Raising Children in a Mixed Marriage

Liz

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deusveritasest said:
Liz said:
Azurestone said:
I only wonder, though it's none of my business, what will happen when children are on the way. I've probably talked about it, but usually whatever compromise goes out the window once it becomes a reality.
I guess it must depend on how much congruity there is. I can't imagine being married to a Hindu (as mentioned above), because that is such a different belief system, I could not in good conscience support it. But if you think about the way we talk to little children, it is all quite simple within Christianity. You start by taking a child to hear a service, perhaps not even the whole service, and they learn some simple prayers, then they ask questions like 'did God have a wife' or 'did Noah use his boat after the flood' - none of this will present problems! I reckon it is only when a child is old enough to think for him or herself that you get into more complicated questions, and by that time, it's reasonable enough to explain that not everyone agrees on the answers.
I think you have over-simplified this. To even begin with, there is the very question of what service the children will be going to and to what extent they will be allowed to participate.
This is such an interesting discussion ...

I suppose you may be right, but of course, it need not be a question as to which service children attend. There's no reason why they should not attend both, and I don't believe there's any reason they couldn't participate just as much as their peer-group in both services. The real issue comes after childhood, when the individual must make a decision - but then, you'd hope anyone making adult decisions about faith would do so carefully. With my partner and me, there is nothing whatsoever that would prevent a child from participating in both Orthodox and Anglican services just as fully as anyone else.

This is why I feel that, although I'd struggle to date, say, a Hindu - there's a different level of incompatibility there.
 

katherineofdixie

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Liz said:
deusveritasest said:
Liz said:
Azurestone said:
I only wonder, though it's none of my business, what will happen when children are on the way. I've probably talked about it, but usually whatever compromise goes out the window once it becomes a reality.
I guess it must depend on how much congruity there is. I can't imagine being married to a Hindu (as mentioned above), because that is such a different belief system, I could not in good conscience support it. But if you think about the way we talk to little children, it is all quite simple within Christianity. You start by taking a child to hear a service, perhaps not even the whole service, and they learn some simple prayers, then they ask questions like 'did God have a wife' or 'did Noah use his boat after the flood' - none of this will present problems! I reckon it is only when a child is old enough to think for him or herself that you get into more complicated questions, and by that time, it's reasonable enough to explain that not everyone agrees on the answers.
I think you have over-simplified this. To even begin with, there is the very question of what service the children will be going to and to what extent they will be allowed to participate.
This is such an interesting discussion ...

I suppose you may be right, but of course, it need not be a question as to which service children attend. There's no reason why they should not attend both, and I don't believe there's any reason they couldn't participate just as much as their peer-group in both services. The real issue comes after childhood, when the individual must make a decision - but then, you'd hope anyone making adult decisions about faith would do so carefully. With my partner and me, there is nothing whatsoever that would prevent a child from participating in both Orthodox and Anglican services just as fully as anyone else.

This is why I feel that, although I'd struggle to date, say, a Hindu - there's a different level of incompatibility there.
Just on a scheduling level, most of the time, services and Sunday School or other activities will be mutually exclusive. It's all parents can do to get their children to one service or one youth group activity, for example, considering the reality of our busy modern lives.

One of the modern challenges of teaching Sunday School is trying to teach children where both parents are not Orthodox, or are divorced. This means that the child does not always attend regularly, and if they do, they have very little foundation or frame of reference for Orthodoxy. (I'm sure the same holds true for other churches as well.) So that it is difficult, in a limited amount of time, to provide any meaningful catechesis.

As well, Orthodoxy often says and teaches and believes different (sometimes radically different) things from even other Christian groups or faith communities. So even though Mommy and Daddy say they respect each other's beliefs, Mommy is saying one thing and Daddy is saying another. Or (what's worse, to my way of thinking) they end up saying all ways are equally the same, and it doesn't really matter what you believe.

And although we know that there are lies, d**n lies and statistics, there are studies that indicate children of interfaith marriages tend to have weak, if any, attachment to religion.
 

LizaSymonenko

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I'm sorry....am I missing something here?

