Can it work between Catholic and Muslim? Help!greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Hello, I need help desperatly and I would love advice from anyone. I am Catholic and my boyfriend of 5 years is Muslim. Religion was never an issue for us (like it was for our parents) but after all this time, they learned to accept our relationship and how much we love each other. My boyfriend and I had always thought that we could raise future children both religions, "give them the best of both worlds." Actually it was he who reassured me all these years because I was scared and had my doubts. Now, 2 weeks ago, he tells me he wants (and needs) to raise his children muslim. I cannot do this because I feel as though i would be losing a part of myself and a part of my identity. Like I said, religion was never an issue for us in the past, and now that he tells me this, I feel like this is the beginning of a struggling relationship. We love each other so much, he is my soul mate and I feel so lost, I have no place to go and no one to talk to about this, please e-mail me any advice. help!
-- Michelle Smith (email@example.com), June 19, 2002
I can appreciate the fact that this situation is very painful for how. However, the notion of raising kids both Catholic and Muslim is analagous the raising them in Kentucky and Arizona at the same time. It is simply not possible.
If you believe in Catholicism, the only thing to do is raise them Catholic. If this can't be done than neither can a marriage.
I wish it were easier but I don't know what else to say; all things are temporary in this life, regardless of the degree of pain. Stay the course.
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 19, 2002.
Michelle, this is not an uncommon situation. Its not particular to Islam and Catholicism either. From this exact situation a strong argument can be made that people should agree on some fundamentals before they start their relationship.
An example of not agreeing: neither of us feel strongly either way about a defining spiritual issue.
An example of agreeing: We are both Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, etc.
This is a time for you to come to terms why you have such an attachment to Catholicism. If its cultural, the tie is probably emotional and might be able to be broken, with some pain. If the reason for your attachment is sincere heartfelt belief in that faith and you have a personal relationship with Jesus (the point of Christian faiths) you have to remain faithful to Jesus.
While you are making this self examination ask your boyfriend why he cannot give up Islam.
I am protestant and I hope you will not turn away from Jesus. I say this because I know in my heart he is the only God. He is the only one who absolves my sin. How do I know? The same way you were taught. The Bible tells us so.
By the way if your boyfriend is not coming at this from a cultural angle, but truly believes Islamic teaching then his belief system is not based on the grace of one savior, but a system of balance where he must do more good than bad in order to go to heaven.
So rather than relying on the Messiah for the forgiveness of our sin he expects to earn his way into heaven.
I hope this helps.
-- Keith Shearon (email@example.com), June 19, 2002.
Michelle, you asked this same question near the bottom of another thread yesterday. Since you are asking it again -- this time on a new thread -- I am going to assume that you lost track of that other thread and did not receive the replies that were left for you over there.
The other thread is at http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=004fQk
If you click here, you can jump to it and see the other replies.
By the way, I join with others in recommending that you end your relationship. Please look into the plight of some American women who are suffering greatly right now. They married Moslem men who divorced them and took their children (American citizens) off to live in a Moslem country that will not allow the kids to see or visit their mother. Don't allow yourself to be put in the same position.
Besides, Michelle, your idea of raising your kids in both religions ("best of both worlds") is against Catholic teaching and never would have worked. Children have a right not to be placed in a state of confusion about religion -- whether we have a "Father/child" (Christian) or "Master/slave" (Islam) relationship with God, whether He is three Persons or one, whether Jesus is God or just a prophet, etc..
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 20, 2002.
If I may - marriage I feel has to be a union of two individuals who are looking at the same blueprint of life. I would find it difficult to spend my life with a woman who say had never heard of Christ and His blueprint or had and turned away.
-- Jean Bouchard (email@example.com), June 20, 2002.
The Bible is plain and clear: "Do NOT be unequally yoked with unbelievers."
I know it's tough, but that's the Word of God, and the Lord knows what kinds of pains you will suffer by trying to unite with someone of a different faith, and He's trying to spare you the grief!
-- Gail (Rothfarms@socket.net), June 20, 2002.
Clearly you have been very much in love with this man. It's a pity that with your heart in the balance he feels now secure to tell you--
he wants (and needs) to raise his children muslim. he wants (and needs) to raise his children muslim. I cannot do this because I feel as though i would be losing a part of myself and a part of my identity. Like I said, religion was never an issue for us in the past, and now that he tells me this, I feel like this is the beginning of a struggling relationship. We love each other so much, he is my soul mate and I feel so lost, I have no place to go and no one to talk to about this, please e-mail me any advice. help! Like I said, religion was never an issue for us in the past, and now that he tells me this, I feel like this is the beginning of a struggling relationship. We love each other so much, he is my soul mate and I feel so lost, I have no place to go and no one to talk to about this, please e-mail me any advice. help!
--It's a form of blackmail, you see. When he knows it would break your heart, he turns it to his favor. Is this a man who truly loves you? Or are you just easy to manipulate?
Let me tell you the MOST important thing: you're wrong-- and as a Christian will be betraying the love of Jesus Christ-- saying:
he wants (and needs) to raise his children muslim. I cannot do this because I feel as though i would be losing a part of myself and a part of my identity.
It isn't your identity or your SELF which makes you raise your children as followers of the Son Of God. It is the Will of GOD! --You and your lover are human beings; and you have to see God's will over everything, and forget your ''identity'' and all the other motives. If your faith is TRUE, you want only what God commands.
Tell this man exactly --THAT, Michelle. You have a grip on his heart, too. You can play the same game he's playing with you. Tell him; ''We shall do God's Will; and in order to marry me, you have to consent to raising our children in the True Faith. Or else, get yourself a Muslim wife, Dear. Period!'' --Marriage is for adults, Michelle. You aren't a child anymore. Wake up!
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 20, 2002.
I was listening to a radio show this morning of a Protestant who had converted from Muslim but his whole family was still Muslim. First of all, his family and all his friends now shun him. Understandably so if you understand Muslim faith. Technically, his family and friends are required by Islamic law to murder anyone who leaves the Muslim faith. So they figure they are doing the convert to Christianity a favor by merely shunning him and letting him live.
Muslims are medieval in thought. Every action is to be in accordance to their laws, at least it is this way in the 38 or so strict Islamic nations. Tying shoes, eating meat, getting dressed, everything is controlled by laws. They have small volume of sacred scripture, the Koran, but all leaders have a huge multi-volume set, the size of an encyclopedia set, that contains all the laws describing their required day to day behaviors.
Jesus died to eliminate that kind of thinking. The Jewish Pharisees followed such laws also. They were hypocrites.
On a Scott Hahn tape, Hahn was trying to talk religion with this Muslim, over lunch in a restaurant, but it didn't go far. In the conversation, the Muslim said he had to move out of his apartment and his new apartment, which he would soon occupy, did not allow pets. He had a dog in his old apartment. The Muslim said he would have to kill his dog because he loved his dog. Since the dog couldn't come with him, the dog had to be killed, he would not give the dog he supposedly loved to anyone else or consider other options. Very narrow thinking. Muslims tend to not use reason, they are slaves to their laws which then fail them miserably.
You know what to do Michelle, God will see you through, this is your faith test. You will not die if you leave your lover. He might like you to think you will or should die if you leave him but you will not. Be free in Christ.
-- Mike H (email@example.com), June 20, 2002.
"I was listening to a radio show this morning of a Protestant who had converted from Muslim but his whole family was still Muslim."
Just a minor correction: their religion is called "Islam," so in your example he converted from Islam. A Muslim is a person who practices Islam.
Here's another thread on Catholic/Muslim marriage.
-- (MattElFeo@netscape.net), June 20, 2002.
My friend is married to a Muslim and she is a very devout catholic.
When she was young and in love, she didn't think about the problems that could come up later on regarding religious differences.
She raised her daughters catholic and he resents it, he resents any activities she participates in which revolve around her catholic faith. It has created such division in their marriage. He does not respect her at all.
He verbally and physically abuses her. Now that the kids are grown and away at college, she is starting divorce proceedings. She was afraid to do that when the kids were younger because he threatened to take the kids away from and go home to the Middle East.
It is a very sad situation. Although she is a well-educated professional, makes very good money, her self-esteem is the pits. She has been seeing a catholic priest who is a psychologist, and he is helping her in this crisis she is in.
I am not saying that all 'muslim' men are abusive towards women, I am just talking about a situation that I know of.
So, I would suggest any catholic woman who is thinking about marrying a Muslim, to go for counseling, talk it all out, and be careful.
My best friend's daughter is marrying a Hindu, from India, and no one from his family is coming to the wedding. They disowned him - not one relative will accept him now. He loves this girl so much that he is willing to give up his family - for now. But, we are concerned that down the road it could lead to problems. He will not convert, but she is thinking of leaving the church and my friend is so depressed over this. She refuses to get married in the catholic church and is having a Hindu wedding.
These situations cause many problems. If your catholic faith is truly important to you, think seriously before walking down the aisle.
-- MaryLu (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 20, 2002.
Is she off her rocker or what? It has always been the custom that the bride has the choice of the place to MARRY, NOT the groom. It is just so difficult to teach these younger kids what a mistake it is to marry another of a different culture and religion. It makes for troubles later on. I know this for a fact as i was in that trap in my first marriage years ago. No matter what I did I could not please her family. Now I have been very fortunate to have the marriage I have as it was a union only created with GOD's help not a union of desire. This is where trouble starts, desire is always the way to failure. For it is always our own needs that makes a marriage fail not GOD's needs. While my wife and i may not have all of the cultural similarities (Both have Irish blood). We both do have a very strong bond in our thoughts about GOD and our beliefs are very strong towards who GOD is and what he wants of us, and we enjoy his presence to the fullest. Without HIM we would not have met. We both believed HE put us together and will always say that til the last days of our lives.
-- Fred Bishop (FCB@heartland.com), June 21, 2002.
Good morning, Fred!
Sounds to me like your marriage is certainly one made in heaven - Carolyn is an angel sent to you from God - I guess that works both ways. In short, your marriage sounds like a blessed and happy union.
Anytime we put God in the center of our lives, we recieve many blessings.
Happy for you that you got a second chance, Fred!
BTW, My friends daughter who is marrying the Hindu is not all that young. She is 30 years old, is an RN, who is working on her Phd...not a kid - go figure! ML
-- MaryLu (email@example.com), June 21, 2002.
Carolyn is actually my third wife. The last one died on 12-92 after 10 long, hard years battling cancer. It saddens me that many people do not really have a clue what constitutes a marriage.
