Over at Caramel (Learner at Love), CARAMEL has started a new prompt. I’d like to see her prompt do well, and I had some time today to write a post, so here we go…
The prompts are called the Caramel Crunch and so far are centered around a moral question. For your convenience I shall repeat her question.
You are in love and the person you have been courting for some time wants to marry you. Although you are very close, there is one main difference in your outlook. One of you believes in a Creator and wants to practice a particular faith. The other does not believe in a Creator and despises all religion. When the two of you talk about beliefs, emotions run high and generally the conversations have to be cut short because it can become hurtful. You realize this may cause challenges, despite the love you share.. What do you do?
This one becomes easy when you start to think about your children. Would either you or your partner want them brought up with your faith (or lack of)? Would either you or your partner be happy that the children would be brought up according to the other person’s faith?
Depending just how high emotions do actually run, I think this scenario makes the problem black or white.
Two people of different religions is not necessarily doomed, however. My wife and I were born into different religions, but since we’d both already rejected them, there was never a problem. My daughter was brought up in a secular manner and if she ever adopts a religion, it will be her choice. Which is exactly how I think it should be.
On the other hand, my cousin was (is?) Protestant Christian and she got together with a Muslim guy. They were together as boyfriend and girlfriend for ten years, all except … his parents did not know! He would not tell them he was seeing somebody outside of the Muslim faith. And for reasons I don’t know (or understand!), she put up with this.
After ten years, he asked her to marry him. Which, for her, entailed not only marrying the guy, but becoming a Muslim, as part of the deal. But she agreed. I attended the wedding, and just as far as being a wedding guest goes, this guy’s mosque were some of the most hospitable people I ever met.
My cousin was not religious, I don’t think. And obviously she had got together with this guy in the first place, and stayed with him all that time, so she must have thought his religion was acceptable. It became more of a problem for the relationship as this guy got more devout over the years. Tony Blair and George Dubya bear a large responsibility for that, I think – their wars created whole generations of Muslims who now have very hardline view of the West – I hope they will one day forgive us.
Anyway, long story short, the guy decided (!) that any offspring they had would have an Islamic education. Which, as far as he was concerned, involved either educating them at a dedicated Muslim school, or educating them in a British school, and supplementing this with three hours tuition in Islam, every evening, Monday to Friday, at the mosque.
I wouldn’t like to speculate what caused the split, but the marriage lasted just two years before they got divorced. Fortunately, my cousin was still childless, because that would have made the separation more complicated.
And these were two people for whom the issue of religion never even came up beforehand, let alone fighting about it!