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NEW Repost from BHB: question about interfaith marriages and kids

Mrs. dleeny

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If you or someone you know has an interfaith marriage and kids, would you mind sharing how they are raising their children?

Are they choosing 1 religion so the kid/s will have some kind of religious instruction? Or are they raising the kid/s with the knowledge of both religions, but are not sending them to any kind of religious instruction?

Thanks!
 
 
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David'sbride

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I was raised Catholic (I'm not practicing and call myself a "recovering Catholic") and DH was raised a non-practicing Jew (holidays and Bar-Mitzvah but that's it).

We were married by a Unitarian minister (UUFH in Huntington), attend services there and our children will attend religious instruction (given while the adults are at services). The UU respects humanitarian and universal principles of all of the religions.

Our children will be raised in a predominantly Judeo-christian home but will receive formal education on the sanctity of all of the world's religions.
 
 
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One of my good friends has been struggling with this issue (She's Jewish and her husband is Catholic). Right now her kids are not being raised either way. If you come up with a resolution let me know so I can give her advice.

Kelly
 
 
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Mrs. dleeny

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Posted by kms71705

One of my good friends has been struggling with this issue (She's Jewish and her husband is Catholic). Right now her kids are not being raised either way. If you come up with a resolution let me know so I can give her advice.

Kelly

My DH and I talked about it last night and he feels very strongly that we should pick one religion and stick to it. and then possibly later in life introduce the other faith.

he is Catholic and said that he respects Judaism 100% and would like to bring up our child in the Jewish faith. Including Hebrew school, bar/bat mitzvah, etc.

I'm not about to argue with him on that. I was very happy to hear him say that.

 
 

MESSAGE EDITED1/19/2006 7:08:46 PM

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AnniesSS

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I'm Catholic, and DH is Jewish - both of us are non-practicing and only celebrate the big holidays... We haven't spoken about it much, but I can see my DH not having a problem being brought up Catholic and understanding the Jewish faith... other then being baptized, I'm not too concerned about the other steps - communion, confirmation, etc. But I guess we'll decide when we come to that bridge.

Hrm, that wasn't very helpful, was it
 
 
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Mrs. dleeny

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Posted by AnniesSS

I'm Catholic, and DH is Jewish - both of us are non-practicing and only celebrate the big holidays... We haven't spoken about it much, but I can see my DH not having a problem being brought up Catholic and understanding the Jewish faith... other then being baptized, I'm not too concerned about the other steps - communion, confirmation, etc. But I guess we'll decide when we come to that bridge.

Hrm, that wasn't very helpful, was it

no, you weren't kidding!

my DH's take on bringing up the child with both faiths is that the kid will end being neither religions and that's not what he wants. I definitely see his point. My cousin's daughter (who is 13) was brought up celebrating both holidays but has never attended any kind of religious anything and she basically has o religion now. she was not baptized and she didn't have a confirmation or a bat mitzvah.

I definitely want my kid to have some sort of religious instruction.

 
 
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MESSAGE EDITED11/4/2006 4:41:56 PM

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NEW Re: Repost from BHB: question about interfaith marriages and kids

SomethingBlu

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Posted by dleeny

I definitely want my kid to have some sort of religious instruction.



You don't have to answer...since it's super personal...but I'm just curious as to why you would like for your child to have religious instruction? Do you feel this would benefit the child? If so, how do you decide one over the other?

I was brought up like your niece (but I was exposed to almost every religion imaginable) and although I am deeply spiritual and definitely believe in God and Jesus, I find fault with organized religion and have yet to find one that makes me feel like it integrates all instead of exclude.

I love what Theresa wrote about the UU and the way she plans on raising her kids.

I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...

 
 
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Mrs. dleeny

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Posted by SomethingBlu

Posted by dleeny

I definitely want my kid to have some sort of religious instruction.



