‘NYT’ runs another piece warning people not to intermarry during delusory secular interval of 30s and 40s

Israel/Palestine
on 52 Comments

The New York Times has a new shingle out; it is championing conservatism in social pairings. Last week it was Stanley Fish warning that religious differences are “deep and immovable.” Today Naomi Schaefer Riley warns that young people are likely to intermarry at the “most secular points in their lives.” I.e., before they grow up and worry about getting a proper visa to heaven.

Her piece ends with the statement that as someone who is herself intermarried, she thinks intermarriage a good thing. But there is a lot of fingerwagging along the way:

My survey found that 48 percent of people who married before age 25 were in interfaith unions — compared with 58 percent of people who wed between ages 26 and 35, and 67 percent of people who married between ages 36 and 45. (These couples married in various decades, and some were not in their first marriage.)

Those who marry in their 30s and 40s, especially educated professionals, are often at the most secular points in their lives. These couples tended to underestimate how faith can grow in importance as they got older and had children.

Remarkably, less than half of the interfaith couples in my survey said they’d discussed, before marrying, what faith they planned to raise their kids in…

Religious leaders I interviewed — and not only Jewish ones — were broadly worried about interfaith marriage.

It seems to me utterly contradictory to lecture young people about their being at the most secular point in their lives when they decide to intermarry and failing to remark on the fact that as people get older they are more and more likely to intermarry. Maybe those older chance-takers have some valid basis for their choices.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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52 Responses

  1. Hostage
    April 6, 2013, 11:57 am

    These couples tended to underestimate how faith can grow in importance as they got older and had children.

    LOL! If she means it would be wise to avoid a potential spouse who insists on performing rituals involving the surgical mutilation of the children’s genitals, then she may have a very valid point. In such cases, intermarriage between secular and religious Jews is probably inadvisable.

  2. Fritz
    April 6, 2013, 12:05 pm

    History of religion has a long story to tell about opposing intermarriage by religious leaders (Bible: Ezra/Nehemiah; Ruth). It is obvious that the opposition is born out of an interest to give strength to the own community. What religious leaders never took into account is the also obvious fact that intermarriage can bring to many people a more appropriate understanding of the “foreign” and also the “own” denomination or belief. The opposition of Jewish religious leaders against intermarriage was not different from views on this matter shared by Catholics and several Protestant denominations. The holocaust changed the set of arguments used (and misused) against intermarriage but not the strong convictions behind these negative attitude to it. The opposition against intermarriage is always grown out of a problematic idea of community building which is not really interested in the happiness of women, men, and children but in the favors of a special community.

    • James Canning
      April 9, 2013, 2:00 pm

      Roman Catholic nuns in the US in the 1950s sometimes would do their best to discourage young Catholics from engaging in sports or other activities with young Protestants.
      In Ireland, in the 19th century, the Catholic hierarchy did not want Catholics to attend Trinity College.
      Intermarriage threatens control.

  3. yourstruly
    April 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

    oh those delusory secular years?

    meanwhile, pie-in-the-sky?

    reality?

  4. Citizen
    April 6, 2013, 12:22 pm

    RE: “Maybe those older chance-takers have some valid basis for their choices.”

    Maybe, like how to raise the kids is no longer an issue? The kids are already near or already grown up?

    Other interesting findings by Naomi SR:

    1. Catholics in interfaith marriages were no more likely to divorce than those married to other Catholics. I wonder why, compared to the other types of interfaith families? Are Catholics more tolerant than those raised otherwise?

    2. My research showed that marrying someone of another faith tended to improve one’s view of that faith.

    So, by marrying someone of another religion, one actually learns to see past some lies one was reared with about those of another religion?

    3. I am no impartial observer. I’m a Conservative Jew married to a former Jehovah’s Witness, who is African-American. (We are raising our children Jewish.)

