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Can you truly like/love someone if you're against who/what they are?

To clarify, I'll give the following example.

Person A is a Christian of some denomination. Person B is an atheist homosexual.

Person A claims a friendship with Person B, while voting against giving Person B and others like Person B legal rights, saying regularly (usually while not around Person B) that homosexuality is a sin and that they don't agree with the lifestyle at all, and holding up said friendship with Person B as an example of how tolerant they are for being good friends with a homosexual despite being against that person's lifestyle and thinking they're unfit to marry and raise children.

Can a genuine friendship exist under these circumstances? Can a person genuinely be totally against basically who a person is, how they life their life, belittle them and who they are regularly, but still be a real, good friend?

In the example I gave, no, it wasn't a genuine friendship on the part of Person A, time has revealed. I just can't imagine any situations where it would be.


Asked by bishopblack at 7:42 AM on May. 16, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 16 (2,657 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (36)
  • Not in the example you gave. A friendship is based on trust and understanding and communication and acceptance of the differences. If friend A isnt truly accepting or whatnot than the friendship is one sided and will fall eventually.

    Can you truly love or care about someone opposite of you or someone who you have issues with...sure but thats assuming you have found ways to accept each other as is despite your items of opposition.

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 9:42 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • IMHO, you aren't a friend to someone if you belittle THEIR lifestyle. I don't have friends who belittle me, I do have friends who are completely against my beliefs, they have made their point, but with our "beliefs" aside I am still very close to them. My spiritualism does not define who I am, it adds to it, but it does not "make me" me.... You can have a friendship with someone even if you disagree with their lifestyle as long as you are the type of friend who knows when to shut up. Just because you don't vote for gay marriage, or even if you vote against it, doesn't mean you aren't friends with someone of that lifestyle, it just means that you aren't going to support it. Friends learn what and what not to talk's out of respect that you don't bad mouth anothers lifestyle friends or not.

    Answer by kitchenwitch78 at 7:52 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • I say yes. I don't think there would be such thing as a friend if we all had the same beliefs and agreed all of the time. People are too different. I'm entitled to what I believe and they are entitled to what they believe.

    Answer by BeachyBabe at 7:48 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • Plenty like me? Can you elaborate upon that?

    Sure just search the history on R&B and RD and you will see posters who are nearly identical to you in thought and question- its so odd- they disappear as soon as a new one is here to take their place- you are the third that fits this MO in the last few months-its really interesting-

    Answer by soyousay at 8:35 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • Are you friends with any Christians? That may answer your question. I have seen plenty like you on here and many claim " some of my best friends are Christians......." as they proceed to say crap about Christianity-

    Answer by soyousay at 8:06 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • I have to disagree with. One of the best friends I ever had was gay and I'm one of those 'evil' Christians everybody likes to talk smack about =)

    We became friends in high school before she came out, so there was no motive on my part. Hard to plan out a show of tolerance when you don't know the person you are hanging out with daily is gay. When she came out, she was nervous about telling me, but you know what...we became friends because we actually liked each other. We actually had fun and had other things in common. I met her SO and yes she knew that I was a Christian and what I believe. But *gasp* we had enough respect for each other to make it work all the same.

    Unfortunately, after college we both moved away and just gradually drifted apart, but that happens to many friendships at that age. Nature of the beast.

    Answer by asmcbride at 11:11 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • My mom is a hardcore Christian. Her cousin is a lesbian who just married her life partner of 15 years 2 years ago.

    My mom knows where they stand and she doesn't bring it up. They know where my mom stands, and they never bring it up either. They hang out with each other (my mom and dad, her cousin and wife), go out to breakfast regularly, they love each other. They love to be around each other.

    My mom knows that if they ever want to talk about things THEY will bring it up, but she doesn't need to make any comments at all.

    Sometimes all you need to do is be yourself, and love other people.

    In the circumstance you described I would say that it would be impossible to be friends, because friends don't belittle each other. BUT you can disagree with people without belittling them.

    Answer by beelive at 11:31 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • By all means, you can disagree with a persons actions and ideas and still love that person. If I could only have a friendship with a person with whom I agreed with 100% of his/her choices, I'd be totally friendless... I wouldn't even like/love my parents as we have very different beliefs and lifestyles.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 1:07 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • I guess I liken it to my being friends with christians. While with me, they seem to be the most non judgemental peopple...and I truly think they are. But who knows what they discuss when I'm not around. I am the only atheist in our circle of friends here.
    If they feel a need to discuss me and my spiritual welfare..thats their problem. I'd feel bad for them though, that they actually feel they can lead me away from my spiritual path, or that it's really any of their business.
    Despite their being christian, I am still very good friends with them. Although they have never, ever pushed their ideas or beliefs on me. They ae very respectful.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 7:54 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • i'm a christian, and i believe homosexuality is a sin. that being said, i have several gay friends that came out in high school or after. it didn't change our friendship. i don't think of myself as the type of person that has gay friends just to show how "tolerant" and "cool" i am. that to me is not true friendship. whatever my thoughts/opinions/beliefs on that kind of a lifestyle is, to preach or make them feel inferior or wrong for their choices would be wrong on my behalf. sure, i disagree with it. but they're not out killing cats or screwing people out of their life savings. every single one of them is a good person. THAT is why i am friends with them. i don't care who they sleep with.
    i've lost touch with a lot of them (happens when you graduate), so we mostly communicate through facebook and the occassional text. same with my other friends that are not gay. so yes, i believe that you can truly like, and love someone of

    Answer by AngryBob at 8:05 AM on May. 16, 2011