite those awful qualities of his he also has a lot of redeeming ones... For one, he knows I totally disagree with his opinions - yet he's still completely honest about them and doesn't let what I imagine he thinks is my ignorant shill rhetoric ruin our friendship any more than I don't let his fanaticism ruin it either. Let's just say his facebook "shares" don't grace my newsfeed, and I refuse to entertain his Rothschild Evil World Controller Jew theories... But I'll gladly have a beer with him and hear what he has to say about military history, computer tech, and music (he is a gifted instrumentalist).
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    It's 'nice' for lack of a better word, to have like minded friends, but the world becomes a rather dull place when everyone around you is nodding their collective heads, in agreement. lol I do like differing opinions, and most of my friends, while we have tons in common, we spar on some issues. And that's a healthy thing! Interesting thread topic, Diane!
    I agree with you on this Wegs,

    what a boring world this would be
    if we did not disagree.

    Two lines from my new poem.
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  24. #23  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    No Billvon, religious people can be as**holes like anybody else, or as**hls can be religious people. Flick was actually differentiating and I was trying to point it out to him, maybe I did not make myself clear enough.
    Yes, Flick differentiated.
    Your response - actually BOTH of them - implied that, to you, there is no difference (otherwise you wouldn't have had to query that response and it would have made immediate sense).
    Ergo, you're flailing, wildly, as usual.
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  25. #24  
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    It would depend on how close a friend they are.

    It would be very important for me that my partner shares similar political and religious views. I'm just not going to get along with someone who insists on believing religious doctrine over critical thinking and evidence. I like to discuss current affairs and politics so it's not going to work if we but heads and have fundamental differences on our political views. Luck for me I found a leftie, femo, atheist, scientist. As it happens though, I'm vegetarian and he's not and that works fine for us.

    My closest friend is my closest friend partially because of longevity of relationship (28 years) and partially because we have mutual respect for each others competencies and strengths. We have some fundamental differences on some issues though although we never get into it that much but that's down to geographical distance.

    Given the current government in Australia and my loathing of them, I would distance myself from anyone that openly supported the prime minister.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree GoldenRatio's Avatar
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    Considering my religious or political views are so low on my "give a s**t" list. I would not care how my friends view was. However if my friend took things so personally I would not engage in subjects of that sort, or a much easier solution. Find better friends.
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  27. #26  
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    Have such contrary friends at least shows the person willingly and continually acknowledges and converses with others having significantly different perspectives, instead of forming a static, set-in-stone, perhaps-outdated definition of them or their ideologies. Not exactly acceptance, but not exactly wholesale condemnation either.
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