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I can't date you because you're not

 
 
JPB
 
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 06:46 am
the right religion. I don't think it matters what religion it is. My children were raised with the concept of the inherent worth and dignity of all. That we are all on this planet together and that religious differences are (or should be) encouraged as one's own spiritual journey as long as one's beliefs don't interfere with someone else's ability to do the same.

My teenage daughter was dating a young man who recently told her he couldn't continue to see her because he had to lie to his parents about his whereabouts whenever they were together. The reason for the lie is because she isn't the right religion. It doesn't matter that she has no discomfort with him practicing his religion. It only matters that she wasn't raised within the proper faith. Not that the kids were overly serious (they're teenagers!), but this young man was prohibited from casually dating a girl outside his religion. She's shocked. I'm not. I had the same experience many years ago with the first Mr B's family. Different religion, same attitude.

Would you date/marry someone of another faith? What about your children -- would you dictate that they only date/marry within your faith?
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TTH
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 06:52 am
Re: I can't date you because you're not
JPB wrote:
.......Would you date/marry someone of another faith? What about your children -- would you dictate that they only date/marry within your faith?
I did marry someone of another faith. We don't have kids but if we did, I would want them to learn the different religions.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 06:55 am
I have no "faith," but the question is still applicable. I would not predicate my relationships with people, either close or casual, based on someone's adherence to any particular belief set--unless it lead them to be openly hostile to me. I'm not going to expect anyone to change their belief to suit me, so they needn't expect that of me. As for children, when they get to be 18, it's up to them, and no longer up to the parents. For my part, i would never push a child toward a belief set, nor would i prohibit their exploration of or a decision to embrace any particular belief set.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 06:55 am
It could have been an easy dumping excuse.
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JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 07:14 am
TTH - do you and your husband participate in your respective faiths separately?

Set -- I'm the same way about relationships with other people. As a teen I dated a ... well, we called them Jesus freaks back then. It's all cool.

dadpad -- yeah, that's always a possibility but given the religious fervor of this boys town, I tend to believe him.
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Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 07:19 am
I've had this happen to me twice. Both men happened to be of the same religion.

With the first it hurt me emotionally, because to this day I'm convinced I could have been happy with him.

With the 2nd, at one point he mentioned he would marry someone of his faith, but was ok with dating me.....I wasn't ok with that. I didn't care for him that deeply to be honest, but the fact that something was cutting off the chance of 2 people ever becoming close wasn't for me anymore. The first experience taught me to not risk getting overinvolved nothing could come of it.
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TTH
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 07:21 am
JPB wrote:
TTH - do you and your husband participate in your respective faiths separately?
Yes we do. I have nothing to do with his beliefs and he has nothing to do with mine. That has worked just fine for us and we have been married almost 24 years now.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 08:06 am
When I was a teenager, in the olden days, it was considered unthinkable to date someone not of your birth religion. I had thought that people had gotten past that in the intervening years.

Everything else being equal, I think that whatever your religion, or lack of it, it is important that a couple be of similar minds when it comes to faith. I cannot understand people converting to another religion "for the sake of" their partner. IMO, either religion was not very important in their lives to begin with.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 08:09 am
Re: I can't date you because you're not
JPB wrote:
My children were raised with the concept of the inherent worth and dignity of all.

Well, there's your first mistake right there.

JPB wrote:
My teenage daughter was dating a young man who recently told her he couldn't continue to see her because he had to lie to his parents about his whereabouts whenever they were together. The reason for the lie is because she isn't the right religion.

Sounds like your daughter really dodged a bullet with that one.

JPB wrote:
Would you date/marry someone of another faith? What about your children -- would you dictate that they only date/marry within your faith?

Tolerance is more important than any particular spiritual or religious belief. I hate intolerant people. And the Belgians.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 08:10 am
And the Cubs and all their "just don't get it" fans.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 08:13 am
I think if it were utterly private/ personal I wouldn't mind. I have met very few people who are willing to keep their religious beliefs (and I include atheism there) completely private within an intimate relationship, though. I don't mean like "I'm going to church today," but "How could you possibly think that abortion is OK? The Bible says..."

If it didn't become an issue in those terms, though, I think I'd be fine with it. (I've only had one serious relationship with someone who was religious, and it did become an issue. Not about the abortion question, but he was wracked with guilt about having premarital/ casual sex for explicitly religious reasons, etc...)

Sorry that happened to your daughter, JPB, I can see why that would be very difficult for her.
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 08:23 am
Everyone is different as you say - for some religious differences are huge in a relationship - for others they are willing to work it out.

Myself it wouldn't matter - I also would not dictate who they date or marry in pretty much any situation. That is not to say, I wouldn't discuss if I thought there was a major issue with the person they were serious about - I would discuss my concerns and let them decide for themselves.

Sozobe - my husband and I do differ on the abortion issue - I look at it as being an issue of your beliefs and I cannot instill my belief on some one else. My husband feels it is just plain wrong. We have had this discussion (argument) and tend not to discuss it much as it is one of those things that is difficult to turn some one around on it.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 08:28 am
I answered the first part but not the first -- like Linkat, I can't imagine dictating who my daughter would marry, period. I might have some say in who she dates until she's 18, but I can't imagine religion having a place in that. Unless it's something culty I guess, but even then it wouldn't be about religion per se but about the coercive aspect.
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Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 11:43 am
I was the only person my age in our extremely small congregation growing up so all my dating was done with boys of other faiths. My husband came from a family that was determinedly nonreligious and despite the fact both of his siblings had been married in churches (the photos are so much nicer don't you know?) I insisted we be married at city hall. I had been growing away from the faith of my youth, but the congregation, as well as my extended family, meant too much to me to try and pull the wool over their eyes as to our future intentions as church-goers.

