Mike Kueber's Blog

April 3, 2013

Interfaith marriage

Filed under: Culture — Mike Kueber @ 2:16 am
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About a year ago, I blogged about “The agnostic and the Baptist,” and wondered whether such a romantic couple could co-exist or even flourish?  My conclusion:

  • Thus, it seems that the agnostic and a Bell-like Baptist can certainly co-exist, but I question whether they can flourish.  How can someone who takes his religion seriously have as a soulmate someone who disagrees on something so fundamental to his life?   

Today’s NT Times includes a column by the estimable Stanley Fish on the same subject.  The column begins with a funny story involving Fish’s Jewish brother Ron and his brother’s Irish Catholic girlfriend Ann in 1963.  Despite the desperate efforts of Fish’s father to separate the couple, they ended up married are remain that way today.   

Following this story, however, the column transitions into a discussion of Naomi Schaefer Riley’s new book, “’Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America.”    The book talks about the exploding rate of interfaith marriage (42%) and warns that flourishing or even co-existing for these couples will require much effort. 

  • She just wants prospective interfaith couples to know that it is work, that love doesn’t conquer all, that “a rocky road may lie ahead of them” and that they “need to think in practical terms about their faith differences — how it will affect the way they spend their time, their money, and the way they want to raise their kids.” Her message is that if you don’t make the mistake of thinking it will be a bed of roses, you’ll have a better chance of its not being a bed of thorns.

Good advice.



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