You don't have to answer...since it's super personal...but I'm just curious as to why you would like for your child to have religious instruction? Do you feel this would benefit the child? If so, how do you decide one over the other?

I was brought up like your niece (but I was exposed to almost every religion imaginable) and although I am deeply spiritual and definitely believe in God and Jesus, I find fault with organized religion and have yet to find one that makes me feel like it integrates all instead of exclude.

I love what Theresa wrote about the UU and the way she plans on raising her kids.

I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...


DH and I feel it is important to have some sort of religious upbringing. we both did and feel that it played an important role in our personal development. So yes, I feel this would benefit the child.

 
 
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SomethingBlu

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Posted by dleeny
DH and I feel it is important to have some sort of religious upbringing. we both did and feel that it played an important role in our personal development. So yes, I feel this would benefit the child.



Thanks for answering, you didn't have to!!

It must be so hard to decide which religion to choose.

 
 
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Mrs. dleeny

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Posted by SomethingBlu

Posted by dleeny
DH and I feel it is important to have some sort of religious upbringing. we both did and feel that it played an important role in our personal development. So yes, I feel this would benefit the child.



Thanks for answering, you didn't have to!!

It must be so hard to decide which religion to choose.


I wanted to answer

 
 
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SomethingBlu

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Posted by dleeny
I wanted to answer



You could have told me to mind my biz and I would have understood. I love your maturity!!

 
 
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lrs2005

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I think this is an exceptionally difficult, personal and emotional topic. I am jewish and so is my husband so for us this is not completely an issue. However, I see it similarly because he is more religious than I am or was. He keeps kosher style with seperate plates and so now I do for him. I was fine eating lobster or chicken parm and outside of our house I still do. But we agreed before we got married, that we would keep seperate plates, and not eat lobster in our home, but at home I could make chicken parm and our futurekids can eat that here or lobster outside of the house, but he does not have to.

Now on to your question, I have friends from interfaith families that were raised as some of you were, they were exposed to both religions and told they must pick one. After lengthy discussions, theey ended up choosing nothing so they would not alienate either parent. Now they are getting married and selecting the religion of their spouse so their future children do not have to worry. I think it is difficult for couples to pick, but in the interest of their children, they should choose one. For waiting and seeing is a choice, but I am not sure if it really is beneficial for the child. My friends that have had that were never happy with it.
I hope that helped in some way.
 
 
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BHW

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Posted by lrs2005

I think this is an exceptionally difficult, personal and emotional topic. I am jewish and so is my husband so for us this is not completely an issue. However, I see it similarly because he is more religious than I am or was. He keeps kosher style with seperate plates and so now I do for him. I was fine eating lobster or chicken parm and outside of our house I still do. But we agreed before we got married, that we would keep seperate plates, and not eat lobster in our home, but at home I could make chicken parm and our futurekids can eat that here or lobster outside of the house, but he does not have to.

Now on to your question, I have friends from interfaith families that were raised as some of you were, they were exposed to both religions and told they must pick one. After lengthy discussions, theey ended up choosing nothing so they would not alienate either parent. Now they are getting married and selecting the religion of their spouse so their future children do not have to worry. I think it is difficult for couples to pick, but in the interest of their children, they should choose one. For waiting and seeing is a choice, but I am not sure if it really is beneficial for the child. My friends that have had that were never happy with it.
I hope that helped in some way.


DH isn't religious at all, and raising our children Jewish doesn't bother him. We haven't had any issues about the religion of our future children, but I think that's partly b/c DH doesn't feel a connection to his religion. Since religion can be a big issue, especially in an interfaith household, we made sure to discuss this long before getting married. It's kind of strange b/c we've had fewer problems with religion than one of my friends (Orthodox Jew) who is seriously dating a guy who's a less observant Jew.
I think it's tough giving the child the choice to pick his or her religion. One of my friends celebrated Christmas at home and the Jewish holidays with her father's parents. She was given the option of choosing a religion, but her grandparents on both sides made it very difficult on her. In the end, she basically grew up without any religion. She celebrates Christmas, but not the religious aspect and has never gone to church. I'm sure this has worked for other families, but it can be really tough on a child.

