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Carolyn Hax / Life Advice

Differing Religious and Political Beliefs

Dear Carolyn:

I recently discovered that my boyfriend has some religious and political beliefs that differ wildly from my own. This normally wouldn't be an issue except that when he met members of my family, he proceeded to make highly inappropriate and bigoted comments about them.

We discussed some of his views and he agreed to keep the comments to himself, but now I'm nervous about introducing him to friends and family for fear of what he might say. Is there any way to recover from this, or is it a deal-breaker?

-- Anonymous

So, if I think all (people of targeted demographic) are (stupid/lazy/bad drivers/cheap/dishonest/greedy/violent/dirty/suspiciously good at math), you're OK with that, as long as I don't say it out loud?

Slightly different question: Is there any way to recover from soft-pedaling bigotry as "some religious and political beliefs that differ wildly from my own"?

People with bigoted views are bigots, even when their mouths aren't moving. Unless your boyfriend said in response to your discussion, "Wow, I never thought of it that way; I'm wrong to believe all (whoevers) are (whatever)," then he's still as much of a bigot as he revealed himself to be when he met your family. And if that isn't a deal-breaker for you, then what is?

Dear Carolyn:

So what do you do with an acquaintance who can be friendly and nice to one person, and refuse to even respond to a "Hello, how are you?" from another? Her excuse is "I don't like them," but does that allow her to be rude?

Oh, did I mention we are in our 50s, not our teens?

...continued

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