Balanced Advice for Interfaith Families
Today, you can read a Q and A with me over on a blog called Moms Are Human. Blogger Elizabeth Katz (no relation) is a young intermarried mom who contacted me for more information on the “both” option for interfaith families.
Maybe because my interfaith identity often means I see more than one viewpoint on an issue, I try not to go bossing interfaith couples around: I do not rank the choices interfaith families have, or label any of them problematic. I understand interfaith families choosing Judaism. I also understand interfaith families choosing Christianity, or Islam, or Buddhism…
If, on this blog, I continue to highlight the full exploration of both family religions, I do this because it is the journey of my own children, and the one I am best qualified to describe in real time. But also, I emphasize this option because it is the least understood, with little support from religious institutions, and little presence in the media or cyberspace. As an interfaith child and a journalist, I feel compelled to provide counterweight: I am keenly aware of issues of balance. And so I blog to disseminate the existence of the “both” option, but I do not claim that it is the right option for everyone.
I understand that alliance with religious institutions, and allegiance to a particular belief system, practically obligates a blogger to advocate one option over other options. Because independent interfaith communities do not prescribe to a particular set of beliefs, we do not feel compelled to urge families to adopt a particular religious label (though some members of independent interfaith communities do label their children as Jewish, for instance, while still wanting their children educated in both religious traditions).
In the end, in spite of my ambivalence about giving advice, I did respond to Elizabeth’s request to provide specific strategies that will be helpful in raising interfaith children, no matter what choices a couple makes.