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zenele's avatar

Would you convert, or become more religious for a partner?

Asked by zenele (8242points) July 2nd, 2010

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31 Answers

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

No. Religiosity is a turn-off to me.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Nope. I’d be respectful of their beliefs (provided they weren’t hateful or over-the-top crazy), but I would never change my own beliefs just to suit them, nor would I ask them to do so for me.

ETpro's avatar

No. I cannot honestly make myself believe something I do not believe. And the very foundation of a relationship is intellectual honesty.

Sarcasm's avatar

I would never pretend to believe in deity. I can understand compromising on certain things in a relationship. But a fundamental belief like that? Never.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Having been much more religious than I am now and being married to a woman who eschews organized religion, its is hard to relate to this question.

At this stage of my life, my situation not withstanding, the notion of becoming more religious or converting to a different religion to please someone else is unacceptable to me.

Religious conviction and observance is not to be undertaken for any other reason than personal conviction or at a minimum a personal search for answers you have not found in other faiths you have explored.

ninjacolin's avatar

sure if they could convince me it was the truth.

lillycoyote's avatar

I couldn’t. It would be hypocrisy for me; a lie, a matter of just going through the motions. I am the universal apostate. Not only have I rejected the dogma, doctrines, theology and creeds of my own religion, the religion that I was raised in at least, but I have rejected the dogma, doctrine, theology and creeds of all religions. It would be wrong of me to pretend to convert to some religion that I don’t and can’t believe in.

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Jeruba's avatar

No. Anyone who would expect that of me would never become my partner.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Will never ever do that. If one can’t accept me the way I am then there’s no reason I should accept that person.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Absolutely not. To me that is something that you simply can not “fake.”

partyparty's avatar

No I wouldn’t.
I would respect their beliefs, but would also expect them to accept my beliefs.

gemiwing's avatar

Yes. Let me explain! heh
I used to be much more involved in my church and wouldn’t mind doing so again. Being married to someone who doesn’t share my beliefs can be difficult at times. So, the idea of having a partner who wanted me to be more active in the church sounds appealing.

Until I realise it would mean not having Hubbs and that’s just not worth it. I have to do this on my own.

nebule's avatar

Um..nope. I went out with a guy for a few months that was highly committed to his religion. He wouldn’t do anything remotely sexual with me and although I respected his beliefs and commitments to the doctrine he followed I couldn’t compromise my own beliefs and deny an integral part of my nature as a human.

downtide's avatar

Absolutely not.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

People have converted, but I have no idea if it was because that was the only way they they would be allowed to marry in the place of worship of their choice, or if their beliefs truly changed.

I suppose that there is always a chance that my beliefs might change if my S/O could produce proof that he is right, but even then, the change would be for me and not for him.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Anyone who tried to change my beliefs would try to change every other aspect of what makes me who I am, and I am not prepared to compromise that in any way. I have and do made compromises, but never in relation to my beliefs.

It took me four hard years of intensive study and contemplation to develop the beliefs I currently hold, and it would take an equal measure of persuasion and hard facts to make me reassess those beliefs.

aprilsimnel's avatar

No. I have to, what’s the phrase? “Seek out my own soul’s salvation,” as it were.

perspicacious's avatar

I have to chuckle at the words “more religious.”

Sure, when young and marrying with the expectations of having a family I would want the family to participate in similar religious beliefs and observances. That can work when the differences between the partners’ beliefs are not very significant. It can be a problem when the differences are substantial, but most Christian denominations are similar enough to make it work. I’ve known may couples in which one partner made a drastic religious change when they married. For some, problems never arose, and for others, it was always a problem.

In later life I see no reason why two people with very different religious views cannot be completely happy together.

mattbrowne's avatar

I don’t see the need. My wife is Catholic and I’m Protestant.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Only if I began to believe what they believed but in all seriousness, that would never happen.

zenele's avatar

Well this has struck an unsuspected chord.