Are you seriously encouraging children to split their time equally between faiths...and saying this is a "good" thing?

This always upsets me.

In my Orthodox parish...I have those families who have married outside the Church - to other Christian denominations.  They freely take there kids here and there...and their comments are the same..."it doesn't matter, Catholic and Orthodox is basically the same."

Huh?

Why did you bother to have your children baptized in the Orthodox Church only to take them regularly to R. Catholic or Byz Catholic parishes, where the kids actually partake of Communion...then on special holidays drag them back to the Orthodox Church.

What gives?

Pick one and stick to it.

Because if you truly think that it's okay to go from one to the other...than you really are neither....or you simply do not understand the Faith you propose to be.

 

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katherineofdixie said:
Just on a scheduling level, most of the time, services and Sunday School or other activities will be mutually exclusive. It's all parents can do to get their children to one service or one youth group activity, for example, considering the reality of our busy modern lives.

One of the modern challenges of teaching Sunday School is trying to teach children where both parents are not Orthodox, or are divorced. This means that the child does not always attend regularly, and if they do, they have very little foundation or frame of reference for Orthodoxy. (I'm sure the same holds true for other churches as well.) So that it is difficult, in a limited amount of time, to provide any meaningful catechesis.

As well, Orthodoxy often says and teaches and believes different (sometimes radically different) things from even other Christian groups or faith communities. So even though Mommy and Daddy say they respect each other's beliefs, Mommy is saying one thing and Daddy is saying another. Or (what's worse, to my way of thinking) they end up saying all ways are equally the same, and it doesn't really matter what you believe.

And although we know that there are lies, d**n lies and statistics, there are studies that indicate children of interfaith marriages tend to have weak, if any, attachment to religion.
I guess we're lucky here; there isn't too much cross-timetabling.
I have to say, I suspect what is damaging in some interfaith relationships is not so much that the parents have different faiths, but that one or both hasn't got very strong faith. If you have strong faith, you would bring up your children by telling them you are sure of what is right; it shouldn't matter that someone else disagrees. On the other hand, if your faith is actually not very strong, or if your attachment to it is more cultural than religious (very common, that), then you're more likely to fail to give satisfying explanations.

I've heard people whose faith is weak trying to justify their church-going: it is one of the most off-putting things you can imagine!
 

katherineofdixie

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Liz said:
If you have strong faith, you would bring up your children by telling them you are sure of what is right; it shouldn't matter that someone else disagrees.
So you're saying that if you believe, for example, that premarital sex for your teenager is wrong, but your husband believes it's ok, and you both strongly adhere to your beliefs, that telling your teenager that Mommy says it's wrong but Daddy says it's ok, is not confusing?
 

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katherineofdixie said:
Liz said:
If you have strong faith, you would bring up your children by telling them you are sure of what is right; it shouldn't matter that someone else disagrees.
So you're saying that if you believe, for example, that premarital sex for your teenager is wrong, but your husband believes it's ok, and you both strongly adhere to your beliefs, that telling your teenager that Mommy says it's wrong but Daddy says it's ok, is not confusing?
I can't imagine a caring parent approaching the issue like that - surely no one with any moral convictions says to their teenager, 'ok, sex is fine, but Mummy thinks it's wrong'?! Does any rational person really have beliefs that are so black-and-white?

Personally, I don't understand the idea of believing something is wrong for someone else. You might be very sad and shocked if your teenager decided to have sex, but ultimately, short of chaining them to the house until they're 21, your beliefs can only be a guide, so you'd want to talk carefully about why you believe, rather than state 'I believe this'/ 'I don't believe that', wouldn't you?

I'm just trying to understand as we don't have children yet.
 

katherineofdixie

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Liz said:
so you'd want to talk carefully about why you believe, rather than state 'I believe this'/ 'I don't believe that', wouldn't you?
Of course, but if you don't believe the same things, your conversation would have to be "I believe this because.... but of course, Daddy doesn't agree, and believes this because...." And presumably your values would have been communicated earlier, when the child was younger and not able to understand or grasp concepts like that. That is where the black and white comes in.
 

