Would you stop or not be friends with some one of a different religion?

United States
November 8, 2008 9:51pm CST
i grew up in a cult like environment and now that i am grown i am not with them nor associate with any church of any kind.. i dont have a problem with people that do but my childhood friends that i was inseparable with stayed with those beliefs and some got really really dedicated to it to where they decided since i dont believe the same they cant be friends with me.. i never bring up my beliefs or theirs.. i treat them how i always had but they would always try to save me etc and when i said no thanks then i some how was deemed awful and there fore not friends anymore.. would you end a friendship over religion?? would it have to depend on WHAT religion to matter?? why cant people keep their religious beliefs to themselves if they know that its not shared and enjoy the friendship they had for years??
15 people like this
45 responses
@Timothy31 (649)
• United States
9 Nov 08
No i wouldn't. I have friends who practice different religions and it doesn't matter to me at all. I'm not a religious person but don't think it would be right to not be friends with someone based on their beliefs.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Nov 08
i think it all comes down to respect.. and some people just cant respect that part of a person sometimes which is so ignorant!!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
I agree completely.
@_sketch_ (5711)
• United States
9 Nov 08
I don't really care what someone believes as long as they don't try to impose their beliefs onto me, which many do. I never can really get along much with any christian religions or mormons. I try to because a lot of them are actually really nice people, but in the end they usually start preaching to me and telling me that my beliefs are wrong and that I'm a bad person or whatever. I hate that so much. Though people of other faiths are generally more accepting, so we can talk to eachother about our beliefs without it turning into some sort of competition. I grew up in a small town where EVERYONE was Mormon, except my family and so I had a hard time fitting in. That is what I hate about religion. It categorizes people, separates people, and alienates the minority. I believe that all people are equal, noone is better than anyone else and religion contradicts this, creates pride, tells people that if they follow the strict path they can look down on those who follow another though this is the exact oppostite of what's taught. All religions promote peace and love and yet we are all fighting and hating over who's right. Foolish humans.
• United States
11 Nov 08
i know.. i think every one should have their own spiritual beliefs but i highly doubt that we need religion a lot of the time.. it causes too many wars and its suppose to do the opposite!!
@_sketch_ (5711)
• United States
11 Nov 08
Exactly. I am a very spiritual person, but I am not religious at all. Religion is so ironic. It's such a great idea, but not realistic because of human's destructive and competetive nature. We dream of world peace, but we create world wars.
@jayyerex (224)
• Canada
10 Nov 08
I can associate with anyone that follows the religion of peace. It doesn't matter what type of doctrine you follow as long as it does not harm anyone else. I also believe that no religion should ever try and shove it down other peoples throats. I believe in peace and bringing peace to others regardless of skin color or religion or race. Follow this way of thinking and acting and I will be your friend to the ends of the earth. The golden rule says that you should treat others how you would have them treat you. I think your friends should put themselves in your shoes and hopefully they will come to see reason. I don't envy you this dilemma and I wish you all the best. Time has a way of making people see reason and perhaps someday your friends will see that they are not only hurting you but they are hurting themselves as well. Good luck, Jay
• United States
11 Nov 08
yep but after all of this i probably shouldnt be friends with them if i am always going to wonder if they will still snap back into "save me mode" if they do find me deem able to talk to that is..
@KUSHANK55 (2437)
• India
9 Nov 08
friendship and religion are the things miles apart!! well true friends are found without any tags of any kind!!
2 people like this
@ahgong (10086)
• Singapore
10 Nov 08
Let me guess, they are friends who joined Christianity? I too lost a few friends this way. I have my own beliefs. And if god is all love and respect, he would respect my decision not to convert. I do not understand it either. I am always happy for my friends who find their direction in life through religion. I too will encourage them towards it if that is the way they feel better about their lot in life. But when they turn around and try to convert me, well, the buck stops there. The problem is this, if I do not convert, I am deemed not worthy of them no more. It is sad that a religion can come between years of friendships. I have no problems with people who are staunch believer of their religion. Neither do I condemn any religion. All religion stem from the root of goodness. Giving people direction in their lives. Teaching the way of life and other values in their beliefs. There is never a total wrong or a total right in any religion. That is why when I see friends who join some religion and then telling everyone else who is not sharing their beliefs that they are wrong, I get frustrated. So, to answer your question, I will not break up with a friend over religion. Usually they are the ones who disown their friendship with me.
