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Dr. Mike Ghouse has officiated religious, secular, and interfaith weddings in every combination with Atheists, Buddhists, Christian, Hindus, Jains, Jewish, Muslims, Sikhs, and others. Since 2010, he has officiated over150 weddings. Mike has also officiated many Muslim-Muslim weddings.
He is licensed in all 50 states of the United States and will travel from Washington DC to any destination. The wedding proceedings include partial to complete sermons from both the Bride and Groom’s religious traditions to the extent the couple prefers. If the couple chooses, we will incorporate the parents’ customary rituals as well. It is very common with Desi couples. Secular weddings may or may not include invoking the name of God depending on the preference of the couple. You can reach out to Mike through text message Mike Ghouse at (214) 325-1916
Marriage is indeed an expression of a commitment to a relationship between two individuals. The men and women who take the bold step to become one regardless of their origins, faiths, races, cultures, and ethnicities must be appreciated and applauded. They are setting a new standard on how-to live-in harmony despite their given differences. They are practicing genuine pluralism, respecting the otherness of the other, and accepting the given (God/Nature) uniqueness.
Marriage is a union of two individuals for happiness and harmonious living.
Every living organism has a built-in GPS that brings two individuals together, and from a religious perspective, it is the creator who puts love between two individuals.
I am blessed to have officiated secular and religious ceremonies of both the couple’s traditions with their respective input and final approval. Whether it is Jewish-Christian, Hindu-Christian, Bahai-Jewish, Hindu-Jewish, Atheist-Jain, or other combinations, the Bride and groom and their families feel elated and enjoy the sense of marriage in full.
As a Muslim, it has been my pleasure to have officiated weddings for Muslims in various combinations; Muslim-Christian, Muslim-Jewish, Muslim-Hindu, Muslim-Mormon, Muslim-Sikh, Muslim-Jain, Muslim-Buddhist, Muslim Atheist, and Muslim-Muslim. By the way, individuals marry each other and not religions.
Has anyone ever asked what it is that God wants? (or the causer of the universe wants?)
God (or nature if you prefer) wants nothing more than harmony in his (its) creation. Because he created everything in balance he expects us to preserve or restore it when it is off. Marriage not only creates harmony, but it is also patriotic as it lends toward one nation under the blue dome.
The two videos below are samples of the diversity of the wedding ceremonies officiated by Dr. Mike Ghouse
Look at the universe, everything is programmed precisely! The moon revolves around the earth and the earth goes around the sun accurately. The seasons are programmed and the plants and animals have a determined cycle of birth and death. Within the human body, different organs work cohesively for normal functioning (with of course built-in anomalies) of the body. However, he did not program us how to relate to each other and live with each other. He gave us complete freedom to chart our own course of harmony with the other. God is happiest when two people can rise above their differences and live in harmony.
Interfaith marriages are becoming the new norm of society. In a few years, one out of two marriages would be interfaith. Yes, this is across the board, whether you are a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Baha’i, Atheist, or the other. According to the Pew survey, 40% of people of faiths will be marrying a person of another faith, it is higher among Jews, it’s 50%.
There is a beautiful verse in the Quran, 30:21, “And among His signs is that He created mates for you from among yourselves so that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you love and compassion. In these are signs for people who reflect.”
Marriage is a union of two individuals for happiness and harmonious living
For details please text Dr. Mike Ghouse at (214) 325-1916 Washington, DC
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The marriage is between two individuals and the family’s support and cheers are important. I will be happy to talk with parents or guardians if they are reluctant.
The initial conversation with the Wedding Officiant Dr. Mike Ghouse
A 25 points Questionnaire follows to design the wedding proceeding.
A conversation about handling the differences.
Guidance on handling religious festivals at ease.
Dealing with raising children (if at all).
Incorporate Bride/Groom’s social, religious, or cultural traditions
A draft outline of the ceremony will be prepared by the Officiant.
The couple will review and modify the outline at least three times
The officiant will perform the wedding per the agreed outline.
The wedding will start on time and close on time.
The Ceremony will be based on the process worked out between the couple and the officiant, and it varies from couple to couple.
Interfaith greetings to include people of different faith traditions.
Appreciating the bold steps the bride and groom have taken
Observing customary traditions of either or both Bride and Groom
Acceptance of each other as his/her spouse
Exchange of Rings
Pronouncement as husband and wife
Signing the marriage registration papers
A short customized Sermon to fit the tradition(s) chosen by the couple
Prayer ( again from one or two traditions)
Other rituals that parents desire, or the couples want can be included
It is disappointing to the potential brides and grooms that their clergy or a parent invariably insists on the other person to convert to their faith tradition, some do, and some fake it and some are not comfortable with the idea at all. Being truthful is the greatest value on their major life event.
