Some may call me racist (you know who you are), some may call me a right winged conservative, some may even call me a Republican! I do not let it bother me and I will not apologize for my beliefs because that is all they are, beliefs. I do not tend to ever act on my beliefs (I do not call the authorities to report an illegal immigrant), so it does not hurt a single sole (except when I vote maybe). Yet, I am entitled to have beliefs and opinions and from time to time I may feel like sharing them with a few trusted others, no one can sue me for that.
The question is though, how far can you go with sharing your beliefs and risk being judged or even worse, losing the respect of the ones who you shared with? If two people are good friends, one should feel secure to tell the other about, for example, her negative feelings about the Dream Act even though the other is 100% for it, right?
Believe me, I know who to share my beliefs with and who not to share with. If I have determined that a conversation buddy is not open to hearing an idea that is against theirs, I will gladly talk about the latest episode of Shah's of Sunset with them instead of how I think Obama is not a friend of Capitalism.
Yes, I admit, it is true that sometimes I like to provoke people, especially those who I know have strong feelings toward a belief. I may even at some point exaggerate my feelings against theirs for the mere purpose of entertainment. Where is the fun in a conversation if passionate feelings and looks of shock are not being thrown around? But this can only be done with two groups of people: the very close friends who are past the point of judging you OR the people who's opinions mean absolutely nothing to you.
What is the point of all this rambling you ask? Not a whole lot. I have a great friend who was visiting me from Northern California last month and who happens to be very much left winged and a hard core liberal. I had a wonderful time giving her my political opinions that clearly went against hers (obviously I embellished and exaggerated a bit to make it more juicy) and we had a hoot of a time disagreeing. I appreciated her for hearing my beliefs! It is not like I asked her to vote for me!
One does not have to accept, like or respect another's beliefs, one can even hate them, one just has to hear the beliefs and not let it cloud the way they feel about the other's personally.
Yes, I have beliefs that may anger some (most in my circle of friends & family), but to share or not to share really IS the question. Because it is my responsibility to judge who can "take it" and who can not.