General Question

Hambayuti's avatar

You and your loved one decide to marry but it would require one of you to change religion. Would you convert or ask him/her to?

Asked by Hambayuti (1380points) June 30th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

78 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

If it was me being asked to convert, then no, my Atheism is too important to me and it would just be a pointless lie as I would still be an Atheist.

I would never expect someone to change religious beliefs for me.

whitenoise's avatar

No. I would neither ask anyone to change their religion, nor would I accept any religion.

If it means going through the rituals and registering as a certain faith to satisfy family members, I might consider. I would however just not be capable to accept any religion as a truthful guideline to life. I am and will remain an atheist.

Milladyret's avatar

1: Religion is a TO personal thing to just change so that my (or those around me, be it my SO, family or friends) religious needs will be met. Disrespectful.
2: Anyone even TRYING to make me a religious person is off my dating-list. Period.

Harp's avatar

This would raise serious questions about both parties in the relationship. One would be so shallow in his or her convictions that he or she would be willing to swap them for a price, and the other would be so blind as to accept this conversion as meaningful.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I’ve been a Methodist since I was born. I’d never change religions & I’d never ask anyone else to, either. We’d just have to work it out. If it came down to me going to my church & he going to his, so be it.

seekingwolf's avatar

No way. I am a Buddhist and that is my path…I also couldn’t ask someone else to stray off theirs just so we could marry. That’s so wrong.

Hambayuti's avatar

Follow up question to everyone who has replied: (is this allowed?) Does this mean you would only date those who are in the same belief as yours?

Milladyret's avatar

No, but I wouldn’t date anyone trying to push their religious beliefs on me.

Jack79's avatar

Nobody can really convert. Your religion is simply the way you think about the world, so unless that changes, it doesn’t really matter what you call yourself. Sure, I might do it if I loved her enough, though in reality I’d still hold the same beliefs, so that would be a problem right there (assuming she was a fanatic to start with). Similarly, I’d never ask anyone to change for me, as I’d know they wouldn’t mean it either.

The only realistic change of religion that won’t affect a couple is when both are of the same beliefs (eg atheists) and just adopt a religion superficially just for bureaucratic reasons or to please their family. But the couple should agree on certain things, or else there will always be a problem in the relationship.

mattbrowne's avatar

No. Faith is something that only works by choice. No religion or faith should require the conversion of a spouse. Interfaith partnerships can work. A source of tension can be children. I would recommend raising them in a freethinking way so they can choose later. I’m aware that Islam can be very insisting when it comes to marrying a Christian, but to me this is not acceptable. Old-fashioned forms of Islam need reforms. I also find it absurd that in some countries converting from Islam to Christianity results in the death penalty.

Hambayuti's avatar

@mattbrowne – true. I live in the Middle East and would often encounter scenarios where Christian-Muslim relationships are openly frowned at.

casheroo's avatar

I think this would have been discussed well before we decided to get married.
Religion has never been a huge factor for me. I grew up without religion, so it’s never been something I’d thought too hard about. Most men I’ve dated have been Catholic or Jewish. Neither one very “hardcore” into their religion.
I think if my husband had wanted me to convert to Christianity, we’d have a lot to talk about. I’d want to know why he needed me to do it, and what it meant to him.
I know that I wanted him to join a church with me, and he said he didn’t want to because he felt he was “cheating” on the Catholic Church…sounds ridiculous to me, but I never forced it. Yeah I questioned it, but when he explained himself I just let it go. It’s not a dealbreaker for me.

cwilbur's avatar

Why does it require one of us to change religion in the first place?

I wouldn’t change my religion for a marriage, and I wouldn’t expect my partner to. If he felt strongly about his religion, and insisted on getting married in his religion, and his religion required me to convert, it would be a sign that I was involved with the wrong guy in the first place.

arturodiaz's avatar

If anyone ask me to change become religious then he/she is not accepting me as I am. Bad start for any relationship. I don’t think any relationship will work if one is required to change its beliefs just to please the other. One of the first principles in marriage is respect. Each other should respect their own beliefs, if they cant do that, they are not mature enough to get into such a serious commitment.

