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Old 12-05-2005, 09:40 PM   #1
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Inter-political friendships.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who have close friends who hold wildly different political opinions from there own.

Personally, I’m friends with a guy whose VERY right wing, sometimes even extremist (eg. He pretty much supports Pope Benedict XVI on pretty much everything) and I sometimes cringe whenever he goes on one of his rantings. Heck, some of his comments, especially his comments on homosexuals I found to be particularly offensive.

But amazingly, I’m still friends with this guy, and I’ve been so since the eight grade. He’s one of the friendliest guys I know, and we always love to hang out and watch movies together.

I guess in friendships like these politics isn’t the deciding factor. To me, the key is to avoid politics and religion altogether and to avoid “provoking” him in making one of his extreme rantings.

Heck, I'm friends with loads of people who have different views from my own. It probably shows that its the person that counts, not who they vote for.

So does anybody else have friends with really different political/religious views, but yet your friendship still remains strong? Do you avoid politics altogether (like what I do) or do you engage in healthy (or heated) political discussions, just to debate and have your views "challenged" by someone on the other side of the political fence? Do you find that it strengthens your friendship, or does it create fights and friction between the two of you?
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:54 PM   #2
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Almost all my friends are Republicans, hell almost everyone around here is. Some make very intelligent arguments and are a lot of fun to debate with. others regurgitate the Focus on the Family bullshit their parents shove down their throats (it's not their faults in a lot of ways)...those are the ones I don't talk politics with. Although none I would say are actually truly hateful towards gays or anything similar to that, I don't know if I could take that.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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Oh yeah.... heh.... I could write a lot in this thread, as I'm sure others can, too.


Highschool alone was an interesting experience. I was friends with Mr Republican, and also Ms. Democrat, to be broad and sweeping.

I sat next to a Traditional Republican first period, and also next to A SUPER LIBERAL republican in the same period, and worked in group projects with both of those girls, and it was quite stressful sometimes. It's hard to believe they're both republicans.....

And then there was the uber-liberal, who was open about using pot, and painted the negative Democratic stereotype very well. ANd my good friend, a senstive democrat.... eh, the list goes on and on......................


I guess it's easier for me than others to trancend party lines and religious lines, because I don't cling to one or the other. On the negative side, it was rather difficult to bridge friendships because of that...
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Old 12-05-2005, 11:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by For Honor

I sat next to a Traditional Republican first period, and also next to A SUPER LIBERAL republican in the same period, and worked in group projects with both of those girls, and it was quite stressful sometimes. It's hard to believe they're both republicans.....

And then there was the uber-liberal, who was open about using pot, and painted the negative Democratic stereotype very well. ANd my good friend, a senstive democrat.... eh, the list goes on and on......................
Same with me. In terms of political leanings, my friends range from uber-facist all the way to pot smokers who have no problems in wearing their Karl Marx or "Socialist Alternative" T-shirts. Thankfully the majority of my friends are sane moderates .
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:14 AM   #5
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I have family, friends and acquaintances with whom I very much differ in perspective in that they are conservative and I am not. Some of them are deeply conservative. If I refused to be friendly with conservatives and/or Republicans, I'd have to disown some of my siblings/relatives and a few friends.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:06 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Halifax
pot smokers who have no problems in wearing their Karl Marx or "Socialist Alternative" T-shirts. Thankfully the majority of my friends are sane moderates
I call smoking pot and wearing Marx Tshirts pretty moderate. As long as there aren´t any Molotov cocktails involved

To the original question, FYM is living proof that I have some friends with vastly different political views, and yes I engage in heated discussions.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:26 AM   #7
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Most of my friends are republicans (well they're starting to turn into democrats as they leave their parents and hear my rants). I know republicans are always shocked when i'm willing to reach out and be friends with them but i won't let political view get in the way of making friends.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:27 PM   #8
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One of my favorite authors, Faulkner, said once that we love others not "because," but rather "in spite of". I love this sentiment because it conveys one of the most important gifts that love of family and friends has to offer, namely the ability to love people as they are, and to value what is good in them without being blind to their flaws. This is especially important where obstacles to bonding like political loyalties are concerned...political preferences tend to get tangled in and confused with the desires we all have to be a good person living in a good world, making it tempting and easy to mistake someone's abstract preferences of how the world should be with their ability to love and care for others in real life. It's one of the downsides of democracy as a way of life; we get in the habit of treating political views as a snapshot indicator of how "good" someone is.

That said, I don't think I could be good friends with anyone who categorically found gay people repulsive, or undeserving of basic moral, social and legal respect. And it would certainly bring down my respect (but not love) for any family member who felt that way several notches. If that's contradictory, than so be it.
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:42 PM   #9
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My parents are very convervative, particularly my father the dedicated Rush Limbaugh listener. For the most part my siblings and I are liberal. (I guess we all found the same way to rebel against our parents!) It's made for some very interesting "discussions" at family gatherings, particularly over the past five years. We finally quit talking about politics altogether when both sides are in the same room to preserve peace in the family.

As trying as it can be sometimes, I think it's good to have people you love who strongly disagree with you on politics. It makes it impossible for you to demonize the other side.
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Old 12-06-2005, 07:49 PM   #10
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Absolutely it is good to have opposing views and beliefs in families and relationships...makes for heated debate, a lot of joking and ribbing and interesting conversation. In my circles of friends and relationships this is true anyway. Keeps things more balanced and healthy.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:33 PM   #11
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I honestly don't know anybody would would vote for the US Republican party. I do know people who are conservatives, but in Canada, that often means a different thing. I work with people who vote conservatively, but they are not driven by religious motivations, homophobia and some such. It's more about fiscal responsibility, things like welfare reform and tax cuts. They're economic conservatives.

The sort which is driven by right wing religious views - I honestly don't even know where I'd meet one. Nobody in my family is like that, none of my friends, and not a single person at work. They must exist, they just don't move in my social circle.
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Old 12-07-2005, 04:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
Most of my friends are republicans (well they're starting to turn into democrats as they leave their parents and hear my rants). I know republicans are always shocked when i'm willing to reach out and be friends with them but i won't let political view get in the way of making friends.


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Old 12-07-2005, 08:20 AM   #13
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I agree with yolland- I would never refuse to be friends with someone because of their political views, but certain things are "deal breakers" for me. I could still be friendly with the person on a more superficial level, but I would always be uncomfortable knowing that they held certain beliefs that run contrary to moral standards that are rather sacred to me.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:14 PM   #14
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^ I agree with yolland and Mrs. S.

I have exactly one friend in my extended social circle who votes Republican. And he's gay at that. He's not a close friend but we share a bunch of friends and show up at the same parties. I had known him for about 10 years, though, before I found out his political views. I was shocked to learn he voted for Bush and still defends him (as recently as Thanksgiving). Everyone else I know who voted for Bush--people like my hairdresser and casual acquaintances--have all turned against him.

My family is another story. Republicans all of them. Some are the fiscally conservative/socially liberal variety and others borderline evangelical Christians. I'm the anomaly in my family. We tolerate each other and avoid hot topics, but have never been very close regardless of politics/religion. They've always welcomed my gay friends in their homes but just knowing what they really think turns my stomach.
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Old 12-07-2005, 03:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer



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