Whew! The Washington Post’s On Faith blog has invited an exhausting 16 (and no space for yours truly?!) panelists to weigh in on interfaith marriage: thumbs up, thumbs down or neutral. OK, the questions are actually a little more thoughtful:
“Is interfaith marriage good for American society? Is it good for religion? What is lost -and gained -when religious people intermarry?”
Like all of us media institutions hungry for Web traffic, the Post is pegging the whole thing to the Chelsea Clinton-Marc Mezvinsky intermarriage of the century. I can’t wait ‘til December when we can all, if we’re not all bored out of our minds by the topic, churn out endless copy speculating whether the couple will have a Christmas tree and/or menorah. Should Chelsea get pregnant, we can then discuss the potential for a bris, Hebrew school etc. for the little Clinton-Mezvinsky and then, eventually, whether (and in what kind of cemetery) the couple will select a joint burial spot. Of course by then, maybe a cast member of “Jersey Shore” or a character on “Mad Men” or someone like Lindsay Lohan will distract us all by deciding to marry a Jew.
Anyway, the Washington Post panelists include four rabbis: Clal’s Rabbi Bradley Hirschfeld (stats about higher divorce rates among interfaith couples is misleading) Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline (opposes intermarriage, but welcomes the intermarried), Conservative Rabbi David Wolpe (intermarriage a threat to minority cultures) and Liberal Rabbi Julie Neuberger of the UK (intermarriage is an unavoidable byproduct of living in an open society, but it’s best to pick one faith for the kids).
The Post also features several columns by Marion Usher, who runs pre-marital workshops for interfaith couples, and who makes the wise point that more important than the wedding is how the marriage itself will work.
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