sakura's avatar

I am catholic and my husband has no religion (his parents decided to let him choose when he was older) We married in a catholic church and he didn’t have to convert, we had “marriage lessons” with the priest before we got married, where my husband when asked, what do you think about your wife being catholic and how do you feel about being married to a catholic, would you consider converting? what about when you have children? He relpied openly and honestly saying that I love my future wife and I will support her always, marriage is about love and commitment for me and not religion, it is important for my future wife to commit our love in her church and I want that to happen or her, I will not convert but hope that the stregth of our relationship and my love for her shows that you do not have to be catholic to love someone with all your heart! I could have cried there and then :)

JLeslie's avatar

No, I would not convert, and I would not ask my husband to convert. BUT, my husband did convert. We are both not religious, I think he just thought it would be nice to be the same. I’m Jewish, he was raised Catholic. Worth mentioning here that his mother is Catholic, and his father was raised Jewish, but his father has always attended Catholic church with his wife, they are both fairly religious, and all of their children were raised Catholic and went to catholic schools when they were young. But, their last name is VERY Jewish.

When my husband told me he wanted to convert, I asked him, “what about the Jesus thing?” He replied, “what about it,” literally I don’t think he even understood that the big difference is Jesus is the son of God in his religion. Then I asked, “do you want to have a christmas tree.” He said, “what if I do?” I said, “then stay Catholic so it will make sense to our kids that we have a tree because daddy is Catholic.”

Meanwhile, as a Jew, I do understand why Jews want to not have interfaith marriages. They are afraid of our numbers dwindeling, it is not that one religion is more right, it is that there are only about 14 million of us in the world.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hambayuti I think if your religion is important to you, and it will be important that your kids are raised in your faith, you probably should seriously consider only dating people of your same religion. For me, it was impostant that the person I dated was not religious, so being Jewish, I would not have dated a very relgious Jew, I have more in common with a non-religious Catholic.

What would be most important is respect for the other religion. Will it be ok, and will your spouse participate with you in religious holidays that are oustide of his religion? Things like that. For me it would be impossible for me to marry a born again religious baptist because he fundamentally believes his path is the only one to salvation. On the other hand I think the Buddhists believe there are many paths to goodness, and I would be fine with that.

wundayatta's avatar

Let me echo @JLeslie. If it’s important that you share a religion with your spouse, then I would only date people who shared your religion, or who were willing to convert after marriage. Now, if religion doesn’t mean much to one of you, they might easily convert and go to all the services and practice the practices of that religion. There are probably billions of people who practice a religion without believing all of its dogma, so I don’t find this hypocritical. Let me explain why.

There is much more to religion than dogma and spiritual and philosophical beliefs. There is community, and charity, and education, and friendship and social lives… and on and on. One can participate in all these things without believing in a specific dogma. One need not feel hypocritical, since one can “believe” in these things, which are part of the religion, without believing in other things that are part of the religion.

So, if it’s important that you attend the same services, and practice the same rituals at home and outside the home, and if it’s important that you honestly share beliefs, then find someone who shares your beliefs. If belief is not important, but social activities are, then you need only find someone who is willing to do the social things, and doesn’t need to believe them.

This will work, unless there are “belief police,” who come into your home or watch you carefully to check out whether there are any signs of unapproved beliefs. If that’s the case, then you better both believe, or be really, really good at pretending to believe. However, if you have the social freedom, and it doesn’t bother you that your spouse has different beliefs, then there is no need to convert.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I’d do it, doesn’t really much matter to me. It’s just for the ceremonies for the most part anyway…

Ruthi's avatar

I hope I’m not such a shallow person who’ll simply change my beliefs for convenience’s sake. We’ll just have to work round the issue, because I’d never ask them to compromise something that I myself would never dream of doing.

Dating someone of my own belief is the only way out I see.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Shallow? I’m not religious, I don’t believe in God or any gods. If someday I have to get confirmed because my wife is Catholic and wants to get married in a church than so be it, how is that shallow?

mattbrowne's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 – Get married! That’s wonderful. I hope your wife never tries to make you convert to being a Catholic. Your an atheist and everybody should respect that and find you wonderful the way you are. I certainly do, and I’m (moderately) religious and I believe in God. But free thinking and choice are equally important to me.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’ve been an agnostic for what seems forever and even though I find religions interesting and full of wonderful teachings, I don’t believe in a “God”. So anyway, I agree to marry my husband who is from a Catholic family and getting married in a church and by the lifelong family priest is very important to them, not to mention the family priest has become a close friend and confidant of mine, religion aside- I went through steps to be made a Catholic in order to please the family to have a formal blessed wedding. My then husband was in agreement, each of us knew we were not going to be observant Catholics but we loved our families more than our principles on religion and religious rites.

pats04fan's avatar

Now you can handle this two ways,

1. Just go on with the two different religions.

2. Each go to the others church not just once but more like 10 times a year. See if each of you want to change, you may not, so just go back to 1.

