Respecting Parent & Political Disagreements


I know I’m supposed to respect my father, but I find it hard to do that when we cannot agree on politics. My political ideals are totally opposite from his. So much that we cannot even agree to disagree. He is so obsessed with his own political points of view that he watches it on TV for much of the day and interpolates it into every little conversation he has, believing it is absolute truth. I find the beliefs that he holds too cruel to stand for. Being anti cruelty is a value he raised me with, and long after I grew up, he was brainwashed by the propaganda he follows. The only way to avoid an argument with him over this is to pretend to agree with him, which my conscience just won’t allow me to do. I love my father and I see him several times a week. I want to cherish any time I get to spend with him for whatever time he has remaining on this earth. He might not even have another 10 years remaining if you take into account the ages at which his parents died. But this issue affects our relationship and makes the commandment to honor one’s parents impossible to follow.



  1. While I empathize with your dilemma, please allow me to disagree with your last sentence. You wrote, “But this issue affects our relationship and makes the commandment to honor one’s parents impossible to follow.” That is simply not an Halachically correct approach. The commandment to honor parents is not dependent on their political views. The commandment to honor parents is defined by the Torah and the Halacha, not by one’s political preferences. This means that honoring your father is something you are obligated to do whether you agree with his political views or not.

    True, there are certain situations in which the Halacha states that a child might be exempt from honoring their parent, but political views is not one of them.

    However, please do not misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that you have to compromise your beliefs and pretend to your father that you agree with his views. Rather, it means that you need to try to find a way you can listen to what he says without being drawn into an argument each time he says things that you disagree with. Perhaps that might entail not reacting to what you feel are radical statements. Or it might mean trying your best to change the subject so that you do not have to talk about it at all.

    However you do it, one thing is for sure – it would be a tragedy if the your relationship with your father be ruined because of politics. However emotive politics are, politics are certainly not a reason for families to break apart and for children not to speak with their parents.

    If you are able to succeed in continuing to visit your father regularly and to allow your relationship to grow despite your radically different political views, I have no doubt that you will be Divinely blessed for all your efforts.

    Best wishes from the Team