In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Polite Company.”agree or disagree, it’s not wise to talk religion or politics with people you don’t really know.
Disagree. In fact, if you are talking to people you don’t really know, it may be the safest time to discuss religion or politics. You can be completely honest about your opinions and state points you disagree on without worrying about how it might change the other person’s opinion of you or worrying about offending or hurting the other person’s feelings. It can be a completely open debate.
The other safest time to discuss religion and politics is if you are speaking with true friends. By “true friends”, I am talking about the people you pretty much share an unconditional love for. No matter what happens, you know you will be there for each other. You can disagree without judging, you accept each others shortcomings, and you are there to support one another. I can count the amount of people in my life that fall into this category on one hand. Relationships like this are a rare gift and should be nurtured and never taken for granted.
Then there is a huge area in between, where speaking about religion or politics can get really dicey. This group of people is huge and encompasses acquaintances, co-workers, fair weather friends and many times even family members. For whatever reason, these are the people that might judge you if you think differently from them, gossip about you and can even be down right mean.
I remember one occasion being invited out with a group of women and one of the women started talking politics. She was obviously Republican, had obviously read a lot of mass emails going around the Internet with various Republican propaganda, and had obviously never heard of Snopes.com or bothered to use it. I kept quiet, until I choked on my drink as she announced loud enough for the entire restaurant to hear, “And if anyone dares to admit to being a Democrat in my presence, I will beat their ass til they learn their lesson!”
I made a mental note to make sure I always had other commitments if I was ever invited to lunch with them again.