Nearly 45% of Marriages in the United States are interfaith – that is two people from different faiths choosing to marry each other. It is disappointing to many a religiously oriented first-time marrying couples, when their clergy or a parent invariably insists that 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.
When a couple is deeply committed to marry, 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 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 Bride and Groom’s tradition. I laud such couples who embrace genuine humanity by respecting the otherness of other, and accepting each other’s uniqueness. If the couple prefers to please the religiosity of their parents, relatives and friends, the sermon would include reflections and essence of the faith of the couple.
Kelvin Stile writes, “Interfaith marriages are symbol of tolerant societies. This century has witnessed a rapid growth in interfaith marriages. There are more interfaith couples today than they were in the previous century. The statistics say that there were 20% interfaith couples before 1960 which has grown into 45% only in the first ten years of this century.
America is one of the leading countries with a higher number of interfaith couples in the world. According to a 2010 survey conducted among 2450 Americans, Jews has the highest rate of interfaith marriages followed by the Muslims and Mormons. This shows a growing religious tolerance in American society.”
Nearly 50% of Jewish marriages are interfaith, followed by Muslims 40% and Mormons 34% and Hindus about 10%.
The fastest growing group among Americans is NONES – that is people who do not proclaim a religious affiliation or identity with any group. They are spiritual, meaning they believe in the power of a higher energy that has created a perfect perpetual self balancing system. They have no problem with any religion, but prefer not to follow any one.
Please visit http://InterfaithMarriages.blogspot.com for more information.
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a community consultant, social scientist, thinker, writer, news maker, Interfaith Wedding officiant, and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. Visit him (63 links) at www.MikeGhouse.net and www.TheGhousediary.com for his exclusive writings.