 
 

MESSAGE EDITED1/20/2006 1:57:10 PM

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It's very interesting reading all your answers to this as my DH and I are going through similar talks. I am a non religious person, he is Jewish (goes to temple on holidays etc.)
We've talked extensively about it and I told him that i'm fine with our children being brought up Jewish, but that I would not convert.
I completely respect his religion and his wanting to continue the traditions with our children. He himself has been at odds with the practices of the religion, but wants to make sure our children know the teachings and history of their ancestors. Believe me, it was a big deal when his mom finally accepted me and gave her blessing for us to be engaged.

What i have a problem with is that he thinks it will confuse the children to celebrate x-mas - which i can understand but I absolutely do not want to give up. To me, christmas is a time for family and warmth and sharing and good will. It has no religious meaning to me at all (nor my family). I do not want to give that up, yet i do understand how it could confuse kids to have both hannukuh and christmas celebrated, especially when christmas is the dominant holiday in our society. My DH is concerned they won't 'want' to be Jewish if we have a tree.

It's a very difficult subject.

Does anyone else have a similar situation and if so, how do you deal with it?

Thanks

 
 
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Mrs. dleeny

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Posted by otherme

It's very interesting reading all your answers to this as my DH and I are going through similar talks. I am a non religious person, he is Jewish (goes to temple on holidays etc.)
We've talked extensively about it and I told him that i'm fine with our children being brought up Jewish, but that I would not convert.
I completely respect his religion and his wanting to continue the traditions with our children. He himself has been at odds with the practices of the religion, but wants to make sure our children know the teachings and history of their ancestors. Believe me, it was a big deal when his mom finally accepted me and gave her blessing for us to be engaged.

What i have a problem with is that he thinks it will confuse the children to celebrate x-mas - which i can understand but I absolutely do not want to give up. To me, christmas is a time for family and warmth and sharing and good will. It has no religious meaning to me at all (nor my family). I do not want to give that up, yet i do understand how it could confuse kids to have both hannukuh and christmas celebrated, especially when christmas is the dominant holiday in our society. My DH is concerned they won't 'want' to be Jewish if we have a tree.

It's a very difficult subject.

Does anyone else have a similar situation and if so, how do you deal with it?

Thanks


if you're raising the kids Jewish but are not converting yourself, I don't see why you can't have a Christmas tree in the house. I will (someday when we have a house), and I'm Jewish.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there are no rules. For us, we would prefer to choose 1 religion (Judaism) and have our child raised with it and schooled in it. But I don't see how having a Christmas tree to help Daddy celebrate is doing any harm

 
 
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Okay here it goes...I am Jewish so I see your husband's warped point of view. I am Jewish and have agreed to raise my children catholic although I will not convert.
The symbols that Catholics believe as harmless and barely religious, the Jews view as religious and dare I say "too much fun". The Jewish religion is a wonderful religion, one that I hold much love for, however it is not a fun religion. As adults we know that if children have the choice they will choose Santa and The Easter Bunny to Fasting and Matzoh any day.
Your husband is afraid that his children will be confused with the tree. They won't be as long as you explain it to them!
 
 
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Mrs. dleeny

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Posted by amyandbill

Okay here it goes...I am Jewish so I see your husband's warped point of view. I am Jewish and have agreed to raise my children catholic although I will not convert.
The symbols that Catholics believe as harmless and barely religious, the Jews view as religious and dare I say "too much fun". The Jewish religion is a wonderful religion, one that I hold much love for, however it is not a fun religion. As adults we know that if children have the choice they will choose Santa and The Easter Bunny to Fasting and Matzoh any day.
Your husband is afraid that his children will be confused with the tree. They won't be as long as you explain it to them!

