1. SubscriberFMF
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    21 Apr '13 08:381 edit
    Another interesting article from the same edition of The Economist that had the one about the role of Thatcher's faith in her politics.

    In the crowded annals of marital spite, a 2010 divorce in Illinois—involving a Roman Catholic man and a Jewish woman and lavishly covered by the local press—stands out for the irreconcilable nature of its core dispute. The husband converted to Judaism and promised to raise any children as Jewish, but later changed his mind, saying that his unbaptised daughter risked not going to heaven. He had his daughter baptised and e-mailed his wife a photograph of the event—an action that earned him a court order and threats of prison should he take his child to church again. (Joint religious rights were granted in the divorce settlement.)

    Yet American rates of interfaith and inter-denominational marriage are rising, to the point where 45% of marriages in the past decade have involved either two religions or Christian doctrines that clash seriously [that rate includes unions spanning the evangelical and mainstream Protestant traditions—when all Protestants are lumped together, the mixed-marriage rate is still 36%]. Many are models of tolerance and creativity. Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of a new study of such marriages, records a wedding which featured two New Testament readings, the breaking of a glass (recalling the first-century destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem), the reading of a Jewish marriage contract, a transcendentalist poem and an Apache wedding prayer.

    Americans are more likely to marry someone of a different faith than someone who supports a different political party. Jews spotted the trend early, with a survey triggering alarm in 1990 when it claimed that more than half of American Jews were marrying out. Interfaith marriage remains most frequent among Jews (and rarest among Mormons, of all creeds studied). But others have been catching up, with overall rates of such unions more than doubling since the 1960s.

    Ms Schaefer Riley—herself Jewish and married to an agnostic Jehovah’s Witness—offers some non-alarming explanations. People are marrying later, often after periods of autonomy as single adults during which family traditions fall away. Americans have long shopped around between faiths—and many who marry across faith lines duly convert. Other factors at work may include Roman Catholicism’s warmer embrace of Judaism after the Second Vatican Council, and the dropping of a rule that non-Catholics marrying Catholics had to vow to raise children in the latter faith.

    “’Til Faith Do Us Part”, a book by Ms Schaefer Riley, finds worrying trends too. Interfaith marriages are more likely to end in divorce. Half of marriages between evangelical Protestants and non-evangelicals fail, and prominent evangelical pastors warn of the “emotional anguish” of marriage to someone who does not share their strict interpretation of faith. Childbirth tends to bring Americans back to religion, and women then tend to take the lead: children in mixed unions are twice as likely to be brought up in their mother’s faith as their father’s, even when that clashes with the paternalist traditions of religions such as Islam. Yet too many interfaith couples fail to discuss the faith of their future children before marriage, for fear of seeming unromantic or intolerant.

    The faithful face a dilemma. With marriage an embattled institution, interfaith weddings are increasingly tolerated, even welcomed. Yet faiths cannot survive too much dilution. America has a talent for solutions based on pragmatism and respect for personal choice: it will be needed.


    http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21576125-welcome-sign-tolerance-or-dangerous-dilution-across-aisles

    As the article asks: [is this] a welcome sign of tolerance, or dangerous dilution?
  2. Cape Town
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    21 Apr '13 08:43
    Originally posted by FMF
    ... an agnostic Jehovah’s Witness
    What does that mean?
  3. SubscriberFMF
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    21 Apr '13 08:521 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    What does that mean?
    Not sure. Possibly a Jehovah’s Witness who has lost their belief but they keep it to themselves because they feel it's no great hardship to keep up appearances and they don't want to get shunned and lose all their friends. Just an idea. It does indeed sound rather odd. Maybe others have better suggestions?
  4. Cape Town
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    21 Apr '13 09:00
    Originally posted by FMF
    ... but they keep it to themselves ..
    Apparently the Economist found out, and now the whole world knows.

    I also find it interesting that they mention the fact that many people convert for the sake of marriage. It makes you realize just how many people belonging to a particular religion/denomination are not all that hung up on the particular teachings of that religion/denomination.
  5. SubscriberFMF
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    21 Apr '13 09:041 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Apparently the Economist found out, and now the whole world knows.
    A bit like when someone wishing to remain anonymous is being interviewed live in a darkened room but then gets their cigarette lit by the interviewer.

    You have indeed uncovered the inadequacy of my guess!
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    21 Apr '13 18:42
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Apparently the Economist found out, and now the whole world knows.

