I was raised Roman Catholic and my husband was raised Jewish. I had my First Communion at the age of 6 and my husband had his bar mitzvah at age 13, so we’re both legit in our respective faiths.
Our religions weren’t much of a talking point in the beginning of our relationship, mainly because neither one of us knew much about the others’ faith, nor did we meet at a church or synagogue.
But once we decided we wanted to get married, the subject became more important, mainly because of our families’ viewpoints.
His mother asked me if I was going to convert to Judaism. I responded honestly that I had no intention of doing so, but that if she was uncomfortable with that decision, we could call off the engagement. Because her son was a grown man, she decided not to interfere.
Then my own mother asked me if I was going to convert and “give up” the Catholic religion. Again, I stated that I had no intention of doing so. And it struck me as interesting that both of our mothers had the idea that I should be the one to convert; why shouldn’t my soon-to-be husband be asked that question?
Once we were officially engaged, we began to look into each other’s belief systems. Needless to say, we had a couple of interesting clashes on certain practices—circumcision and no pork or shrimp on his side, confessions and praying to saints on mine.
Luckily for us, we were able to use what we learned in our Scientology studies to ensure we weren’t misinterpreting or misunderstanding the intent of our respective religions. It finally boiled down to the fact that our basic moral and ethical values were almost exactly the same and that none of these values were in conflict with our religious tenets and teachings.
Simply put: we respect each other’s and others’ religious beliefs. My husband has attended Mass with me and my family. I have attended synagogue with him and his family. We are raising our daughter to appreciate both religions, and teaching her the basics of each. Like any other kid, she really enjoys the holidays! But she’s also learning about each of these philosophies and observing how they can be used in the world out there that she inhabits.
Our shared belief is that religion is a personal choice and experience which allows one to achieve one’s God-given potential and help make this world a better place to live.
And that’s how we make it work!