People chuckle at things for different reasons, @perspicacious – the reason why I used that particular phrasing was because it pertained to my own personal situation.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, but let’s say two adults of the same religion are interested in each other. One is more “religious” – or practises the religion more closely, especialy pertaining to the Sabbath (which in Judaism comes with many restrictions – including not using electricity or driving) and the other does not. Would the latter immediately filter out people that practise said restrictions, or try to adjust – thus being “more religious” for lack of a better term.

Perhaps you have a better way of explaining this.

perspicacious's avatar

@zenele You take offense when it isn’t intended, I think. My best friends are Jewish, and I agree that the spectrum of religious observances in that religion is quite a spand, and your wording is, I suppose, as good as any.

The chuckle comes from Protestants who use the term to refer to those whose presence may be found in the Church more than others, which is really meaningless.

The real substance of my answer had to do with conversions, which was really your question.

zenele's avatar

I don’t know what to be offended by first; it isn’t intended you think? Either you intended to chuckle at it or you didn’t.

Some of my best friends are Jewish – I don’t even want to go near that one.

Go ask a question. It isn’t easy – especially when it isn’t your first language.

I’ve asked about 500 – you – none. Chuckle.

Jeruba's avatar

@zenele, when I hear a Jewish person speak of being “more religious” is has a specific meaning to me that doesn’t really carry over to the other faiths that I know of. I think that’s because in Judaism (as it seems to me) it’s possible to view your practices and observances on a continuum of both quantity and quality, whereas in the other varieties of religion that I know, from evangelical to high church, it is mostly just quantity. Any qualitative difference would be internal but would not necessarily translate into being, for example, stricter with food or more scrupulous with certain holiday customs.

So—if you had asked the question another way, I would have answered differently. Since it’s a speculative question anyway, for me, I would have taken it whole: “If you were Jewish, would you become more religious for a partner?”

In that case, I would answer yes, up to a point. I don’t think I could handle orthodox Judaism. For instance, I could never be so punctilious about my housekeeping and sweep out every last speck of everything twice a year. Instead I would be a tormented slacker caught in a battle between perfectionist OCD and a visceral aversion to housework. But to go to synagogue more often, keep all the holidays, avoid forbidden foods, yes, I could do that. Maybe even mikveh, if it were seriously important to the man.

I don’t really see any counterpart to all that in the many flavors of Christianity with which I am acquainted.

But convert? Still no. I am a committed atheist. If I were Jewish, I would be a Jewish atheist.

josie's avatar

No. Big mistake, unless the convert has already decided that they need some sort or religious element in their life anyway. Otherwise, it is sort of like wearing clothes that you hate for the rest of your life.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@josie Or more like clothes that don’t fit.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I would definitely experience her rituals out of respect and curiosity. Whether it changed the core of my soul or not is another matter. Why wouldn’t I want to experience the same things as my SO? Showing respect and acknowledgment to someone I cared that deeply for would be a true honor.

People tend to judge things before they’ve actually experienced them. I would try my best to reserve any judgment until I had actually experienced her ways, her customs, and what brings her peace and comfort. After experiencing it, the judgment would only be for myself. Acceptance is what I would have for others who believed and pursued it.

If my SO was courteous, she would do the same for me. If she wasn’t courteous, I’d leave her sucking my dust on the burning pavement in the middle of a dry hot desert. “Where’s your religion now biatch?”

zenele's avatar

@Jeruba Very, very well said. I admit – I don’t know very much about Christianity – and thought the ideas of which you spoke would be similar in the other religions. The examples you gave were very relevant, and I have had to consider these things, at different times, from both sides of the relationship.

Thank you.

Edit: @real The first part was great – the last part was funny. The idea, as a whole, I agree with.

ipso's avatar

An old roommate was seeing a gal and they started to get serious. Her parents squared up on him and said basically he had to convert to Judaism or hit the road. He was dumbfounded. The girl eventually acquiesced to the (rather rich) parents and dumped him. He achieved no-end to laughter at the way this all went down; apparently straight out of a Woody Allen movie.

He ended up becoming partner at a large firm, and doing rather well – although I don’t think he ever found anyone as amazing as she was – well, before she dumped him anyway.

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