Can inter-faith realationships and marriages really work if people are seriousely committed to their respective spiritual ideologies? I know many inter-faith couple's, but most of them seem to be "luke warm" about their religous/spiritual beliefs...Either that, or one or both are "liberal" and "open minded" enough to think that their way is "a" way, and not the only way. My question is mainly about "true believers"...Is a relationship doomed if two people...or even just one of the two people, thinks their "way" is the only way?

For lack of a better example(I wish one came to mind)..there are couple's like Mel Gibson and his wife...How does it "work" when he thinks his wife is doomed to eternal hell because she is not Catholic? I just don't get it...
Egungun, Egungun ni t'aiye ati jo! Ancestos, Ancestors come to earth and dance! "I'm sick of the war and the civilization that created it. Let's look to our dreams, and the magical; to the creations of the so-called primitive peoples for new inspirations." - Jaques Vache and Andre Breton "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." -John Maynard "You know that in our country there were even matriarchal societies where women were the most important element. On the Bijagos islands they had queens. They were not queens because they were the daughters of kings. They had queens succeeding queens. The religious leaders were women too..." -- Amilcar Cabral, Return to the Source, 1973
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
Can inter-faith realationships and marriages really work if people are seriousely committed to their respective spiritual ideologies? I know many inter-faith couple's, but most of them seem to be "luke warm" about their religous/spiritual beliefs...Either that, or one or both are "liberal" and "open minded" enough to think that their way is "a" way, and not the only way. My question is mainly about "true believers"...Is a relationship doomed if two people...or even just one of the two people, thinks their "way" is the only way?

For lack of a better example(I wish one came to mind)..there are couple's like Mel Gibson and his wife...How does it "work" when he thinks his wife is doomed to eternal hell because she is not Catholic? I just don't get it...

I do not know the specifics about Mel Gibson and his wife. Is she a Protestant Christian. It has been my experience that even diehard Catholics do not believe that other Christians are going to hell. As to hierarchy, Of course they are the most correct, followed by Orthodox communions who though they are loathe at times to admit it, share in the all important apostolic succession. Other Christians follow. We basically are deluded and in error, but are still "saved." We will just probably have to do some extra time in Purgatory. But, as I mentioned in another thread, Purgatory is not Hell, but is a process of purification before one is ready to enter Paradise (Heaven).

In some sense, isn't the problem of interfaith marriage/relationships more of a problem for strick monotheists or atheists. Even there, I believe that it is permissible for Muslims, for example, to marry a nother "person of the Book"; i.e. Christian or Jew. I also know several Christian/Jews couples who are both observant.

In most instances, however, I think that interfaith relationships for persons of quite disparate traditions are probably destined for an inordinant amount of turmoil and hardship.
Oshun Auset ...

I would think (and this is a truly unprofessional opinion!Smile) but, of the one or two instances I can think of of people staunchly bound by their religious beliefs, the answer is no, such marriages could not really work, and oftentimes don't even get close to going that far, because any such "relationship" is nipped in the bud ... either by the persons themselves, or by the families of those people who often have a strong influence. Whom one can and cannot date, based on religious beliefs, makes people not even investigate each other as possible partners. I think that's a shame, but, I'm one of those "luke warm" people, so .... Smile.

I think I can remember Mel actually answering that question one time on The View ... however, I can't really remember what he said, so I won't take the chance on misquoting him!
Kresge,

Mel's wife is a protestant Christian...
But in general I think you are right about the average Catholic opinion on protestants...even if the church doctrine disagrees.(My mother was raised Catholic...she almost became a nun)

ER,

He specifically asnwered "Yes" when he was asked if his wife doesn't convert will she spend an eternity in hell...but he's a nut, that's why I wish I had a better example.

I know people who practice traditional African religions that have married "Conscious Christians" and Muslims...and vis a vis. They have similar interests outside of religion, and they are usually both labelled as crazy by their respective families because of their other interests(usually African culture and community activism)...so the familial pressure to conform isn't really an issue...

Well anyhow, the reason I ask is partly because there is a "true believer" Christian that wants to date me(here I go again exposing my personal info over this site)...He really likes me and we have been friends for quite a while. I like him too, and don't care what his faith is(His approach to it is quite like Kresge's...I know I don't know you personally, but you are the closest comparrison I could come up with) Plus my family could care less what religion someone is. They like or dislike people purely on their actions...Anyhow...He knows I am not a Christian and claims he doesn't mind.

He thinks it could work. I think it probably can't. Not because of his or my close mindedness...but because of the outside pressures...mainly stemming from his church(he is close friends with the pastor...who isn't quite as open minded as he is) and family. His family is already asking if I'm Christian...and all he could say was, "I've been to church with him"...which leaves a false impression...He didn't want to lie but he doesn't know how to explain "my beliefs"...Honestly, without a long diatribe, I don't know how to explain them without being "labeled". And if any of them ask me...I'm not going to lie...and that will cause problems...even if we remain just friends. Yah, I've been to his church but that is because I was going with him as a friend(with others) to see him play the keyboard...and also because he goes to a Zimbabwean based church, so it was a good place to recruite folks for Pan-Africanism(Boy was their choir jammin'!). I'll go to any of my friend's places of worship if they ask me.

I'm not so concerned about this particular sitution as much as I am about my general relationship propects and/or lack thereof, because of my religious beliefs...There aren't too many Ifa or other traditional African religious devotees around...and most are already coupled up....and from what I've seen most are women! I must admit, I'm a little scared that unless I date someone of the same faith...family and friends(like ER pointed out) will almost ALWAYS have a problem with me. Most religions look at any traditional African practice as "evil" and "satanic"...even people who are open minded to other religions... and it is hard to get people to think differently.... So basically, am I screwed?
OA,
I appreciate the difficulty of your situation, but I also think that your that your reservations are well founded. I guess that I am a little troubled by his deceptive answer to his family. If he knew your religious tradition, he should have said it. In my opinion, if he is not able to deal with pressure from his family, this bodes ill for any long term relationship, which perceive to be your desire.

