Post # 1
Fiance and I have been getting a lot of negative comments lately about being different religions. He is Jewish and I am Ukrainian Catholic. We have always known that we’re equally religious and would have a dual faith family, where both traditions are respected, celebrated and recognized as “ours”. We want to have children who identify with both faiths. It honestly seems like the only option for us (we would not want to choose one faith over another or abandon religion completely) and we have been very happy with our decision.
However, family and friends have expressed doubts with our thinking and even told us straight out that it’s “fake” for a Jew to participate in Catholic traditions (and vice versa) and made comments like “one ass can’t sit in two chairs at the same time”. It seems so hard for some people to accept us as we are. And what’s worse, it seems that even among the experts, the consensus is that raising your child with two religions is the worst thing you could do because they will grow up confused and rejected by both communities.
I would love some reassurance that I’m not crazy for attempting to do this, but even more, looking for honest opinions: how would you feel about someone who is “both” Catholic and Jewish? Would you think it hypocritical or fake or weird? Would it be difficult for someone like this to be accepted into society?
Post # 3
I don’t think it matters what anyone else thinks. Religion is a very personal thing, and people should just respect the decisions you make, regardless of how they feel about them. It’s honestly not any of their business other than to know. That’s it.
I’m really sorry you’re getting snarky comments from people. From now on, I would just respond by saying, “Well, it was a decision that we made together and that makes us feel comfortable. Other than that, I’d rather not discuss it.”
Post # 4
My best friend growing up was both Catholic and Jewish. She participated in the Catholic stuff more, but that’s because her dad wasn’t very active. She wasn’t a bad person, she wasn’t confused about God, and I don’t think she was any worse off! I think it’s perfectly acceptable for you to both include your traditions. It sounds like the people you are talking to are exclusionary, and you could remind them that both religions promote interaction between the faiths.
Post # 5
What’s important is that you expose your kids to their heritage and traditions – so of course they can be “both.” Just remember to respect their decisions and search for what they believe.
Post # 6
You are not crazy after all both of your beliefs lead to GOD.
other than that you and your fi will not be the first to do this and suceed.. remember that even though im sure people are making you feel like you will be. Im sure you can help MANY helpful sites or blogs about situations like these.
Post # 7
I can definitely understand growing up celebrating the traditions of Catholicism and Judaism. I think it probably makes a child more well rounded, and the kid could have more support by being a part of two communities.
But maybe what your friends and family are talking about is not the tradition, but the actual religion. If you are Christian, I don’t see how you can also be Jewish in a religious sense, and vice versa.
Post # 8
If “raising your child with two religions is the worst thing you could do because they will grow up confused and rejected by both communities” then maybe those particular communities aren’t the best for you or your family. To an outsider of religion, the one thing I do value and think is wonderful about religious thought is tolerance, acceptance, and community. But if the people practicing are so focused on what your family is comprised of, rather than looking within themselves and realizing that their own intolerance is the problem, then they can go eff themselves. You can find churches and temples with more tolerant members – go there instead. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks 🙂
Post # 9
I’m not a huge religion person period so I can’t talk about how the two are different. Or how it is hypocritical or anything of that nature. I do think that the kids are your kids. No one elses. You & FH make the choices as to how you want to raise your kids. No one else has a right to how you to choose to raise them. End of story.
I don’t personally see the harm. It’ll make them more well rounded as an individual to have respect and knowledge of both religions. And perhaps when they grow up they can choose themselves whether they want to be Jewish, Ukrainian Catholic or nothing.
Again. You & FH kids. Yours and FH’s choice. No one else.
Post # 10
Could you meet with some people who have raised their children in dual-faith homes and see how that works?
I have a friend who is Hindu and Catholic….she doesn’t seem confused to me! She acknowledges BOTH religions, understands where they come from and what the cultures are, but she DOES identify with and ‘believe’ in one more than the other. You may find that your kids at some point identify with one more than the other, but introducing them to both and allowing them to choose what feels more right to them makes sense to me. It’s not like you or your Fiance are abandoning one of your choices and you two are perfectly respectful to each other, so expecting the same of your kids sounds perfectly reasonable!
I do think it’s quite rude for people to so blatantly tell you that like that.
Post # 11
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
I have a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. It was a slightly easier duality because there was no savior versus false prophet theological issues to contend with, but I can speak a little about community–I definitely felt less than accepted by both. Mr. S and I have decided to raise our family in the UU church as a result.
Post # 12
I think one ass can sit in two chairs at once. That’s why there are two cheeks.
It may help to think of the traditions as cultural as well as religious. You are celebrating each others’ cultural heritages.
As @JustLikeHeaven mentioned, both paths are headed toward God. It’ll be a hard road for the two of you, but I firmly believe that’s YOUR business and no one else’s.
All this coming from an atheist, though, so take it with a grain of salt.
Post # 13
@ sage – nice work! I liked your ass theory.
Post # 14
Oh my goodness, my heart goes out to you at this moment!! My Fiance is Catholic and I was raised Protestant, and my family and friends are really having a field day with that. They want to know how we are possibly going to work out our differences, what about our children, etc. I get so frustrated because we both love and want to do God’s will, period. So what if our different churches had different traditions and practices…ultimately, we both want the same thing. He is very respectful of my church, and I actually enjoy going to Mass with him to see how he was raised and what he believes. I think it actually teaches tolerance between the two people — instead of getting hung up on the little details, you can learn to see the things you have in common and use those as an anchor in your religious beliefs.
These differences can really bring the two of you together in a way that sharing one religion may not. Stay strong!!
Post # 15
Well, theologically, it does seem like a bit of a conflict. Either Jesus is the Messiah or he is not.
On the other hand, if what you want your children to do is grow up celebrating and respecting both traditions, I don’t see a problem. Plenty of people do that.
I think you are getting reactions based on the fundamental dissagreement between Judaism and Christianity. It strikes me as something that your children will have to resolve if they ever want to fully commit to the theological underpinnings on one faith or another, but I don’t see it as a deterent from growing up learning about and respecting both parents’ religions.
Post # 16
I imagine it will require a bit more work on your part than a couple of the same faith, but 1.) I definitely don’t think it’s impossible and 2.) it’s not really anyone else’s concern.
I would suggest figuring out sooner rather than later how you’ll handle the religions’ conflicting beliefs. Your children can be raised to understand, participate in and respect both faiths, but there are certain areas where if you teach X, then you can’t believe Y. You just need to decide how to handle these situations, and be sure to approach these areas as a unified front. I truly believe it’s entirely possible.
Fiance is Lutheran, and I’m Catholic. Yes, they’re about as similar as you can get, but he still gets VERY very upset imagining our children “participating in pagan worship of Mary”. We brought up the religion thing a good yr before getting engaged, and we take turns attending each other’s churches. We’ve made some headway, and then some aspects are still being hashed out. I’m positive by the time babies enter the picture we’ll have our entire game plan under control.