Facade's avatar

I’d avoid this situation in the first place by not being “unequally yoked”

Supacase's avatar

I would convert unless something in that religion was strongly in contrast with my moral convictions – in which case I would probably not be dating the person anyway. I’m pretty much agnostic so if it turns out there is a God then one religion might just as easily be the “right” one as any other.

Resonantscythe's avatar

To be honest, I would on the grounds that my future wife would understand that it would be for the ceremony only and that I’d go straight back to my own thing the second we stepped out of the mosque/temple/ church/whatever. I would give her the ceremony the way she wanted it but I would make it perfectly clear that I would in no way be “truly converted”. If she couldn’t handle handle that and decided she couldn’t be with me then I’d just have to move on.
Oh, I’m somewhat catholic(I believe in God and Jesus, but not all the ridiculous rules, and to me the pope is just some old guy in a dress and a big hat)

I would never ask someone convert for me however. Everybody knows the actually wedding ceremony is all about the bride.

RareDenver's avatar

Come to think of it I can’t imagine falling in love with someone that religion is THAT important to. It’s hard to love someone when you feel nothing but contempt for them.

evolverevolve's avatar

I already don’t care about my own religion so I would probably change, then not care about that one.

Jeruba's avatar

Neither. I would find a way to marry without forcing anyone into a religion against his or her conscience. A civil ceremony or an ecumenical ceremony would be the answer.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jeruba you are just talking about the cermeony, but there is also the rest of your life with that person.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

To be honest, I wouldn’t end up with anyone who has traditional religious beliefs – and if they even breathed the notion of conversion in my direction, forget it, I wouldn’t even date them…if they had some sort of beliefs different from mine but not along the lines of organized religion, that’d be fine as long as I was left out of it…my partner comes from a religious family, I do not, but we both despise organized religion and have a somewhat agnostic viewpoint – we expose our children to all religions and lacks there of and don’t actively expose them to religion though, just only if it comes up…and I wouldn’t expect anyone to convert to my religion, if I had one

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – Do you despise all forms of organized religion? If yes, why? From our days on, but also here on Fluther, you know that I hold modern religious beliefs and that I’m passionate about science. I’m also a member of the Lutheran Church in Germany, also called Evangelical Church in Germany (although it has little in common with the born-again Evangelicals in the US). Trying to understand your disdain for organized religion could you identify one aspect of my church you find offensive or which you would despise:

I would really mean a lot to me, Simone! Is it only the teleevangelists where most of them make me vomit too when listening to them for more than 10 minutes? Is it some fanatics knocking on your doors? Organized religion is very diverse and I really have trouble understanding this generalization.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne you’re on in a million, you know this…I don’t despise people who hold religious beliefs, just the need for organized religion itself – and I said traditional religious beliefs and traditionally, the Abrahamic faiths have been sexist and homophobic and many modern popular interpretations are still so even if some denominations are, thank you very much, have come to be a bit more accepting…many aspects described in your link I don’t despise of course but out there, in terms of who has what power, religion is still not doing what I’d like it to do and that it to get out of antiquity or disappear…I’m sorry my views are so vindictive, I’ve just seen to much atrocity done to those I love because of religion…

shipwrecks's avatar

I would convert if it meant a lot to my partner. I am not very religious (I belong to the church of C&M… Christams and Easter haha), so if my partner was very religious I would either convert, or agree to raise our children by his faith.

Personally, I think it depends upon the relationship and the people, as always.

mattbrowne's avatar

Sexist? Well, Jesus Christ treated prostitutes like human beings with dignity. Compare that to some modern day people who speak of them like they were scum. In fact he treated every woman as equal. At least this is my understanding.

watdat's avatar

would not convert nor ask her to either. we could always opt for civil marriage. that way we could also save the money for a really great honeymoon.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne well, that may well be, but he did not deny that a woman comes from a man’s rib

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir seems a little more liken to the fact that they could have legitimately thought that’s what happened, either way I think you’re looking too much into that specific example.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – The rib story was created before Jesus. It addresses the question whether there was one gender came first and two genders came later. The story is correct in a sense that life got started with only one. Sex was invented 1.5 billion years ago. In ancient times the scientific tools were limited. People could see male sperm, but no female eggs. I guess that was the reason to imagine men came first and women came later. Today we know it’s the opposite: “Adam” was made from a rib of “Eve”. Even during the early pregnancy every fetus starts off as a girl and it takes a while before the Y chromosome changes some the chemistry.