    So, she gets to have her cake and eat it too? What does raising your kids “Jewish” mean in the context of an intermarried family? Is this the hole card for Jews since a Jew can be a totally, or nearly so, secular Jew, even an atheist Jew, but you can’t be raised as a Christian child, for example, and not believe in JESUS THE SON OF GOD (And Heaven and Hell). Easter eggs, bunnies, and Xmas trees are not the same as learning about Jewish history as part of Jewish holiday celebrations, are they?

    Also, is she raising her kids “black.” or “white”? Dunno as she doesn’t go there. Well, I guess her kids won’t have any inhibitions about getting a blood transfusion if they need it since they are not being raised as JWs.

    • bilal a
      April 6, 2013, 9:25 pm

      As long as the Mother isJewish ethnically, the children are Jewish, unless the mother raises them in some Christophillic sect . Anything goes as long as its Anti-Christ, ie JW is a no no. But the Christians are permitted to push a plough or pick grapes:

    • James Canning
      April 9, 2013, 2:03 pm

      Citizen – – I think you are right to conclude that intermarriage helps foster better understanding of the faiths of both parties, by those parties.

  5. American
    April 6, 2013, 12:54 pm

    ‘Religious leaders I interviewed — and not only Jewish ones — were broadly worried about interfaith marriage.”

    Of course they are….churches/faiths are always concerned about losing members and increasing members—- they are no different than corporations who want to keep or expand their customer base.
    For Jews/ Judaism it’s a double whammy because their numbers are smaller to begin with
    The message I get from uber zionist who write about this is it’s as much about maintaining the ‘peoplehood’ numbers for tribal power as it is about Judaism….for some I am sure religion doesn’t even really have anything to do with their intermarriage objections.
    However I think it’s a losing battle…..unless some giant tidal wave of religiosity sweeps the nation or world and reverses the trend faith isn’t going to be the number one consideration in marriages…..other things about/between two people that they are simpatico on are more important anyway imo.

    • Elliot
      April 6, 2013, 4:50 pm

      Of course they are….churches/faiths are always concerned about losing members and increasing members—- they are no different than corporations who want to keep or expand their customer base.
      Have you also considered another – less cynical – explanation:
      At their core, Christianity and Judaism oppose each other. If you are not religious, you can skirt this core difference most of the time. But it tends to get in the way when kids ask tough questions and if there is no firm agreement between the parents how to raise the kids (or if that agreement fails). Religious leaders are naturally more aware of religious differences, not just through their training, but because they get the tough questions when these marriages don’t work.
      It could be that they are wrong, their views are skewed by their experiences and training and so on, but that hardly makes them cynical number crunchers.

      • American
        April 7, 2013, 9:42 am

        I don’t think that’s a cynical take….religions like many other groups tend to become ‘institutions’ and like all institutions they then tend to exist and operate like institutions. …..maintaining the institution becomes the primary goal.

      • Elliot
        April 10, 2013, 5:05 pm

        Your cynicism about religious institutions comes out in your reduction of religious institutions to a concern for “maintaining the institution” and your refusal to consider other motivations besides that of self-preservation.

      • Citizen
        April 11, 2013, 9:42 am

        @ Elliot
        Yeah? Like what other motivations besides self-preservation, ego gratification? Please count the (other) ways…

      • Talkback
        April 8, 2013, 10:46 am

        Elliot says: “At their core, Christianity and Judaism oppose each other.”

        Please explain. I allways thought their core was monotheism.

  6. Citizen
    April 6, 2013, 1:21 pm

    Interesting, does this tie in at all with whether or not a family can home-school its kids due to religious conviction? What if a German family sought asylum in the US from the German state’s denial they had such a right? Well, it’s happened and the US government under Obama seems to be supporting the German state’s right to require its citizen students to attend a public school: “The general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religiously or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in integrating minorities,” the court said, as quoted in the Department of Justice’s brief.”

    What if it was not a German family from Germany, but a Jewish family from Germany, or, indeed, a Jewish family from the USA? Would Obama change his tune? The Obama administration is seeking to deport a German Christian family who came here to home school: link to freebeacon.com

    President Barack Obama extended asylum in 2011 to persecuted gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals in other countries.