• United States
11 Nov 08
well we all grew up and were in this christian type cult and we all moved away from each other.. some of my friends parents made their own churches of christianity (which i want to note that they were not cults) and some of the other just went to a different church.. well my dad was a pastor but i have seen so much in my life and my dad is a radical and kept the thinking of where we had left.. i cant agree with that and dont fit the religion anymore based on my beliefs.. i never told any of my friends this when we talked again but they found out anyways.. some told me to not talk to them anymore.. i gave them a few years and tried to say hi again through their parents because i heard they were becoming more open minded (they went from dressing like amish people to like marrying and hanging out with people covered in tattoos and piercings which i figured meant they were more open minded) so i figured if they were being more accepting of people like me that had gone to their church that maybe they would realize i was the same just minus the church.. nope their parents said i was evil also.. other friend went more fanatic than the cult and would grill me all the time and damn me to hell.. i figured with most time would heal and they would "grow up" (this was happening when i was like 20ish so i figured maybe they hadnt found their own true identity yet away from their families and considering our background with the one place) but nope.. couldnt talk to them at all and if i did 5 minutes till im burning in hell and whats wrong with me changing my beliefs speech.. i just gave up and realized who they really were which is narrow minded and ignorant.. what sucks is that their families are still friends with my parents who are still religious so i have my parents thinking its ok they ditched me too since i was raised to not have any non christian friends.. so my parents support them and not me.. it was hard lesson to learn and compared i grew up in so much crap wrapped with religion i still have to remind myself that its their problem and that i tried and didnt abandon them and my beliefs shouldnt matter.. apparently im the only one that grew up and decided against things and at least i know i gave them several chances to where if they had seen that they were totally horrible in it that they could contact me.. and if anything that proves right there that i was the better friend in not letting religion stop it.. at least on my end..
1 person likes this
@ahgong (10086)
• Singapore
11 Nov 08
Woah... that is a tad extreme isn't it? Anyways, it is their loss. No biggie. Plenty of friends in the world out there.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
9 Nov 08
I do not judge people worthy or not worthy of friendship based on religion itself. HOWEVER. I would stop or decide not to be friends with someone of a different religion IF their religion caused them to ostracize me, harrass me, try to convert me, etc etc etc. I think it's fine for people to be religious or not religious. The problem happens when each person cannot just do their own thing and NOT harrass or try to convert others. I don't tell people NOT to be religious. I DO tell them that if the religion interferes with their life, maybe they ought to question whether it is really doing them good - or harm. Another thing I hate is someone who is religious who complains about something, like say their love life. I have an acquaintance who does complain about her love life and she complains all the time. She is religious. When she complains and asks what she should do, I tell her that she needs to stop being so damn picky first of all. Then I tell her that if she REALLY wants to do something or make a decision, she should. When you let your religion or religious beliefs hamper your life in such a way as you become miserable, negative, and cannot function, then I do not think religion is a good thing. I also do not believe people should allow religion or religious beliefs to cause them to judge or separate themselves from others, or to believe they are BETTER than someone who is NOT religious. They are NOT better, they are not 'good' based on religion. That is the biggest falsehood ever that is represented by religion. As long as someone is absolutely accepting of me regardless of religion, I don't care if they are mormon, catholic, buddhist, islamic, drank the koolaid, pagan, or christian science. If they are not, and their religion causes them to be non accepting, then they probably are not worthy of my friendship anyway. I would NEVER put a religion ahead of a person. That is just sad.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
9 Nov 08
I have a very dear friend who happens to be mormon. She and I do talk about religion occasionally, but she is very accepting and very positive and she NEVER questions my beliefs or tries to convince me she is right and I am wrong. She is happy, so I have no reason to question why she believes the way she does. She IS the minority though, there are actually people who become decidedly unfriendly because I am not religious. Ugh, it is disgusting to tell the truth. People who are non religious tend to be more open, LESS discriminatory, less judgemental, and more accepting. Is there anything better than that? I think not.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
i know people tend to think i hate christians because im not one anymore but i think out of all of them i know maybe 1% are people that arent pushing and being judgmental etc.. so that irks me when people say im being discriminative on that religion when im not a judgmental or racist person but just pointing out what i see! i know every i didnt want to see a religious movie or do some activity my parents would say i was choosing to not like it because it had something to do with christianity.. im like uhhh this was when i was one.. lol.. i just dont see why we can just love and be good to each other and get along..