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katherineofdixie said:
Liz said:
so you'd want to talk carefully about why you believe, rather than state 'I believe this'/ 'I don't believe that', wouldn't you?
Of course, but if you don't believe the same things, your conversation would have to be "I believe this because.... but of course, Daddy doesn't agree, and believes this because...." And presumably your values would have been communicated earlier, when the child was younger and not able to understand or grasp concepts like that. That is where the black and white comes in.
I don't think that is right. How could a child be old enough to understand and discuss sexual morality, but not old enough to discuss the theology behind it?

I would have thought that, when a child is young, you talk about love, and the love of families, and almost certainly your children will go through a stage of 'playing mummy and daddy'. Now, surely, you don't interrupt that with an incomprehensible lecture on pre-marital sex? In the same way, a child who's old enough to be talked to a little about sex, is surely too old to be fobbed off with black-and-white statements, and will want and need discussion. If you refuse to discuss the fact that some people believe teenage sex is absolutely fine, you can be sure your child will have that discussion with someone else, who's perhaps a lot less concerned for his or her welfare.
 

deusveritasest

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Liz said:
and I don't believe there's any reason they couldn't participate just as much as their peer-group in both services. The real issue comes after childhood, when the individual must make a decision - but then, you'd hope anyone making adult decisions about faith would do so carefully. With my partner and me, there is nothing whatsoever that would prevent a child from participating in both Orthodox and Anglican services just as fully as anyone else.
As far as I know, your partner/husband (sorry, I don't remember exactly what stage you are at in this) is essentially required by his church to forbid his children form partaking of the "Sacraments" in your own.
 

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deusveritasest said:
Liz said:
and I don't believe there's any reason they couldn't participate just as much as their peer-group in both services. The real issue comes after childhood, when the individual must make a decision - but then, you'd hope anyone making adult decisions about faith would do so carefully. With my partner and me, there is nothing whatsoever that would prevent a child from participating in both Orthodox and Anglican services just as fully as anyone else.
As far as I know, your partner/husband (sorry, I don't remember exactly what stage you are at in this) is essentially required by his church to forbid his children form partaking of the "Sacraments" in your own.
Children do not partake of the Sacraments in the Anglican Church; that's the point. The only one would be the christening, and an Orthodox ceremony would be as valid as an Anglican one.
 

katherineofdixie

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Liz said:
I don't think that is right. How could a child be old enough to understand and discuss sexual morality, but not old enough to discuss the theology behind it?
You are misunderstanding me, and I'm sorry I was not more clear. Would you agree that waiting until a child is a teenager to communicate values and morals about anything, including sexual morality, lying, cheating, stealing, being mean or unkind, is too late?
When children are young, you communicate values and morals, of necessity since their understanding and vocabulary is limited. "Darling, no, it's wrong/bad to take Sissy's doll away from her." When the child is a bit older, you can expand it to "How would you feel if she took your truck?" When the child is older, you can employ more detailed and philosophical reasons why one should not appropriate someone else's belongings.
The point is, that you wouldn't wait to communicated your values and morality and beliefs until they were able to have an adult philosophical discussion about them.


I would have thought that, when a child is young, you talk about love, and the love of families, and almost certainly your children will go through a stage of 'playing mummy and daddy'. Now, surely, you don't interrupt that with an incomprehensible lecture on pre-marital sex? In the same way, a child who's old enough to be talked to a little about sex, is surely too old to be fobbed off with black-and-white statements, and will want and need discussion.
But if premarital sex is against your personal, religious and moral beliefs, then you would presumably incorporate "Mommy and Daddy loved each other and wanted to have a family and so they got married."

If you refuse to discuss the fact that some people believe teenage sex is absolutely fine, you can be sure your child will have that discussion with someone else, who's perhaps a lot less concerned for his or her welfare.
You have just proved my point. What if the person who believes that it is wrong, for all sorts of reasons, including religious, is one spouse and the person who believes that it's absolutely fine is the other.
What message are you giving your child? "Do what you want - no matter how young you are and how destructive it will be?"
 