Your friend is still a maturing woman. It is not til her forties that she will actually mature. I went through all of that and admittedly I am still quite a restless clown at 58. I love to goof off just to see Carolyn laugh. I cannot say if I have ever had more fun inmy life. She makes it so worthwhile. We Do enjoy each other immensely in all that we both do. It is a fully equal partnership of equals in knowledge, and the likes in our lives. Our nd Honeymoon is coming this fall and we are going on our 3rd trip to the Island of St Martin for the 2nd time. Last Feb we were in Cancun and had a blast. Ican bet some of the younger kids were a bit jealous of us as we just love to bubble and laugh and hug and hold hands all the time. It is just pure fun as GOD had intended it to be. What more can a man or woman for that matter want? I asked GOD to sent some one to me and lo and behold 8 years later here she is. A GOD SENT. Beautiful. A bundle of loving fun.
-- Fred Bishop (FCB@heartland.com), June 21, 2002.
What a beautiful story. You are truly blessed, both of you.
You have suffered much in your life, but God has blessed you for it.
-- MaryLu (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 21, 2002.
Forgive me I'm jealous (and single)
-- Mike H (email@example.com), June 22, 2002.
It saddened me to read these responses. It seems to me that everyone who contributed a response is completely ignorant of the Muslim faith. I happen to be a Muslim woman who was born and raised in NY. I have been dating an Irish Catholic for the past year and we have discussed marriage. He never knew much about Islam but after I began to teach him he loves the religion. I attended Catholic school all my life so I am used to explaining my religion, as it is very misunderstood, to people of other faiths. True, as muslims we don't believe that Jesus is God, but we do believe that he is one of the greatest Prophets and we believe in his second coming. We believe in only one God, not the Trinity, and our holy book is the Koran. I recommend those of you who do not understand the faith to read it, you will be suprised to see the similiarities. For one, we too believe in the virginal birth and we revere Mary. The Koran devotes a chapter completely on her. You will find more similiarities than differences. Please don't confuse cultural practices in the Middle East or in other Muslim countries to be the law and teachings of the Koran. Unfortunately there isn't a country anywhere in this world that practices Islam the way it should. But that is because these governments are very much corrupt and cultural practices which have been practiced for centuries (not having to do with Islam) are hard die. I love my boyfriend and we respect each others culture and religion. We hope to teach our kids the essence of our religions which preach love, tolarence, forgiveness, and so on. Marrying a man of my religion doesn't guarantee my kids will be good muslims. Remember that Michelle. Find a compromise with your boyfriend. But please know, Islam and Christianity, in essence, carry the same message. I hope this helps.
-- Reem Kasi (Rkasi2@aol.com), September 17, 2002.
We admire your gracious feelings, Reem Kasi
Don't misunderstand; our Church doesn't teach hatred of Islam. We are warned to guard our Holy Faith, however; and to ensure the children of a good matrimony aren't robbed of this precious faith. Since Islam is also quite militant regarding your obligations, the marriage of one to the other is dangerous enough. Yet, it can be blessed. No one here has disputed that.
As for saying it may not matter, this is taking on an authority which isn't your right. It DOES matter that we KNOW our Lord Jesus Christ is the true and only-begotten Son of God. The One known as Allah is Jesus Christ's own Eternal Father from all ages. This is a TRUTH revealed to us by Jesus Himself, who cannot lie. He is the Holy One, as well as the greatest of the prophets, and the LAST.
How does that sit with Muslim theology? Obviously, not well. So-- you mustn't play down the infinite importance of God's Will. He is whom we must obey; not the will of men.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 17, 2002.
Good day, Reem.
Are you aware of the fact that your friend, in order to be permitted to marry you in a ceremony blessed by the Catholic Church, will have to promise to do everything in his power to raise your children as Catholics? And I mean that they will have to be REAL Catholics, not confused children who have two religions or no religion at all. I mean children who are taught to believe that Jesus is God, that he founded the Catholic Church, and that "Mom" unfortunately belongs to Islam, a man-made religion.
Knowing that he will have to make that promise concerning the raising of your children as Catholics, are you sure that you want to follow through with the wedding? Will you plan to try to turn the children against the religion in which your husband will be raising them?
What about your own safety? Did you know that there are militant Muslims who may try to harm or kill you for not marrying a Muslim? I strongly recommend that you join us in praying that you will receive the grace to become a Catholic yourself -- for peace in the family.
-- Did you know that (Mary@Was.CatholicNotMuslim), September 17, 2002.
Thanks, for your post! I was a little confused, and I will show you, and maybe you can explain to me?
"....for one, we too believe in the virginal birth and we revere Mary. The Koran devotes a chapter completely on her completely. You will find more similarities than differences."
Have you ever used another alias in this forum? :-0(Just kidding) You couldn't be MORE wrong!!!!! Doesn't it present Mary the Mother of Jesus as the sister of Moses and Aaron(obviously confusing her with their sister, Miriam). The Noahic flood is placed in the time of Moses, and the claim is made that one of Noah's sons refused to enter the Ark and was drowned.
-- David (David@excite.com), September 17, 2002.
Michelle, I was in a Lebanese store a while back and talking to a Catholic lady. She raised two girl in the Muslim faith with her husband who is Muslim. She told me that what she did was tell them of their other faith and enrolled them in Catechism school. I decided to ask and to see what was told to me, because the girl I like is an Orthodox Christian from Egypt. She added that it was a difficult process to overcome. I also have another friend at the University of Houston, Catholic Center who is a campus minister their. Her name is Lubna. Her father is Muslim from Jordan and mother is Catholic from Mexico. She told me that her mother and father get along very well but fight alot because of the different beliefs. Even though this girl Lubna was brought up Muslim/Catholic, she would rather be Catholic like her mother. What I am trying to say, is you never no what might happen. GOD-BLESS YOU GIRL, Juan
-- Juan (email@example.com), October 21, 2002.
I am in love with a Muslim girl. I was raised as a Catholic in a deep Catholic country. There is a strong prerequisite that I must convert to Islam if I want to marry her. And I am willing to do it because God knows that this is done for LOVE.
I don't believe in the "excusiveness" of religions. I am not going to renegade of my Catholic beliefs even if I have to tell that I have converted into Islam. And she is fully aware of this and respects and loves my decision. It is time that more inter-religion marriages would happen in the world. Maybe in this way a globally awareness on religions will help in solving the plague of war that has doomed humanity since its beginnings. Maybe this way the world can truly become one, end the futile wars on beliefs, and it will become a place where love, communication and understanding is common and normal between all races.
-- CN (CN@yahoo.com), October 29, 2002.
You make dishonesty for the sake of love an option. But lies are offensive to God; no matter how you justify them. Look in the Bible and see how those who love God acted, making His Will come first, and accepting death if necessary.
If you love a woman, be true to her. Don't play at being Muslim; it's dishonest and cowardly.
Marry her as a Catholic. Remember the martyrs who went before you who died rather than betray their faith.
Your wife will respect you for it; and there may even come a day when she asks to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ, because of your faith. Look into your own heart. Ask yourself if you must be dishonest, and with this pretext of love, fulfill your own selfish desire.
You are a Catholic visiting a Catholic forum. To say you don't believe in ''exclusiveness'' of religion is the same as denying Christ. Why would a believer in Jesus allow himself this attitude; only for a selfish reason?
And please show us how you know the practice of interfaith marriages and false vows will help to end conflicts in the world? Who put these ideas in your head? -- O ye of little faith!
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 29, 2002.
Knock yourself out and get on with your marriage. Sympathies and sorrows for you are not found at this board so blow your trumpet else where. The Church will continue without "deadwood". I doubt your faith was ever deep so move on and hopefully you will make a better Muslim.
-- owen (email@example.com), October 29, 2002.
Please do not follow Owen's advice to become a Moslem. His is not the voice of orthodox Catholicism. Jesus wants you to be a strong and fervent Catholic.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 03, 2002.
Yes my response showed irritance but I will explain why.
We notice those that post genuine questions to inter-faith marriages and the answers start with concerned advice. Then there are the "matter of fact statements" by "passer by's" such as CN. Read carefully his script again, he mentions his prerequisite to convert to Islam if he is to have her hand in marriage. He claims to be strong in his Catholic faith by saying that he will as a Muslim not renegade on his catholic beliefs.
Correct me if I am wrong but you cannot uphold two faiths, you are either with Christ or you are not. CN mentions that it is time more inter-faith marriages take place, as a Catholic that advice is a recipe for Catholic decline, especially with marriage in a "one way" faith such as Islam. If he is sure of his Catholic convictions then I doubt he would want his future children to be anything but Catholics.
I believe, if his fiancé loves him as he does her, could she not allow him to remain Catholic or even investigate her conversion to Christ. What is undisputed is that CN fiancé faith comes first, perhaps because it is not your spouse in life that determines you an entrance into heaven but your convictions in what you believe.
As a Catholic to turn your back on your faith is the same as turning your back on Christ, you cannot after death to expect him to know you. Just as it is important to be faithful to your spouse so I believe it is important to be faithful to Christ and church.
To end off, he is not requesting anything from this board but broadcasting his views, conveying that he can maintain a "middle of the road" faith. I do not believe we should dignify a worthy response to CN and his like as his satisfaction is not defiance at those that read from this forum but defiance at his faith he claimed to once hold strongly.
I say again he should blow his trumpet elsewhere and allow Catholics here to aid others who truly are seeking advice.
-- owen (email@example.com), November 04, 2002.
Michelle : Paul tells us that the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the believing wife. I believe if you pray earnestly to God that you want Him to become a believer He will honour such a prayer that may lead Him to Christ.
-- Oliver Fischer (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 04, 2002.
On the most important item, Owen, you are wrong.
Let us compare what you told CN and what I told him:
[You:] "I doubt your faith was ever deep so move on and hopefully you will make a better Muslim."
[I:] "Jesus wants you to be a strong and fervent Catholic."
Obviously what you told him, Owen, is a WRONG thing for Catholics to say to one another. What I told him is a RIGHT thing for Catholics to say.
Cut away all your rationalizations and criticisms of CN. The "bottom line" is that every Catholic should remain Catholic. If you are right to "doubt [that his] faith was ever deep," you should plead with CN to deepen his faith -- not to throw it away completely! I tried to encourage CN to deepen his faith, by reminding him of what Jesus desires.
God bless you.
-- (email@example.com), November 06, 2002.
