Another threat to organized religion


As travel becomes easier and local communities across the world become increasingly diverse, the chances of marriages between people of different religions also increases. In the US alone, interfaith marriages have increased from 20% in 1950 to 45% today. For people in such marriages seeking common ground, values matter more than beliefs.

This poses a threat to religion because while being married to a person of a different faith does not mean that one gives it up, it does weaken the ties to religious institutions and, more importantly, reduces the chances of children being indoctrinated with just one faith and thus thinking that it must be true.

The important thing is that people be weaned away from institutionalized religions and, most importantly, their allegiance to holy books. It is the latter that leads to dogmatism and intolerance. When people are just generally religious and/or spiritual, they have to figure out their values and morals on their own and are far more likely to come up with a good set than the ones they supposedly get from the holy books.

Comments

  1. says

    Mano:

    This poses a threat to religion because while being married to a person of a different faith does not mean that one gives it up, it does weaken the ties to religious institutions and, more importantly, reduces the chances of children being indoctrinated with just one faith and thus thinking that it must be true.

    I wonder how parents with differing religious beliefs decide what and how to teach their children.
    The idea of presenting a child with two different sets of religious belief systems does seem like a great way of (unintentionally) undermining indoctrination into one particular religious belief system.

  2. raven says

    I wonder how parents with differing religious beliefs decide what and how to teach their children.

    1. It’s not hard. I’m technically half Protestant, half Catholic. (Or was.)

    The parent who cares the most, usually ends up winning by default. Usually it is no big deal. Occasionally it gets vicious and ends up in divorce.

    2. The religions know that intermarriage is a huge threat. They strongly discourage it. The bible colleges are basically adult baby sitting services with a serious purpose. Endogamy. They are dating arenas where you meet your sect approved spouse.

    If you were a Southern Baptist, would you want your kids to marry an Episcopalian or gasp, horrrors, Catholic.

    The Mormons call marrying a nonMormon, the biggest mistake you can make. For once, as a nonMormon, I agree with them.

  3. hyphenman says

    Mano and Tony! The Queer Shoop,

    This has long been a problem for Reform Judaism. If it were not for a constant influx of new Reform Jews escaping the stricter lifestyles of their Orthodox and Conservative parents there would be no Reform Judaism because by the third generation, intermarriage and the subsequent abandonment of all religion is the norm.

    Jeff

  4. steffp says

    As the result of a Lutheran/Catholic marriage (which the Catholic side of the family did not participate in), I have first-hand experience. We the children were raised with a unique mixture of Dad’s Catholic mysticism and Mim’s Protestant rationality. While the mysticism dominated through early childhood, the Protestant side got more attractive in the course of education. But, the curse of scientific rationality and tolerance led to all four of us becoming life-long atheists in the end, I think this points to the reason behind the churches’ policy against mixed marriages: There’s either one or countless many religious points of view. If there are many, all held by respected and beloved people, how can one, and only one, be true? So we did not acquire the snug righteousness of the true believer. Truth was somewhere between all those mutually exclusive sectarian positions, or maybe something totally different… Enter science, philosophy,and secularism, and the question was solved.

  5. says

    I was lucky enough that my parents’ reaction to their parents’ sectarian conflict (classic green/orange bullshit), as well as the awful spectacle of the Troubles in Northen Ireland – we lived in the UK at the time – led them to eschew religion in our home entirely. My sister and I were free, and encouraged, to try out any religion which caught our fancy.

    Other than a brief period where I was enjoying some comics I got from what was probably some Protestant church, I never got much interested in it. I thought the idea of an unevidenced afterlife seemed pretty transparently manipulative in origin, and the arbitrary differences in arbitrary rules quickly made it clear that there was little to be gained by taking part.

    I did go through much of the process toward conversion to Judaism when I was deeply in love with someone to whom it was important, but it was strictly cultural to me, I never came close to believing.

    It’s also probable that I was enjoying my mother’s extraordinary discomfiture at the idea of me being with a Jewess, as she called my partner; the ironic bizarreness of my mother and her father getting together to sit us both down and explain what a terrible thing exogamy was, after my mum’s own virtual disowning for marrying a Prod bastard, as my granddad called my father, was too delicious.

    Fuck it all, tear it down, let people live for this life and not imaginary bullshit made up to keep people explicitly sheeplike. The world would be a much better place to live, without primitive bigotry and superstition dressed up as moral guidance.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>