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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in Living an Interfaith Lifestyle's LiveJournal:

Sunday, December 10th, 2006
6:01 pm
Hi there....

My name is Leah. I was raised Jewish, and am now married to a man who is Christian, and comes from a VERY religous family.

I am 25, but have been questioning faith/religion in general since I was a senior in high school. I don't necessarily consider myself to be Jewish, but I don't consider myself to be Christian in any way.

It took a great deal of fighting and heartache, but we did manage to have an interfaith wedding that both of our families were comfortable with.

But, this time of year always brings about tension. My parents are coming to visit after Christmas, and I can imagine the tears and "disappointment" from my mother if she sees our Christmas decorations.

I think that things would be much easier if I was strong in my faith. But, I consider myself to be in a state of "religious confusion".

I'd love to chat with people who can relate :)
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
8:07 am
Christening Question
I don't know how active this community is right now, but I'll ask in the hopes of an answer.

My husband and I have been married two years. Myself and my family are Christian. He and his family are Jewish. So far, we've done pretty good with holidays and family events. He even came to my mother's church once or twice, because he knew how important it was to me.

But lately, we've been feeling the strain of the differences between our families. Well,, mine anyway. He doesn't like my mom's church and I can't blame him for that. Our first major run-in involved my (former) pastor, requesting I stop singing solos since I was "romantically involved with a non-believer."
I didn't imagine I'd fall in love with someone of a different faith, but when I did, I was pretty much decided that no one tells me who to love.

Anyway, long story short, there's been an incident or two over the past two years that has made the idea of attending a church cringe-inducing.
But we've agreed that our potential child would be raised Christian.

So, here's the problem.
I am now eight months pregnant. We're extremely excited and happy, but I foresee a battle coming up.
It will be basically all of my mother's family (and that's a lot) against my husband on whether or not there should be a Christening and if so, where?

I don't want it at my mom's church. They made it pretty clear their stance on Jews and gays and I guess I'm too liberal for that. I'm an actress, for heaven's sake.
I haven't found another church yet. And even so, my husband gets wary of the thought of doing things in a church.

So, any suggestions on how to handle this?
Has anyone gone through this or something similar?
How did you solve the problem? Was it solved?
I could use some help here.

Current Mood: worried

Thursday, September 28th, 2006
9:02 pm
Something of interest?

I hope no one takes offense at this. :) I'd just like to share a little project I've been working on. It's a day planner type calendar for 2007, with an interfaith theme.

The calendar contains roughly 900+ feasts and holidays from nearly 30 different religions - these include Asatru, Kemetism, Gnosticism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Baha'i, Rastafari, Sikhism, Voudun, Paganism, Wicca, Shintoism, Celticism, Thiodisk Gelôbo, Taoism, Religio Romana, Canaanite & Slavic Religion, Judaism, Hellenismos, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Santeria, WoT Paganism, and Middle Eastern Paganism. ^^ All of them are explained, and there are plenty of other goodies thrown in.

You can find buy the day planner calendars here. :) Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
11:42 pm
This past weekend, I went to a Catholic service with some very Catholic relatives of mine. I was staying with them at the time, and their typical modus operendi is to go to the Sunday evening service and then out to dinner - it would have been somewhat troublesome for me not to join them, as they'd have to come back for me. And besides, though I consider myself Jewish, I rather like going to Catholic mass. My mom is Catholic and I spent my childhood going to CCD and being an angel in the nativity play before having my Bat Mitzvah and sticking to the synagogue.

The church my aunt and uncle attend is the same church my grandmother and cousins all attend(ed). It's gone through several face-lifts but I know it very well; I feel as comfortable there as I do anywhere else in the world. I even recongized the officiating priest. And though we sat in the front row (in deference to my uncle's mother, who is hard of hearing) I didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable or self-conscious. I might have attended this church every week of my life.

Which is funny, when you consider that I'm now married to a Catholic man who probably wouldn't know when to stand and when to sit (whereas I remember all the rituals well enough to follow along and not look stupid).