• United States
9 Nov 08
Religion doesn't matter to me when it comes to friends...how could it when i don't really have a religion...i have my beliefs and thats it. As long as they respect my beliefs i will respect theres.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Nov 08
yeah.. we both are cool like that lol
• United States
10 Nov 08
I am as happy as i can be i got to meet one of my favorite authors yesterday and got her autograph in one of her books. Its my first autographed novel so i totally psyched about that. I am so nerdy, what normal person gets excited about meeting a new your times best selling author??
1 person likes this
@SketcherD (1114)
• Canada
9 Nov 08
I was in a religion several years ago that I and my husband decided to quit for many reasons. The people in that religion who we thought were our friends and supposedly loved us will not speak to us anymore. I have tried numerous times to speak to these people and they turn their backs on me and my family because we quit that religion. Even in public they will do this. I did not say I didn't want to be friends with these people I just didn't believe in their religion anymore so they dropped us like hot potatoes!!! I guess they weren't true friends really!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Nov 08
yeah same here.. i had moved away first but stayed in contact so it wasnt even that i left and changed my mind while i was with them but it didnt matter.. as soon as they heard i didnt anymore i was a horrible person..
1 person likes this
@SketcherD (1114)
• Canada
9 Nov 08
Nice people! I guess they weren't friends after all!!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
I would like to say "OMG I would NEVER end a friendship over religion" but the sad fact is that I have done so in the past. It was not something I was proud or happy about but I own up to it and defend it by saying that by the time I ended it it didn't seem to be about friendship and about converting me/making me feel bad. I honestly thought that my former friend would calm down after she initially found her religion as it's not uncommon for people to jump in and let a new religion take over all aspects for a brief while. She was excited! I was happy for her at first. Soon the subtle hints for me to join started coming. Then not so subtle. Then almost threats "if you don't you are a bad person" and finally, not one conversation we had could be about anything other than how my religion was wrong and hers was there to "save" me. Do I sometimes feel upset that i went against something people tout as "tolerance"? Oh yes! It's an awful thing and I honestly hope that I never have to lose another friend over religion but I can say that were the situation to happen again, I would do the same. It just didn't seem healthy.
• United States
11 Nov 08
it isnt healthy.. which is why i dont think any blame should be put on you because you didnt want to be harassed.. i figured my friends would eventually realized im the same person but they just never got out of the mentality that i was going to hell..
@CanadaGal (4307)
• Canada
10 Nov 08
I don't care about religion when it comes to friendships. I've had some friends for decades, and I can honestly say I have no idea what religion they are. I could hazard a guess, but I'd likely be wrong. Not that it matters, because it doesn't. lol.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
i would rather not know peoples religion because then i know i wont have any way of accidentally assuming or judging them.. as long as i know that they are ok with this or what they are totally against to where i can steer clear of those subjects im happy
@jillhill (37357)
• United States
10 Nov 08
No....that doesn't bother me....if they don't try to force their religion on me...if they do then I might straighten them out but never ever stop being friends with someone because of their religion.....I am Lutheran....I have a friend that is pagan...that does not change the fact that we share so many common interests and enjoy doing alot of things the same....it would be a shame to miss out being or talking to her.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
i know.. but some people tend to think that if you are associating with some other faith that the friendship will never be good anyways so why care??
• United States
10 Nov 08
I personally wouldn't kill a friendship just because we share different religious views but it does happen a lot. Currently I just joined a new religion and more of my friends don't agree with their doctrines so I just don't bring it up when we hang out and we're still cool. Some people from my church think I shouldn't hang out with them anymore because they would be a bad influence but i couldn't do that since it would prove the point that my friends have about the church that I'm in. I hate it when cult like situations happen when you're excluded just because you try to get out. So I think it's not worth trying to salvage your friendship with your past friends because if they're known you for a while and they still decided to make that choice then you can't change their minds and they're not worth it. Life is too short to worry about those issues.
• United States
11 Nov 08
yeah i wouldnt want to associate with them anymore after this.. it seems like your always either with them or against them with some religions..
