Do You Have Friends Whose Belief Systems Differ Widely From Your Own?

@Pigglies (9340)
United States
October 31, 2008 2:25am CST
I don't just mean that your friends are of a different religion, but that perhaps their whole moral compass is different. I was just thinking about this because, my best friend is very homophobic. But I am a lesbian. She thinks gay marriage is wrong, doesn't believe gay people should have rights, and is generally disgusted. I've known her for so many years and I have debated with her a lot. I've never come out to her because I don't think she would understand yet. Despite this huge difference, there are still a lot of activities that we enjoy doing together. I generally hate shopping with most people, but she can make that fun. I don't like to swim alone, and she loves to swim too. We sometimes even volunteer together at animal adoption events. Yet some of my gay friends think I am insane for not just telling her I'm a lesbian and then never seeing her again. I figure, she only gets one vote and maybe somehow I will change her mind. She is a Christian and I am an atheist. But I realize not all Christians are bigots like that or anything. I guess the main reason we're still friends is that we have been friends for so long. I will do any favors for her and she generally does anything she can for me. Yet their is always that barrier. Can you keep a friend that is very different from you? Or would you just leave them alone and find a new crowd to be around?
3 people like this
9 responses
@ElicBxn (60009)
• United States
31 Oct 08
When my sister told many of her old friends, most of them shrugged it off, but she was very hurt when one rejected her. She had no indication that this would happen, as you have with your friend. My suggestion is if you want to stay friends, to just continue down the path you have been taking and she will probably figure it out. It could be that she suspects something, and is more vocal about it around you in hopes that she might make you change. I know it won't happen, but people don't really think about these things when they do them.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
31 Oct 08
That is an interesting point, perhaps she does already suspect something. I always kind of figured she and her mom are very against gay people because it seems like her mom is a closeted lesbian (probably to her own self even, but she just remains single).
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60009)
• United States
31 Oct 08
Just because your single doesn't mean you're gay. I'm single for a lot of reasons, but not because I'm attracted to other women. In fact, I'm mostly attacted to gay men. I tell people that if I had been born male, I'd've probably been gay! My roomie is also single not because she doesn't like men, but because at 5'10 and 300 lbs she's rather intimidating - not the kind of gal most men would find attractive. She's also told her father - when he said she could find a man like him - that was EXACTLY what she was afraid of! I know I'M not going to have some guy telling me what to do, to want me to fix his PLATE - for GOD'S SAKE! In fact, if he wants to marry me, he'd better be ready for some contract negotiations, because I'm not one to go into something like this at this point without a firm grasp on the situation!
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
1 Nov 08
Oops, I didn't really mean to imply that it was only because she was single. I just meant that rather than facing that she's probably a lesbian, she chooses to remain single. She had a husband before, but they got divorced. She was in the military before and is really fairly butch. But there are several reasons I could come to such a conclusion... though I'm still not 100%.
1 person likes this
• United States
1 Nov 08
Question, a very personal one, are you out to everyone But her or are you in the closet?You don't have to answer. If you are out to everyone But her and you don't mind it , then I support your decision. And if you are in the closet, then there isn't a problem. But if you are out and it is hard to be in the closet with her, then you need to come out to her.It will be better for you. and maybe , just maybe you being gay is the thing that will open her eyes to the need for gay rights. If she loves you as a friend, she will want ti see you happy.the problem with some bigots is that they never have been with the group they say they hate. I mean yu two have done many of good things together and finding out that you are gay could change the picture of a lesbian she has in her mind.If more people see that gay people are the same as straight. They work, play , and some even pray the same way straights do , they will be less scared.You know best. I am like your gay friends, I want to you out and proud with everyone, especially this best friend.But if you feel you can't and you can live with it, I support your decision. Be Well , I'll talk to you later.
• United States
1 Nov 08
D'oh. I didn't answer the question. No I don't have friends with polar opposite views to my own. I would love to try to be friends but I think it wouldn't last too long . The closest I have gotten to it is my mom loved the Cowboys while I am a Redskins fan.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
1 Nov 08
I am out to just about everyone. Basically the only exceptions are my friend and my family. I am out at work, at both places I volunteer, at school, etc. It is hard to be in the closet with my best friend, because normally we share everything. But I know if she has a bad reaction to the news, she'll probably tell my family. I've actually told them before and they kind of just went into denial. I'm not sure how hearing it again would make them react. You bring up a good point though about changing her mind. I'm sure I will come out to her eventually, but probably after I am more distanced from my family. My family is even voting no on 8 though, and I was shocked about that because they are total homophobes... so I guess even they are coming around. :)
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Nov 08
As long as you are happy, I am happy. I wish your family could be supportive. I hope you have many friends and a steady that support you.
