Sunday, June 06, 2010

Interfaith marriages are rising fast, but they're failing fast too

I've never thought it was a good idea for people of different faiths to marry. If, for example, a person who's Catholic, who supposedly believes Jesus is the messiah, marries someone who's Jewish (who believes Jesus is NOT the messiah), then what do they teach their children?

But even apart from the children issue, what happens when one partner who had been lackadaisical about his/her faith decides to get more serious about their faith? One can only imagine the friction it can cause in the marriage. I certainly didn't need a Washington Post article to convince me interfaith marriages are a bad idea. But this article just reinforces in my mind my long held belief that an interfaith marriage is essentially a disaster waiting to happen.

As the Bibble itself says: How can two walk together unless they be in agreement? (Amos 3:3)

By Naomi Schaefer Riley
Sunday, June 6, 2010 

When Joseph Reyes and Rebecca Shapiro got married in 2004, they had a Jewish wedding ceremony. He was Catholic but converted to Judaism after they married, and they agreed to raise any children in the Jewish faith. However, after their daughter Ela was born, Reyes began to worry about the fact that she had not been baptized. "If, God forbid, something happened to her, she wouldn't be in heaven," he told me.

Today, two years after the Illinois couple's bitter divorce battle began, the fight over Ela's religious upbringing involves criminal charges.

The fight escalated in November, when Reyes had Ela baptized in a Catholic church and e-mailed his estranged wife a photo. She filed a complaint, and a judge barred Reyes from exposing his daughter to "any other religion other than the Jewish religion." In January, Reyes violated the judge's order and brought Ela to church again, with a camera crew in tow.

The divorce was settled in April. Reyes is once again allowed to take his daughter to church. But he faces up to six months in jail.

The Reyes-Shapiro divorce is about as ugly as the end of a marriage can get. Some of the sparring is an example of the bad ways people act when a union unravels. But the fight over Ela's religion illustrates the particular hardships and poor track record of interfaith marriages: They fail at higher rates than same-faith marriages. But couples don't want to hear that, and no one really wants to tell them.

Full article here.

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