I launched this blog almost a year ago, and the approaching anniversary has put me in a contemplative mood. This seems like an appropriate moment to pause and consider why I’m blogging. And since I’m tackling that question today, I thought I would also answer the top five curious, impertinent, or bewildered questions people ask about On Being Both.
1. Why write an interfaith blog?
When I decided to launch this blog, I assumed I would be joining a whole community of blogs by adult interfaith children. My blogging mentor Diane MacEachern had told me about blog “carnivals,” in which a group of bloggers decide to write on a shared topic on the same day, offering up many perspectives on one idea. I thought I’d be organizing blog carnivals on interfaith identity, or interfaith community. I thought I would have a blog roll listing a dozen blogs by adult interfaith children. Instead, I discovered that there are only a handful of blogs by or about interfaith children, and that interfaith blogs created to encourage “Jewish choices” will pointedly ignore my blog.
So instead of joining a community of bloggers, I have often had the satisfaction of being the first or only blogger to write about being part of an interfaith families community, of being the first or only blogger to write about seeing the world simultaneously through Jewish and Christian lenses. I still believe that as interfaith children become the majority of Jewish descendants, more interfaith voices will join me in the blogosphere.
2. Who reads On Being Both?
This blog has a core audience of parents involved in raising children with both Judaism and Christianity, in Washington, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Connecticut, Denver, San Francisco, or overseas. Other readers include parents in Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon or other interfaith families, and parents from “interchurch” families (such as Catholic and Presbyterian) who relate to the idea of sharing both traditions with children. These readers are joined by adult interfaith children committed to Judaism, Christianity, or a “third way” such as Buddhism…no matter what their religious choice, they often share the interfaith perspective, by virtue of their bireligious heritage. I also have regular readers from the biracial and multicultural worlds interested in the common experiences of “mixedness.” I have regular readers who are clergy of every stripe, interested in helping interfaith couples and interfaith children, or simply interested in religious culture and history. And finally, I have many readers who do not appear, on paper, to have any connection to “interfaithness,” but who subscribe to my theory that every family is somewhere on the “interfaith spectrum” because no two human beings share identical spiritual experiences.
3. Do you ever run out of ideas? Haven’t you thoroughly covered being an interfaith child by now?
I guess I’m a compulsive writer, but no! Sometimes I react to a news event, giving an interfaith perspective on something I have read. I could probably do that every day. Sometimes I give an interfaith perspective on a Jewish or Christian holiday–I could probably do that every day. Sometimes I write about prominent interfaith children. Sometimes I chronicle the happenings at our interfaith families community. And sometimes I write about my own interfaith family, since my children are pioneering second-generation-interfaith kids. My son’s “interfaith coming-of-age” process is about to begin, so that will be a frequent subject in the year to come.
4. What have been your most popular posts?
Well, it is somewhat emabarassing to admit this, but the post that has gotten far and away the most traffic is “Welcome Walker Diggs, Interfaith Child.” Is this because folks are looking for positive spin on the interfaith baby boom? No, it’s because this interfaith baby was born to Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs, of Rent and Wicked fame, and Menzel (who is Jewish) and Diggs (an African-American raised Christian) have huge fan followings. I like to think that some of those fans will take a general interest in On Being Both.
Other top posts include “Ten Things I Love About Judaism” followed closely by “Ten Things I Love About Christianity.” I can see why these posts have broad appeal. The very personal “Interfaith Marriage: A Love Story” about my parents’ 50th anniversary is also a perennial favorite. I imagine that young interfaith couples continue to scour the net, looking for encouragement, and I love the idea that my parents are providing that reassurance via this blog. I am also greatly uplifted by the huge number of hits to my post touching on the relationship between Martin Luther King and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
5. What’s next?
Dear readers, I invite your guidance on where this blog should head next. More commentary on interfaith families in the news? More description of the nuts and bolts of raising interfaith children? More coverage of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or other types of interfaith families? Do you want to see guest bloggers on this site? More book reviews? More consideration of great religious and philosophical thinkers? More coverage of other interfaith communities across the country? As we move together into Year Two of On Being Both, I invite you also to take a moment to post a little bit about yourself: on who you are, and why you read this blog. Thank you for reading, and contributing!