(And no, I don't follow every one. I remain seated when the congregants kneel; I stand when they stand though I may not recite some of the prayers; I sing because I love the music generally the psalms are pretty generic. I do the "Peace be with you" bit because I agree, and if the priest invites those who can't receive communion to come forward and receive a blessing instead, I join the rest in line. I figure I can use all the blessings I can get.)

Anyway, to get to my point - I wondered if anyone else felt the same as I do, comfortable in any place of worship, even if it's not their own. Granted, my sense of ease might have been due to my familiarity with this particular church (as I've been there countless times before), but I've never felt the least bit out of place in other churches as well. I don't know if that's me, or if it is a result of my peculiar religious upbringing. What do you all think?
9:43 am
peace and shalom

I am new to this community. I was raised in an interfaith home. My mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic.  When they married, they agreed to raise my sister and I Catholic, but with an appreciation of Judiasm. When my sister was in college, she eventually decided that Judiasm appealed more to her, so she converted to Judaism, learned Hebrew, and had her Bat Mitzvah at the age of 21.  She met her husband at the university's Hillel (for those of you who don't know, that is a college club for Jews). He is also a child of an interfaith marriage and was raised Catholic, and converted to Judaism in college.  They had a Jewish wedding in their synagogue, where they are both active members. They plan to raise their children Jewish.

I, on the hand, chose to remain Catholic. I went to a Catholic college, where I was an active member of Campus Ministry and went on many retreats that deepened my faith and brought me closer to the Holy Spirit. I still am a practicing Catholic, and I sing in the choir at my church. My husband is also Catholic and we were married in a Catholic church by a priest who went to college with my father. 

Because of my interfaith background, I definetely do not believe that there is only one right religion or one correct way to get to God. It really infuriates me when people say otherwise. 
Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006
3:34 pm
Hi there... how was everyone's holiday season?

My husband and I had Christmas at my parents house, then headed to his parents place for Hanukkah.

His mother was amused because we brought the leftover Honey Baked Ham from my parents.

Nothing like Ham and Latkes! :-)
Monday, December 27th, 2004
1:44 pm
I am from an interfaith family, and so is my husband - and we ended up having an interfaith marriage.

At first, we thought that because each of us has one Jewish parent and one Christian parent, that we had a lot of common ground. Both of us felt, lifelong, like we were "between identities" and neither really Jewish nor Christian.

It was not until I was actually married to him that I saw how interfaith we as a couple are.

Now I am having to deal with this.

I am not religious, but have a Jewish identity, as my mother is Jewish. All of my life I have felt a lot of deep questions and sense of identity confusion because of coming from an interfaith background, but not being raised with any strong religious practices myself. When I married him, I felt like I'd found someone like myself.

His mother, however, is Christian, and I find myself feeling overwhelmed. Jewish celebrations just do not get the priority in this house.

I do not enjoy the holiday seasons because of feeling overwhelmed by the Christian majority. I like to hide in my house during Christmas, pretty much. My mom celebrates Hannukah in the low-key manner in which it is supposed to be celebrated, and my dad (who is an ex-hippie, and not very religious) just celebrates Christmas as "giftmas".

My partner, however, grew up with various Christian traditions, even though he says he is an agnostic.

I am dealing with a painful reality - that each of us is from an interfaith family, is irrelevant. Even if I am not an actively religious Jew and he is not an actively religious Christian (he is an agnostic), I am still a Jew who married a Christian. My mother is Jewish. His mother is Christian. That is all there is to it.

Now what do I do, is the next question.

Part of me feels strongly like this isn't what I signed on for, but I had no idea what I was actually dealing with until we were actually married.
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
12:41 pm
Hi... I'm new.

My name is Erica. I was raised Presbyterian. I am engaged to be married to a wonderful man named Jonathan, who is Jewish.

I wanted to find a community of people who were in the same type of situation or the product of one.

So here I am :-)
12:37 pm
a wish
I have an open view of religion. Perhaps this is the way in which I was raised, but I do not see stark dividing lines between different religious beliefs or practices.

And while I consider myself to be Jewish, I do not automatically condemn Christian groups who try to improve the world around them - in fact, I am more willing to help them than I am many Jewish groups of the same nature.