Dear Michelle: I have been in similar circumstances as you are in presently. I dated a Muslim for about 3 1/2 years and I am Catholic. During this relationship, I learned a lot about the similarities and differences of Islam and Catholicism. I was not as concerned with converting him to Catholocism as raising future possible children. He also stated that the religion did not matter early on, but once the question of children was raised again later (well into the relationship) he was clear that they must be raised in the Islam faith. He also worked to convert me late in the relationship. More than likely, if you decide to marry the gentleman, you would need to convert in order to raise your childen in the Islam faith. Only you can decide if you are willing and able to do this. It is not an easy choice when love is involved. Remember that you will love your children also and want them to believe in what you believe is right. I chose in the end to break up with my boyfriend and have since married a wonderful Catholic. I don't believe Muslims are evil people. Many are very good individuals. You must make this journey and decission yourself. I wish you all the best during this trying time.
-- Jeanne Walter (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 10, 2002.
Marry a Catholic.
-- Used to date a Muslim (email@example.com), November 16, 2002.
The truth is that everybody goes through dilemmas, this one being a particularly serious dilemma. I suggest that if you truly believe in God, you will ask him for help sincerely. Then it is that you will get a true answer from God in whatever form. I do think it does help to ask people, but at the end of the day its what you feel deep inside you're heart, no matter what others say. God-willing he will guide you to the straight path. Please mail me if needed -- Seysanne
-- Seysanne (Seysanne17@hotmail.com), January 23, 2003.
I read these posts looking for opinions on religious differences. I can see now why the world is in such trouble. It makes me sick inside to hear people who don't take the time to think for themselves, and only think the way they've been told for so many years. I'm not looking for responses to this, I'm just writing to get my beliefs heard. I was raised Catholic. My boyfriend was raised in the Islamic faith. I realized the first time I went to a mosque that people miss several integral things. First that God loves everyone equally. Secondly that God is everywhere. I could feel His presence in the mosque the same as I could feel Him in the Catholic church. If God loves us all equally, do you all really, HONESTLY think that he meant for us to love each other inequally? The third thing that I realized was that religion and faith, although interconnected, are distinctly different concepts. A religion is a way of worshipping an omnicient creator. A faith is the actual & complete belief in that creator. Two people can have the same fervent faith in the true God but have been brought up to worship Him differently. Also, do all of you believe that only Christians will go to heaven? That God chose to damn specific parts of the world just because of their peticular interpretation of him? Do you belive that God is behind everything that happens in the world? And that He created all? Do you think he has a grand purpose for everything? If so, why would He even create large portions of the world that have different "religions?" To slowly convert them all? Or to make them realize that there isn't one correct set of rules or values or one single, set in stone, way to worship him? Is it true that each Christian has their own special, individual way of praying to God? Then why is it that there is supposedly only one right way to worship Him? It is my firm belief that the world should spend less time painting lines and focussing on logistics and much more time getting down to the essence of their faith (not "religion"). Why you really believe in God. Because the church told you to? Or because you have complete trust and faith, and you try your hardest to begin to understand, and to think for yourself? God put us on this earth to LIVE. I would suggest that each of you take a moment to become aware of your very existence, and live every moment of your life with your own mind.
-- Not Narrrow Minded (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 11, 2003.
Like you, "liz" (?), we Catholics are "Not Narrow Minded."
We do "live every moment of [our] life with [our] own mind.
Your assumptions about Catholics are not valid. We live by both faith and reason. We don't believe blindly, nor on pure emotion, but because of convincing truths and facts.
God bless you.
PS: Oh, and the Catholic Church does not teach that only registered members of the Church can be saved. I felt a bit insulted that you would even ask about that. Are you prejudiced?
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), March 12, 2003.
the reality is that God, as worshipped by the CAtholics, is really quite choosey. first he had the Jews as his "chosen people" - now weren't they lucky and what a rotten thing to do to peoples living on other continents who would live and die and never even find out about this. of course the chosen people got it all wrong and so we are left with the Catholics being sole followers of the Truth. now, it is right to sympathise with those of other faiths, such as the many good Muslims and Hindus in the world that are barking up the wrong tree, but Scripture and the Church are pretty clear on the point: either you're in or you're out.
as for marrying a Muslim, well that you love someone so much is just great; but i suggest that you either comply with the Church's teaching or stopp calling yourself Catholic.
that's all pretty hard-nosed, but that's the way it is.
who ever said believing was easy?
-- Sad but True (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 13, 2003.
Hello, "Sad but True." I think that, for honesty's sake, I have to call you "Sad and False" at this moment in your life.
You wrote, sarcastically: "of course the chosen people got it all wrong and so we are left with the Catholics being sole followers of the Truth."
Oh, Sad one ... I challenge you to find any statement in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1960s) or the writings of Pope John Paul II) that supports the claim that you have made about Catholicism.
I just got through saying, in my PS (above): "... the Catholic Church does not teach that only registered members of the Church can be saved." Having cleared up that error (from "Not Narrow Minded"), why must you give me a new error to brush aside? Why the bigotry here?
Catholicism recognizes every part of the the truth, wherever it abides. The Church explicitly states that elements of truth (sometimes a great deal of truth) can be found in every religion of the world in which there is a search for God and goodness. (This is not the same as saying that it is just as good and pleasing to God to follow to those other religions, but only that those religions do teach some truthful things -- sometimes many.)
Please read the Catechism, in book form or on the Internet. It will help you to become Catholic yourself some day.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), March 14, 2003.
You wrote, sarcastically(!!?? -- imputed surely): "of course the chosen people got it all wrong and so we are left with the Catholics being sole followers of the Truth."
#### Do you honestly disagree with the sentiment that -- "the chosen people got it all wrong and so we are left with the Catholics being sole followers of the Truth"
a were the Jews chosen or not? were they the original chosen people? b if they were, do they remain chosen? and where does that leave us? c if not, who was chosen instead (HINT, HINT: try us)?
when you finally accept the "legiticimacy" of our own Church (which you clearly doubt), then maybe we can start to approach the position of those who fall outside the Church.
may God be with you, my brother.
-- Sad but True (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 14, 2003.
Hi Michelle Smith, I am also going out with a muslim guy ( for 4 years) and he is just the joy in my life. I understand the pain you are going through, i know telling you to forget about him is not the best answer. I think you should not quit !, if he is the same man you fell in love with then, then there must be something you can do. The best thing to do now is to remind him of his promise then tell him that you belive and will stick to your faith and you will not allow your children to be raised solely as muslims. If he really loves you he should be able to discuss the issue with you. If he completely refuses then i think you should be strong and let go , not for yourself but for your children. I am sure you would not want your children to grow up not knowing the love of Jesus and Mary and especilly the joy and blessging of being a catholic. Dont let go easily, work with him till you feel you feel there is nothing else you can do. Wish you all the best
-- life (email@example.com), March 15, 2003.
Hello again, "Sad But."
I hope that we are merely experiencing a failure to communicate.
You wrote: "Do you honestly disagree with the sentiment that -- 'the chosen people got it all wrong and so we are left with the Catholics being sole followers of the Truth'"
Yes, I "honestly disagree" with that "sentiment."
In order to "honestly AGREE" with it, it would have to be fully true, but it contains two major errors. One cannot accurately state these things:
1. ... that "the chosen people got it all wrong."
2. ... that "Catholics [are the] sole followers of the Truth."
With reference to point #1 ...
The chosen people, the Jews, didn't get everything "wrong." They believed many true things and worshipped the true God.
With reference to point #2 ...
Your statement implies that Catholicism is the only repository of any truth and that other Christians (and non-Christians) have no elements of the truth at all. If, by capitalizing the word "truth," you were saying, "Catholics [are the] sole followers of Jesus" (the Way, the Truth, and the Life) -- then you are still mistaken, because some non-Catholics also are "followers of Jesus the Truth."
Now, having said all that, I do not hesitate to add the following:
----- that the Catholic Church is the only religious body that possesses the fullness of the truth.
----- that she is the only church founded by Jesus.
----- that she is the religious body to which God wishes that every human being belong.
If the above does not satisfy you, then you are not a genuine Catholic, but a dissenter or heretic.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 16, 2003.
I too hope that we are merely experiencing a failure to communicate.
(A) "the chosen people got it all wrong."
You say : "The chosen people, the Jews, didn't get everything "wrong." They believed many true things and worshipped the true God."
-- Jn 8:24 (addressed to the Jews): I have told you already you will dies in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. Jn 8:37: I know that you are descended from Abraham; but you want to kill me because my words find no place in you. Jn 8:59: at this point they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.
does this not apply to all Sons of Abraham who continue to deny that Jesus is the Son of God?
(B) "....Catholics being sole followers of the Truth...."
Your logic implies that the Church is not "part of" the Truth - surely the teachings of the Church are the infallible verbal respresentation of the Truth. If not, then what is the point? Maybe you need to enlighten me on this one.
I too hope that we are merely experiencing a failure to communicate. over to you.
-- Sad but True (email@example.com), March 18, 2003.
Hello again, "Sad But."
After quoting from John 8, you asked: "does this not apply to all Sons of Abraham who continue to deny that Jesus is the Son of God?"
No, it does not. It applies to the people to whom Jesus was speaking (a small group of Jewish leaders). We can be sure of this by noticing these words in verse 37: "you want to kill me." Few Jews of His time wanted to kill him, and fewer still in our time speak as though they would kill Jesus if they could.
As Christians, we have to be very careful in reading the gospels, especially John, to avoid developing an anti-semitic mentality. We have to keep in mind that the writers often used "shorthand" expressions, such as "Jews" to mean "those Jewish leaders who hated Him." [An example: the apostles were in the upper room "for fear of the Jews."]
With reference to "Catholics being sole followers of the Truth", you wrote: "Your logic implies that the Church is not 'part of' the Truth -- surely the teachings of the Church are the infallible verbal respresentation of the Truth. If not, then what is the point? Maybe you need to enlighten me on this one."
I think that you must have misunderstood me. I suggest that you reread what I wrote last time on this subject -- for example: "... the Catholic Church is the only religious body that possesses the fullness of the truth."
What I reject (and the Church rejects) is the claim that no elements of religious truth can be found outside the Catholic Church. I hope that you don't make that absurd claim.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 18, 2003.
1 -- Read the words again, as they are clear:-
"Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. Jn 8:37: I know that you are descended from Abraham; but you want to kill me because my words find no place in you"
in other words, (Apologies for the repetition) "if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." Quite simple: they could not accept that He was the Son of God. That was the reason that they would die in sin and if they had accepted that He was the Son of God they would not have wanted to kill Him.
