Anonymous said to realsocialskills:
Do you think it’s okay to have friends that you disagree with about political issues? I have a close friend that’s much more conservative than me; most of the time we avoid talking about politics, but he listens respectfully when I call him out on something, and even though I’m gay, Jewish, and non-gender conforming I feel very safe around him. Sometimes, though, I feel like I shouldn’t be friends with him, because I would be supporting his problematic views. Thoughts?
Yes, It’s absolutely ok to be friends with people you disagree with about important things.
The only alternative would be to be friends only with perfect people. Which isn’t a realistic option. Everyone is wrong about something important, and it’s not necessary to demand perfection as a precondition for legitimate friendship.
You get to decide what’s dealbreaking for you and what isn’t. You’ve decided that your friend’s views aren’t dealbreaking for you. That’s a decision you get to make; no one else gets to decide that for you.
You’re not supporting his views by being his friend. You’re supporting the idea that, despite his views, you like him, and that he is worthy of your friendship. That is not the same thing.
Other people also get to decide what’s dealbreaking for them and what isn’t, and it’s important to respect that. (Eg: It’s probably not a good idea to invite this guy to come along to something like Nehirim where most people there are there specifically to be in a space that has a positive outlook on gay people and Jews.)
It’s also important not to pressure friends for whom some aspects of his worldview are dealbreaking to be like “he’s a great guy, really! You should hang out with us some time!”.
It’s also not ok to lecture them on the virtues of tolerance and imply that there’s something wrong with them considering his views dealbreaking. They get to decide they don’t want to be around people with certain views. You have every right to be his friend; they have every right not to.
tl;dr It’s ok to be friends with people who are wrong about important things. It’s ok to decide what’s dealbreaking for you and what isn’t. So do other people. Don’t pressure people to spend time around your friends whose views are dealbreaking for them.