I really don't get where you're coming from

my husband as a "warped point of view"?

religions aren't supposed to be "fun". is that how you pick yours?

 
 
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103005FallBride

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Posted by SomethingBlu

I am deeply spiritual and definitely believe in God and Jesus, I find fault with organized religion and have yet to find one that makes me feel like it integrates all instead of exclude.




Amen!



Posted by amyandbill

The symbols that Catholics believe as harmless and barely religious, the Jews view as religious and dare I say "too much fun". The Jewish religion is a wonderful religion, one that I hold much love for, however it is not a fun religion. As adults we know that if children have the choice they will choose Santa and The Easter Bunny to Fasting and Matzoh any day.
Your husband is afraid that his children will be confused with the tree. They won't be as long as you explain it to them!



Wow! Coming from a born and raised Roman Catholic family I've NEVER once heard the Catholic religion called "FUN"!!!

AND...when did the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause become a part of the Catholic religion? I don't recall them sitting at the last supper?

Christmas is the Christian holiday that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is The Son of God....Oh wait I'm sorry...that's when Santa flies on his sleigh and delivers toys to all the kids...Right right...

Easter is the most important religious holiday of the Christian liturgical year, observed in March, April, or May to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe occurred after his death by crucifixion....Oh..nope...that's when a big GIANT Easter bunny hops around and hides colored eggs in people yards.

Geez...I must not have learned a thing in Sunday School.

 
 
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I am the product of an interfaith marriage. I was raised with very little knowledge of either. I hated that- not having a sense of belonging. I considered myself Jewish only because I was closer with that side fo the family. I had always said whatever my husband is, is what I will raise my children.

Now that my daughter is here. I decided to raise her as a Christian. My husband is RC and doesn't like that church. I felt strongly that she should be baptized, he didn't. We had just moved so I went to the RC church near our home and they treated us soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo horribly. I went the Lutheran church and they said they would get back to me, NEVER DID. I called the Episcipol church and we have been going there ever week since I was 7 months pregnant. My husband now has faith in the church and my daughter will be raised with a sense of belonging. I didn't want her to feel the way that I felt. She was bapitized and I will make her get all of her scaraments. If she doesn't want to continue after that, than that is fine.

She also had a private service in the temple, just the Rabbi, my Mom, my DD and I because her name is after my grandparents and I wanted that prayer done the right way out of respect to them.

Hope that helps.
 
 
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My response was to "Otherme". Sorry if I offended everyone. Guess I shouldn't have posted my honest opinion. The question originally was about a Christmas tree and that was what I responded to. As far as how I picked my religion, I was born into it, is that rare?
I understand the meaning behind the majority of religions as I have studied them in depth through college and life experiences with religious individuals on many different levels. However a child does not view religion the same way as an adult does. I know because as a Jewish child I remember the holidays my friends celebrated and my 10 hour day at temple, fasting and praying was not as much fun as the holidays they told me about.
In response to the religion isn't fun bit. Religion can be fun, and if it is not made at least a little fun....good luck getting your children to accept it and enjoy it. The parts of the Jewish religion I enjoyed most as a child were the fun parts: Purim, Simchat Torah and Channukah.
I assume that the people who responded to my post with such negativity don't get presents on Christmas or believe in Santa because they are busy praying and celebrating the birth of Christ. I also assume that on Easter there are no egg hunts or Easter baskets because once again you are in church.
One of the reasons I believe religion is important is to have traditions and time with family.

Posted by dleeny

Posted by amyandbill

Okay here it goes...I am Jewish so I see your husband's warped point of view. I am Jewish and have agreed to raise my children catholic although I will not convert.
The symbols that Catholics believe as harmless and barely religious, the Jews view as religious and dare I say "too much fun". The Jewish religion is a wonderful religion, one that I hold much love for, however it is not a fun religion. As adults we know that if children have the choice they will choose Santa and The Easter Bunny to Fasting and Matzoh any day.
Your husband is afraid that his children will be confused with the tree. They won't be as long as you explain it to them!

