Till death us do part; which might be sooner rather than later!

My wife’s best friend has a son that is getting married in Toronto on the 27th of August and we are invited to be in the wedding party.
So far my wife has talked about nothing but the ramifications of this marriage and how it will affect the wedding.
You see, he is Jewish and she is Muslim!
Now I should be quick to point out that neither one of them is a devout Jew nor Muslim, plus Johnny (we still call him that even though he is a grown man now) is paying for the wedding himself, so there is not much the relatives can say.
Nevertheless, you can bet your ass that there is going to be a LOT said behind closed doors.
As a matter of fact there is even the possibility that some of the relatives (or a lot of them) will not be coming to the wedding or the party after!
Since I have been asked to say something during the reception I thought it would be a appropriate to share this quote from my book “The Plain Truth About God-101.”

It is said that once upon a time a King gathered together a few men who had been born blind.  They were asked to describe an elephant, but each one was presented with only a certain part of it.
To one was presented the head of the elephant, to another the trunk, to another its ears, to another the leg, the body, the tail, tuft of the tail, etc.
The one who was presented with the head said, “The elephant is like a pot!”  The one who was presented the trunk answered, “The elephant is like a hose.”  The one who touched only the ears thought that the elephant was a fan, the others said that it was a pillar, a wall, a rope, a brush, etc.
Then they quarreled among themselves, each thinking that he was the only one right and the others were wrong.  The obvious truth is that the elephant is a unity of many parts, a unity that they could not grasp in their ignorance.
According to the pattern suggested by this tale, it is often said that world religions form a unity, and only this total unity provides the right perspective on ultimate truth.  This is encouraged by the suggestion to consider the various world religions as alternative paths to the same goal. 
Therefore, one option is that Christianity, Judaism and Islam, (as well as their individual sects) will each claim to be the only right path to God. 
Although this vision is arousing a lot of enthusiasm amongst their adherents, it is important to know that these are not the only views.  We also have to look at the Eastern religions for a counterpoint. 
Therefore, another option is that all world religions are pieces of the same puzzle. 
Theoretically, two possibilities exist.  A proper evaluation of such opposite views as Eastern and Western Religion must be done before we decide on a course of action.
If the first is true (all religions lead us to the same goal), and we choose the second (only one of them is right), we have not lost anything. Despite our ignorance, we will arrive at the same happy end as the other travelers who have chosen different spiritual paths.
A less happy situation would be given by the second possibility, that a single spiritual path is valid and we have chosen the wrong one.  In this case, we are courting a spiritual disaster. 
(A third possibility, that all spiritual paths are wrong, is denied by the nature of our spiritual quest itself.  This search demands a real fulfillment, otherwise our hunger for ultimate truth could not be justified and all religions would be nothing but fantasy.) 
By default then, because one option is so unpalatable, (that there is nothing after life) we would have to choose the view that all religions lead us to the same goal.
Now this is not meant merely to generate rational proofs for justifying one or another alternative.  No matter how complex and logical the proofs of one or the other causes might be, it is possible to find counterpoints of the same nature. At a rational level, these disputes could fill many books with no benefit to anyone.
No one can be persuaded or converted to one or another religious perspective only through rational proof and logic.  This may be possible in science, but not in religion, otherwise everyone would already be of one faith. 
However, rational proofs have to be considered because we are rational beings.  Reason should not be rejected and faith proclaimed the only way of knowing truth. No divorce between reason and experience should be accepted because they are complementary and work together. Neither should exclude the other.
As a result, we do not have to reject the proof of reason in our spiritual quests, whatever their nature might be. The comparative analysis presented here is focused on Christianity, Islam, Judaism and the major Eastern Religions because they play a major role in defining today’s world spirituality. 
Some may believe that a comparative analysis like this may fuel religious hatred and intolerance, but this is wrong. Religious tolerance and freedom cannot be built on ignorance but rather should be built on the understanding of commonalities.  Therefore, as the prophet Jesus said: “Loving the person is possible even if one rejects his or her religious convictions!”

So it should be with all of us!!
Your ever-faithful scribe;
Allan W Janssen

16 thoughts on “Till death us do part; which might be sooner rather than later!

  1. I go with the third possibility:

    (A third possibility, that all spiritual paths are wrong, is denied by the nature of our spiritual quest itself.  This search demands a real fulfillment, otherwise our hunger for ultimate truth could not be justified and all religions would be nothing but fantasy.)

