Interfaith Marriages

Diversity. – A Source of Peaceful Living


The story of my life is one that highlights the immense beauty and joy derived from embracing diversity. From growing up in a diverse environment to working with people from various cultural and religious backgrounds, my journey has been enriched by connections with individuals from all walks of life. This narrative is a testament to the power of shedding biases and celebrating the uniqueness of every human being. In sharing my experiences, I hope to inspire others to appreciate the pluralistic world we live in.

Here is my diversity, and I hope you can write about yours and share or at least think about it. The other day, while driving home, my mind ran a reel of all the people I have worked with in the last 50 years. Each person’s name came with a clear face. I was happy like a baby when he walked three steps without falling. I distinctly remember my grandchildren’s happy faces.


The Early Years of Embracing Diversity

Family Influence

Growing up in a family that celebrated diversity was a unique and enriching experience. My father, the mayor of our town, and my mother, who fostered friendships across religious divides, were instrumental in shaping my perspective on life. Our home was a melting pot of cultures, where we celebrated festivals from Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism, and other religions. This upbringing laid the foundation for my respect and appreciation for different cultures.

Celebrating Multiple Festivals

Participating in various religious celebrations allowed me to witness the beauty and significance of each tradition. From lighting lamps during Diwali to attending midnight masses on Christmas Eve, these experiences were not just about observing customs but about understanding and respecting the beliefs of others. It was a time of learning and growth, where diversity was not just tolerated but cherished.

Learning Through Community Interactions

The Flour Mill Experience

One of the most impactful experiences of my youth was working at my father’s flour mill. Here, I interacted with people from various backgrounds—Adivasis, Gypsies, Dalits, Sikhs, Christians, and Hindus. These interactions taught me the importance of listening and learning from others. Each person had a story, a unique perspective that added to the rich tapestry of our community.

Teenage Infatuations and Lessons

During my teenage years, I remember being infatuated with a beautiful Kandharni woman who visited our mill. Despite the language barrier, her presence intrigued me, teaching me that attraction and curiosity transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries. These early experiences of diverse interactions fostered a deep respect for the otherness of others.

Educational Encounters

Interfaith Dialogues

My education was further enriched by engaging in interfaith dialogues. Conversations with Christians, Hindus, and Muslims, including influential figures like my college professor Dr. A. Ramachandra and a weaver named Fakhru Bhai, broadened my understanding of different religions. These dialogues were not just academic exercises but heartfelt discussions that deepened my appreciation for different faiths.

Influence of Professors and Peers

The influence of my professors and peers played a significant role in shaping my worldview. Engaging in discussions about theology and philosophy, and participating in religious practices, such as attending mosque on Fridays, singing bhajans on Saturdays, and visiting Buddhist centers and churches, provided a comprehensive understanding of pluralism.

Professional Experiences Across the Globe

Catering College

Working as an administrator at the Food Craft Institute in Bangalore exposed me to a plethora of cultures and cuisines. Interacting with students from various countries and tasting over 200 cuisines in a year was an enriching experience. It was a testament to the diversity of human creativity and tradition.

Working in Saudi Arabia

In the mid-70s, I worked in Saudi Arabia on a massive gas gathering project. Managing a multicultural workforce of 44 nationalities was a challenging yet rewarding experience. It honed my ability to understand different accents and communicate effectively across cultural divides. This period of my life was marked by profound learning and appreciation for global diversity.

Real Estate and Community Living

My career in real estate brought me to diverse neighborhoods, each with its unique cultural fabric. Living in an all-Black community in Southeast Washington, DC, was a particularly enriching experience. It reinforced the importance of embracing and respecting the diversity of the communities we live in.

The Center for Pluralism

Organizing Interfaith Events

As the president of the Center for Pluralism, I have organized numerous interfaith events. These gatherings aim to foster understanding and respect among different religious communities. By bringing people together to learn about various faiths, we create a platform for dialogue and harmony.

Leading Workshops and Seminars

Leading workshops and seminars on 12 distinct religions has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my work. These educational sessions provide insights into the beliefs and practices of different faiths, promoting a culture of respect and acceptance.