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katherineofdixie said:
Liz said:
I don't think that is right. How could a child be old enough to understand and discuss sexual morality, but not old enough to discuss the theology behind it?
You are misunderstanding me, and I'm sorry I was not more clear. Would you agree that waiting until a child is a teenager to communicate values and morals about anything, including sexual morality, lying, cheating, stealing, being mean or unkind, is too late?
When children are young, you communicate values and morals, of necessity since their understanding and vocabulary is limited. "Darling, no, it's wrong/bad to take Sissy's doll away from her." When the child is a bit older, you can expand it to "How would you feel if she took your truck?" When the child is older, you can employ more detailed and philosophical reasons why one should not appropriate someone else's belongings.
The point is, that you wouldn't wait to communicated your values and morality and beliefs until they were able to have an adult philosophical discussion about them.
But Katherine, none of that would be affected by the parents' different faiths if both were Christian, would it?



I would have thought that, when a child is young, you talk about love, and the love of families, and almost certainly your children will go through a stage of 'playing mummy and daddy'. Now, surely, you don't interrupt that with an incomprehensible lecture on pre-marital sex? In the same way, a child who's old enough to be talked to a little about sex, is surely too old to be fobbed off with black-and-white statements, and will want and need discussion.
But if premarital sex is against your personal, religious and moral beliefs, then you would presumably incorporate "Mommy and Daddy loved each other and wanted to have a family and so they got married."
[/quote]

That is pretty much what all married couples say to their children, isn't it? If you've already decided to marry and have children, why would you say something different?


If you refuse to discuss the fact that some people believe teenage sex is absolutely fine, you can be sure your child will have that discussion with someone else, who's perhaps a lot less concerned for his or her welfare.
You have just proved my point. What if the person who believes that it is wrong, for all sorts of reasons, including religious, is one spouse and the person who believes that it's absolutely fine is the other.
What message are you giving your child? "Do what you want - no matter how young you are and how destructive it will be?"
[/quote]

I really don't think I have proved your point! You can't wrap a child in cotton wool, and you can't deny that some people in the world believe and do things that others consider very wrong. You teach your child what you believe to be right, and at the same time you teach them to make judgments for themselves. Part of that must be about acknowledging that people have different beliefs.

I don't understand how you read what I wrote, and came to the conclusion that the message I would give was, 'do what you want'. It's not. But it is naive to assume that, if you tell a child 'This is Right, do only this', that child will never listen to other people saying, 'No, your parents are wrong, do it anyway'. It's much better to teach the child that some people hold different views from others, and that they don't have to take *anyone's* view at face value.

I think this is really important with things concerning sex. I know a girl who met her 'boyfriend' at 15 (he was 22), and started a physical relationship with him. She is still, several years on, a very damaged person. Like most of us, she'd been told by her parents that some people were not nice and she should be wary of strangers, and she'd been brought up to believe sex was for marriage. This guy simply had to come along and tell her that he cared about her and loved her, and that actually, sex with him would be just fine.

I would much rather that I or my husband were able to tell our children that some people will tell that that sex before marriage is good, rather than have them hear it from some persuasive and unpleasant person, who preys on young people who've been brought up naive.
 

katherineofdixie

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Liz said:
But Katherine, none of that would be affected by the parents' different faiths if both were Christian, would it?
Do you really think so? Have you heard some of the things that self-identified Christians are saying?
I think that you have been on these boards long enough to realized that Orthodoxy, in particular, teaches and believes things that are very different from other faith communities.

I really don't think I have proved your point! You can't wrap a child in cotton wool, and you can't deny that some people in the world believe and do things that others consider very wrong. You teach your child what you believe to be right, and at the same time you teach them to make judgments for themselves.
You are still misunderstanding, and you actually have proved my point. What if the two people who are most responsible for teaching the child are teaching two entirely different things? What message are you giving the child?

I don't understand how you read what I wrote, and came to the conclusion that the message I would give was, 'do what you want'.
Of course it is. If you teach the child that there are different ways to behave and all are morally neutral, since you and your spouse do not agree on what's right or acceptable, then whatever the child decides to do is ok.

