The "My family/friends differ from me in politics & religion but we still love each other" thread

There’s a running theme of Dopers who disrespect & feel disrespected by family & (usually former) friends due to religious & political differences. This being the SDMB, those differences are usually because the family & friends are more conservative, sometimes extremely so.

SO let’s hear from those who have friends & family they extremely differ with & yet still enjoy their company.

One of my best buddies is a lesbian Wiccan political Progressive who regards Obama as a conservative corporate sell-out. We love each other. We occasionally debate. She has over the past decade had to take two “time outs” from me (nine months total), but we’re most probably gonna hang out when we’re in the nursing home.

Your turn.

My Dad is a HUGE Rush Limbaugh fan.

I lean left to be sure. I Absolutely detest GWB and think that Obama is the best thing that has happened to this country in a long, long time. But, I’m also ‘pro’ gun. Or at least I think that the laws we currently have are pretty reasonable.

My best friend is pretty much anti-gun.

I have a friend who listens to Glen Beck and attended at least one teaparty rally, but we don’t talk politics and get along great.

My in-laws (specifically both FILs) are Republican, Fox-watching, Rush-listening, very opinionated and not afraid to bait liberals (such as myself) into contentious debates about politics. I don’t take the bait anymore.

I’ve noticed a lot of right-leaning rumor-mongering and participated in debates on Facebook as well, but not necessarily with friends, more with FoFs. Facebook just makes me sad, though.

We’re going to see the inlaws for a week soon. They are hard right Rush lovers, in their late 80s, so we’re not going to change their minds now. Fortunately, we’ve learned not to talk politics, although dad wants to bait us all the time.

Hey, we love them dearly, but their politics, IMHO, are cuckoo.

Most of the people in my family are conservative. My parents are more on the moderate side of conservative (both of them consider themselves ‘‘Independent.’’) My Dad watches Fox news. My mother is usually a single-issue voter on abortion. My grandparents are both conservative; my grandmother is extremely socially conservative and occasionally says things to make me cringe.

For better or for worse, they’re my family. Any issues I have with them have nothing whatsoever to do with politics. My grandmother hates the gays, yet she makes it a point to ask me how my best friend is doing, and she knows full well my best friend is a lesbian. I’ve been involved in maybe two mild family arguments related to politics in my entire life. The thing is, even though people in my family have differing political perspectives, none of us are particularly fervent or outspoken about those beliefs. We might disagree, but it’s usually a pretty calm disagreement.

The one time there was a clash over politics, I was only tangentially involved. I was trying to explain to my Mom that writing is an analytical activity that uses similar processes to mathematics in the brain, and she wasn’t having it–she’s an engineering type who feels something just short of disdain for the fine arts. Then my super liberal uncle, who has a tendency to be an argumentative dick, decided to make it about religion and politics, and everyone was screaming, and she got so pissed off she left the house. Frankly, I don’t blame her. He was a total ass, calling her ‘‘willfully ignorant’’ about the existence of God and slamming her for the kind of vehicle she drives.

Most of my friends are liberal like me, but one of my favorite people on this board is ivylass, a pretty vocal libertarian. I was once in her neck of the woods an we went for dinner – had an awesome time, ate tapas, took a walk, and talked about a number of things we found interesting without ever once getting into a political argument.

I feel very strongly about my political opinions, but I guess I tend to separate the beliefs from the people. I think of conservative policy as my enemy. not conservative people. I’m currently a social work student and it will probably come as no surprise that the agenda set is very liberal. It bothers me, though, how often conservatism is framed as an instrument of power imposed upon the unwitting oppressed masses. To me, conservatism is a legitimate expression of cultural values just as much as liberalism is. It is no more or less ‘‘from the people.’’ I might not agree with my relatives, but I do understand them. I will work very hard to impact policy, but that probably won’t affect my relationships much.

My family is all over the map politically and religiously, and we all get along pretty well (except the one uncle who is just a selfish jerk–I’ll leave him out). We are all pretty relaxed and when we get together there’s a lot of joking. Let’s see, I’ll make a little list. Few of us have loyal party affiliations.

My dad–very very conservative, but cynical; no party love. Very religious but not talkative about it.
My mom–doesn’t like politics, also v. religious
Me–I hate everyone, am moderate to conservative (but registered Dem), v. religious
Brother no.1–thinks religion and politics is all a scam, all people are power-hungry scum, would be hard left if he didn’t despise them too. Likes to say about my husband that he’s become so conservative he’s practically a communist.
Brother no. 2–Obama fan, Euro-socialist, converted to Russian Orthodoxy years ago.
Brother no. 3–works for military-industrial complex, fairly moderate/conservative, v. religious.
Sister–only likes computers. No interest in either.