    All religions that have a spiritual “goal” are built on fantasies. If you pick a philosophy that encourages each human to become the best he can, to develop his own talents to the maximum, and to help his community to be the best it can be, i.e., dynamic humanism, then you are leaving the realm of “spiritual goal” and entering the realm of real contemporary human excellence as a goal. This is not built on some fantasy, but upon acheivable human and societal excellence, pragmatic experience – something anyone can acheive in his or her lifetime. Seek this and encourage it when you find it.

  2. Leguru I was just talking about trying to make the “in and out-laws” a little more comfortable.
    Wasn’t talking about goin on some philosophical quest!
    Your humble scribe;
    Allan

  3. Moses: I have been asked to say something during the reception

    Since it’s their wedding and neither is devout does either need a sermon?
    (((((((I wrote a book over about 3 years and finished it last year – it’ll never be read & it wasn’t as good as yours, but, I poured myself into it and it consumed me to the point where almost everything I said to anyone had some reference to my book. I realised what I was doing and stopped because the same thing had happened 15 years ago when I made a stress management video and same 10 years before that when I built a 10.5 metre pyramid home. I know how things can consume me and how one-dimensional I can become.)))))))
    Remember the KISS principle. It’s a time for happy laughter.
    As for some of the comments which may or may not flow from the more devout … fuck ‘em and ignore them.

    Moloch: It seems a bit long

    IMHO, yeah.
    Why don’t you just tell some Jewish/Muslim jokes or something?
    I like the hole in one from the 1st site and the railway tickets from the 2nd site. LOL

  4. I think both of them are sick of their family’s blind devotion to their respective faiths and they’re just happy to have found someone that makes them feel good.

    Best of luck to both of them.

  5. How about something really simple?  A variation of…

    “It has been said that a bird might love a fish, but where would they make a home?  It is the same for us human beings, as our differences stand in the way of our happiness, our prosperity, and even our safety.

    And yet there are countless examples from which we can learn; that love is the only hope for our future happiness, prosperity, and safety.  It is through the eyes of love that our differences can at last be seen for what they are: obstacles, not prized possessions.

    My blessing to [couple], then, is this:  your love makes you the point of connection between two worlds whose understanding of each other is a long way from complete.  When either of those worlds tries to pull you away, remember your love.  And in so remembering, teach us all. And in so teaching, may you add satisfaction to happiness, for all the days of your long lives together!”

  6. Moses: You’re pretty smart for a decrepitoldfool!

    Yes, indeed. smile
    He woulda made a great minister, wouldn’t he?

  7. I like decrepitoldfools idea better.  Chances are you’ll get the more tolerant ones that can actually make it to the wedding, but to many it would sound like you’re getting up in front of a bunch of Jews and Muslims and calling them both ignorant.  Good luck with that.

  8. It seems that there is always that looming question after the fact, “What do you really believe?” I was married to a Muslim and really had no religious differences, just “beliefs”. These beliefs are what we come to understand as “normal” ways of living, working, behaving toward others, and other intricacies that are the fabric of our society. Since most Muslims did not grow up in a society based on basic human rights and equal justice ideologies, what they “think” of other people who they deem as “lower than themselves” is frightening in comparison to what we know as Americans. We do not, for example, believe in hacking people’s limbs off for stealing or chopping off their heads for being “infidels” what ever that entails. So, it’s those very deep locked in the vault beliefs that ultimately define a person and their conduct. Religion is no more a deal breaker in marriage than is money and psychological profile and so on. -cactus

  9. I’d say that one of the things that makes relationships work well (succeed over the long term), is shared core values. If they believe the same things, have the same core moral values, and share interests, they are likely to fare well.

    However, they’ll have some real challenges to overcome:

    1. They are likely to lack the loving support of family and friends. When problems come up in their relationship (as they inevitably do), they may be afraid to turn to family and friends—because at least some of those folks will have a vested interest in saying, “I told you so.” 

    The fact that the couple has at least some good friends who don’t care at all about their religious differences (Mr. & Mrs. Les) will be a great help, but it may not be enough because there will be some who would like to see the relationship fail.

    2. Family holidays, cultural differences (and there WILL be cultural differences no matter how many generations have lived in America), and the birth of any children will provide fuel for disagreement and energy to the nay-sayers in the two families.

    In fact, their religious differences are likely to provide a focal point for all difficulties in their relationship. Religious/cultural differences are likely to take the blame for things that go wrong in the marriage.

    3. People change over time. Although neither are religious at this point, people very often change their religious views as they get older, and many men and women return to religious values when children are born. What seems inconsequential now may become a serious problem in a few years.

    It isn’t that relationships like this can’t succeed—many do. It is just that marriage is difficult—and they’ve added complications and burdens that are likely to make it harder while simultaneously undermining support.

    Re the speech, Les? What DoF said wink

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