When a couple is deeply committed to marrying, they go ahead and get married any way but sorely miss out on the ceremony. Over the years, I have seen too many couples miss out on the joy of that additional sense of completeness that comes with a religious tone in the ceremony. Marriage is between two individuals, and their families and friends ought to be supporters and cheerleaders to celebrate and complete their joy.
As a Pluralist, I have chosen to officiate the weddings of such couples to reflect the essence of the Bride and Groom’s religious and cultural traditions. I laud such couples who embrace genuine humanity by respecting the otherness of others and accepting each other’s uniqueness. If the couple prefers to give that little extra joy to the religiosity of their parents, relatives, and friends, the sermon would include reflections and the essence of the faiths of the couple.
I am blessed to have performed some uniquely beautiful combinations of weddings from different faith traditions. It was such a joy to see their families and friends cheer at the end and appreciated learning the essence of both the traditions in a few minutues.
God is nothing but the cause that created everything we see, feel, smell, think, see and enjoy. People of religion call him by various names and those who do not subscribe to the idea of God don’t have to call anything.
Mike Ghouse is a member of the American Marriage Ministries, a non-profit established in Washington State in 2009.
“We provide all people the ability to celebrate marriage and other religious functions according to their beliefs. We believe that this is an innate human right and is also protected by the 1st Amendment. Our values come from the understanding that all people, whether religious or not, have deep personal values and should be treated with respect, acceptance, and understanding.”
Marriage is a celebration that brings people together, and we want to extend that ethos further by being a church comprised of a wide cross-section of people that have found common ground in the service of bringing people together.
To begin, the legal dimension to officiating a wedding simply involves completing a piece of paper, the marriage license. The marriage license is the legal document of marriage. It is filed for by the couple from their local government prior to the wedding.
The role of the minister is to conduct the wedding, have the couple present their marriage license, make sure that the information is correct, and complete the license. The couple then returns the completed license back to its office of issuance.
Personally, Mike is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker, and writer on pluralism, interfaith, politics, and civic affairs.
The Creator* has created everything in balance and harmony, and every element of the universe is interconnected and interdependent. Chief Seattle, a Native American said this perfectly, “All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does it to himself.”
What does God want? He wants to see that his creation remains intact and functions smoothly. He has programmed the moon to go around the earth in unbelievable precision, and the earth has been going around the Sun for millions of years. The change of seasons, the power of light, and the need for darkness is all programmed and work together.
Even the human (or animal) body functions cohesively, each organ plays its part in the normal functioning of the body. However, what is not programmed is our attitudes and behavior. Each one of us is unique with our own thumbprint, eye print, taste buds, DNA, and that uniqueness creates conflict in three areas; one’s space, sustenance, and nurturance.
God loves us like a mother loves her children, a teacher loves her students, and as a chef loves his patrons, he gives us the guidance (religion or common sense) to restore that equilibrium, that is all he wants and nothing more.
God loves the harmony between humans and his creation, and marriage enhances that harmony. Someday we may find out what attracts a man to a woman or vice-versa, like a magnet two individuals come together to be one with each other. Religion, region, or race become secondary when two people fall in love with each other. This is what God loves, two people becoming a source of harmony and happiness to each other.
ABOUT MIKE GHOUSE
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, thinker, author, newsmaker, organizer, pluralist, and interfaith wedding officiant. He offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day to the media, policymakers, and organizations.
His mission is to open people’s hearts, minds, and souls towards each other.
The idea of Pluralism drives him; if we can learn to “Respect the otherness of the others” and accept the God-given uniqueness of each of us, then conflicts fade, and solutions emerge. Indeed, this is his definition of Pluralism.
Conflict mitigation and goodwill nurturance are his first nature, and he offers pluralistic** solutions on issues of the day. Whatever he does, he does it wholeheartedly and pours his heart, mind, and soul into it — a trailblazer by all counts.
Mike is an effective communicator. His speeches, commentaries, press releases, articles, messages, and discussions are recognized for their common-sense clarity. Given their background in publishing newspapers, producing radio & tv talk shows, and commenting on national tv, he has excelled in building relations with the community, public, media, and the government.
Mike has published over 3600 articles in 300 plus newspapers around the world. He has appeared on national TV, including Fox, over 300 times, and has been on Nationally Syndicated Radio shows over 150 times.
His experience in dealing with people from different faiths, races, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual and political orientations has empowered him with community-building expertise. He is committed to building cohesive communities – i.e., bringing people together towards achieving set goals.
The skills that have made him a successful consultant are; communications, project management, events management, customer care, community outreach, social media, public relations, media relations, teacher, trainer, budget, and operations management.
Two books are on the horizon, “Standing up for others” and “Pluralism in America.” The “American Muslim Agenda” is released and is available at Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores. If you want to know everything about American Muslims and the essence of Islam, this book is for you. It is about fostering societies where no one is more privileged than the other. Mike has co-authored a few books and cited in over 500 books and articles.