    How about the US government’s brief in this case, arguing “The general public has a justified interest in counteracting the development of religiously or philosophically motivated ‘parallel societies’ and in integrating minorities”? Why would this not apply to Jewish schuls in the USA?

  7. Krauss
    April 6, 2013, 1:34 pm

    It’s a lecture to Jews. She masquerades it by involving other religions but the focus is clearly on Jews, because she brings up the big hammer at the very end. She has to claim she is “for it” but of course, she isn’t. She’s totally concerntrolling.

    The vibe she’s giving is that she regrets intermarrying, perhaps even marrying interracially. The entire tone reminds me of the whole “shoot and cry” linguistic we’re all so familliar with in the liberal Zionist discourse.

    ‘Liberal’ Jews who cough, and excuse and apologize before finally getting down to the racist beliefs they hold. And putting in three different kinds of caveats and rationalizations why their racism isn’t “really” racism – but it is.

  8. doug
    April 6, 2013, 1:48 pm

    “Remarkably, less than half of the interfaith couples in my survey said they’d discussed, before marrying, what faith they planned to raise their kids in…”

    So she finds it disturbing that people who are largely secular don’t talk about what “faith” to raise their kids? What’s to talk about? How about “no faith?” Maybe it’s the circles she runs in but I don’t see this movement of people towards “faith” as they get older as a general trend. Some do. Some don’t. Some become more secular.

  9. W.Jones
    April 6, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Would you say that this must have been happening among many mixed populations in Europe for a few thousand years and by now nationalistic conclusions about different groups who were there are not realistic?

  10. giladg
    April 6, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Philip wears his emptiness on his sleeve.

    • MLE
      April 6, 2013, 8:26 pm

      Giladg wears his thin skinness on his sleeve

    • RoHa
      April 6, 2013, 9:15 pm

      ??? What is that supposed to mean?

      • Krauss
        April 7, 2013, 3:12 pm

        It means that the only way to be complete is to be a racist, if you’re giladg.
        Of course, we all know it’s the other way ’round. But poor gil will never understand.

      • giladg
        April 7, 2013, 5:13 pm

        He thinks he is part of the Jewish people, nation, whatever he wants to call it, but cannot find his own connection. So he wallows out there is no-mans land. He does the easy thing which is to criticize others. And what does he have to show for it? He is wasting his life away pretending to himself that he is doing something good. By the way Philip, I don’t feel sorry for you. The damage you are helping to cause is unforgivable.

    • eljay
      April 6, 2013, 10:47 pm

      >> Philip wears his emptiness on his sleeve.

      If “emptiness” means not being a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist like giladgeee – that is to say, if “emptiness” means being empty of mindless tribalism and hateful and immoral supremacism – then Mr. Weiss is doing very well indeed. More people should strive to be as “empty” as he is.

    • MK_Ultra
      April 7, 2013, 6:09 pm

      AIPAC must be running out of qualified Hasbara trolls. Ad hominems is all that’s left.

    • Talkback
      April 8, 2013, 10:52 am

      giladg says: “Philip wears his emptiness on his sleeve.”

      Many spiritual leaders prefer emptiness to being so full of it.

  11. James Canning
    April 6, 2013, 3:23 pm

    Astute observation, Philip. Survey shows that as people grow older, and better in judgment, they more frequently intermarry with someone of a different faith or creed.

  12. Dutch
    April 6, 2013, 3:30 pm

    The older, the wiser, right?

  13. Elliot
    April 6, 2013, 5:11 pm

    Those who marry in their 30s and 40s, especially educated professionals, are often at the most secular points in their lives.
    She doesn’t cite any evidence to support this. And if the interfaith numbers do decline for older couples is that because people in their 50s really more religious than people in their 40s or are just more conservative? Or are they just carrying on attitudes from an earlier age (in other words they never intermarried, not in their 20s either.)?

    Another – measurable – explanation for the spike in interfaith marriages of people in their 40s may be whether someone has had children from a first marriage. For Jews (the focus here) I would expect 2nd marriages are more likely to be interfaith than the first time round. This is both because of declining parental pressure which reinforces the demand that the children be Jewish. At least for Jews, once there are children, the societal pressure to marry another Jew diminishes significantly.