Writing and Publishing

Articles in Major Publications

Over the years, I have written extensively about interfaith harmony and pluralism. My articles have been published in the Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, and over 300 other newspapers worldwide. These writings are a testament to my commitment to promoting understanding and peace.

Aspiring to Write a Book

I aspire to encapsulate my experiences in a book. This book will serve as a guide to living a life enriched by diversity and respect for all. It will be a testament to the joy and fulfillment that comes from embracing the plurality of our world.

Officiating Interfaith Weddings

Experiences Across Faiths

One of the most joyous aspects of my life has been officiating interfaith weddings. I have had the honor of marrying couples from nine different faiths, four races, and over fifty ethnicities. These ceremonies are a celebration of love that transcends religious and cultural boundaries.

Conducting Weddings Internationally

My role as an interfaith wedding officiant has taken me to over 50 cities in America and Canada, and destination weddings in Mexico and even to the Disney World. I have also conducted weddings over Zoom for couples in Sweden, Norway, the UK, Germany, New Zealand, and India. Each wedding is a unique experience that celebrates the beautiful diversity of human connections.

The Importance of Pluralism

Respecting Differences

Embracing pluralism means respecting the differences that make each person unique. It is about celebrating the diversity of human expression, whether through attire, culinary traditions, or spiritual beliefs. This respect for diversity fosters a harmonious coexistence, reducing conflicts and creating viable solutions for societal challenges.

Finding Joy in Diversity

There is profound joy in embracing diversity. It brings a sense of freedom and enriches our lives with new experiences and perspectives. By appreciating and celebrating the uniqueness of others, we add depth and meaning to our own lives.

Personal Reflections and Motivations

Overcoming Personal Challenges

Life has not been without its challenges. From health issues to personal setbacks, each obstacle has been a learning experience. My journey on dialysis has taught me resilience and gratitude. The support of my wife, Fatima, has been a blessing, and together, we navigate life’s challenges with unwavering determination.

Inspirations from Family and Friends

The love and support of family and friends have been a constant source of inspiration. Their encouragement and belief in my mission have fueled my passion for promoting pluralism and harmony. It is this collective support that drives me to continue my work and share my story.


The Path Forward

Embracing diversity and pluralism is a journey that brings immense joy and fulfillment. By respecting and celebrating the differences that make each person unique, we pave the way for a harmonious and peaceful coexistence. This is the essence of pluralism at the Center for Pluralism.

Encouragement to Embrace Diversity

I encourage everyone to embrace the diversity around them. Shed biases, engage with different cultures, and celebrate the unique expressions of humanity. In doing so, you will find a sense of freedom, joy, and meaning that enriches your life and the lives of those around you.


What is pluralism? Pluralism is the practice of embracing and respecting the diversity of beliefs, cultures, and identities within a society. It promotes coexistence and harmony by acknowledging and valuing differences.

Why is embracing diversity important? Embracing diversity enriches our lives with new perspectives, experiences, and understandings. It fosters a sense of community, reduces conflicts, and creates a more harmonious and inclusive society.

How can I promote pluralism in my community? You can promote pluralism by engaging in interfaith dialogues, participating in cultural events, and educating yourself about different traditions and beliefs. Respecting and celebrating the uniqueness of others is key to fostering pluralism.

What are the benefits of interfaith dialogues? Interfaith dialogues promote understanding and respect among different religious communities. They help dispel misconceptions, reduce prejudices, and build bridges of harmony and cooperation.

How can I overcome biases towards others? Overcoming biases requires self-awareness and a willingness to learn. Engage with people from different backgrounds, listen to their stories, and challenge your own assumptions. Education and open-mindedness are crucial in shedding biases.

What role does education play in promoting diversity? Education plays a vital role in promoting diversity by exposing individuals to different cultures, beliefs, and perspectives. It fosters critical thinking, empathy, and respect, which are essential for a pluralistic society.

Drs. Fatima & Mike Ghouse

Wedding Officiants of America


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