None of Jesus’ behavior seems to indicate that he treated men as superior because they were the “rib donors”.

cwilbur's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: it’s shallow because you’re not taking the vow seriously. In order to be confirmed, you have to swear that you believe in God, and that you will faithfully practice the religion you’re being confirmed in. If you really don’t believe in God, that’s really not something you should be doing.

Fundamentally, the solution to this is to not get into that position in the first place. If you hold your beliefs strongly, don’t date someone who will expect you to swear to something else, and seek out people who either believe as you do or do not hold their beliefs strongly.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 there’s plenty of other examples of sexism in the book and in the way people follow it

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mattbrowne the way you explain is nice and all but like i say no one does explain it that way and certainly in no way do people view the nuclear family as gender equal, no matter how much you say women being housewives is ‘equal’ to men making money and I know this is an archaic concept but you have no clue how often i hear it around me

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cwilbur you obviously hold religion in a much higher regard than I do, it’s not a must to marry someone who is also an atheist like myself. If she’s muslim, hindu, christian, jewish or Taoist, it doesn’t much matter to me, and like I said, if my fiance has her heart set on being married in a church, masque temple etc, that’s simply something I would be perfectly fine doing for her.
And as a side note, personally(I can’t stress personally enough) swearing allegiance to a flying spagetti monster would be just the same as swearing allegiance to God, Yahweh, Allah, Ra, or whomever else one can dream up, it makes no difference to me, so conversely, it makes no difference.

JLeslie's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 Your answer is interesting to me. So you are fine with whatever religion your wife might practice, but if you were to have children wouldn’t you want them to be similar to you in religious belief or lack of belief? Or, that does not matter either?

Judi's avatar

I wouldn’t consider marrying anyone unless we were in sync spiritually.

cwilbur's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: So you don’t value your oath? You don’t consider your word your bond?

It’s not the allegiance part that’s the problem. It’s that you’d stand up in public and swear that you believed something you didn’t, just so you could get something you wanted. That’s manipulative behavior verging on the psychopathic, and shows a total lack of integrity.

I mean, could you see yourself swearing wedding vows if you knew you were going to cheat on her? Could you bring yourself to say “forsaking all others” if you knew your mistress was in the audience?

Or would you swear in court to tell the whole truth, knowing you were going to lie?

It’s the same thing, to me. It’s not about God; it’s about personal integrity, and about honesty, and about valuing your word and the truth.

And it’s not that I value religion highly that is the root of my advice. It’s that I value integrity. It’s that if you date someone who’s a devout Christian, for instance, and who will insist that you convert, you’re going to eventually put yourself in a situation where you have to publicly swear to something you don’t believe or break up with her. That way lies only pain.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i don’t think one can just ‘convert’. you have to actually truly believe it, or there’s no point. religion is only a set of beliefs, and if you don’t believe your beliefs, you’re not a part of that religion.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@JLeslie My wife can be anything she wants, if I love her I love her. And if/when I do have children I’ll try and expose them to as many different religions as I can, I don’t feel it’s right to only raise your kid as a certain religion just because that’s yours, they’re human beings and it’ll better serve them when they are adults if they have a wider range of knowledge to establish their beliefs.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cwilbur psychopathic? lol really? relax. this isn’t a black and white situation. read my posts please. I said if my wife wanted very much so to get married in a church, I would get confirmed. Obviously if she is a devote catholic and wants me to believe in God then there will be a conversation about how I feel. I said absolutely nothing about lying to my spouse, I said if she wanted me to for ceremony’s sake. again, please read before calling me a psychopath….

JustLeDouxIt's avatar

I wouldn’t. Religion is a personal thing, not something that could easily be changed or “converted.” That’s basically asking him/her to change everything they believe in. I would try to find a way to get married without either party having to compromise beliefs. . . if there were a way.

cwilbur's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: You’re standing up in public and swearing that you believe something you don’t in order to manipulate other people. You’re swearing a false oath for formality’s sake. What is that if not manipulative?