I am curious as to how this conflicts with the Church's teachings. The Church has sought “understanding and mutual esteem” between the Catholic Church and the Jews; and the following provides an illuminating insight (Pope Paul VI):-
"True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new People of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the Word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone."
This declaration shows anti-Semitism (and, for that matter, prejudice against Muslims and other non-Christian faiths), for the evil that it is. It also allocates responsibility for the death of Christ to a limited circel of the then Jews (the Pharisees).
However, at what point did the Church elevate the status of Jews to the same as enjoyed by Catholics? John 8 (see above) clearly states that if you do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, well.... Our Popes have extended a hadn of friendship and have tried to mend bridges. But at no point have they (so far as I can establish) said OK then, you don't need to believe that Jesus was God.
surely you accept that all faiths, other than our own, are out on a limb - so to speak - when it comes to salvation. The Jews will stand in line with the Hindus, the Muslims, the Atheists etc etc hoping for salvation without any preferred status.
They could point to the Catechism -- "Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved." But this does say: "It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity."
However, if you had started as one of God's Chosen people and now found yourself standing in a line with other non-Christians, would you believe that you had lost "everything"??? OK, shared history and all that; but so what? You blew it.
2 -- If, by capitalizing the word "truth," you were saying, "Catholics [are the] sole followers of Jesus" (the Way, the Truth, and the Life) -- then you are still mistaken, because some non-Catholics also are "followers of Jesus the Truth.
so which Catholics follow the Truth (delibarately capitilised to conform to Scripture; and, yes, that Truth, not some sub-species of that Truth) whilst being non-Catholic?
-- Sad but True (email@example.com), March 19, 2003.
Hello, "Sad but."
I can see that you don't understand what the gospel is saying, nor what the Church teaches. You wrote:
"... at what point did the Church elevate the status of Jews to the same as enjoyed by Catholics?"
I'm sorry, but this is not an appropriate question (and it even seems anti-semitic). The Church does not have the power to "elevate" or to lowere the "status" of anyone, since God made all human beings equal in dignity.
You continued: "John 8 ... clearly states that if you do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, well.... "
And I showed you that he was speaking to certain specific individuals. None of us is permitted (through faulty private interpretation of this verse) to extend what Jesus said to refer to all non-Christians of all time. Just believe what the Church teaches, and you will be fine.
If Jesus was threatening a certain small group of fellow Jews (in John 8), it must have been that he knew that they should have been convinced that he was the Messiah, but refused him anyway. It is not our place, however, to claim that all non-Christians of all time should be convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. We have no way of knowing whether or not they should be convinced. Only God knows that, and he will judge them accordingly upon their deaths.
You continued: "... at no point have [our popes] ... said OK then, you don't need to believe that Jesus was God."
You are right that they have not made such a statement, because the truth is that everyone has a "need to believe that Jesus was God." God wants everyone to believe it, but he does not force facts into people's heads. He allows people to become aware of religious claims and to accept or reject them according to the limitations of their intellectual abilities, their environmental influences, their prior training, and other factors.
The undeniable fact is that, in the case of many non-Christians, these factors add up in such a way that they never become convinced, before they die, that "Jesus was [is] God." The Church does not desire this to happen and is not happy that it happens, but she recognizes it as a fact of life -- and she teaches that we cannot assume that unconvinced non-Christians are damned by the fact that they did not become believers. The Church's teaching is that many non-Christians may die as non-believers through no fault of their own.
You continued: "... surely you accept that all faiths, other than our own, are out on a limb -- so to speak -- when it comes to salvation."
Well, I don't know what you mean by "out on a limb," but perhaps my earlier comments will allow you to know what I believe (i.e., what the Church teaches).
You closed by saying: "so which Catholics follow the Truth (delibarately capitilised to conform to Scripture; and, yes, that Truth, not some sub-species of that Truth) whilst being non-Catholic?"
I don't understand your question. I didn't say that "[some] Catholics follow the Truth ... whilst being non-Catholic." Speaking of some Christians, I did say that some "non-Catholics also are followers of Jesus the Truth." In saying this, I didn't claim that they are ideal "followers" who believe all of the Truth. Maybe even you, who consider yourself a Catholic, don't believe all of the Truth. And, as sinners, you and I don't behave according to the Truth. These imperfections, however, do not automatically damn us or them. Damnation requires greater failure.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2003.
this is astonishingly liberal stuff:-
1. So God is anti-Semitic then? and by yr logic He must also be anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim,...... Just because he dared be God.
2. you then extend this thesis to suggest that there is no point in being a Catholic. this bit, in particluar, is risible:-
"God wants everyone to believe it, but he does not force facts into people's heads. He allows people to become aware of religious claims and to accept or reject them according to the limitations of their intellectual abilities, their environmental influences, their prior training, and other factors."
ERGO, if you prance about barefooted, with flowers in yr hair, saying God is Cool, then that's as good as following the Commandments, going to MAss, etc -- because you are just an airhead that could never had known better and you were "sort of" OK.
in terms of the response as it purports to address the issues in the immediately preceding post, i can dono better than to refer you back. no where do i see references to Catholic teaching. all i see is questionable interpretation of quotes from the scriptures that I have provided.
So we're all OK then -- according to you -- so long as we are nice to fluffy little puppy dogs.
-- Sad but Now Astonished (email@example.com), March 19, 2003.
"Sad But," I'm afraid that you and I don't have the right "chemistry" to communicate -- at least not on thist topic. You have completely misunderstood me, sad to say.
I have tried, across a few posts, to use language that would succeed in helping you to grasp my beliefs -- which are 100% orthodox Catholic. I'll bet that you and I could do OK if we were sitting at a table and using the spoken word, but we apparently can't succeed with the written word, so I will have to drop out at this point.
PS: Just like the Church, I don't use, or accept the use of, the terms "conservative" or "liberal" with reference to things religious. A person is either "orthodox" or "heterodox" -- believing rightly or wrongly.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 2003.
i think that i understand your position quite well. you believe that the Jews are, in some way that i cannot comprehend, "favoured" by the Catholic faith than any other non-Christian religion. you find it hard to believe that Jesus condemned the Pharisees on the basis that they did not believe Him to be the Son of God. i have tried to point to Catholic doctrine that demonstrates that the Catholic Church has extended the hand of friendship to the Jews and other faith systems; but that, ultimately, the Jews as non-Catholics stand in line with all other non-Catholics when it comes to salvation. the fact that the Pope has indicated our shared heritage, and that the majority of Jews are absolutely blameless for the death of Jesus Christ, does not detract from the fact that they are essentially in the same boat as the Muslims, the Hindus etc when it comes to salvation. the fact that the Muslims and the Jews both treat Jesus as a mere "prophet" should say it all.
what is so difficult to understand about that? if i'm wrong, pls correct me.
-- Sad and now Cruelly Abandoned (email@example.com), March 20, 2003.
"Sad," I am going to try just one more time. Please don't let me down.
You wrote: "if i'm wrong, pls correct me."
You are wrong. Please accept correction. When I say something in a serious way, I really mean it, so I like it when people belive me.
Last time, I wrote: "You have completely misunderstood me, sad to say."
Instead of believing/trusting me, you wrote: "i think that i understand your position quite well. you believe that the Jews are, in some way that i cannot comprehend, 'favoured' by the Catholic faith than any other non-Christian religion."
By saying those things, you proved to me that I was right. You really have "completely misunderstood me."
I have never said that I consider it easier for Jews to be saved than other non-Christians. You jumped to an incorrect conclusion. Now, please believe me, and let's drop it. (No need to post again, whether you believe me or not.)
God bless you.
-- J. F. Geci (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 20, 2003.
A couple points. 1. I'm not prejudiced. I never said once that it was just Catholics who live blindly sometimes: It's everyone on the face of the earth. I'm not excluding myself here. I don't make realizations sometimes. The main problem with the world is that every single religion believes exactly as fervently as you all, that their religion is the one true religion mandated by God. They believe it with all their hearts and all their souls. 2. I didn't say anything about being a "registered Catholic." I'm merely talking about following the religion as dictated by the Catholic church. Registration doesn't factor into it. 3. A lot of my questions weren't answered by the board. You seemed to dodge around the real points that I had by picking out small details to comment on. 4. If what I believe makes me something other than a Catholic, then so be it. I will stand my my belief that real, true Faith is far more important than a set of protocol known as a religion. Not that people shouldn't find a way that they believe they should worship. That's all for now. I just don't think God would love everyone equally with his incredible unlimited capacity for love and then at the same time be "extremely choosy." If God really loves us that much, (which we all know he does) then WHY?
-- Not Narrow Minded (email@example.com), March 21, 2003.
Hello, Liz (?) or "Not Narrow Minded."
You stated: "A lot of my questions [posted on March 11] weren't answered by the board. You seemed to dodge around the real points that I had by picking out small details to comment on."
I didn't go back to see how people answered you, but I went back to get your questions and to reproduce them here with answers (if I know answers). [I have to admit though that your complaint about not getting answers is rather odd, because you wrote these words on the 11th: "I'm not looking for responses to this, I'm just writing to get my beliefs heard."]
Q1: "I was raised Catholic. My boyfriend was raised in the Islamic faith. I realized the first time I went to a mosque that people miss several integral things. First that God loves everyone equally. Secondly that God is everywhere. I could feel His presence in the mosque the same as I could feel Him in the Catholic church. If God loves us all equally, do you all really, HONESTLY think that he meant for us to love each other inequally?"
A1: No. The Catholic Church teaches us to love everyone equally. She repeats Jesus's teaching that we love our "neighbor" as we love ourselves, even when the "neighbor" is a Samaritan [person of another faith, nationality, customs, etc.] One little comment, though ... You could not have felt God's "presence in the mosque the same as [you] could feel Him in the Catholic church," because the very Body and Blood of Jesus, who is God, is present in the church's tabernacle but not present in the mosque. Since God is "omnipresent," he is in a mosque, but his presence there is of an kind that is distinct from his real sacramental presence in a Catholic church.
Q2: "The third thing that I realized was that religion and faith, although interconnected, are distinctly different concepts. A religion is a way of worshipping an omniscient creator. A faith is the actual & complete belief in that creator. Two people can have the same fervent faith in the true God but have been brought up to worship Him differently. Also, do all of you believe that only Christians will go to heaven?
