It has caused wars and killed millions, there have been movies and books made about it and it is probably up there with money as one of the most argued about subjects. When it comes to the subject of religion it is always best to tread lightly. People are sensitive and passionate about their God, Allah, Buddha and for some, their lack of belief at all. Most people try to simply avoid the topic at all costs, but there are definitely certain situations where the issue should and must be addressed.
Take Jen and Consequence form VH1’s Love & Hip Hop for example. This week’s episode, much like last week’s, found the couple struggling to balance the two totally different religions currently coinciding in their household, especially as it relates to their son. Jen, who was raised Protestant, wants the couple’s son to enjoy some of the benefits of her religion such as Christmas. This, however, totally goes against Consequences’ Islamic faith. He wants his son to be raised in the ways of Islam and would like a hesitant Jen to convert as well. In an effort to get an outside opinion on their ongoing argument, Jen agreed to go with Consequence to speak with one of his religious leaders, who said pretty much what we all were thinking. Why didn’t you discuss this before having a baby?
Unfortunately, Jen and Consequence’s dilemma is a familiar one. Many of us avoid the sensitive subjects until it’s too late. Just like many people wait until after the finances are in shambles to discuss money seriously, the same can be said about discussing religion. While I would want my child to be raised in my faith, I would be open to a form of compromise if my mate’s religion differed from my own, and have no issues with broaching the topic well before sperm meets egg.
I don’t want to find out during my outing to find a christening gown that you’re an atheist. I’ve had out-and-out screaming matches with exes about religion and my views on how I would like my children raised. Some continued for a while after the yelling ceased, other died right there on the spot, but at least everything was out in the open and there was no vagueness on where either of us stood.
Discussions like religion and how it will be handled during a marriage are too important to leave on the table until the last-minute. But then again since many people aren’t making marriage a priority in their relationships, they might not see the need to discuss such an important issue with someone they have no plans on marrying. Perhaps that’s the issue that really needs addressing.
What are your thoughts on discussing religion before marriage? If you’re in an interfaith relationship did you convert, or was there compromise?