Mom’s sister–Bobo liberal, married to a lovely man who enjoys baiting liberals with talk so extremely conservative no one can take him terribly seriously (you have to know him, he’s a lot of fun).
Dad’s sister–hard-core atheist and liberal. Big loyalty: Sierra Club.
Dad’s younger brother–New Age/hippie liberal type, former Rajneeshi. Is the only one who ever wants to talk about feelings.

My husband’s family is somewhat less amiable, and is also all over the place, with one very nice gun-nut (I say that in the nicest way, not as a pejorative), a Bobo liberal, a birther (but no one pays attention to him, he has brain damage), and an Obama fan.

My husband and his family are conservative Southern Baptists. I come from an Episcopalian, left-leaning family. He and I don’t discuss politics much, if at all. I am fine with his family as long as we don’t talk politics or religion. I don’t really spend much time with them, anyway.

Our older son seems to have come back from Iraq with a head full of neocon nonsense. I have been encouraging him to research the issues before spouting off things he’s heard second hand. I think he will always be in some disagreement with me about politics. I’m fine with that as long as he is coming from the truth.

My dad is so conservative, he practically comes around the other side. I’m mean, I’m fairly conservative myself, but compared to him I’m a liberal. I don’t think Dick Nixon and Dick Cheney are two of the greatest men to walk the earth, and I don’t think everything’s a leftie conspiracy. But I love him.

My roommate is a great debating partner because of our differences. She’s a somewhat cynical liberal (closet) atheist, I’m a happy-go-lucky believer who really thinks people say what they mean. I should say, we would be good debating partners, except that she’s a philosophy major and I’m not. I don’t know whether I get trounced because my argument is faulty, or because I’m just not good at rhetoric.

My sister is an extremely, extremely devout Mormon. She recently went through the Temple for the first time to receive her endowments, she attended BYU (BA and MA), she goes to church every week. The other day I asked her about a pretty big decision she needs to make and she said “I’d have to pray on it.” Her obligations to the church come before everything, including her family. Not only am I an atheist, but I have some major, major issues with the LDS Church, including (but not limited to) its entrenched misogyny, bigotry, homophobia, the fact that it’s corrupt right down to its core, the fact that the entire “mythology” of Joseph Smith and the early days were essentially made-up out of whole cloth, the fact that for all it claims otherwise it is markedly anti-family, and the way it tries to use its influence and money to affect local laws (but of course remains tax-exempt). To say that I loathe the church would be an understatement, and my anger towards it as an institution increased over the years when I realized how being raised in a cult really fucked with my own sense of identity.

We occasionally have religious discussions, but while she knows I’m an atheist (I’m very open with her about it), I’ve never taken the time to detail all my problems with the LDS Church. She doesn’t want to hear it, and anyway, something about it makes her happy. She’s becoming more well-adjusted, she’s got a good life, and she seems comfortable with herself. In fact, she’s stopped nagging me about my heathen ways. We co-exist quite happily together.

I’m an atheist and something of a nihilist, but my best friend is a new age astrology and astral plane believing type, and another good friend believes in magic, and recently asked a bunch of friends for spells for protection from a hostile neighbor.

I’m also a progressive and not-straight, but get along well enough with my conservative Christian family.

My sister is conservative and my brother rabidly so, but I like their company for the most part. My sister’s husband, on the other hand, makes my brother look like a back-packy, birkenstocky granola eater and I hate that fucker.

While my family is more dysfunctional than a cross between a rattlesnake and a hedgehog, politics are not the reason. On my mother’s side, they tend to get ignored; if somebody brings them up, the rest feel free to jump in to debate. On my father’s side, debate is culturally considered a “family sport”: theology, science and politics are three things we can debate on for the whole afternoon and part of the evening. Add history to the mix and we can be entertained for weeks (so long as nobody brings up the jewelry of a certain great-aunt… gotta love fights over inheritance).

Religion in my mother’s side is something we can talk and/or debate about so long as the mix of people is right. If Grampa Churchburner is around, the only mentions tend to be him attacking the RCC or using the Bible for pr0n and the rest telling him to put a sock on it already. If my mother (whose teenage rebellion consisted of becoming daily-Mass) is around, there are times when we need to remind her that her name is not Simon, nor her nickname Peter, i.e., she does not hold the keys to the Kingdom.