A2: I won't go into details about this, but ... the Catholic Church teaches that it is possible, in an extraordinary way, for some people who do not become "card-carrying Catholics" to be saved. However, it is God's will that all people should belong to the Church that Jesus founded. When a person remains a Moslem for his entire life, this is against God's will.
Q3: "[Do all of you believe] That God chose to damn specific parts of the world just because of their peticular interpretation of him?
A3: From my previous answer, you probably realize that the answer to this is "No." God wants all people to be saved. He does not "choose [pre-select] to damn" people.
Q4: "Do you believe that God is behind everything that happens in the world?"
A4: He is aware of everything and cares about everything, but he does not cause everything to happen, since he gives people free will.
Q5: "And [do you believe] that He created all?"
A5: Yes, of course. You said that you were "raised Catholic." I don't really understand why you don't know the answers to some of your questions, since they are quite basic.
Q6: "Do you think he has a grand purpose for everything?"
Q7: "If so, why would He even create large portions of the world that have different 'religions?'"
A7: When he created the world, the "large portions" did not have "different 'religions.'" But at a certain point in human history, sinful people who chose not to follow God in the way that he instituted began to create religions of their own. That sad practice of creating new religions (or sometimes "variants" within older religions) continues to our own day. The religion first founded by God is known today as Judaism. Later he sent his son, the Messiah [anointed one] and Savior of all mankind -- Jesus, a Jew -- who founded Christianity (in the form of the Catholic Church). Many converts from Judaism refer to themselves as "completed Jews," since, for them, Catholicism is the logical completion of Judaism. Although Moslems worship the same God as do the Jews and Christians, theirs is a man-made religion, not started by God but by a man in the 7th century. The existence of Islam is against God's will. The conversion of all Moslems to Catholicism is God's will.
Q8: "[Did God] create large portions of the world that have different 'religions' ... To slowly convert them all? Or to make them realize that there isn't one correct set of rules or values or one single, set in stone, way to worship him?"
A8: As I mentioned in "Answer 7," it was never God's wish that there be more than one religion. That was man's doing, contrary to God's will. Contrary to your question, there really is "one correct set of rules" (the moral law) and one correct set of faith-beliefs. In our time, there is also just "one single ... way to worship him" according to his will -- the holy Mass, which is the unbloody "re-presentation" to God of the Father of his Son's sacrifice on Calvary almost 2,000 years ago. Two things must be said, though: (a) the way in which the Mass is offered can vary, within certain limits, according to the various world cultures; and (b) people can show that they adore God in ways outside of the Mass (e.g., prayer and sacrificial acts of love).
Q9: "Is it true that each Christian has their own special, individual way of praying to God?"
A9: Perhaps not every single one, but undoubtedly the great majority.
Q10: "Then why is it that there is supposedly only one right way to worship Him?"
A10: This is true because God revealed it to us. Jesus, in celebrating the first Mass, said, "Do this in memory of me." But, as I stated in "Answer 8," adoration of God can be shown through many forms of prayer that are not as great as the act of worship called the Mass.
Q11: "It is my firm belief that the world should spend less time painting lines and focussing on logistics and much more time getting down to the essence of their faith (not 'religion')."
A11: Technically, you didn't ask a question, but I want to respond to your comment. You said that we should get "down to the essence of [our] faith." And earlier you wrote, "A faith is the actual & complete belief in that creator." Catholics join you in being in favor of "getting down to the essence of [our]" "complete belief in [our] creator." No problem there. However, only the Catholic Church has a "complete belief" in God. Only the Church possesses the fullness of religious truth, without any mixture of error. For example, your friend's Islam (a) contains some elements of religious truth, (b) contains some elements of error, and (c) ignores some elements of religious truth completely. Therefore, it makes no sense for a Catholic to become a Moslem, and it makes complete sense for every Moslem to become Catholic.
Q12: "Why do you really believe in God. Because the church told you to? Or because you have complete trust and faith, and you try your hardest to begin to understand, and to think for yourself? God put us on this earth to LIVE. I would suggest that each of you take a moment to become aware of your very existence, and live every moment of your life with your own mind."
A12: We believe in God because he revealed himself to mankind. The Church helps us to understand that God exists, created us, loves us, and made it possible for us to be saved from damnation, so that we could be with him for all eternity. It does no good to say that people should simply "think for yourself." That is the kind of thing that is said by two groups of people: (a) those who want to belong to a false religion, and (b) lawless people -- people who want to act in sinful ways because they fear punishment so much that they pretend that there is no such thing as morality and punishment. Which kind of person are you? Please return to your Catholic roots. Only that will please God.
May he bless you with the graces you need.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 22, 2003.
Michelle, I am a muslim girl and have been with my catholic partner for 5 years. For a muslim girl to leave her religion is the ultimate sin. I love this guy to bits and no religion is going to stand in my way of happiness. Religion is the cause of all problems, all wars, people should just learn to love each other and accept each other for who they are. We have talked about marriage, I have made it clear to my partner that I was born a muslim and will die a muslim, I am not converting and neither is he. With regards to children, as parents you can teach them norms, values and beliefs about the world, they should be entitled to choose a belief of their own should they wish to, later on in life. There are a lot of people without a religion in this day and age. It all depends on whether you are a devoted Catholic and whether he is a preaching muslim. If both of you are not preaching then I don't see a problem. Personally the more religious people you talk to the greater the chance of brainwashing from both parties. Religion has the power of brainwashing...Why do you think extremist exist!!..I believe that there is one god, what shape or form he takes is of no interest to me. I believe in 'some kind of god'. I am not about to split up with my partner just because his religion doesn't accept it or his parents don't accept. The decision is entirely yours. Do not let religion spoil your happiness like it does everyone elses.
-- Zee (email@example.com), April 07, 2003.
Choose a belief of their own should they wish to, later on in life??? Is that how you approach other issues crucial to your children's welfare? Don't impose your beliefs concerning health issues? Let them decide later in life whether they want to be healthy or not? Don't send them to school? Let them decide later in life whether they want to pursue education or not? You say we should teach our children norms and values. Why? Why not let them choose their own norms and values, should they wish to have norms and values, later on in life? The fact is, they WILL make their own choices later on in life, in all these essential areas. But they will be unable to do so unless we give them a firm foundation while they are still children. The formation of children in the truths of the faith is the single most important responsibility of parents. It is the only thing we can give our children that will have lasting value - eternal value. All the education and health instruction and other temporal care we give our children won't matter at all once they finish their life here on earth. Only the introduction we have given them to the faith will matter. To fail in that responsibility is ultimate failure as a parent. Of course, our children may reject that faith later in life, but that will be their decision, and they will be answerable to God for it. But if they fail to attain eternal salvation because we failed to give them an initial foundation in the faith because of some ridiculous notion of "letting them choose" then WE will be answerable to God.
To say that we will allow our children to choose "a belief of their own" is to deny that there is any objective truth. It makes "having a belief" the central issue, rather than the truth or untruth of what is believed. If you believe that the teachings of your faith are true, then there is no justification for witholding the truth from your children. If you don't believe that the teachings of your church or your faith are true, then why do you bother with them yourself??
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), April 07, 2003.
I believe that there is one god, what shape or form he takes is of no interest to me. I believe in 'some kind of god'. I am not about to split up with my partner just because his religion doesn't accept it or his parents don't accept
Since you reject orthodox Islam and your friend rejects orthodox Cathoicism (he won't evangelize, that is error, and he won't raise his children Catholic, that is error also) and you sound hostile toward your parents, it would appear that your god or what you respect the most is either your relationship with your "partner" or your right to choose your partner. What happens if your partner rejects you some day or he dies? Deep down you know that could happen so you really don't have any god, you are godless. Best to call it what it is.
-- Mike H. (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 07, 2003.
i have now heard it all:
"Do not let religion spoil your happiness like it does everyone else's"
-- Ian (email@example.com), April 07, 2003.
God is in everyones heart. Whether you go to a synagogue, mosque, temple, church you can feel his presence. With regards to kids, you teach the kids at a young age whats right and whats wrong, knowledge and experience of life carries onto other generations. It doesn't affect their education, it doesn't affect their wellbeing..thats where your wrong..Do you have children off your own or is it just wishful thinking that your kids will turn out to be devoted catholics?
How many of you catholics on this message board are true to the faith..Did you sleep with your partners before marriage? Do you believe in not taking contraception?...The perceived beliefs, norms and values that we have been taught from a young age is what keeps the world ticking. You can't bash on about how great Catholicism (if thats how you spell it) is. You are just doing what believers of all other religions are doing..Thinking on that their religion is only the true one. There is A god...it takes many forms. I completely agree with Reema and another Liz on this board..If god wanted us all to have one faith, he would not have created so many religions..so many different people, the world would've been a peaceful place (and a boring one)!!...
I suggest you all get off your high horse of religion and live a little and let others live as well instead of planting hatred into their hearts about other faiths!!
-- Zee (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 08, 2003.
God DIDN'T create so many religions. Human beings did! God created one religion under the Old Covenant - Judaism, which was destined to lead to one religion under the New Covenant of salvation - Christianity. No other religion was founded by God. All other religions are man's attempts to reach out and find God. Judaism and Christianity are God's reaching out to reveal Himself to the human race.
The fact that Catholics, like everyone else, sin does not constitute "not being true to the faith". The purpose of the faith is to bring sinners to salvation. The true faith acknowledges that people sin, and provides the means by which they can reconcile themselves with God when they do sin.
God does not take many forms. People have created many forms in their desire to describe God, but none of those descriptions change the nature of the True God. God is as He is, and no amount of human imagery will change Him in the slightest. That's why it is so important to live in the faith where God has revealed Himself, not in a manmade religious tradition which tries to define God on its own terms. You are right on one point - if all men followed the revealed will of the One True God, the world would indeed be a much more peaceful place.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), April 08, 2003.
Amen to Paul's post.
I suggest you all get off your high horse of religion and live a little and let others live as well instead of planting hatred into their hearts about other faiths!!
God is not a "feeling" as you say. It is in the will, to do the Father's will.
You lack a solid foundation, and you seem headed to become agnostic or atheist. If you have more faith than that it is ultimately in danger without the Catholic Church to build it up. Ultimately all other religions and false devotions will die out and it will be the Catholic Church vs. the Church of the anti-Christ. The further or longer God's one true Church is rejected by you or anyone else, then the farther you are likely to drift from God and any hope in eternal salvation. And we must be concerned with our eternal souls for what is the point of anything if there is nothing at all for us after we die an earthly death? Those who reject the true God expressed by his true Church, are still loved by us Catholics but we have a more special love for those who are within our own spiritual family. Why would we bother discussing this topic with you if we didn't love you? It would be easier not to bother. If you incite anger in us that is to be expected. Even the Psalmist says so:
..."(one) who holds the godless in disdain...such a man will stand firm forever."