I’m not especially worked up. I’m just amazed at someone actually being so casual about swearing that he believes something he does not, and being so casual about it that he doesn’t even understand why someone else might think it was inappropriate.

And for the record, I didn’t call you a psychopath; I said that the behavior you describe was manipulative bordering on the psychopathic. And I stand by that.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

yes, that’s actually exactly what it is, a false oath for formality’s sake. I’m casual about it because I hold no interest or value in the oath to begin with, and doing so in the instance I described wouldn’t do any harm to anyone in particular, while not doing so would most likely make my wife very upset(girls and their wedding fantasies and all). My primary interest in this issue is not whether or not a god or gods will be unhappy, or whatever other personally insulting aspect you’re deriving misguidedly out of this, it would be how I could make my future wife happy, that’s it.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

an added note: everyone in my family is fully aware of my religious views, as I’m sure my spouse would be as well, so it’s not like it’d be any surprise to anyone that it’s just for the ceremonies, no one would be in the least bit insulted.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

and semantics aside, saying I have psychopathic tendencies, is calling me a psychopath, just because it isn’t a direct phrase doesn’t make it any less insulting to me. that’s like saying “well, she’s not really a whore, she just sluts it up now and then…”

fireside's avatar

@cwilbur and @ABoyNamedBoobs03 – Clearly, this is a hypothetical situation.

I doubt very much that a devout Catholic, or devout anything, would agree to marry an atheist who was willing to lie in church for the ceremony and then would want to bring their kids up outside of the devout spouse’s chosen religion. Unless both of them are fluid with their beliefs and just want to go through the motions for the sake of their dream wedding day.

I don’t think that a marriage without a common foundation (spiritually and otherwise) has much chance of success, but that is just my personal opinion.

cwilbur's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: no, it’s more like a whore being insulted that I called her a whore after she bragged that she got $200 from her john on Saturday night.

You just claimed that you would be willing to stand up in public and swear that you believed something you don’t believe in the sight of people who value both that belief and that oath, casually and intentionally giving a false oath because it’s the way to get something you want. How is that not manipulative verging on psychopathic?

@fireside: Precisely. Anyone who really cared about his or her partner converting would not accept an empty oath, and anyone who insisted on having it done despite his or her partner’s lack of belief in order to satisfy the family is probably not sufficiently independent to be worth bothering with.

It sounds like there’s a pretty significant confusion here between the wedding day and the marriage. The wedding day is unlikely to last more than 8 hours; the marriage is expected to last a lifetime. If you sacrifice things important to the marriage—like honesty and integrity—in order to have a happy wedding day, well, your priorities are pretty screwed up.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cwilbur see this is what you’re not getting here bud. there’s no manipulating anyone, as I’ve said countless times, if/when I get married, my wife, my family and her family will know full when I’m not a religious person, if she wants me to convert because she’s a devote catholic or what have you, then obviously a conversation will be needed to discuss possibilities. But If my wife wants to have a pretty ceremony in a nice church and I need to get confirmed for that to happen, everyone involved will be fully aware that it’s just for the bells and whistles of it all, so honestly, no one will give a shit, if they do, we’ll cross that road when we get there. But I’m getting pretty sick of you likening me to be some huge selfish devil mongering lunatic just because I don’t think there’s a point to religion and and would be perfectly happy to please me wife.
you talk about integrity, how about a little respect for someone you don’t even know for a change. We have different views, it’s simple, there’s nothing in this world or the next that shows I’m wrong and you’re right, or vise versa, so to personally attack me is way off base.

Judi's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 ; The priest (if he’s doing his job) would never confirm you under those circumstances. He might baptize you but he wouldn’t confirm you. Confirmation is a public declaration of faith in what God did in your baptism.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@Judi not to speak specifically of christianity, regardless of which ritual it was, I’d be willing to do it. If the priest or what have you does not want to perform the required deeds then there’s not much I can do about it from that point.

cwilbur's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: and what you’re not getting here is that I’m talking about integrity, which is that you don’t stand up and swear something in public when you don’t believe it just so you can have a pretty ceremony.

Again, it’s not about religion. It’s about honesty and integrity. The problem is not that you’re swearing that you believe in a religion that you don’t believe in; the problem is that you’re swearing anything you know to be false in order to get something you want. And the further problem is that you don’t even seem to understand why anyone might object.