But it is naive to assume that, if you tell a child 'This is Right, do only this', that child will never listen to other people saying, 'No, your parents are wrong, do it anyway'.
Of course not, and I don't believe I said that. But in this case, it would be the mother who is saying "Your father is wrong. Do it anyway." Or vice versa. It's very different.

It's much better to teach the child that some people hold different views from others, and that they don't have to take *anyone's* view at face value.
And their parents' views are no better than anyone else's?

I would much rather that I or my husband were able to tell our children that some people will tell that that sex before marriage is good, rather than have them hear it from some persuasive and unpleasant person, who preys on young people who've been brought up naive.
Again, you are misunderstanding me. I am saying that what happens if you tell your children that, and your husband tells them it's ok.
I'm really rather surprised that you can't see the difference.
 

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katherineofdixie said:
Liz said:
But Katherine, none of that would be affected by the parents' different faiths if both were Christian, would it?
Do you really think so? Have you heard some of the things that self-identified Christians are saying?
I think that you have been on these boards long enough to realized that Orthodoxy, in particular, teaches and believes things that are very different from other faith communities.

I really don't think I have proved your point! You can't wrap a child in cotton wool, and you can't deny that some people in the world believe and do things that others consider very wrong. You teach your child what you believe to be right, and at the same time you teach them to make judgments for themselves.
You are still misunderstanding, and you actually have proved my point. What if the two people who are most responsible for teaching the child are teaching two entirely different things? What message are you giving the child?
Katherine, these two posts show what the problem is. You think there are insurmountable differences between Orthodoxy and any other expression of Christian faith, so you go making them up and attributing them to others. What 'two entirely different things' do you mean? I have shown you that there wouldn't be differences already!


I don't understand how you read what I wrote, and came to the conclusion that the message I would give was, 'do what you want'.
Of course it is. If you teach the child that there are different ways to behave and all are morally neutral, since you and your spouse do not agree on what's right or acceptable, then whatever the child decides to do is ok.
Who said we would be morally neutral?

But it is naive to assume that, if you tell a child 'This is Right, do only this', that child will never listen to other people saying, 'No, your parents are wrong, do it anyway'.
Of course not, and I don't believe I said that. But in this case, it would be the mother who is saying "Your father is wrong. Do it anyway." Or vice versa. It's very different.
In what situation would the mother be saying the father is wrong, and telling the child to do something? Are we still talking about teenage sex - and if so, can you honestly imagine any Christian parent merrily telling their child to go off and have sex?! I don't think so.

It's much better to teach the child that some people hold different views from others, and that they don't have to take *anyone's* view at face value.
And their parents' views are no better than anyone else's?
Their parents' views must be respected, because children should respect their parents. However, merely giving birth does not suddenly endow people with perfect understanding - why would it?

I would much rather that I or my husband were able to tell our children that some people will tell that that sex before marriage is good, rather than have them hear it from some persuasive and unpleasant person, who preys on young people who've been brought up naive.
Again, you are misunderstanding me. I am saying that what happens if you tell your children that, and your husband tells them it's ok.
I'm really rather surprised that you can't see the difference.
Katherine, I don't think you are talking about religious faith any more, but rather, about how you would parent, aren't you?
 

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Liz said:
Katherine, these two posts show what the problem is. You think there are insurmountable differences between Orthodoxy and any other expression of Christian faith
Just because you have convinced yourself otherwise does not mean that, for example, the Anglican Church teaches and preaches many different things from Orthodoxy.

so you go making them up and attributing them to others. What 'two entirely different things' do you mean? I have shown you that there wouldn't be differences already!
There are very real differences. Pretending that we all believe the same thing and everything's hunky-dory is not only false, but wrong. You have seen those differences on this very board. For example, the Anglican Church, or at least part of it, sometimes it's difficult for an outsider to keep up, believes, teaches and practices ordination of women and enthrones women bishops. Moving to other Protestant churches, there are differences in beliefs about the Eucharist, and what constitutes living a Christian life.

If one spouse believes that a kind of behavior or a belief is wrong and the other believes that it is acceptable, then you are presenting the concept that all beliefs and behavior are equivalent or morally neutral.

In what situation would the mother be saying the father is wrong, and telling the child to do something?
In situations where the mother and father hold different beliefs.

