Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Minor Musing: God,Government, Mammon, And Marriage Edition

This sentence from an Economist post on inter-faith and inter-denominational marriages has been bothering me for a couple of days.
Americans are more likely to marry someone of a different faith than someone who supports a different political party.
The post seemed to conflate inter-faith and interdenominational:
Yet American rates of inter-faith and inter-denominational marriage are rising, to the point where 45% of marriages in the past decade have involved either two religions or Christian doctrines that clash seriously (that rate includes unions spanning the evangelical and mainstream Protestant traditions—when all Protestants are lumped together, the mixed-marriage rate is 36%) 
The flattening produces more puzzlement. It's difficult to believe that people are more willing to marry someone of a different faith than a member of a different political  party. Granted, Baptists and Catholics both believe that a Jewish man crucified as a rebel over 2000 years ago rose from the dead and is able to save souls from perdition; compromise after that consensus should relatively simple. Republicans and Democrats, meanwhile, won't even agree on which cable news network to watch.

Even if they agree on the core message, Christians disagree about some  rather mundane details. Western Christians and the Orthodox churches don't agree when to celebrate Easter, the most holy day on the Christian calendar. Republicans and Democrats both agree to celebrate Independence Day on July 4.

Even with that caveat, that first quotation implies Catholics and Baptists are willing to marry someone who doesn't share key tenants of their faith, for example transubstantiation or full immersion, but Republicans and Democrats aren't willing to marry someone who doesn't share their convictions about deficit reduction.

More importantly, if it's true that the beliefs one won't compromise are the one's held most dear, then this fact implies political leanings have a greater impact on personal faith than faith has on political leanings. In short, people of faith are confusing what's Caesar's and what's God's.

1 comment:

Troy Jones said...

It explains alot regarding our current divorce rate. The home is the domestic church. It is where the most intimate and dear matters are to be held sacrosanct. A home is not a political caucus.

When a home is built on a inappropriate foundation, it will fail.