It is not loving to let an ignorant person who has rejected Catholicism to go skipping and dancing into hell. How is that charitable?
-- Mike H. (email@example.com), April 08, 2003.
Hi Michelle. I found your post as I was searching for my own answers to my upcoming Muslim - Catholic wedding. I am Catholic and attend church every week. My fiance is Muslim yet he does not follow the majority of their "rules". He grew-up outside the Middle East and speaks much better English than he does Arabic.
I must admit I only read about 1/3 of the replies after I noticed a steady trend suggesting that you re-think and ultimately not marry.
When marriage was first discussed between myself and my fiance we both agreed that neither of us would convert to the other's faith. Easier said that done, I know. We do plan to have children and also chose the same path as yourself, wanting to raise them with the knowledge and understanding of both religions. I know that we have a rough road ahead of ourselves and that it will be very trying at times.
I definitely consider myself to be a Catholic, but I am open to so many other religions. I have been reading as many books as I can find on the roots of all of the major religions and how they have each grown into what we know them as today. The information I have found has helped me to not only understand the other religions but to better understand my own. This is the message that I hope to pass on to my children.
I do not believe that one religion is better or more right than another. Everyone has their free will to live and believe as they choose, or to simply not believe if that is their choice.
I truly hope that by exposing my children (and myself) to various religions (not only Muslim and Catholic) that as a family we will be able to better understand the people of the world and their beliefs.
I think once we free ourselves from believing that there is only one way to look at things, then we have opened up so many more possibilities in our lives.
I hope this helps you and I hope things work out for the best with you and your boyfriend.
-- Stacey Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 08, 2003.
I am Catholic and attend church every week....I do not believe that one religion is better or more right than another. Everyone has their free will to live and believe as they choose, or to simply not believe if that is their choice.
If you study our life giving Catholic faith and try to live by her teachings than you would not think all religions are of equal worth. Granted you can possibly get to heaven as a Muslim or a Protestant but you have better odds at salvation as a Catholic because you have acess to more graces. We have no guarentee that we will get to heaven, thus we must use the graces available to the best of our ability.
Second, there is not one thing all the Protestant religions have in common except that they hate the Catholic Church. (I'm using Protestants as an example) Yet each of the Protestant sects can trace their history to a beginning in Catholic teaching. So if you start to drift from the rock founded on St. Peter, there is no telling how far you will drift. All the while you drift your odds of slavation are decreasing.
Any doctrine which denies the existence of absolute values, may be termed Relativism. Any denial of absolute truths is rejected by your Catholic Church. We are told not to pick and choose. It is all or nothing. It is for our own eternal safety and well being.
I'd like to see you in heaven. Let's plan on it.
-- Mike H. (email@example.com), April 08, 2003.
Stacey Miller - Top woman. Couldn't have said it in better words myself!!...
-- Zee (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 09, 2003.
Zee and all other Muslim's portraying themselves as holier than thou virgins
As a bachelor in my 30's I visit Riyahd & Damascus 3 or 4 times a year for business and I love sex with Muslim women, partly because it's the all ideas type and partly because I havn't a clue what they are saying and there is no commitments afterwards. Their idea that they control themselves is hogwash
Will I marry a Muslim girl, hell no, it will be a Catholic girl to sought out my mischevious mind and re-introduce me to where I should be.
I'm a sinner in all senses but at least I have shown the taboo of Muslim women of what they are not.
-- Michael (email@example.com), April 09, 2003.
Muslim girls have more respect for themselves than whatever your going to marry...your future wife will probably have had more partners then you. But hey you want somebody with experience, somebody who is a devoted catholic but been round the houses...good for you..
So well done, pat yourself on the back that you have accomplished the goal of sleeping with muslim women from Riyadh and that you didn't understand a word they were saying..they probably thought you were an easy lay as well!!...
-- Zee (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 2003.
Zee - ignorance is bliss and truth does have a sting for you, either way this May I'm there again doing business and enjoying the fruits of Mohammed.
I'll remember your name and toast you.
-- Michael (email@example.com), April 10, 2003.
Zee, Michael & Stacey
you all bear the classic hallmarks of protestantism. you chose the morality that fits in with your personal life. God is a buddy that understands your needs. you define His requirements. God is your servant. He says what you want to hear.
-- Ian (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 2003.
Like I said Michael, do whatever gives your ego a boost...The truth doesn't sting me at all, you obviously threw your toys out of the pram, possibly because there were some comments on this board which actually favoured the muslim faith so you decided to share your conquest with all of us..
It sort of explains why your a batchelor at 30!..
Anyway I don't understand why this has turned into a battle ground all of a sudden. Michelle you do what you feel is right, time is a great healer and all will be well in the end..nobody can predict the future so take each day as it comes..live for the moment..If it doesn't work out, it was never meant to be..if you go for it at least you won't regret each day of your life thinking 'what if'...what if must be the worst two words in the English dictionary..
Ian, your quite right in saying 'God is a buddy that understands your needs'. God is a true buddy..he's is forever in our heart, always there when we need a shoulder to cry on...
-- Zee (email@example.com), April 11, 2003.
Reading your reply doesn't exactly disguise your annoyance. Having read this little tussle, one can see no reference by Michael to disparage Muslims. If he is enjoying sex with Muslim Arab women it could not be out of distaste but perhaps pure physical enjoyment with them.
Read comments before you judge after all he is judging you quite rightly as you portray Christians in particularly Catholic women as beneath you. I don’t support his promiscuous behavior but he has a point in reflecting your bigoted assumptions of Islam over the rights of other faiths.
Not ever knowing a Muslim personally, I can say the saying of Islamofascism could easily reflect you in the way you have answered comments on this thread.
Be reminded how you answered his first comment last sentence second paragraph
“they probably thought you were an easy lay as well!!...”
You are actually in agreement with him and that Muslim women behave as all women around the world. Maybe these Muslim women he is meeting like the unattached excitement and even enjoy his western company.
One could even say the fact that you are with a Christian boy proves it.
-- Sarah (Sarah1441@yahoo.com), April 11, 2003.
wow, you have all gotten wayyyyyy off topic. quit fighting with each other. this is ridiculous. you should allow people to believe whatever they believe, even if you don't believe it. people need to respect each other. some of these responses are ridiculous. learn about something before you go posting messages that are completely untrue. most of the people who have posted things here seem intolerant of people who are different from themselves. i respect the fact the some people believe that if a person doesn't follow a particular religion, they will not reach salvation. however, allow that person to make their own decision. you may help guide them, but they will ultimately make the decision themselves. most of you need to expose yourselves to people outside your own faith, race, even your own neighborhoods! as for replies...i will not be checking back here, so say what you will. i don't care. i think most of you are ignorant of people who are different than yourselves.
michelle, i'm not quite sure what to tell you. you have a hard decision and i wish you luck.
-- kristen (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2003.
Michelle and others in similar situations, it's not easy to accept advice on matters relating to the heart.
The advice I gave my daughter's when they decided on the person was simply put;
Never accept pre-conditions to be able share with another person, life.
Deciding & getting married is easier than ending it and walking away.
Your religion is the fabric of your soul and patching it with other faiths seldom works.
-- aka max (email@example.com), April 13, 2003.
Thank you all for responding to me post. It really helps to know there are others out there who have been through (or are going through) similar situation as mine. For those who offered their advice and experiences, thank you
-- Michelle Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 13, 2003.
Sarah, I do not believe any faith is greater than the next. Muslim women do not believe they are the virgin Mary!. I have a great tolerance level but its the pig ignorance of the people on this board that annoyed me. And I am with a catholic guy not a christian..it doesn't bother me because my mind is open to all cultures and faiths of the world.
-- Zee (email@example.com), April 14, 2003.
Wishing you all the best Michelle! This bboard is a veritable battlefield! all i can say is... pray! I'll be praying for you too!
-- marie (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 14, 2003.
Your wording reflects a level of immatureness. I have followed this thread and if anyone is showing pig headedness and insensitivity it's you. Reflect on your replies again.
On an intellectual note Catholics are Christians, now you know mayby you can contribute some good dialog, which if you are not aware of is debate and conversation.
If you can't, move on else where.
-- tommy (email@example.com), April 14, 2003.
If "no faith is better than the next", that would have to mean either (1) that no faith has the truth (in which case, why bother with any of them?), and/or (2) that truth doesn't matter (in which case, why bother with any of them?).
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), April 14, 2003.
oooh tommy, get you!...if catholics and christians are the same thing then why are they known by two different names..there has to be some sort of difference...I don't see a christian banging on about how great their faith is...it seems like its only the catholics who need to be brought down a peg or two!
-- Zee (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 17, 2003.
Hello, Zee. You have made some serious mistakes here, and they need to be corrected.
In your first message here, you wrote:
"I am a muslim girl and have been with my catholic partner for 5 years."
So you are a Moslem, but you have the nerve to tell us Catholics that we are not Christian? You should be ashamed of yourself!
Let's assume that you are Sunni. If I, as a Catholic, would tell you that you are not a Moslem (because you are not Shi'a), you would [justifiably] be angry at me and tell me that I don't know what I am talking about. In like manner, I am now going to tell you that you don't know what you are talking about when you say that Catholics are not Christians.
You need some lessons in history, Zee. The New Testament speaks of the followers of Jesus (some years after his Ascension into Heaven) as being called "Christians." Well, history shows that perhaps 50 years later, they were also being called "Catholics." For the first 1,000 years of the Christian era, all Christians were Catholics! And the Catholics of all 2,000 years have always been Christians. You didn't know this stuff, did you? And I have to think that your "boyfriend" -- supposedly a Catholic, you said -- didn't even know that he is a Christian (or never told you so).
Zee, I hope that this experience has taught you a lesson -- that you need to stop talking and start listening here. You disgustingly said that Catholic here are "pig ignorant." Since you have displayed gross ignorance and others have not, Zee, you need to beg everyone's pardon and start behaving as a guest of this forum is expected to behave -- according to the rules.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), April 19, 2003.
It really doesn't bother me where it all stemmed from. All i know is that I was born into a sunni muslim family and that my partner is a catholic...
Thats all, but thanks for the history lesson. Maybe i will become interested in religion when i hit my fifties..
