Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Going for the Goyim-I've gotten a lot of positive feedback and linkage on my post on courtship yesterday. Even the Patio Pundit chimed in, as he took it upon himself to blogwatch in Papa Blog's absence.
Most of them would apply equally well to Orthodox Jews. Actually, all of them, except for the Corinthians 7 part.
Well. even that is applicable if you substitute God for Jesus; the questions about being able to serve God better without the distractions of tending to a wife would still apply. [Update 8PM-Maybe not quite as well as I thought. Patio Pundit has a good response to this, pointing out that Orthodox Judaism is more marriage-centric than Christianity. Point taken, sir] That got me thinking about the issue of interfaith marriages, which I warned against in my post. Intermarriage has been a big issue in the Jewish community, as marriages to Gentiles is increasingly common. As a kid who was brought up to be unbigoted, the idea of people not wanting their kids to marry out of their religion seemed bigoted. The media has portrayed mixed marriages in a positive light from Bridget Loves Bernie to Mad About You, where nice Jewish guys were happily married to shiska cuties. However, the problem with such interfaith marriages is that they are usually between rather secular couples who don't take their faith seriously. If you don't take your relationship with God seriously, a Jewish guy could fall for Helen Hunt (or the nice Gentile lady down the hall) very quickly or a Christian guy could be making goo-goo eyes at Natalie Portman (or the cute Jewish girl in Psych class). Marrying that cutie from another religion will draw you away from your own faith, as your spouse will give lukewarm support at best for your walk with the Lord. If you have kids, you will be of two minds of how they will be brought up spiritually if they get any education on that front at all; interfaith marriages produce a high percentage of secular kids. Some interfaith parents give them a full dose of both religions and let them decide for themselves when they grow up. If one parent is stronger in their faith, the weaker partner might allow that religion to predominate. The kids stuck in this situation will have to choose between parents when they choose between religions. Parents can try to put a brake on this by making God a big part of their lives. If you make your faith an active, day-to-day part of your life, your kids will want the same in their lives. Then, they will want a spouse that shares their faith rather than picking a nice gal/guy from another religion. I was taken aback by this quote from Rick McInnnis (via Relapsed Catholic) who was watching a show "Married in America," which looked at a number of newlyweds, including a Jewish-Filipina pair
There's an argument to be made that Neal's mother's wish for a Jewish daughter-in-law might be as much a defense of class as religion or race, that American Jews live in a parallel class structure that's evolved over a century of prosperity and adversity, and which some Jews will defend as vociferously as any WASP, but that's an argument for another day.
Secular people don't get the idea that one's faith is important. The Jewish mama isn't looking down on the nice Filipina because she's Catholic, she's doing so because she's not Jewish. Likewise, cute Jewish ladies (or nominal Christians) wouldn't be on my list to marry (I'm already spoken for, thank you) since they don't share my faith. I'd pass on dating Ms. Portman not because she's Jewish but because she's not a Christian. It may come across as being against someone else's faith, but it is more accurate to being for your own faith. [P.S.-In my single years, I saw many a cute and smart lady on TV and thought-"If she showed up in Sunday School class, I'd be interested." Having a faith in Jesus was a prereq for any relationship I would get into]

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