Interfaith Relationships - OH MY!
Article ID: 9999
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 14th. 2005
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There was a time, long ago, when I would not have told anyone what I was all about, let alone some one near and dear to me. There were a lot of misgivings and misinformation going around when I was younger. But hey, we live in a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious country, right? So when I met my now husband, I just told him that I grew up Catholic, and things happened (I won’t get into those things now). Not actually lying to him, just not finishing up with telling him the rest of the story. Just, you know, hinting, beating around the bush so to speak.
For even as early as a decade ago, it was quite dangerous to divulge such information. People stuck with others from similar origins and religions. Even now some people (though not all) are still intolerable and ignorant of the facts about Pagans.
When and if I decide to tell people what I am I often get “Can you curse someone for me?” or “I need you to put a hex on someone” - as if! Then there are always the “God loves you” people and the “you’re doing the Devil’s bidding even if you don’t know it” people. I don’t want to be preached to so I try to feel humans out before I start revealing any personal information.
Getting more to the heart of the subject, my husband and I have been together for ten entire years now and he knows now that I am what I am. I am his “Blanca Witch” and he loves me. He cares not that I explored and now practice a different faith. I do not know exactly how I came to tell him. In fact I don’t think I even actually told him per se. I imagine he sort of knew all along. As long as I am happy he is happy, and vice versa.
Well, as you can guess by the title of this essay, he is not Pagan in any sort of ritual-performing, Goddess-worshiping way. However, he does have his own way. He is Puerto Rican (very proud, I might add), and even though he grew up with strong influences of “the religion” he has his traditions about him. There is the fact that he has a way of taking fevers from us. Then there is the way he puts a copper penny on your forehead if you have a bloody nose. Not to mention his healing energy is tremendous. I guess the important thing that I’m trying to say here is that even though we are different religions there are similarities among the differences; here and there betwixt us both. We coexist in our relationship just fine.
Yeah, there are problems. But not like you would expect. Hey, not every part of a relationship is perfect. They are just typical problems though, nothing about over-the-top religious issues. We tend to get stronger as we work through our life problems. Yes, we do debate religion from time to time; however we are grown folk who do not scream and shout. There is no animosity between us, only understanding and support for each other. Our love happens to be greater than that. After all, true love will prevail in the end.
I of course try to choose the battles I must fight when it comes to friends and relationships. I suppose that is why I have a limited amount of close friends. But my acquaintances are slowly but steadily growing. This makes it a little easier to manage my happiness. They are not all Pagans either. They are just open-minded people. I also do my best to surround myself with people (family mostly) who love and respect my decisions. When a person is always around negative influences it becomes extremely difficult to focus on life in general. A person’s energy just seems to drain right out of them. So my take is that if you are mostly around open-minded people, then interfaith relationships, plutonic or otherwise, will be much smoother. The relationships seem to be easier on myself this way.
Then there is always the issue of raising children with a religion. Which one to pick? Whose religion is correct? What is to become of our child? How do I explain to my child why the other parent does not participate in our religious activities? Who will the child believe? This is usually the hotbed. This issue will probably worry most people more than the relationship itself.
My answer to this seemingly major dilemma is very simple. My idea was to try to teach them both ways. Let them know both views. I know, I know: children are easily influenced when they are young; they are like a sponge, yada, yada, yada. Believe it or not, they do have a mind of their own. Religion, dare I say, for all intents and purposes, is an opinion. As they get older they can decide for themselves. This seems to have worked well with our children so far, and apart from the typical teenage attitude, all four of my little ones fair just fine with their lives. Children are very smart and can think for themselves, and very well I might add, as they become older.
I think that also by them growing up with different cultures and different religions they will, and are indeed, more tolerable of people who are different. They won’t hate people just because of what they look like, believe, or wear. They won’t judge people because of what they believe. Maybe their mannerism will rub off on friends…who knows? They are more sociable and outgoing than I was as a child. This in turn gives them many more options in life. They are much more likely to succeed in this world. My opinion is that the love in our family is so strong that differences really are not a thing that is bad.
Our “interfaith relationship” is not a problem in the least bit. As such we go with the flow, love, honor, cherish, and so on and so forth. My husband is also very supportive of my religious choice. In point of fact, he believes in and enjoys the Tarot cards.
I’m really surprised at the number of different religious people we’ve meet who also believe in our ways without even realizing it! There are too many of life’s little coincidences for them not to. People, slow but sure, are becoming more and more tolerable of different faiths, cultures, and races. They seem to be knocking down the proverbial wall and extending a hand, building bridges. People (in my experience) seem to be realizing that our ideas, although different, do have those similarities.
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
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