-- Zee (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2003.
Zee, God said this:-
"I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of tham that hate me: And shewing mercy unto thousands to them that love me, and keep my commandments."
you have been advised. ignorance, if that is a defense, is no longer available to you. let's hope that you do not get run down by a large truck before you hit your fifties.
St Thomas, please intercede for Zee and her family. inform them that ambivalence is every bit as bad as following a manmade religion.
-- Ian (email@example.com), April 29, 2003.
Zee is presuming she'll ''hit her fifties''. After that, if it happens, she'll wait for her sixties.
Then, one day the curtain will fall. She will know for certain then, how important it was on April 29, 2,003. But she took the chance.
How may million souls has the devil taken away, because no one was in a hurry?
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 29, 2003.
michelle, i too am in an inter faith relationship. i am catholic and am very much in love with a muslim man. I honestly believe that you need to find out why he has now decided to tell you his desires for your children. don't back down on your own belief system, because that may be the beginning of a series of attempts to dominate you. that being said though, i am a bit ashamed at many of these catholics on this page who seem to believe that they are better than anyone else. i believe it is possible to expose your children to many religions and allow them to chose. if my child feels a connection with the muslim faith more than the catholic faith then i support that decision. there are too many people out there who want to fight over religion. bless all people who are proud of their own religion and peacefully practice it and try not to belittle others becuase they may be different. ps: i can imagine all of the hate mail i will get from some of the regular respondents, so don't bother telling me that i am not a true catholic. i love my catholic faith, and i love my muslim boyfriend. thank God i am not so stupid to think my way is the only way.
-- courtney (email@example.com), May 18, 2003.
You are a free person. The fact you may make unwise choices doesn't mean other people who make wiser choices are your superiors. A good Catholic doesn't have a class system.
What you've proposed is that it won't ever matter: [You] say you're a bit ashamed at many of these Catholics seem to believe that they are better than anyone else. (A mistake; based on your objection to competing class systems). ''I believe it is possible to expose your children to many religions and allow them to chose.'' --Now-- You may believe it. That isn't saying it's wise, or good.
Good is realising the child must live for God. Not for choices. If you truly are Catholic, then you make God the central choice; not several religions to ''choose from.'' They don't all lead you to Him. God gave us the faith we embrace; and muslims reject it. To pretend that is unimportant is to say your children's souls can't be endangered, exposed to a false religion. The muslim you love is not God. He won't allow God to teach him, and by joining him in marriage, you'll stop your children from going into God's Church.
I'm NOT acting as if we are better than others (or better than muslims). It simply tells you the truth can be avoided, but it remains the truth. You don't care, I guess; if your children are denied the truth? You'll sell them out for the sexy Arabian? I feel sorry for them. You have your reward in THIS world. Your children are in danger of losing God's grace on account of your selfishness. That's blunt; but you've got it coming, Dear!
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2003.
"My way is not the only way" always sounds so profoundly magnanimous. And indeed it is, if you are talking about the best way to catch a fish or paint a house. However, where matters of faith are concerned, such a statement becomes merely a smokescreen, designed to conceal the real question - whether TRUTH "is the only way". You either accept the premise that truth "is the only way", or you claim that there are two equally acceptable ways - truth and untruth. If truth is indeed the only way, and you have two conflicting religious traditions, thenyou have a real problem, because genuine truth cannot conflict with genuine truth.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), May 18, 2003.
Eugene... I must have missed the sexy arabian part of Courtney's post!!!
-- Sara (email@example.com), May 18, 2003.
The undertones, Sara:
''I am Catholic and am very much in love with a muslim man.''
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2003.
Thanks Eugene...I will pay closer attention to the undertones next time!
-- Sara (email@example.com), May 18, 2003.
well, first of all, although i do feel my boyfriend is sexy, he is not an Arab. and furthermore, i never proposed that i thought he was God, but thanks for the clarification. I live for God, and so does my boyfriend. My parents were Christian, but rarely attended a church. My father was brought up Catholic though. So at the age of 13 I began researching religions, and felt instantly close to the Catholic faith, and have been practicing it ever since i began RCIA instruction. Now, i guess i have a question for those who have replied to me. Am i suppose to break up with this man, even though he supports my faith, attends mass with me and wishes that i continue my relationship with the Catholic faith? Or is it only a matter of the children's religion in this aspect? I am not converting, but i am also aware that my child, if we do marry, may not want to be Catholic. If my boyfriend and I agree to raise a Christian child, then what will stop the child from converting, just like many people do that have parents from the same religion. That is what I mean by saying my way is not the only way, because just like my sister does not practice the Catholc faith, I don't disown her. I will teach my child about Catholics and try to lead him/her in that direction, but the ultimate choise will always be an individual one. have i done wrong if i marry a catholic, we bear children and they convert on their own? where do i draw the line? Do you honestly believe that it is not possible for me to live a life with a man that i am "very much in love with" because he is muslim? thank you.
-- courtney (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2003.
Courtney I'm glad for you, because you try at least to be reasonable. I was kidding about a ''sexy arab''. I just meant, will everything go down the drain just for love?
If you marry anyone-- whoever, it must still be your duty to raise a Catholic family, Courtney. Then what might happen is, the muslim might object, saying: ''No-- they will all be muslims.''
A religious division in your family; and being the wife, a muslim will simply enforce his decision. You'll have little say.
If at this time, you already show a disposition to give all of it away; and even ''allow the child to choose his own faith'', you fail Our Lord Jesus Christ. Why not remember many thousands of saints went to the arena or the cross to die for Christ, rather than to lose Him?
It seems you have no such problem; it will be easy for you to sell Him out. For a husband; and even for the whim of your own child.
A Catholic must love the muslim; the protestant, the atheist. But not their ''religion''. Once you cross that line, you've left Christ and chosen the world.
Pretty stiff bargain, I know. But Jesus is the Son of God. He died for you and your children. You must be willing to do anything for Him. He promises to reward you for eternity. A husband may not even be completely faithful in his own lifetime. Or-- he may learn to follow Christ himself, if you set the right example. The first step is to train your children in the faith. No compromise; Not ''let them choose.''
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), May 19, 2003.
St. Martin, Roman Soldier and Later Bishop of Tours So Opposed to Bishops that Sold Out the True Faith That He Would not even Speak to Them! I am a soldier presently serving with an infantry unit based in southern Iraq. I have a traditional World War II Military Missal, which I use daily. There is a section within the missal containing the Mass in Time of War. The Novus Ordo goes not even address the spiritual needs of a combat soldier. To me, as a traditional Catholic and light infantryman, there is nothing more moving than infantry soldiers, in formation in full combat gear, kneeling before Our Lord. As Field Marshall Foch stated, "The greatest weapon is a soul that is on fire."
The Traditional Latin Mass has met the spiritual needs and provided the focus of the Roman Catholic soldier for 2,000 years, from the Battle of Hastings in 1066 to the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The prayer of the Roman centurion, as contained in the Traditional Latin Mass, bears testimony to the nobility and sacrifice of the profession of us soldiers. The Novus Ordo has no room for the traditional soldier.
Therefore, let us ask for "no quarter, nor give quarter" in our fight against the New Order World Religion and society, especially the traditional enemies of the Church. There is a military maxim that applies to the Novus Ordo service: "A hasty withdrawal is better than a bad stand." The New Modernist Rite of the Novus Ordo Church is definitely a bad stand in face of a deadly enemy, the devil. There are no standards in the New Rite, and it will not stand a chance against a determined enemy, such as the Muslims,
Eugene and John, I just had to return for this one: This guy has it right!
-- Ed Richards (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2003.
i will do anything for Jesus, and I will always follow Him. I will also, regardless of whom I marry teach my child of Jesus and all He has done for us. But, if my child chooses another religion, I still believe they will be welcomed into heaven as long as they are good people. with that, is it my duty as a Catholic to end my relationship with this man because he sees Jesus as prophet only? That is what has confused me about the many remarks on this board. thank you.
-- courtney (email@example.com), May 19, 2003.
I have no doubt of your good intentions. That's not what I'm talking about, nor should anything here confuse you as to the truth.
The truth is not give or take a word or two. You can't divide the truth.
Faith in Jesus Christ is definitely necessary, for your child's eventual salvation. As well as yours & your husband's. By making it conditional; as if it won't matter, because you can still ''be good''; you relax your faith. You cop out. For a worldly temptation. Speaking of martyrs. Do you think they were fools, for accepting death rather than denying Christ?
No one says you can't marry a muslim. You can; with the clear understanding he will not impose his faith on you or your children. You want to marry him-- But not his religion; not for you or your children. Because you believe! Meaning, you will not take your children away from the true faith. If you allow it, it means you DON'T believe in Jesus Christ.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2003.
Since you are already a Catholic or soon will be, you will have to promise that, in your marriage to a non-Christian, you will not "defect" from the Church and that you will do everything in your power to raise your child(ren) as Catholic.
Your non-Christian friend will be made aware of these promises, but will not have to promise anything publicly himself. However, you can probably see that you need to discuss the raising of the children privately with him. What could happen in that discussion?
1. He may insist (as most Moslem men do) that the children be raised in his religion. You would then face a very difficult choice. You could walk away (which is what I would recommend). You could stay with him and get married, hoping that he would change his mind or that you could secretly teach the Catholic faith to your children -- but these are obviously risky options.
2. He may truthfully agree to allow you to raise the children as Catholics. Then, after you marry, he may change his mind (or may be pressured by fellow Moslems to take charge of the children's religious education). You need to consider now how you would deal with this sad and potentially dangerous situation.
3. He may lie to you (for fear of losing you) and pretend to agree to allow you to raise the children as Catholics. Then, after your first child is born, he would make his true intentions known. Again, you need to consider now how you would cope with such a possibility.
If you do go ahead with the marriage and your husband forces you to allow the children to be raised as Moslems, you would not be held responsible or guilty of sinning. But you would be (or at least should be) a very unhappy woman.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (email@example.com), May 20, 2003.
Michelle, Courtney and others - I was involved with a muslim guy some 15 years ago in university and I felt like you do now. I met at 20 and 4 years later ended it, he was 3 years older than I. I had no encouragement from family; they wanted to stay out of it, partly because of inter-faith debates. But I did know that it was how I felt I was slowly led to believe that my faith was wrong and all that I was brought up to follow would have to be discarded.
Not being a strong bible reader, let me part with my 2 cents worth of opinion. Glance through the New Testament. My favorites are John; 11 – 25 and John 14 – 11. If you can afterwards put the book down and have no feeling of loss in the belief of Christ then you will find it easy to leave the Catholic Church that has brought you this far in your life.