I really don't get where you're coming from

my husband as a "warped point of view"?

religions aren't supposed to be "fun". is that how you pick yours?


 
 
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lrs2005

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Amy,
Although your post was not directed at me, I think that to call anyone's POV "warped" was uncalled for. As for being honest, that is a good thing.

I think I understand what you are trying to say about Judaism not being "fun," insofar as it involves fasting, longer services, and learning a foreign language to prepare an entire service for a bar/bat mitzvah. However, Judaism can be a lot of fun if parents help their children learn about their heritage and there are certainly fun holidays. I remember fondly celebrating simchas torah, rosh hashanah and even chanukah as fun times spent with my family.

But I think this thread was meant to be deeper than just the fun stuff. It all boils down to giving your children spirituality, and helping them find the meaning of life and where they fit in. And if religion helps a person do that great, if not that is great too. But it is the guidance that each faith provides that is what is crucial to the upbringing of children. There are so many facets of religion, that IMHO just teaching respect, tolerance and learning of each one is not enough. Those things definitely should be taught as part of bringing up a well rounded child, but it is the faith/spirituality/belief that perpetuates the religion and that is necessary and should be taught too.
Sorry if I went off on a tanget. Off my soap box.
 
 
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Posted by lrs2005

Amy,
Although your post was not directed at me, I think that to call anyone's POV "warped" was uncalled for. As for being honest, that is a good thing.

I think I understand what you are trying to say about Judaism not being "fun," insofar as it involves fasting, longer services, and learning a foreign language to prepare an entire service for a bar/bat mitzvah. However, Judaism can be a lot of fun if parents help their children learn about their heritage and there are certainly fun holidays. I remember fondly celebrating simchas torah, rosh hashanah and even chanukah as fun times spent with my family.

But I think this thread was meant to be deeper than just the fun stuff. It all boils down to giving your children spirituality, and helping them find the meaning of life and where they fit in. And if religion helps a person do that great, if not that is great too. But it is the guidance that each faith provides that is what is crucial to the upbringing of children. There are so many facets of religion, that IMHO just teaching respect, tolerance and learning of each one is not enough. Those things definitely should be taught as part of bringing up a well rounded child, but it is the faith/spirituality/belief that perpetuates the religion and that is necessary and should be taught too.
Sorry if I went off on a tanget. Off my soap box.




As you can see - this subject can be very difficult. I do appreciate reading other people's opinions on it though - and for the record, i was not offended in any way by amyandbill's post about my husbands 'warped' view! (i don't think its warped necessarily, its just an issue we have to work through together).
In a forum like this, people should be able to speak honestly. I look forward to hearing everyone's different opinions on subjects. If we all had the same opinion on everything, this world could get pretty boring!
Thanks ladies


 
 
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I always thought the child follows the moms religion. My aunt is Jewish and uncle is Catholic. The kids both had their Bat/Bar mitvahs (sp). They celebrate both also. I am Baptized Luthuren, raised catholic and DH family is Muslim and Hindu. We are not "picking" a religion IF we have kids. That will be up to them when they get older.
 
 
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Posted by Mrs.Z

I always thought the child follows the moms religion. My aunt is Jewish and uncle is Catholic. The kids both had their Bat/Bar mitvahs (sp). They celebrate both also. I am Baptized Luthuren, raised catholic and DH family is Muslim and Hindu. We are not "picking" a religion IF we have kids. That will be up to them when they get older.



I believe thats traditionally what is done - but my question is due to the fact that i don't follow any religion but my husband does. If we agree to raise our children jewish, I don't want to give up celebrating the few traditions that my family follows that happen to be christian traditions (i.e. Christmas but without any religious references) and therefore how we don't confuse our children.

 
 
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