@cripfemme (7719)
• United States
3 Nov 08
Yes, I do. In fact, I think it's hard not to (unless you plan to be a bigot). I'm a person of faith (fairly strong faith actually) yet one of my best friends in the world is an atheist. Another good friend of mine is a Jehovah's Witness. I also have conservative friends even though I'm liberal. I have Catholic friends and pro-life friends and friends who don't even believe in the benefit system that I rely on. MyLot, of course, provides me with many different people and viewpoints.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
3 Nov 08
Funny you should mention about friends not believing in benefit systems. My friend is on social security and makes more per month than I could when I worked 60 hours a week. I believe she is leeching off the state. She doesn't have rent to pay, her mom buys her all her food, and basically, the tax payers are paying for her to pay for her car insurance and fixing her car because she is a horrible driver and gets in at least 1 accident per month. The rest of that money is spent on jewelry. I think that is wrong. Of course, she thinks it's great because she gets the money. I'm not saying you're like that or anything. I think some people use their money honestly. But I'm betting the vast majority are more like my friend.
@cripfemme (7719)
• United States
4 Nov 08
I wanted to comment on this discussion yesterday, but Mylot ate my response! I get benefits, but have a job (I'm a writer). I get money from the government, I also get health insurance from the state (no one else will insure me because I'm disabled), and personal car assistance (people to help me do basic tasks that my disability makes difficult or impossible). I'm not a lazy person. God didn't put me on the Earth to be a permanganate.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
4 Nov 08
See, now that is benefits I approve of. :) I think people should all do something. Even if my friend never wanted to get a job, I think she should at least have to volunteer or something like that. And I think she needs a driver or something like that (she could easily afford it). She gets in 1.5 car accidents a month on average so far. Instead of spending that money fixing her car, she should just pay someone to drive it. I know it can be hard to get insurance. I've been uninsured for a long time. And then now I finally got a second job so that I could have insurance. But it costs me nearly $200 a month. And hardly anything is ever even covered. I'm seriously thinking about dropping that because it costs me less to just pay full price when I go to a doctor. If I could get insurance some other way, I'd do it too. But for non-disabled people to all have insurance it would raise taxes so much that the program would never be worth it. I'd move out of the country because I just don't need enough health care to justify paying for everyone else.
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
31 Oct 08
Yes, my best friend is a religious fanatic as long as it's the "OTHER" person sinning. I'm spiritual more than religious. She despises ALL gays/lesbians for religious reasons. I keep telling her that God made the homosexuals. She refuses to accept that it's NOT a "choice". She is just so sure they ALL could change if they wanted to, I keep asking her how does she plan on saving a homosexual from themselves if she can't even talk to them. She NEVER has an answer. She had 3 children out of wedlock & lived with her boyfriend for 10 years & it was OK. Yet when I moved in with mine, she cried because we weren't going to be together in Heaven. Using her thinking, I just reminded her that we WERE going to be together in Hell. She bowed up & informed me that she wasn't going to Hell but I was!!! Even with all her bigoted thinking, she has been a GREAT friend over the years & I love her in spite of her shortcomings!!! I refuse to judge her as she judges others!!!
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
1 Nov 08
Wow! I have to say, I might not be able to stand it if my friend was a religious fanatic about everything like that. You are tougher than me!
1 person likes this
@LadyMarissa (12165)
• United States
13 Nov 08
Thank You for the Best Response!!! - Thank you for your kind thoughts!!!
THANK YOU for the BR pigglies!!!
31 Oct 08
When I started reading the discussion I was like thinking she can't be that homophobic if she is still your best friend and then I realised as I read further that you haven't come out to her yet! It's difficult as she may be fine with it because she IS your best friend but, she may also be so shocked and feel a betrayed that you didn't tell her sooner - it's a shame because it sounds like you have so much in common that make the best of friends stay friends! I don't really have any friends that have an extreme different belief to me so it's hard for me to say what this situation must be like for you. Has she never noticed that you haven't had boyfriends?