Katherine, I don't think you are talking about religious faith any more, but rather, about how you would parent, aren't you?
No. I am talking about religious beliefs and teachings, using an admittedly farfetched example. It is important, and most of the research says the same, that parents present a consistent worldview, system of morality and values, or whatever you wish to call it, to children. Children of interfaith marriages, for whatever reason, tend to have a weak attachment to either or any faith.
When parents have different beliefs, they are essentially saying to children that Mommy says one thing is right while Daddy says another. If we're talking about rutabaga casserole, that's one thing. If we're talking about faith, morality, values, ethics, then that is quite another.

 

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Katherine, with respect, I think the amount of going-in-circles you're doing here suggests you know your own weaknesses.

This thread started out by asking why an Orthodox person would date a non-Orthodox. The question of children has been brought up. Now, we've established (and your own posts show this) that one does not initiate detailed theological, or sex-related, discussion with a small child. Now you're harping on about these precise differences - why?

A child who is old enough to discuss issues of faith, is old enough to be taught that different people believe different things, and that faith must be felt and experienced, not simply imposed top-down. A child who isn't old enough for that discussion, is unlikely to notice any of the subtle points we adults care so much about.

katherineofdixie said:
Liz said:
Katherine, these two posts show what the problem is. You think there are insurmountable differences between Orthodoxy and any other expression of Christian faith
Just because you have convinced yourself otherwise does not mean that, for example, the Anglican Church teaches and preaches many different things from Orthodoxy.

so you go making them up and attributing them to others. What 'two entirely different things' do you mean? I have shown you that there wouldn't be differences already!
There are very real differences. Pretending that we all believe the same thing and everything's hunky-dory is not only false, but wrong. You have seen those differences on this very board. For example, the Anglican Church, or at least part of it, sometimes it's difficult for an outsider to keep up, believes, teaches and practices ordination of women and enthrones women bishops. Moving to other Protestant churches, there are differences in beliefs about the Eucharist, and what constitutes living a Christian life.
But how does this relate to the central question of the thread? I think you're simply opening up the old question of whether Orthodoxy, or non-Orthodoxy is true Christianity.

If one spouse believes that a kind of behavior or a belief is wrong and the other believes that it is acceptable, then you are presenting the concept that all beliefs and behavior are equivalent or morally neutral.
No, that is simply not true. How could it be? The two things aren't related.

In what situation would the mother be saying the father is wrong, and telling the child to do something?
In situations where the mother and father hold different beliefs.
Well, Katherine, give me an example within a Christian family.

Katherine, I don't think you are talking about religious faith any more, but rather, about how you would parent, aren't you?
No. I am talking about religious beliefs and teachings, using an admittedly farfetched example. It is important, and most of the research says the same, that parents present a consistent worldview, system of morality and values, or whatever you wish to call it, to children. Children of interfaith marriages, for whatever reason, tend to have a weak attachment to either or any faith.
And this research is where ...? I have heard the opposite, and have to say that in my experience, the reverse is true. Parents who insist upon brainwashing their children with their beliefs, very often find that the children rebel once they realize that, in the world outside their own home, different people do have different beliefs, and yet are not 'evil' or 'bad' people.

When parents have different beliefs, they are essentially saying to children that Mommy says one thing is right while Daddy says another.
No, they're not. Surely it's a fundamental Christian belief that it's not Mum or Dad who makes up what's right or wrong, it's God. It may be that Mum and Dad understand this differently, but it is also axiomatic of Christianity that we are all imperfect. I don't really see the issue here.
 

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Liz said:
Katherine, with respect, I think the amount of going-in-circles you're doing here suggests you know your own weaknesses.
Then you credit me with more self-awareness or intelligence than I apparently have, since I am still firmly convinced that I am making a valid and important point. With respect, I believe you are refusing to actually consider what I am saying, or else I am making such a hash of it that a reasonably intelligent person is unable to grasp my point.

This thread started out by asking why an Orthodox person would date a non-Orthodox. The question of children has been brought up. Now, we've established (and your own posts show this) that one does not initiate detailed theological, or sex-related, discussion with a small child.
I was using that as an admittedly poor example of differing beliefs.