My two best friends (they’re a married couple) are leaning more Libertarian these days. Since they’re not religious I think they get offended by the Republicans anymore.

I try really really hard to avoid talking politics with them. Occasionally the guy will post one of his weird-sounding ideas as his Facebook status and I just have to ignore it. My brother will sometimes poke him with his Liberal stick but it never gets too rough.

My parents are boomers and they’re overexposed to TV news (including Fox, which I wish I could nuke from their cable lineup). Dad is a union man and is straying very far away from being a Democrat. But, being that they are surrounded by family members who are usually on the public dole, and that they have been on the dole themselves, I know that deep down they are Lefties at heart and for the most part only go all Conservative when they are parroting what they have heard on the radio or TV. If I talk to them calmly and explain stuff, they usually agree with me.

My dad does like to rile up his Conservative family a little too much, half-heartedly agreeing with them as he plays the part of Angry Old White Guy. I tend to just walk away from these situations as I am woefully outnumbered by the Stupid.

In general, I just try to stay out of it with everyone. It makes life easier.

Both my parents are fairly conservative with a few more moderate views. They do, however, think the Tea Party stuff is silly and won’t listen to it. They occasionally tease me about being a liberal but it’s all in fun. When we do talk politics we tend to talk about them fairly respectfully. My mother is extremely religious, my father is also religious but thinks it’s a private affair.

My sister is best classified as a moderate. A few of her views are conservative, a few are liberal, but mostly she’s moderate about political issues. She is religious, but she’s not very vocal about it.

My mother’s side of the family are almost all conservatives, but delightful people (though my grandfather does sometimes try to bait me, which he finds amusing and I find amusing-to-exasperating). My father’s side of the family ranges from Tea Party conservatives to Sierra-Club liberals. I don’t see any of them very often, though.

My friends are mostly moderates to liberals, though I have some conservative friends. I don’t, however, have any friends who are anti-SSM, whatever their views on anything else might be. Some of my friends are libertarians, though they don’t skew to the right wing applications of that ideology.

For what it’s worth, I’m agnostic and fall somewhere between liberal Dem and Green.

My entire famoly has different views than me, I am more conservative then they are.

One of my best friends is a big liberal. I can’t stand his politics, but I will always treasure his friendship.

My dad is socially conservative in many ways, especially when it comes to gender roles. My mom is less so but is a practicing Catholic, and on issues like abortion she won’t budge at all.

I still get along with them pretty well.

My dad’s family makes him look pretty moderate in comparison. But I don’t really have to worry about getting into arguments with them, as my uncles would never deign to discuss politics with a mere woman.

My dad has passed. He was a redneck and sadly a bigot. But in many ways a good father who cared and I loved him.

It’s not just politically conservative relatives. I have often thought that in the Netherlands, the political left attracts the same kind of idealist extremism in comparatively large numbers that the religious right does in the US.
Your countries “moral majority” (or rather, vocal extremist 10 percent extremist politics) are conservative; our Dutch version is left-wing.

My mom is deeply into the more annoying kind of woo-woo. A different one every month. This month it’s crystals, the next month it will be the historical Jesus, the end of the world at 2012, herbs, or numerology.

My dad is deeply into saving the world-ism. I asked him how he would feel if his sole grandchild (my son) would get a brother or sister. He said he hoped we wouldn’t get another child, for World War Three was soon to break out, as it would only be a matter of time before the first world and the Third world would start fighting over water supplies.

So, I can’t talk sensibly to either of them.

I suppose I love them. Sort of. Grudgingly.

My about-to-be mother-in-law is a moderate Republican, but likes Rush. She’s also a delightful woman who has never made an issue of my politics (we don’t have those conversations, but she’s one of my Facebook friends so she’s surely figured it out) or my [lack of] religion.

My about-to-be father-in-law briefly reconsidered giving us his blessing when he found out I hated the Yankees, but he decided that being a Rays fan is okay.

My officemate is a devout Christian. She nearly had a conniption when she found out I don’t believe in god, but once she realized that I was a nice and pretty normal human being otherwise, her views on the subject moderated a great deal.

Both of my in-laws are extremely left leaning. My MIL is the biggest conspiracy theorist out there. My wife, their daughter, is very fiscally conservative, as I am. It is difficult to be around either of them for very long, especially my MIL, without the conversation drifting to politics. I try not to get into heated debates, but we all try and be open and respectful of each other’s opinions. We usually take a week long vacation to the beach every year with them and I enjoy spending time with my wife’s family.