General Question

bigchina's avatar

is difference of religion reason enough to keep from pursuing the love of your life?

Asked by bigchina (40points) March 5th, 2008 from iPhone

imagine that everything else is perfect, completely compatible

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

ishotthesheriff's avatar

relationships are all about compromise. if you both really want it to work out then you’ll find a way to make it happen.

sfgirl's avatar

It depends on how important your religion is to you or to your partner. I agree with ishotthesheriff in that if you both want to make it work, you’ll figure it out.

robmandu's avatar

It would be interesting if responders to this questions qualified their answers with a brief explanation that religion plays in their own lives.

Point is, if you’re primarily secular (not practicing, agnostic, atheist, etc) in life and opinion, then I think it’s easy to see where you’d say, “No, it shouldn’t keep you from pursuing that person with a different religion.”

Many religions (notably Christianity and Islam) promulgate the idea that we should not be ‘unequally yoked’ with unbelievers.

For purposes of this discussion, the idea there is that arguably your relationship with God is the most important over all others, and if the two of you cannot agree on that basic precept, then perhaps you’re not really as compatible on other levels as you think.

(disclaimer, not speaking for all Christians, Muslims, etc…. just making an observation from that point of view. Obviously, if your religion of choice forwards the concept of dating/marrying unbelievers specifically, well, then you’d want to take that into account. ;-)

ishotthesheriff's avatar

great point @robmandu
i also think the person asking the question should state the beliefs, as that plays a big part in how to answer the question.

cwilbur's avatar

It depends on the difference in your religions. If one of you is Presbyterian and the other is Congregationalist, it’s probably something you can work around. If one of you is a fundamentalist Muslim and the other is an Orthodox Jew, it’s probably not likely to work.

The two of you have to live together and support each other. If the religious differences are so great that you can’t do that, or that you’ll have family problems either with parents or with children, it’s probably enough to keep you from pursuing the relationship.

siri's avatar

at the same time I’m pretty sure most religions teach that you should love one another dispite indifferences

robmandu's avatar

@siri, maybe not true of everyone, but I’d consider that a given… and not really relevant to the question being asked here.

Just because you ‘love your neighbor’ doesn’t mean that s/he is dating/marriage material.

bigchina's avatar

To clarify, the two religions being referenced in the question are Christianity and Atheism.

ishotthesheriff's avatar

eek, i think whoever the Christian is needs to take into serious consideration “equally yolked” and how dedicated they are to what they believe in, which hopefully is a great deal.

cwilbur's avatar

It depends on how the Christian and the atheist relate to each other and how seriously they take their religions. The question is undecidable based on the information you’ve given.

It’s certainly possible for such a relationship to work out.

iSteve's avatar

Only if you let it be!

Poser's avatar

My GF is a sincere Catholic, and I’m almost agnostic (in that I believe in God, but don’t necessarily adhere to any religion). It is workable, but there are some things to consider.

How will the children be raised? If one of you isn’t comfortable with your children being raised in a manner in which they don’t believe, it’s not going to work.

Most importantly, each partner needs to respect the other’s right not to believe like they do. I can disagree with some of what my GF believes in and still respect and even encourage her to believe it. In fact, she’s taught me a lot about what she believes (and why she believes it), and has given me a newfound respect for Catholicism. Likewise, she understands that I have a right to believe what I believe, and respects that.

djbuu's avatar

Religion is a personal thing with personal weight. It may be unimportant to some and it may be all important to others. There is no way to fairly answer this question.

scamp's avatar

I am Christian and my SO is atheist. We simply agree to disagree. Early on, we had several heated discusions on this topic. I now refuse to talk to him about religion. I choose to believe, he dosen’t. There is no way he will convince me to stop believing just as he refuses to believe what I do, so there is no sense discussing it further.

As Christians, it is our job to be examples to others, not ram our beliefs down another’s throat. I have told him what I believe in and why, so my job is done. I find it ironic that he is the one that tries to initiate further discussion on the topic. I guess he sees there is something missing, and he wants to know what it is that I have and he doesn’t.

We get along just fine otherwise.

chaosrob's avatar

A difference in faiths is only relevant if its more important to you than being with the other person. Religion turns out to be fairly malleable when confronted with real, live, genuine love.

scamp's avatar

But wouldn’t you say that real genuine love is in religion? As in.. there is no love more pure than god’s?

chaosrob's avatar

@scamp: There’s a pretty obvious difference between some philosophically ideal benevolence and and the overwhelming physical and emotional bond you feel for someone you love deeply, wouldn’t you say? I’ve heard before that it’s possible to be that moved by an idea, but I don’t think it’s on the same level as what happens when you’re committed to someone who interacts tangibly with you on a moment-to-moment basis.

Jill_E's avatar

It is important to accept each other from the beginning of the relationship. And try not to change religion beliefs.

My old boyfriend tried to change my beliefs. How can I change for him when I am completely at peace and have a good relationship with God as it is growing up. I could accept him as his religion choice but he needed to accept as I am. It is who I am and can’t change overnight.

Zaku's avatar

Original question: “is difference of religion reason enough to keep from pursuing the love of your life?
imagine that everything else is perfect, completely compatible”

No. However, difference of religion is enough to interfere with me finding out what someone is like, so in that way, yes.

fyrefay's avatar

No. it would be wise though to discuss this issue with your loved one, and to make decisions about religious matters and education should you marry and have children. My family always left it up to us to choose—this has worked very well for us.

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