I’m perhaps no stronger a Catholic now than I was then, but I couldn’t give up the fundamental Judeo-Christian belief of the Messiah. I married a strong Catholic man with all his faults and as much as I love my husband and the 3 daughters we have together, he will not get me into heaven. I love Christ more.
-- gabriella (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 20, 2003.
God has blessed you, Gabriella,
You know what you're talking about. You were also tempted, but with God's grace, you kept faith. Your daughters and your good husband are blessed to have you for mother & spouse.
It's not because a woman can't love somebody who won't follow Jesus Christ. But one must love Jesus Christ over every other love. We know Him; and once you know Him, there can be no greater love. Teach your daughters the way. God be always in your heart.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), May 20, 2003.
So many ignorant responses! It is scary to read them. As a Muslim I have tolerance and respect for ALL religions. Infact, growing up as a muslim I was taught by my wonderful parents that I am not to judge any one else based on their faith. Not to mention they enrolled me in Catholic schools from Pre-K to 12th grade. There is beauty in every religion and to not open your eyes to the different practices and religions of the world, than you are the loser in this life. I wonder what God thinks about those who speak so poorly of His creations just because He created them differently. My boyfriend is a Protestant and is in the process of converting to Islam. I haven't asked him to convert...but he took interest in the religion after meeting me and now LOVES what it teaches. Too bad most of you are ignorant of the faith. I'm not saying Islam is the true religion, all I ask is to open your eyes. This faith that you feel threatened by might offer you inner peace. Dare to learn more.
-- Reem (Damas@Syria.com), June 13, 2003.
You seem to be saying we're intolerant of other religions. Tolerance of ignorance is allowed for love, so that the ignorant may enjoy free choice and liberty.
But love impels the heart to help those who are ignorant, even as you treat them with respect.
Since Islam, for all its good tenets, is an adamant faith, unwilling to accept opposition; Catholics are warned to approach muslims on guard. Any focus on faith outside Islam is met with suspicion. Other faiths are tolerated, perhaps, but no proselytizing or evangelizing is accepted by muslims.
We are forced by historical experience to judge Islam as a heretical offshoot of Judeo- Christian monotheism. In Muhammad we do not see a true prophet; although out of charity, we can't dispute that with muslims. It isn't right to call him a false prophet in confrontational terms, as the Robrtso n, Falwe ll churches have. No matter what we privately know to be true.
It's ironic for you to say we are the ignorant ones. Or, that because we're Catholics, we're taught ''to judge others by their faith.''
Judging others is left to God. All we wish is for others to find the truth; and if they refuse that truth, we let them go their way. That's true tolerance
In marriage, this is hardly possible. If your spouse is adamantly faithful to false doctrine, you cannot just leave him/her. You're forced to live in union with his error. What good is the marriage; when love stops at a certain point, because past that point harmony between spouses is threatened? Do I seem ignorant, saying this? Consider my own position. I married a woman just as faithful as myself to Christ and His Church. We are totally united.
You would be best married to a muslim, for you share in his choices. I feel sorry for your protestant boyfriend, because he's leaving the grace of Jesus Christ to follow Muhammad. It should have been you who came to Christ instead. Your boyfriend didn't have enough faith to save you.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 13, 2003.
While false religions may offer their practitioners some sense of inner peace, so can many things which have no connection to religion at all. It is right to have tolerance and respect for all persons. But to claim that you have respect for philosophies and theological systems which you know to be deviations from the truth is plain foolish. If you claim that you have equal respect for all religions, then there is absolutely no reason to belong to the one you belong to. Why not just flip a coin? The only rational reason to adhere to a religion is the firm belief that what it teaches is the truth - and claiming that a given set of beliefs is true logically demands that you consider conflicting beliefs false. To say that all beliefs are equally true is to lose contact with objective reality. Some statements, some beliefs, some doctrines are objectively true, and some which are held equally sincerely by other people are objectively false. Your boyfriend was not really Protestant. He may have called himself that, but anyone who is truly Christian, even in the limited sense that Protestantism provides, could never settle for anything less. It is true that there is beauty in every religion. Normal people are not attracted to ugliness. But beauty in the absense of truth is shallow and subjective. It may produce pleasant feelings, a certain sense of freedom from the cares of the world, even a measure of inner peace, but a camping trip can produce those same effects. Camping won't lead to eternal life however, and neither will false religions.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), June 13, 2003.
Love overcomes any diffculty. You have tio understand his duty as a muslim is to raise his children in Islam. Michelle, yoru kids will choose their religion when it is time. Islam is not very different from Cristianity. All the values and all tecahings are very much alike.
I the love you both feel is strong, you wil figure something out.
I wish both of you the best of lucks.
oscar E. Gamboa
-- Oscar E. Gamboa (email@example.com), July 16, 2003.
Oscar means well. But he could not be more mistaken. Christianity; Catholic faith, is infinitely more pleasing to God. It might not be Oscar's opinion, but God has spoken through His divine Son Jesus Christ. No Catholic has liberty to take the faith for granted. The Son of God died for the sins of mankind. Muhammad gave NOTHING to mankind except discord and warfare. We absolutely KNOW the history of Islam. Islam is not the true faith; it is the teaching of a false prophet.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 16, 2003.
I'm a muslim guy, and I'm suffering from the same dilemma: I'm in love with a devout Christian woman, and she has even deeper feelings for me. Neither of us is willing or going to give up her/his religion. I don't like my kids to be Christians (like your boyfriend), because the very idea of a Trinitary God, quintessential in your Faith, runs againt my deeply-established belief in a God who is ONE--who is "not begotten, and who has never begotten any son." It is hard for us, muslims, to grasp the mere thought that God made an innocent prophet suffer for the sake of "all humanity," let alone that He was somewhat incarnated in a Human Being, however exemplary the latter may be. Apart from this, our two religions preach the same ideals of peace, unconditional love, and brotherhood... My advice, Listen to your Heart, not to others. If you think that a marriage with a muslim will make you unhappy in the future, seek a different partner (as I intend to do). May God Bless you.
-- Abraham Andre (email@example.com), March 15, 2004.
-- Bill Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 15, 2004.
Whatever you were taught about Allah, as opposed to the Trinity of God, Abraham Andre; ''Trinitary God, quintessential in your Faith, runs againt my deeply-established belief in a God who is ONE.'' let us give you a revelation:
We ALL believe in ONE God. We do not know ''three Gods, and we never have.
Jesus was more than a prophet. Jesus Christ, His Father, and the Holy Spirit are not separate entities. --God has revealed Himself as a Trinity; yet God, the single eternal God; is in essence just ONE. He is trinitarian, yes; but that isn't opposed to one UNIT. That means simply He is three PERSONS all in the same divine Essence. THAT ESSENCE IS ONE.
So that for you; if you truly had revelation, The truth would be: Allah is ONE; in essence. His divine Son and Holy Spirit are not divisions of the ONE Allah, but persons. Like a HOUSE with three windows. And-- YES; the eternal Son became Man and died for the sins of mankind; to bring us all back to His Father. This is the WORK that differentiates the Person of the Son from the Person of the Father.
The Father's WORK is a different attribute: Father and Creator. The holy attribute of God's third Person is a divine and infinite Love, passing eternally between the Father and his Divine Son.
-- eugene c. chavez (email@example.com), March 15, 2004.
I am a tradtional cathoic... interfaith marraiges do not work full stop! If your Catholic, and claim you are a strong catholic, than an interfaith marraige should be out of the question complelty... if ur muslim... then u r putting u and ur partner at risk og being killed if u have an interfaith marraige... stay within ur own realms!
-- Camz (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2004.
In this Sunday's St. Louis Post Dispatch, there was an article concerning mixed-faith marriages, specifically Catholic/Muslim. The example of how "well" they worked was that of a couple who had been happily married for 19 years. When interviewed, the woman said that what drew them together was that each of them was "totally devoted to their individual beliefs". I found that amazing since the woman, who before this marriage was a devoted Catholic, converted to her husband's faith. Her rationale? " His faith had more rules and was stricter, so I figured it had to be better than mine." The bottom line of this example was lost on me, since the gist of the story was that interfaith marriages "work". Well, IMHO the only reason that one "worked" was because the woman converted to her husband's faith. A Church family can only be strong when it's individual families are strong.
-- lesley (email@example.com), June 01, 2004.
Just so folks know: A group of Muslim and Catholic scholars (including priests, imams, professors, etc.) in the NY-area are currently engaged in a dialogue concerning, among other things, Catholic-Muslim marriage. In fact, the group is currently (Summer- Fall 2004) working on draft guidelines for Catholic-Muslim marriages in the United States. There’s already a set of guidelines out there addressing Catholic-Muslim marriage in the Canadian context, which is helpful to anyone considering such a marriage.
-- T.A. Gonsalves (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 06, 2004.
i find this discussion quite interesting, hopeful and discouraging at the same time. i was raised in a catholic family. the one thing that turned me off from catholicism was the belief that catholism is the almighty and only true religion. there is no logical truth behind this. i've struggled to find comfort within the catholic faith on several occasions. i am very spiritual and respect this over my religious beliefs. a few months ago i came to a point, where i really wanted to turn my life over to God. i realized that my own will was only going to bring me to places of frustration. at the beginning of this journey, i met a muslim man. he is not strong in his practicing but i know his mother is. we've gotten serious and talked about the problems which could arise with our religious differences. a part of me is scared that this could be too much of a difference, another part of me tells me to trust god, that he will show me the way. i have a very strong relationship with god and although i may not always understand his ways, i understand that he knows what he is doing. i have a very open mind towards things. why i find this interesting is that i was never aware of how many catholic-muslim relationships there were in the world. maybe there is a reason for this. as a human i cannot comprehend god's plan, therefore, i'm not going to try to figure this out, whether a test of my faith or a unitation of the world as one. i do know that reading through this posting, i felt a lot of hatred and unnacceptance in the postings from those who are close-minded towards this. granted, we all are entitled to our opinions but i've always seen this type of preaching as hypocritical. i am only responsible for myself. let go and let god. starting out from michelle's posting in 2002, she was not even engaged. maybe they hit rough waters, maybe it was god's way of setting it right. god works in mysterious ways. my best advice for this situation, which i am doing my best to follow as well: keep an open mind, trust god and go with the flow.
-- jessica (email@example.com), August 26, 2004.