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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Interfaith Weddings - Wedding bells

I'm preparing wedding sermons for a Muslim woman marrying a Jewish man. Sermon will be both in Judaic and Islamic traditions. It's such a joy to officiate the interfaith weddings, it's good to see two entirely different individuals learn to respect the otherness of others and accept each other. Today, in the United States, nearly 42% of weddings are across the faith lines.
I am blessed to have performed Jewish-Christian, Hindu-Christian, Jain-Muslim, Atheist-Muslim weddings and it's a pleasure to see them all do well.

In the long run society would produce tolerant people who would respect the other person's practices.

My friend Ilan Leibowitz asked me what their future offspring or souls will bring to humanity.
There are many good things, to list a few;

1. One of the outcomes would be learning to respecting other faiths
2. Rightfully religion becomes a personal rather than communal or household belief
3. Individual responsibility for one's actions rather than blaming the religion.
4. Minding your own faith, each faith is beautiful
5. A future world with lesser religious conflicts.
5. Write in your own thoughts

Doesn't God love couples who live in harmony?

# 1 - Islam is not a religion of imposition, nor does it advocate forcing others to behave.

# 2 - Quran is a book of guidance to create peaceful societies where each person minds his own faith. No one has a right to punish for one's belief unless someone is adversely affecting his/her space, food and loved ones. God waits till the Day of Judgment to decide about one's faith.

# 3 - Interfaith marriages do not rob any one of anything.

# 4 - Quran treats all humanity as equal -it even inculcates those values in its rituals. It particularly freed women from the oppression of men and usually everything Quran addresses is binary - i.e. if it addresses men to lower the gaze, it advises women to cover their bosom. If it talks about day, it is followed by night; if it is good behavior then the talk is about bad behavior.

It has allowed Muslim men to marry non-Muslim women without even converting. But God has not banned the vice versa, giving room for discretion. However, because a majority of women around the world are dependent on men for livelihood, men have always played it out to keep the children in their religion fold for security reason rather than spiritual reason.

# 5 - No choice, unlike Muslim Majority nations, Jewish Majority Nation or even Hindu Majority Nation where interfaith marriage is prevented, and the couples are even killed, thank God for the United States, if two people want to marry, we have no choice but not to accept it. Islam emphatically teaches no compulsion, but its followers do not follow, America follows it.

# 6- What does God really want? Nothing more than harmony, peace and a well functioning world, after all it is his creation. A Muslim woman marrying a non-Muslim will add to that peace and harmony.

# 7 -  A Muslim friend said, it is not legal for a Muslim woman to marry an Atheist, and here is my common sense response.

If a Muslim woman wants to marry an Atheist man, and remain a Muslim but lives happily, and leads marriage - that is her choice and that is what God wills.

God is always right, there is no doubt about it – his guidance is for our good, he wants the world to live in harmony.  There was a time when women were considered a chattel, Quran removed that non-sense and made man and woman each other’s protectors, guides, confidants and friends on equal footing.  The believing men subscribed to the rules of the social order and were accountable where as non-believers at one time did not care for any rules and marriages went awry. That is not the case today. Atheists today are as responsible as theists and a Muslim woman can be as happy with a Muslim, Jew, and Christian as with an Atheist, Hindu or Pagan, and it is not going against God’s guidance.
Thank you

Mike Ghouse
(214) 325-1916 - text/talk
Interfaith wedding officiant
Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.netand his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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