    I also find it interesting that they mention the fact that many people convert for the sake of marriage. It makes you realize just how many people belonging to a particular religion/denomination are not all that hung up on the particular teachings of that religion/denomination.
    My mother went from Presbyterian to Catholic when she married my father, met all the expectations all her life, attending mass and going to confession, singing in the choir, etc. but only spoke of religion in very general terms. I think the strongly outspoken religious participants in this forum are a minority of the general population, and/or they are as prone to the online disinhibition effect as anyone else.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
  7. Standard memberRJHinds
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    21 Apr '13 19:024 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    Not sure. Possibly a Jehovah’s Witness who has lost their belief but they keep it to themselves because they feel it's no great hardship to keep up appearances and they don't want to get shunned and lose all their friends. Just an idea. It does indeed sound rather odd. Maybe others have better suggestions?
    I think you are right. I believe that is exactly what is meant by an agnostic Jehovah’s Witness -- one that is not sure of their faith in the doctrines of the Watchtower society.

    P.S. I have heard it said that love conquers all.
    Perhaps in some cases it is just sexual attaction for the moment.
  8. Dublin Ireland
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    21 Apr '13 20:00
    Originally posted by JS357
    My mother went from Presbyterian to Catholic when she married my father, met all the expectations all her life, attending mass and going to confession, singing in the choir, etc. but only spoke of religion in very general terms. I think the strongly outspoken religious participants in this forum are a minority of the general population, and/or they are as pron ...[text shortened]... disinhibition effect as anyone else.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    I think that wherever you have a multi cultural society,
    there is bound to be more inter action between peoples
    who would not otherwise meet if everyone had stayed
    in their own countries. I remember trips to Britain many
    years ago and many Irish people were amazed at the
    sight of couples who were not only of different countries
    but also of different colours and religions too.

    Is it a good idea?

    Who knows?

    In todays' society there are all sorts of people all living
    in the same cities. We can learn from one another.
    If you love a person then you should love them for who
    they are and what traits they possess.

    Religion doesn't always enter into the equation.
  9. SubscriberFMF
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    21 Apr '13 20:28
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    I think you are right. I believe that is exactly what is meant by an agnostic Jehovah’s Witness -- one that is not sure of their faith in the doctrines of the Watchtower society.
    No I don't think I was right. I think, while there may be some meaning to a term like 'lapsed Catholic' or, as i have put it a few times, a 'sociological Catholic' [for example], the idea of an 'agnostic Jehovah's Witness' sounds like nonsense. I doubt my guess is right. Maybe someone else can have a go at guessing what the journalist had in mind when they used the term.
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
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    21 Apr '13 21:49
    Originally posted by JS357
    My mother went from Presbyterian to Catholic when she married my father, met all the expectations all her life, attending mass and going to confession, singing in the choir, etc. but only spoke of religion in very general terms. I think the strongly outspoken religious participants in this forum are a minority of the general population, and/or they are as pron ...[text shortened]... disinhibition effect as anyone else.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_disinhibition_effect
    I would guess this also applies to people who would be somewhat tolerant face-to-face who talks down to people on the internet and always bashes anyone trying to speak their own ideas, i.e. cyberbullying.

    The 'strongly outspoken religious participants' you mention aren't the only ones, nor are they the biggest problem.
  11. SubscriberSuzianne
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    21 Apr '13 21:531 edit
    Originally posted by FMF
    As the article asks: [is this] [b]a welcome sign of tolerance, or dangerous dilution?[/b]
    I didn't take the time to read this article, but it is fairly obvious, to anyone who takes the time to notice, that it is true, and is happening.

    Of course it's a welcome sign of tolerance. Those who claim it's a 'dangerous dilution' should perhaps be as shunned as most people are who claim racist ideas these days.
  12. SubscriberFMF
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    21 Apr '13 23:48
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Those who claim it's a 'dangerous dilution' should perhaps be as shunned as most people are who claim racist ideas these days.
    I disagree. The "dilution" they are talking about is the weakening of religious faith and practices, and children sort of falling between the crack between the parents. I can't see how that is akin to racist ideas.
  13. SubscriberSuzianne
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    22 Apr '13 05:36
    Originally posted by FMF
    I disagree. The "dilution" they are talking about is the weakening of religious faith and practices, and children sort of falling between the crack between the parents. I can't see how that is akin to racist ideas.
    I can read English, I know full well what the 'dilution' is they are talking about. These are old ideas, well past their prime, which are incredibly intolerant now. That's why I called them as bad as racism. Yes, it seems to be a tolerance/intolerance issue to me, similar to racism.
  14. Standard memberRJHinds
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    22 Apr '13 06:22
    Originally posted by FMF
    No I don't think I was right. I think, while there may be some meaning to a term like 'lapsed Catholic' or, as i have put it a few times, a 'sociological Catholic' [for example], the idea of an 'agnostic Jehovah's Witness' sounds like nonsense. I doubt my guess is right. Maybe someone else can have a go at guessing what the journalist had in mind when they used the term.
    Interesting. All I have to do is say you are right and you change your mind. I will have to keep that in mind.
  15. SubscriberFMF
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    22 Apr '13 08:54
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    Interesting. All I have to do is say you are right and you change your mind. I will have to keep that in mind.
    Actually, it was twhitehead's comment that made me rethink.
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