Now you're harping on about these precise differences - why?
Because you asked, and because they are important.

A child who is old enough to discuss issues of faith, is old enough to be taught that different people believe different things, and that faith must be felt and experienced, not simply imposed top-down.
And will also notice that Mommy and Daddy don't believe the same things either. Does that mean that all beliefs are equally true? Or equally false?

A child who isn't old enough for that discussion, is unlikely to notice any of the subtle points we adults care so much about.
They are not subtle - they are profound differences.
But your characterization of the differences as subtle and my insistence that there are meaningful differences as "harping" actually tells me quite a bit.
Think about it. You and I self-identify as Christians. Yet we disagree fundamentally on what that means and how that "operates" in the world and in our lives. You believe that I am wrong and I believe that you are wrong.
Imagine if we were married and raising a family.

 

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katherineofdixie said:
Liz said:
Katherine, with respect, I think the amount of going-in-circles you're doing here suggests you know your own weaknesses.
Then you credit me with more self-awareness or intelligence than I apparently have, since I am still firmly convinced that I am making a valid and important point. With respect, I believe you are refusing to actually consider what I am saying, or else I am making such a hash of it that a reasonably intelligent person is unable to grasp my point.
I don't think it's that - and please don't feel that. I think that, because so often we talk about very important aspects of faith on this forum, it's easy to forget that subtle theological arguments aren't that important to a small child.

This thread started out by asking why an Orthodox person would date a non-Orthodox. The question of children has been brought up. Now, we've established (and your own posts show this) that one does not initiate detailed theological, or sex-related, discussion with a small child.
I was using that as an admittedly poor example of differing beliefs.

Now you're harping on about these precise differences - why?
Because you asked, and because they are important.
No, what I was asking about was differences *in the way you would talk to a child*. My point is that, most of these differences wouldn't affect a child.

A child who is old enough to discuss issues of faith, is old enough to be taught that different people believe different things, and that faith must be felt and experienced, not simply imposed top-down.
And will also notice that Mommy and Daddy don't believe the same things either. Does that mean that all beliefs are equally true? Or equally false?
Why should it mean either? Mummy and Daddy probably don't both enjoy all the same books: does that mean there is no such thing as a good book?

A child who isn't old enough for that discussion, is unlikely to notice any of the subtle points we adults care so much about.
They are not subtle - they are profound differences.
But your characterization of the differences as subtle and my insistence that there are meaningful differences as "harping" actually tells me quite a bit.
Think about it. You and I self-identify as Christians. Yet we disagree fundamentally on what that means and how that "operates" in the world and in our lives. You believe that I am wrong and I believe that you are wrong.
Imagine if we were married and raising a family.
A thing can be both subtle, and profound. These differences are profound, and meaningful: that is true. But, I think they are also too subtle for a child to grasp, if that child is also unable to appreciate proper adult discussion.

I see what you mean about what it would be like if two such different Christian people as us were to raise a family - but I would say that the primary point is that we are such different people, rather than that we belong to different Christian faiths. We'd probably argue as much about the flavours of ice-cream as about church attendance - to choose a flippant example.

Mind you: if you are willing to consider the idea of raising a family with another woman, then evidently  there is more hope for Orthodox-Anglican common agreement than I thought!  ;) :D
 

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Liz said:
Mind you: if you are willing to consider the idea of raising a family with another woman, then evidently  there is more hope for Orthodox-Anglican common agreement than I thought!  ;) :D
Somehow I don't think that last statement came out expressing quite the sentiment I think you intended it to communicate. :-\  Might you be thinking instead of sharing with another woman your ideas of how to raise a family?
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Liz said:
Mind you: if you are willing to consider the idea of raising a family with another woman, then evidently  there is more hope for Orthodox-Anglican common agreement than I thought!  ;) :D
Somehow I don't think that last statement came out expressing quite the sentiment I think you intended it to communicate. :-\  Might you be thinking instead of sharing with another woman your ideas of how to raise a family?
I'm sorry, it was only intended as a joke.
 
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