Why? I can't say for certain, except that as a child, I never saw the Jewish groups in action. Most of them, to my mind, seem focused on helping Jews in other countries, whereas most Christian groups seem to want to help the people close to home. And I heartily approve of this venture.

When I was in Sunday school, we had a tzedakkah box. And at the end of the year, we were allowed to vote on what organization we wanted to give the money to. I suggested the Salvation Army, because I knew that they gave out toys and food and clothes to families who needed them. And I thought this a very good thing.

My teacher, however, was horrified, and refused to even write the suggestion on the board.

I never understood quite why he'd done this. To this day, I still don't understand why he would be so unwilling to assist an organization that does good close to home. The money ended up going to buy a tree in Israel. I couldn't help but wonder what good a tree would do anybody in a country so war-torn that the tree would probably be destroyed before it lived to maturity.

There is a meme going around LJ currently, called the Christmas wish meme. In it, you are to list ten things that you wish for this holiday season. It can be anything, from material goods to fanciful notions. Then you're supposed to go to your flist and read other suggestions, and if you can fulfill someone's wish, do so.

I've been fulfilling people's wishes by making them mix CDs, writing them a story, and other small things. It makes me happy to do so.

I posted my wish list, and on it asked people to do things for others. Give them a book they'd been wanting, tell them they were loved, write someone a letter. And one of the things I asked for was to keep change in your pocket and drop it in the red kettles when they heard the bells ring.

It's something I have always done, from high school on. And I always feel good having done it, because even if I only give fifty cents or so at a time, I do it for every kettle I pass. It adds up.

This morning, I found this note in the comments under my request:

I can not, as a Jew, feel comfortable with supporting the Salvation Army. Hell, I'd drain every dollar they had if I could.

And I cannot even begin to tell you how much this saddens me, and at the same time angers me beyond belief. Not supporting a group that strives to do good? Well, that's your perogative, I suppose. I can't force you to give anyone your money. And I was hardly expecting everyone to do the things on my list, much less this one request. (And I'll add that there were other requests to donate money to other places on the list.)

But to drain them of all of their funds?

I just don't understand it. Why? How could someone be so vindictive, so evil, and so resentful?

And worse - how could someone take a post I had meant to be in the good spirit of holiday love and sharing, and tell me that not only do they disagree with my intentions, but that because of what I have asked, I'm a bad Jew?

Because that's exactly how I feel right now.

Sometimes, I wish that everyone was raised in a dual-religious household. I don't see religious dividing lines. I don't understand how one religion can blindly hate another.

I only know that when someone tries to help another, it can only be a good thing.
Thursday, September 30th, 2004
10:47 am
Hello! I'm a 27 year old Jewish woman (granted, I don't feel like an adult yet) living in Washington, DC. I grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ, a community with a high Jewish population, and attended a college with a significant Jewish population as well. However, I always had very few Jewish friends. I chalk that up more so to my family's situation. Not to reinforce stereotypes, but many of the Jewish families in my town were significantly more well off than mine, and many of the girls my age I encountered at Hebrew School never let me forget it. And atlhough I attended hebrew school and went to and worked at a Jewish day camp, I never really enjoyed youth group activities and always felt like an outsider.

While I've dated both Jews and non-Jews, I'm currently in a serious, committed relationship with an Episcopalian. My immediate family was always very supportive of me dating whomever I chose to, and my parents and grandmother adore my boyfriend to pieces. I have felt some tension from my extended family about my relationship, but they are much more religious, and much less willing to explore other cultures and religions, than my parents and I.

The cultural aspects of my Judaism-the celebration of the holidays, the foods, the family celebrations, are very important to me, and I intend to expose my children to them, once I get around to birthing them. :). But I also want them to know about their TBD father's background as well.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to our discussions!
Wednesday, September 29th, 2004
2:20 pm
Welcome post
Hello, and welcome to interfaith_life. I intend for this group to be a support group for those who are children of or participants in an interfaith marriage. Please feel free to join if either of those topics interest you. This is not a place for the deep dark discussions of religion - it's just your friendly neighborhood discussion group on how you explain to little Susie or David why exactly Daddy goes to church and Mommy goes to temple.

And other assorted topics, of course...
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