I do not know if you are screwed, however. Give yourself time. Enjoy your friends, perhaps do some "casual" dating. As to interfaith relationships, there are African/African American religious humanists such as Unitarian Universalists, as well as growing numbers who are into Eastern Religious practices which I think are more open to religious and spiritual diversity.

Just some ideas.

Keep hope alive! Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by kresge:
I do not know if you are screwed, however. Give yourself time. Enjoy your friends, perhaps do some "casual" dating. As to interfaith relationships, there are African/African American religious humanists such as Unitarian Universalists, as well as growing numbers who are into Eastern Religious practices which I think are more open to religious and spiritual diversity.

Just some ideas.

Keep hope alive! Big Grin


Thanks Kresge,

I'll keep hope alive...lol...

He actually doesn't see the big deal in it all...but I think he is being nieve and he just has never had to deal with it in the past as an issue(which he hasn't)and doesn't know the pitfalls of it all...or he is in denial... I've had parents(of one boyfriend and of a few friends) be quite fond of me before "before" they found out about my beliefs...and then they flip flopped...and generally flipped out!

It sucks to have someone's mother(typically more religious/church going than the father) think you are a devil worshipper or evil and not only dislike you, but be afraid of you...thinking you are doing Juju on her son...and possibly putting a Hhx on the family...Not wanting to come to your house, not wanting to eat food ypou prepare(It might have Juju in it) It can get quite ridiculous...

Just to let you know...The family is in Zimbabwe, they asked him over the phone if I was Christian...that's why it was hard{er} for him to explain. Although his deceptive answer still bothers me. I'd rather have them flip over the phone than in person... cuz I'm not going to lie or ommit anything when I meet them.(reguardless of wether or not we date, we are friends, so I'll meet them eventually when they visit him)

Anyhow, I don't see it working...at least not without major problems...and relationships have enough struggles without this added factor. Oh well...
Judging from Henry38 (and a couple of off-line folks I've encountered), any Christianized African family is going to hate you if you date their son. That's something to consider.

On the other hand, though, if u could give less than a rat's ass about them, if dude has any doubts about his own faith, then I'm inclined to think things could work with him himself.

If not, you should come to NJ. We apparently have our share of Ifa practitioners. And quiet as it's kept, we even have at least one municipal court judge, in Newark, who I know for a fact is an Ifa priest. In NY & Philly, your fortunes would be decent as well.
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
Judging from Henry38 (and a couple of off-line folks I've encountered), any Christianized African family is going to hate you if you date their son. That's something to consider.


Vox took those words right out of my mouth! Big Grin

I'll try to make this long story short, but ... Razz

As I've told you, my best friend is a priestess. Before she got into the Religion, she was most definitely a "seeker"!! lol She went from a strict Christian childhood to everything from Muslim to Buddist ... and a lot of stuff in between! Eek

Anyway, when she did find her way into the Religion, she went into it all the way, getting (at least one of) her ceremonies done in Cuba, and the whole nine yards. She's a very strong practioner ... and with any and everything else she's done, doesn't care who knows about it or what they think about what they know! Big Grin

Initially, we all thought she was just going off on one of her tangents and would have thought it extremely strange, had she not been the one going through it! (She's the one of the group that you just forgive all her sins and love her anyway, because she's really a beautiful person inside! Smile) Between her prayers and not being able to wear certain colors and the feeding of her ancestors and asking them for permission, it was all very new and very strange. But, next to her kids, it has been the best thing that ever happened to her. She is at a place that I would have given up a couple of paychecks to bet that she would never be able to attain! And she's still my best friend. Smile

Anyway ... although we all are now accepting of her beliefs, I really can't think of any family members of any of us ("the girls) that would not be freaking out to see Beth practice her religion except mine!! Open-mindedness is an understatement in my family! Smile All those "good Christians) would never understand and, in fact, I believe would be afraid ... even though they've known this woman for more than 20 years! Eek

As Vox said, those Chritianized Africans could only be worse. They are such a passionate people! Smile And the fact that he didn't answer the question properly, says a lot in not saying much at all. However, though it may cause ripples, it may not cause waves. Before you throw out the baby with the bath water, make sure that he's one that it's "okay to let get away". Or maybe he's worth having to ride a tide or two along the journey! Smile
OA
Run do not walk to NJ and let VOX hook you up! There is nothing and I mean nothing as judgemental as a "xtianized African".If you tell them you are in any way a "traditionalist" they will cut you so dead that your corpse will be unrecognizable. Your family will be burying your empty dress. I'm just kidding(mostly).
When I met wifey she was a Pentacostal who was sick of (her words) mess and bondage. I told her what I was from the beginning. It caused problems with her family until they got to know me and what Ifa truly is.She thought she knew a little about Ifa from the Latino's she grew up with but Lucumi (Cuban offshoot of Ifa)is not the same thing. The biggest obstacle I had was not marrying a "Yoruba" woman. This lasted all the way to Nigeria where wifey met the family and they fell in love with her.
Now 24 years later, she is the light of my life, the sugar in my coffee and my piece of Orun (heaven)on earth. What is the point of my story? You never know from the start how a thing will end. Take your time, make him tell his family the truth about who and what you really are so you can build on truth if there is to be a building. To quote my man Fats Waller "One never knows do one"?

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