Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

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So said the Lord through the prophet Amos, and although the context is about the nation of Israel's walk with God, the verse has often been applied to marriage and friendship, and even business partnerships.

New York City radio talk show host Kevin McCullough asks an interesting question on his blog: Would you marry, or have you married, someone who holds radically different views on politics and culture? Click through that link -- Kevin would like to know your answer to that question.

Here's my perspective:

I can see political opposites being attracted to one another, but I can't see someone who is passionate about his political values and committed to bringing them to fruition yoking himself to someone who is just as passionate about the opposite values. I think it would even be asking for trouble if someone passionate about politics married someone noncommittal on the subject.

Before I met my wife, I had a mental list of a few must-haves and show-stoppers in a potential mate. Among the must-haves: It was essential that she be an evangelical Christian and a political conservative. I had been active in pursuit of my political and spiritual values, I expected that to continue throughout my life, and I thought it would be important for my wife to be pulling in the same direction.

My wife wishes I were less busy than I am, but she is very accommodating and patient of my various civic involvements because she agrees that what I'm working for is important.

I'm not sure which would be worse for someone like me -- to be married to someone actively working to defeat what I'm trying to accomplish, or to be married to someone who thinks politics is just dumb.


My wife and I agree that we would not have married had either of us been a big lib. In fact, in college I dated a girl (briefly) that was a liberal democrat. I decided that it wouldn’t work.

W. Author Profile Page said:

Unless you're an extreme political wonk or religiously arrogant (after all, who on Earth truly knows the truth about God?), I don't see either making much of a difference.

James Carville and Mary Matalin are polar opposites on the political spectrum, and yet from all accounts I've read, they're very happily married. I run into enough opposites-attract couples to know it can work -- and quite well.

sbtulsa said:

i am married to an opposite. she is a registered republican and a moral fence sitter. we are both southern baptists and active in our church. since we met in a church sunday school class, i made some assumptions about her views before we married. we are different in a number of ways but civil at home.

while i can't say we are arguing constantly, i have missed the comaraderie of working together on public issues. we mostly agree to disagree. marriage covenant being what it is, we will not end in divorce. but being married to someone not totally on your page makes for a lot of missed opportunities in life.

See-dubya said:

I would have settled for pro-life. I would like to know that someone I married would never abort a child we conceived, and besides that it is such a crucial principle that I can't see having to revisit that argument every day.

And I really can't see working around a profound religious gulf, either, though I know couples who do seem to handle that. Often these are people for whom religion is more an important matter of culture than of faith.

I'd agree with sbtulsa that closer is certainly better in both politics and religion.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 28, 2006 12:16 AM.

Legislative carpetbagging: Oklahoma House District 69 was the previous entry in this blog.

"A sense of independence carried to an almost pathological extreme" is the next entry in this blog.

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