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Thread: Interfaith Marriages

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    #1

    Interfaith Marriages

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    So DF is Baptist and I loosely tried my hand at the Baptist religion since my teenage years but have lately been feeling more comfortable practicing Catholicism, like much of my family.

    When this conversation came up to DF, he was very supportive. Even when I told him that Catholics agree to raise their children in the Catholic church and take them to mass, he didn't oppose and we agreed we can work out going to both churches. He was more reluctant of the long and complicated process of having our marriage validated by the church.

    We have spoken to his pastor already about premarital counseling and will have to set it up next time he takes leave. For our marriage to be validated by the Catholic church, we'll be required to go to premarital classes. But I'm concerned about potential for religious debate in our relationship. Does anyone else have an interfaith marriage/relationship? Any advice?
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    Well, Baptist and Catholic theology and doctrine couldn't be any more different. There's long been this sort of feud between the two theologies. It really depends on your personalities, convictions and the dynamics of your relationship. For some it's not an issue at all, but for others the differences are too great. I know back when I was a Baptist I wouldn't have married someone who wasn't Protestant or not of the evangelical brand of theology I accepted and followed. Just too many doctrinal and theological differences. My husband and I were Baptist (loosely) when we met and later got back into the church after we married. We're not Baptist now or even Christian. Had he remained Baptist or of the evangelical school of thought I'm not sure how well it would have worked out. I'm not really passive when it comes to religious/ideological views. I have strong feelings for a variety of beliefs and interpretations, and Baptist theology (or exclusionary dogma all-together) is one I'm highly critical of.

    Have you sat down and talked about deep doctrinal matters and questions/issues that will come up when you have children and when they're older?
    Pax, Aeon
  3. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #3
    If you're concerned about the potential for debate I think you guys need to sit down and talk about it. If you guys feel ready to get married you should feel ready to talk about anything.

    So you guys are doing premarital counseling at your church AND at his church? I think that's something you can definitely bring up at the counseling, I'm sure you're not the first interfaith couple that those people have seen so they can help you talk through some things. And you can also make a list of things you're worried about, or potential conflicts you think need resolved, and then sit down and have a heart to heart with him.
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    We have talked about it, and agreed on everything so far. He's much more passive about religion than I am. But our last conversation about it (of the religion in general, not of how we would handle everything) started to turn toward debate and it was the first time I was genuinely concerned that it would be an issue. I think more discussion is necessary and I know premarital counseling will help a lot, but that's not an option for a while since he's still currently stationed in Japan. I just absolutely hate arguing about religion and I don't know if anyone with similar experiences had pointers or advice on how to talk about it without your disagreement escalating. It's pretty obvious we need to just respectfully agree to disagree for it to not be an issue... maybe we just shouldn't talk about it until counseling.
  5. In vino veritas
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    #5
    DB and I have had many a talks about this. He is a practicing catholic, and I am agnostic. Now, most people believe that being agnostic means you just don't really care, or you don't know, but many (obvi not all) agnostics and athiests hold their beliefs just as strongly as those practicing a more traditional, defined religion. This is how I am. I am agnostic, but my beliefs are defined, and I am not passive about it at all. SO, the problem is (and please, do not take any offense to this, this is JMHO between DB and myself, not trying to start a religious debate or anything) I have serious issues with the belief systems of the catholic church in regards to their social policies and their tendency to butt their moral codes into politics. Obvi, DB wants some catholic babies, so we have had to have many talks about how we would present both sides to children, etc..

    My best advice is to talk about how you want your kids to be raised and to try to find some middle ground. Be honest with your priests/pastors (although this honesty may in turn make it so you can't get married in one of their churches). It's not gonna be as easy as a marriage between 2 people of the same faith- you just have to go into it willing to work on it, and you might have to give in to some of his wishes, and vice versa. As long as you are both willing to sacrifice and/or negotiate, it should end up ok. PM me if you wanna know anything else. DB and I have been...debating...this for about a year, and we are finally starting to make some progress.
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    #6
    I'm catholic and db is non-denominational christian. We agreed that each faith is no better or more right than the other but that we would raise our future children catholic. We also agreed that I would never ask him to convert unless he wishes to do so. He wants to go to church with me to see what it's all about though and so since we, as a couple, decided to raise our kids catholic, he wants to be on the same page as me. We're also going to take our kids to his church as well but not as often as the catholic church because we don't want to confused the kids with two different religions.

    I think a good thing to do is just agree to disagree. Just because you both believe different things doesn't mean you love each other less or that you're relationship can't overcome it. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with a debate every now and then as long as you remember to respect each other and use kind words and don't expect each other to agree.
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    #7
    I couldn't be with someone who didn't share the same fundamental religious values as myself. I wouldn't be able to just "ignore" it, but that's me. I am pretty opinionated about both religion and politics.
  8. Taking things one day at a time
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    #8
    I'm not sure what the time difference is between you and Japan, but could you do the premarital counseling via webcam. A couple I knew did premarital counseling in both churches. He was Lutheran and she Catholic and he said he's glad they did.
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    #9
    My husband is Baptist and I am Roman Catholic. I didn't want to make my husband have to convert to Catholicism, in order to get married (in my home town church that is the way it goes). We got married by a Baptist Minister/friend of the his parent's. We are both pretty easy going with religion, although if we ever do have children we would have them baptized as Catholic.

    Ultimately it just depends on the two of you. I don't agree with a lot of the practices of the Catholic church, so for me, it wasn't a big deal to not have our marriage validated/recognized by the church.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Anchored2aSailor View Post
    My husband is Baptist and I am Roman Catholic. I didn't want to make my husband have to convert to Catholicism, in order to get married (in my home town church that is the way it goes). We got married by a Baptist Minister/friend of the his parent's. We are both pretty easy going with religion, although if we ever do have children we would have them baptized as Catholic.

    Ultimately it just depends on the two of you. I don't agree with a lot of the practices of the Catholic church, so for me, it wasn't a big deal to not have our marriage validated/recognized by the church.
    same for me. I believe in about 75% so I do want a catholic wedding and luckily, our church only requires one member to be catholic.
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