Callous affect, anyone? Lack of empathy? Manipulative behavior? Lack of remorse for bad behavior? Unwillingness to accept responsibility? What would you call this?

You get respect when you earn it. What you’re advocating here, with no apparent remorse, is disgusting and dishonest. You don’t get respect from me for that.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Personally I don’t even understand why myself specifically is getting called out for something like this, where’s the psychopathic tendencies in @shipwrecks or @evolverevolve or @Resonantscythe who essentially are saying the exact same things as me just less bluntly?
I feel absolutely no remorse for it because I don’t have any respect for the oath in the first place. Tell me, you don’t show me respect because you don’t like me. So why should I show respect to an oath that I don’t like?

JLeslie's avatar

@cwilbur re @ABoyNamedBoobs03 he is not lying to his spouse, she knows where he stands. I understand where you are coming from, I chose not to have a batmitzvah because my family was not religious, but I could have done it for the party, I felt like it wasn’t right. But, I was married by a Rabbi. If he is going to let his children be raised catholic isn’t that all that really matters to the church anyway?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@cwilbur you obviously not owning any semblance of personal respect for myself just because we have a difference in opinion and then calling me out for not having integrity is absolutely ridiculous, I hope you realize that.

Judi's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 ; Just curious, would you lie under oath in court? If you wouldn’t, is the only reason you wouldn’t the fear of a perjury charge?
I don’t know you so I am choosing not to stand in judgment of you, but I am just curious. There used to be a lot of shame in society for lying “under oath,” regardless of the legality of it. I’m sure you are younger than me, so I’m wondering if this is just a societal change since so many others seem to agree with you. (Anyone else who would do the same, please chime in.)

cwilbur's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03: This is not about a difference of opinion. I am saying you have no integrity because you’re perfectly willing to swear a false oath to get what you want. Do you really think you can admit the willingness to lie in public, defend this position because it’s on a matter that isn’t important to you, and shrug it off because it lets you get something you want, and still have anything resembling integrity?

It’s not respect for the oath. It’s respect for yourself. It’s respect for the people you’re swearing in front of. It’s respect for the truth. Your word is supposed to be your bond. If you can’t be trusted—and you’ve basically admitted that you’re perfectly willing to lie when it suits you—what then, is left of you worth any shred of respect?

I don’t respect you because by your own admission you’re willing to lie, to stand up and swear a false oath, to get what you want. I don’t think you have any integrity because integrity means things like honoring your word and keeping your promises, both of which you’ve indicated in your own words that you don’t really care much about as long as you get what you want.

I don’t think this is the slightest bit ridiculous. I think it’s the reasonable response to someone who’s as casual about the truth and about sworn commitments as you are. And I think any woman who’d be complicit in your false oath when you “convert” and then put any trust at all in your wedding vows deserves every bit of misery she’s signing up for.

@JLeslie: he’s not lying to his spouse. He is lying to the religious officials he is swearing to, and the people there to witness his “conversion” and his wedding.

JLeslie's avatar

@cwilbur I know. But for some reason if his wife cares about being married in a church and its hard to find a priest who will do an interreligious ceremony then whatever. Tons of Catholics don’t follow their religion, got confirmed when they were young, and have no real understanding of what they are/were confirming, its just something they do, because their parents set it up, why do you hold other people to a higher standard?

Judi's avatar

I can’t answer for @cwilbur ; but I think that people who go through with confirmation, after the classes and don’t believe in what they are confirming are pretty pathetic.
I went to a Church that had confirmation (not Catholic) and chose not to get confirmed when the rest of my class did. I was not sure I was ready to make that oath to the church. a few years later, I studied a little more and realized I was making the oath to God and not the denomination and went through with the confirmation. (I still worship at that same denomination over 30 years later.)

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi Look, I think you are right to the extent that I wouldn’t do it either. I would not take an oath to a religion I did not believe in, but if he wants to do it, I am ok with his decision. Plenty of Jews did it in Spain instead of dying back in the day.

sakura's avatar

this thread seems to be becoming a bit too personal, to me the original question asks would you change your religion for your spouse? Many people do this regardless of the morality behind it. It is up to their own concious and their belief as to whether or not they will be punished by a higher power.

I was asked as a Catholic when marrying my non denominaton husband whether or not I could live with the guilt and am I willing to face the consequences of marrying a non catholic. I accepted this willingly as I believe as a Christian that we should learn to love and accept differences in on another.

