Monday, April 25, 2011

What do you call a Jewish Protestant?

When my spouse and I began talking about launching this blog, we realized how many different interfaith couples we know. We know Metho-Jews like us, but also Mu-Jews, Chris-dus, Catho-Prots, Jew-olics, Agno-tians, Metho-Baps, Bacon/No Bacon Jews, and Jew-ddhists. It is not something we discuss frequently, but I wonder, how do they make it work? So, I went on a google hunt for evidence of the conversations people are having about interfaith relationships. The results, at first, were thin. After about an hour, this is what I found:

  • A blog written by a Seventh Day Adventist about the diversity of interfaith and other "offbeat" marriages. She interviews couples about a broad spectrum of issues that include race, religion, age, and romance.
  • A blog written by a Jewish woman married to an atheist and raising Jewish children
  • An optimistic article written by a Congregationalist minister
  • A ridiculously insufficient article that states you should talk about being in an interfaith relationship before you decide to have children.
  • An article about a couple in Brooklyn that focuses on sorting out religious differences before the children are born. My least favorite quote from this article is:
“Who wins this argument — because it will be an argument,” needs to be resolved, added Steve McSwain, an interfaith activist and former minister in Louisville, Ky. “You’ve got to iron these things out.”

  • a website of resources and articles for Jews marrying outside of their faith
  • A Canadian website promoting religious tolerance about the nitty gritty theological rules of interfaith marriage written from a Christian/Buddhist/Agnostic/Wiccan/Atheist perspective.
Finally, I found this. It is an article written for Psych Central about the emotional challenges many Jewish-Christian couples and their families face when starting a relationship. In the evolution of our relationship, we definitely went through the guilt phase discussed in the article. But, Allan Schwartz ends on a positive note. He says, "It is less the presence of a single religious identity in the home and more the parental style of discipline and involvement with the children and with each other that produces well-adjusted children. Research shows that children whose parents were firm, consistent, involved and affectionate did best in school and in their relationships later in life. The particular religious affiliation of one or both parents is less important to good adjustment than the fact that the parents love and support their children." I am relieved to find someone who has put into words what I have believed as an educator for so long.

Then, I found this article. Again, the writer presents an optimistic view for couples who want to maintain their individual identities and have children who speak two religious languages.

This is where I end my search for now. J. Dana Trent is the first writer I have found who is writing about interfaith marriage from a Protestant perspective here. I'm pleased to find a lively online conversation about interfaith relationships.

What have you found lately?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this informative post. I've enjoyed the links you've shared and I appreciate you sharing mine (

    I smiled, too, at your opening paragraph of interfaith monikers. My husband and I have played around with "Chrindu" (Christian-Hindu)--we'll see if it sticks!

    Thanks, again. I look forward to reading more about your interfaith journey.

    Kindest regards,
    J. Dana Trent, MDiv