Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Common ground

I've been kicking a question around in my mind...thought I'd kick it over to you:
How important is it to a successful relationship that two people share common political, social, and/or religious views?
I know in reality it's a personal issue that only those two people can answer. Only you know your own deal-breakers, and what you can and can't live with. At the end of the day, I suppose it really depends on how important a particular view is to one or both people, and how they choose to handle their personal differences.

Now that the generic mumbo-jumbo is out of the way...

I have some pretty strong beliefs when it comes to a couple of social/political issues - particularly same-sex marriage. I live in a state where SSM is legal (Yay NY!) and am very open about my feelings as an LGBT Straight Ally. I consider supporting the rights of others to be important for several reasons:
  • While I'm not directly impacted by LGBT rights, I have friends and family who are.
  • I firmly believe that rights need to be preserved and protected by everyone - or all rights are in jeopardy.
  • No one knows better than me how difficult it is to find acceptance and love. I believe we all have a moral imperative to not only bring love and acceptance into the world, but to protect it whenever we can. 
All of that being said...I do see a line between religious and legal tolerance when it comes to SSM. Religious organizations being private, I believe they should be left alone to support (or not support) whatever they want.

For example - the Catholic Church, in which I was raised, did not recognize my marriage to X. Why? He is not Catholic, and was also previously divorced at the time of our marriage. That particular church didn't accept my marriage - and that was perfectly fine with me. The law still allowed us to be married, and enjoy the rights (and meet the obligations) that entails.

I believe that same structure should be available to any two able-minded, consenting adults who want to enter into a marriage. (Yes I said two; this post isn't about polyamorous lifestyles, so I'm letting it be.)

Since I am able to make the distinction in my mind between religious and legal rights - I am also able to understand why someone with particularly strong religious roots might not agree with SSM. My religious roots were not strong, and I've questioned everything pretty much since birth. But if you've believed all your life that God says no to something, and that you should not question Him - I can understand why it would be hard to adjust adjust your view. 

I get it.

But could I live with it?

How important is it to a relationship? Just how much do two people have to agree upon in order for a relationship to work? Is it OK to "agree to disagree" on something, particularly when it has no direct impact on the relationship in question?

Or is agreeing to disagree just a cop out? Does that weaken my position? Make me a hypocrite? Does it mean I'm settling for someone even though something important to me might be missing?

Short-term, it's really not an issue at all. The beginning of any relationship should be taken one day at a time. I can certainly avoid discussing an issue a couple times a week. But long-term is different. The idea that I'd be setting aside an important personal belief (or asking someone else to do so) on a permanent basis?

I'm not sure that's something I could handle.

1 comment:

  1. Klay and I have been dating over 2 years now.
    And.. well.. he isn't the least bit religious. AT ALL.

    Actually... it be fair to say, that he doesn't believe in a GOD at all. Or any higher power or energy source.

    It gets a little tricky. But, we love each other nonetheless.

    Our political views are close...

    But, there is always some turbulene when discussing any of the aboved topics.

    He doesn't need to share my opinions. He just needs to respect me for having them.