DO INTERFAITH MARRIAGES MATTER?
URL – http://nabsites.net/demo/texas-faith-in-love-and-marriage-do/
When a couple is deeply committed to marry, they go ahead and get
married anyway without the ceremony due to religious restrictions, but
they sorely miss out on the integral part of their tradition they grew
up with; a religious cultural wedding. There is good news for such
couples now; an interfaith wedding.
As a Pluralist, I am blessed
to have performed numerous weddings for couples in their own religious
traditions like the Hindu-Christian, Muslim-Jain, Jewish-Christian,
Muslim-Hindu and other combinations. We can highlight the beautiful
wisdom of each faith as a part of the sermon to bring a sense of
completeness to their wedding.
Texas Faith: In love and marriage, do different faiths really matter in America?
By Rudolph Bush
10:47 am on June 10, 2014 | Permalink
Recently, I attended the beautiful wedding of two friends, one from a Jewish family and one from a Christian family. The ceremony largely followed the Jewish tradition with occasional mention of the bride’s Christian upbringing.
I began to wonder, witnessing this blending of two people into one couple bound under God, what place separate faiths really serve in our society. If we are honest, there is no justifying the fundamental difference in belief between Christians and Jews or the other major faiths. But in cases like these, it is our cultural homogeneity that is more important than the tenets of our faith.
Given that, what does faith really mean in circumstances like these? Is faith or religion simply ceremonial? Or are we overcoming divisions in the name of something greater – that is – love?
Read our panelists’ responses below.
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
Religions don’t marry, but people do, and what brings them together in the first place is a shared interest, evolved out of living their daily life at work, school, gym, bars, conferences and even the place of worship, indeed, that is what connects them.
These couples must be admired by one and all. In an increasingly egocentric world, when people have difficulty in getting along, they are setting a new standard of respecting the otherness of others (defined as Pluralism).
It is disappointing to many couples, that their clergy or the parents insist on the other person to convert to their faith tradition, some do, and some fake it and some are not even comfortable with the idea.
When a couple is deeply committed to marry, they go ahead and get married anyway without the ceremony due to religious restrictions, but they sorely miss out on the integral part of their tradition they grew up with; a religious cultural wedding. There is good news for such couples now; an interfaith wedding.
As a Pluralist, I am blessed to have performed numerous weddings for couples in their own religious traditions like the Hindu-Christian, Muslim-Jain, Jewish-Christian, Muslim-Hindu and other combinations. We can highlight the beautiful wisdom of each faith as a part of the sermon to bring a sense of completeness to their wedding.
There is a cautionary side of the interfaith marriage, as Naomi Schaefer Riley reports in her book, How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America, “The growing number of interfaith couples don’t know what they’re getting into. Interfaith couples tend to marry without thinking through the practical implications of their religious differences. They assume that because they are decent and tolerant people … they will not encounter difficulties being married to someone of another faith.” She insists, “But faith is a tricky thing and it sneaks up on people,” especially at significant moments when the pull of old loyalties supposedly outgrown reasserts itself. “The death of a loved one, the birth of a child, the loss of a job, a move to a new city — all of these things can give people a sense of religious longing, a desire to return to the faith of their childhood.”
One must be fully secure in himself or herself to learn to accept each other’s uniqueness, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
To read the other panelists, go to Dallas Morning news at
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a
writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work
place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in
Standing up for others
and a book with the same title is coming up. Mike has a strong presence on
national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on
Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to
the Texas Faith Column at Dallas
Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and
several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work
through many links.