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
31 Oct 08
The only thing she really notices is that I never say a guy in the movies or anywhere is cute. I don't have any posters of guys on my walls like she does or anything. But she's still never had a boyfriend, so I suppose that's why she doesn't expect me to have one. If I had to guess her reactive, I'm guessing she would start crying, scream at me, and then not call me for months if I told her that I was a lesbian. She might finally call me back if she needed to get her computer fixed or something like that, but probably wouldn't want to see me again for a long time. And she might just call my brother for favors instead since he seems to do a lot of favors for her now, and then if she told him that would be bad too.
31 Oct 08
What a shame it has to be so awkward! x
• Philippines
1 Nov 08
Hi. True friends are there through thick and thin. True Christians are there because in God there are no boundaries. Sinner or not, black or white, man or woman, optimist or pessimist are all welcome in God's family as long as they will receive Him as their Lord and Savior. There are no distinctions to that. I commend your friend and can really say she is a TRUE CHRISTIAN. She does not keep you as a friend by reason of the span of time you have been friends but because she understood that in Christ, ALL are brothers and sisters. Kindly commend her for me please.Thank you. Yes I have a friend who has a different religion. I am a Christian and she believes in God but not in Christ. We go along together. We even discuss the doctrines of our religion without any rebutting or debates. Just mere informative and we never quarreled about it. She is so nice and passive. When she can't answer the questions I ask about her religion she just say, "I will ask Mama first," and I patiently wait for the answer and will continue the discussion the next day. Among our group, she is the best I have despite our religious differences.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
1 Nov 08
I don't see what believing in Jesus has to do with being a good friend though. I don't know if my friend is a true Christian or not. She doesn't go to church, she just believes in the bible. But she hasn't read the whole bible or anything like that, basically she just says she believes in that. She believes whichever parts are convenient for her. If there were no distinctions between alleged "sinners", why would she oppose gay marriage? Shouldn't Christians embrace gay marriage even if they believe it is a sin, by your standards? I have some Jewish friends too. I've found I have the best time discussing religion with them. They can just discuss it and have never tried to convert me. The Jewish religion fascinates me and if I could get myself to believe in anything, I'd probably like to be Jewish. But I know that is a hopeless case for me.
• Philippines
1 Nov 08
I have a certain friend whose belief system is far different from mine. Actually people called us 'the truly opposite friends'. Well I believe the best part why we`re still friends and we`re better as friends is because as much as possible we try to understand our differences and we try to respect each other`s beliefs. We may not always understand that each other, but for as long as there is respect and trust, friendship will grow to its ultimate level where whatever boundaries or hindrances may come, we`ll still be friends.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
1 Nov 08
That's always a good thing when you can respect each others differences.
@mikeysmom (2094)
• United States
31 Oct 08
i do have some friends who differ greatly on my opinions but the thing is that i listen to their point of view and accept it as just that. thier opinion. however when i voice my opinion they try to shove their views down my throat and i resent it. i do not talk about certain subjects anymore with others and the two subjects i avoid are politics and religion. i think everyone is entitled to their own opinion and i do not think it is ok for others to try to make you feel you are wrong just because you do not agree with them.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
31 Oct 08
I usually try to avoid politics and religion as well. Religion is one thing that I can usually differ with people on and it will be fine. Although I've noticed certain religious groups seem more likely to want to shove their beliefs down your throat. I've noticed religion is a very irrational thing and there is really no changing that for anyone. Either they will suddenly change religions on their own, or they will stick with what they were raised. But politics on the other hand, I think there are debates there often. Sometimes people don't have all the facts and so by giving them information you can change their minds. But generally I don't talk politics to my friends or even my family.
@salonga (27962)
• Philippines
31 Oct 08
I can't consider good friends those who do not agree with my moral belief and principles. Of course we will be debating and disputing all the time so I'd rather not make friends with those whose beliefs contradict mine. I think that is my prerogative. I mean friendship should be a relationship between people who understands and support each other. If friends are frequently debating where then is understanding? The relationship will never be smooth. A bad feeling will always be developed with every single thing not agreed upon. Moral issue is a big thing to me so if a person do not conform with my moral views, I'd rather not have friendship with him or her.
@Pigglies (9340)
• United States
31 Oct 08
I wouldn't make friends with someone who was so against me either. But what if you already were friends with someone, for over 10 years, and then you found out what their true feelings were? Would you just consider a 10 year plus friendship a sunk cost and move on?