Plus if you read my answer above after what my hubby said I couldn’t say no really!!

Live and let live, if someone wants to swear a non legally binding oath that will make their partner happy why not, it is their soul (if you want to take all that stuff seriously) that will need to be forgiven and as a catholic there is only God that can truly absolve these sins it is not up to us meer mortals to sit in judgement!

cwilbur's avatar

@JLeslie: if the thousands of Catholics who have fallen away from the church didn’t believe what they said when they stood up and affirmed their belief when they were confirmed, I have the same level of contempt for them.

And I come from a family where this is an actual, practical issue. My parents were married by a justice of the peace because my father would not convert to Roman Catholicism and my mother would not leave the church she grew up in. He could have stood up in the church and swore that he believed in every last bit of it, but he didn’t, because it would have been a lie, and he knew what he believed. She could have done the same, and didn’t, because it would have been a lie, and she knew what she believed.

I respect people who have the courage of their convictions. I have nothing but contempt for people whose word means nothing because they’ll lie to get what they want.

JLeslie's avatar

@cwilbur I see you are very black and white on this, I wonder if you are like that on most things?

During the Spanish Inquisition, which I eluded to earlier, Jews were basically forcebly converted, they were not taking an oath they believed in, but generations later their decendents are Catholics, the Catholics actually effectively in the end increased their numbers, even though the original converts were not genuine in their conversion. I don’t think it matters much practically speaking for the church if the person converting doesn’t care much either way, as long as their children will be raised in the faith. It is not like that person is going to go screaming through the church I think all of this stuff you believe in is BS.

cwilbur's avatar

@JLeslie: I don’t believe it’s possible to compromise on matters of integrity. Either you are a person who keeps his or her word, or you’re not. If someone is willing to stand up and swear an oath he knows is false, how on earth can you trust his wedding vows? Sure, he swore to love, honor, and cherish, and to forsake all others, but he also swore to keep and practice a particular faith. What reason do you have to believe that the wedding vows have any more meaning to him than the confirmation vows?

And the forcible conversion of Jews—frankly, if @ABoyNamedBoobs03 were facing the prospect of converting or dying, I think he’d have a reason to lie. I don’t think you’ll be able to rationalize that the desire for a pretty church wedding and the desire to avoid death are at all comparable.

The material church doesn’t care if you convert or not, or even if you believe or not, so long as you keep tithing, and you raise your kids to tithe. This is an abdication of its responsibility, because the church should not be about tithes but about souls. The fact that the Roman Catholic church has been screwed up in the past (and is still screwed up in a lot of ways) is not sufficient justification for an anything-goes attitude.

Meribast's avatar

@cwilbur Actually integrity means to be consistent or having congruence between beliefs/thoughts/statements and action/behavior.

Human behavior needs to be a little more flexible than your apparent standards. Someone who almost always keeps his word is not the same as some who never keeps his word.

Leave a little wiggle room for those of us who aren’t perfect like yourself.

Personally, I probably wouldn’t “convert” to a religion that didn’t mesh with my own beliefs, and I would question any religion that asked me to do so in order to allow their follower to remain in good standing with their church, which I think is the main issue, not having a “pretty church wedding.”

Someone who is a polytheist isn’t like a monotheist (none of that I’m a Jealous God and thou shalt have no others before Me nonsense), which could be the case here. Not everybody here comes from the same religious or cultural background. Adding another God is no big deal. I really doubt if most people have true faith in their god of worship, if they did I doubt they would behave as they do. A lot worship because its culturally expected, not because of personal choice.

I’m polytheist myself but I have been personally called to worship the two deities I venerate. Most of my religion pay lip service to many more but never feel the call. Of course by mental health standards such a “call” might be considered a sign of psychosis in modern times. “A talking burning bush you say…?”

Hambayuti's avatar

@Meribast welcome to Fluther =]

cwilbur's avatar

@Meribast: Consider the context.

A man stands up and swears that he believes in God and that he will do his best to follow the teachings and practices of the church.

Then he stands up and swears that he will love, honor, and cherish a woman.

Why on earth would any sane woman believe the latter when she has just seen him swear falsely to the former?

We’re not talking about little white lies here. We’re talking about solemn, formal, long-considered vows. You can cavil all you like about how nobody’s perfect, but there’s a significant qualitative difference between meaning well but not managing to follow through and swearing to something you know you won’t do at the time you swear the oath.

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