@liquorice (3902)
9 Nov 08
I know lots of people who only have friends from within their own religions (through choice). I think that this is a very sad way to live, as you never get to learn about people who are different from you and it breeds ignorance and mistrust and all sorts of problems because people fear what they don't understand.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
my number 1 pet peeve is ignorance!! and it amazes me how people get stuck in it in the name of their religions god.. i would think god would want us all to be knowledge in everything and choosy in some things
@Ithink (1972)
• United States
9 Nov 08
Nope it isnt religion that makes a friendship for me and not for ones I consider friends either. Basically Im not a firm believer in any religion at this. My best friend is pagan and I respect her and learn alot from her too. I was raised JW and it is funny cause my mom is still one and so is alot of my family and yes they still talk to me. BUT I have found it is hard to be friends with someone in this religion unless you are of that religion and that is something I just dont agree with. I enjoy my friends for what they bring into my life and that is that.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
yeah i have found that to be true too.. the whole "it is hard to be friends with someone in this religion unless you are of that religion" and its really sad
@celticeagle (104514)
• Boise, Idaho
9 Nov 08
That is their way. Religion and politics are very hard to always be on an even keel with friends about. I think this is where respecting others boundaries comes into play. Tell them.
• United States
11 Nov 08
yep both of those subjects cause way too many wars!!
@adihindu (1922)
• India
9 Nov 08
I am not thinking like that. I don't stop my friend ship because of different religion. I have best friend with different religion. The real friendship does not see these things. Happy myLotting.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
yep which is really sad that people that do get ditched dont realize their friendships arent real for years until something comes and breaks them apart
• United States
9 Nov 08
It all depends on how extreme they are. I have a friend who is an athiest and I'm a Christian. I must admit he's rather extreme, and he loves to debate and sometimes he can be disrespectful of my religion. So we have an agreement that we just don't talk about religion with each other. I also have friends that are Hindu, Buddhist, Pentecostal, etc. As long as we are respectful to each others beliefs and we don't ask each other to compromise our religion I'm completely okay with them. I think people are becoming more and more diverse and that means a lot in acceptance, and toleration, thus world peace =0) I'm not big on organized religion I think it breeds hate!
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
i totally believe it breeds hate too.. which makes no sense.. especially when a lot of religions are trying to not be racist but yet other religions are unacceptable
@VenomX (22)
• Romania
9 Nov 08
i think religion doesn't matter in a friendship. a real friend won't end a friendship just because your religion is different from his. i don't make differences in people because of the religion. i think people who end friendships because of religion are influenced by other friends who tell them that that person is ...just different from them.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
true a lot of it is group mentality.. 1 person leaves and everyone has an opinion about it and they all seem to decide together that you arent worthy.. at least sometimes thats the case
@murderistic (2280)
• United States
9 Nov 08
As a Mennonite, I believe that all religions should be at peace with each other... but when other people (including other Christians) make it a goal to shove their beliefs down your throat, it is hard to keep a friendship. But honestly, I think that has more to do with people's arrogance, not their religion.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
i would have to add ignorance also with arrogance.. not that their ideas or faith are ignorant but that some people just follow things so blindly and never think for themselves that maybe they were taught too extreme or maybe the person teaching them is the arrogant one that is going to mess them up etc.. i think my friends just grew up and followed, obeyed and never thought for themselves that maybe there were other paths.. so i blame their families (their parents were all much worse than them it was how they were raised) on their ignorance.. but i guess you can only blame them so long.. they are in their mid to late 20s and should have learned by now to listen and learn on their own..
@lvaldean (1613)
• United States
9 Nov 08
If I did I wouldn't have any friends, or a husband, or a family for that matter. I would be all alone in the world. The answer to your question is the faith of another person is never a barrier to my friendship or love, though it might be a barrier to theirs. There are many religions (not faiths) that practice shunning. Many that reject others not of their religion. Many who claim outright they are the "way, the truth, the light" and in making this claim intend it to mean that they are the only way. In all cases they reject any other person who does not believe as they believe. It is their loss. How a friend, a parent, a sibling, or any other family member can turn their back on a loved one simply because that person has had a change of heart regarding religion is beyond me. This is so contrary to most of the teachings of all the great religious teachers that I can only say, woe to man for the corruption of the Word. What you should remember is that religion is really man made. It can do more harm than good. I am sorry that you are hurt by the loss of life long friendships though.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 08
thats why i think a lot of people need to keep their beliefs personal just because it seems that religion just can cause all kinds of problems for no good reason.. and i know its affected my family a lot.. since i changed they have stayed the same and so i feel out casted from them also.. its really sad.. people forgot that people of other beliefs can be good people too.. which is sad