My only concern re: religious background and my sons dating occurred when one of them was drawn to a girl whose background was Jehovah's Witness. Luckily she was not allowed to date and they were only friends (for many years). She was married off to a fellow JW straight out of high school. My main (but unspoken) concern involved their use of shunning.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 11:52 am
Actually, I'd never thaught such was possible. Even not when I was at the age of your daughters, JPB.

I know my wife since .... 35 years now.
We never had had any difficulties because we belonged to different churches, neither between us nor with the parents/relatives.

Actually, such is quite commn here.
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kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 12:12 pm
Re: I can't date you because you're not
joefromchicago wrote:
JPB wrote:
My children were raised with the concept of the inherent worth and dignity of all.

Well, there's your first mistake right there.


Laughing
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 12:16 pm
Re: I can't date you because you're not
JPB wrote:
Would you date/marry someone of another faith?

Yes.

JPB wrote:
What about your children -- would you dictate that they only date/marry within your faith?

No.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 03:47 pm
I think the situation here is somewhat similar to Tai Chi's son's friend. It wouldn't have matter what religion the Chi family practiced. It simply wasn't the right one and anyone outside that faith was unacceptable.

At first K was hurt for being deemed unworthy, then she was angry, now she's shocked that there are still people who judge others without knowing anything about them other than that they don't meet a certain litmus test that for a teenager at least, is nothing of their own doing.

Now, for the inverse... from sozobe's and Tai Chi's example. Are there certain religions that I would automatically not want to have my children hook up with. Yeah, probably the cultish ones. My college campus was overrun with Moonies when I was there. I think I'd freak if my child started dating someone in a religious cult for the same reasons soz mentioned.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Jul, 2007 05:52 pm
Re: I can't date you because you're not
JPB wrote:
the right religion. I don't think it matters what religion it is. My children were raised with the concept of the inherent worth and dignity of all. That we are all on this planet together and that religious differences are (or should be) encouraged as one's own spiritual journey as long as one's beliefs don't interfere with someone else's ability to do the same.

My teenage daughter was dating a young man who recently told her he couldn't continue to see her because he had to lie to his parents about his whereabouts whenever they were together. The reason for the lie is because she isn't the right religion. It doesn't matter that she has no discomfort with him practicing his religion. It only matters that she wasn't raised within the proper faith. Not that the kids were overly serious (they're teenagers!), but this young man was prohibited from casually dating a girl outside his religion. She's shocked. I'm not. I had the same experience many years ago with the first Mr B's family. Different religion, same attitude.

Would you date/marry someone of another faith? What about your children -- would you dictate that they only date/marry within your faith?


... Jewish.

Welllll, not exactly.

When I was dating I did not specify that I wanted to find a Jewish guy and RP did not specify that he wanted a Jewish gal but we ended up together. We don't have kids so that's not the issue. Rather, it's just cultural. We're familiar with each other, happy together and a big chunk of that is due to being somewhat similar or at least having a similar background.

I think that people can find a lot to fight about and a lot to tear up their relationships over so I guess what I'm saying is that having a little control over some similarities, and promoting them, isn't a bad thing. That's not just the case with religion; it's also the case with socioeconomic background, national origin, political affiliation, etc.

Also, beyond culture, Judaism just isn't very big, and it never has been. So there is a push within Judaism for Jews, even very secular ones, to just marry other Jews. Because, let's face it, the group is not getting much bigger and that's a little worrying. 5700 plus years and it all comes down to ... who? To me. To RP. To our siblings and cousins. Not to be rabid fundamentalists or nuts but to be Jews at all.

Even without children, it comes down to us because (a) we are a part of our nephews' lives and a part of their lives as Jews and because (b) we are a part of other people's lives, both Jews and non-Jews. I am the one that everyone asks when they want to know what Rosh Hashanah is. Or what's kosher. RP is the one they wish a Happy Chanukah to. Without us (and not just the two of us, I mean Jews in general), that's lost to the ages. If you ask me why I'm a little militant about it, why I care even though I am basically an agnostic and God knows I find the Bible to be a bunch of funky metaphorical stories and not a history book and certainly not a science book, why I identify with this strongly, even though I've never been to Israel and I think they do a lot of dumb things over there (they do dumb things here, too), it's because, well, it's because I just don't want it all to go the way of Mithraism. I don't want someone to find a yarmulke in a thrift store and wonder what it is, or a menorah and think it's just a funny decoration or that a dreidel is a silly unbalanced top. I haven't been to synagogue in a while but I still identify strongly.

If my marriage ended (for whatever reason, including widowing), I would not spell out that I wanted to find a Jewish mate but whoever I hypothetically chose better accept that part of me, and know it and love it and celebrate it because it's in my DNA and it ain't comin' out.
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eltejano
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Jul, 2007 12:19 am
Living in a very homogeneous culture, we rarely encounter this problem. But I could live with a wife, son-in-law or daughter-in-law of any christian faith - excluding "cults like Jehovah's Witness - and a jew would be okay too - but, admittedly, I would never cease trying to make a baptist out of him/her. But I could not live with a muslim in the family or some sort of pagan religion.

I could not happily live in a relationship where we went to different churches every sunday. If I couldn't persuade her to come to my church, I would go to her's. Children shouldn't have to suffer that kind of confusion. I would have no problem in a catholic church, but in a jewish synagogue I would still be a closet christian. Jesus went to a synagogue - but I wouldn't run around turning furniture over. Laughing

JB's daughter is lucky to be out of it - the guy didn't love her and probably had his eye in some other gal. When two people are truly in love, this usually works out.

Where I come from, being "tolerant" means one considers methodists and presbyterians to be human beings. Laughing Laughing

Jack
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