    • chinese box
      April 7, 2013, 10:19 pm

      Those who marry in their 30s and 40s, especially educated professionals, are often at the most secular points in their lives.

      Not only does she not cite evidence, she doesn’t clearly define the terms she’s using. What exactly does “secular” mean in this statement– total lack of belief, a crisis of faith, or just too busy shuttling kids to soccer games to attend church/synagogue?

      I’m guessing she’s referring to a temporary lack of religious service attendance here. That’s an odd use of “secular”. Really a very awkward formulation in every respect.

  14. David Doppler
    April 6, 2013, 5:27 pm

    I took constitutional law from a typically (for academics) liberal law professor who stunned us one day by arguing that the Supreme Court’s striking down of Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws was wrongly decided because it applied equally to members of all races, and therefore did not violate the equal protection clause. I argued as best I could the the opposing view, that, as applied to me, or any individual, the law classified various potential spouses into legal and illegal, based on race, (and what about mixed races?) until the end of class cut us short. When he asked me before the next class if I wanted to continue the discussion, I declined, having not given any thought to it since, whereupon his face lit up, he looked skyward, and he said, Rejoice! Rejoice! as if major enlightenment had occurred, as we walked into class. Only later did I realize he must’ve been indirectly defending anti inter-marriage prohibitions among the observant. I was too uninformed on that subject at the time to make the connection, and no one, including the professor, brought that up as a related fact pattern (which would’ve been typical of case law discussions – what happens when we change the facts, thusly?). While I’d seen Fiddler on the Roof by then, I must have associated Tevya’s attitude on the subject with the Old World, rather than certain sectors of Judaism in America. In retrospect, I guess that was one of my first exposures to the taboos in our society, only I was so naive as to miss it entirely. Rejoice, indeed.

  15. Stephen Shenfield
    April 6, 2013, 6:00 pm

    Raising children in ANY faith (or anti-faith) is a form of child abuse, directed against their intellectual autonomy and self-realization. Our responsibility as adult educators is to give children easy access (in changing forms geared to their stage of maturation) to objective comparative information about the widest possible range of faiths and philosophies, so that they can find their own ways. Parents who take this view will not fall out with one another over how to raise their children, whatever their own faiths may be.

    • Citizen
      April 7, 2013, 9:32 am

      “Raising children in ANY faith (or anti-faith) is a form of child abuse, directed against their intellectual autonomy and self-realization. ”
      Agreed. And that was my approach. My kid has had no problem with this approach at all.

    • German Lefty
      April 7, 2013, 11:53 am

      Stephen, I totally agree!

  16. mcohen
    April 6, 2013, 8:49 pm

    Philip Weiss on April 6, 2013 says

    “Her piece ends with the statement that as someone who is herself intermarried, she thinks intermarriage a good thing. But there is a lot of fingerwagging along the way:”

    intermarriage is a good thing because it opens the doors to relegious experimentation.a little bit of this and a little bit of that all mixed together in a pot,nicely stirred and suddenly you got a brand new relegion
    how about some new laws-

    you can eat pork-but it must be baptised by a cantor from LA to make it kosher
    you can can drive on sabbath-but only if your car has a kippah
    you can have a christmas tree- but it must be dipped in horseradish
    you can have chicken soup-with singapore noodles
    the permutations are endless

    3 sides to a coin-heads,tails,edge-the edge is the hand of G-d both seen and unseen

    • Ecru
      April 8, 2013, 12:53 am

      How about

      A little bit of the Canaanite pantheon.
      A little bit of Egyptian monotheistic experimentation.
      A little bit of Babylonian mythology and calendrics
      A little bit of religious intolerance
      A little bit of saying what your neighbours do is “unclean”
      A little bit of genocide
      A little bit of a superiority complex

      And low and behold – you have a new religion back in the Iron Age Levant. Grow up!

  17. RoHa
    April 6, 2013, 9:14 pm

    “Religious leaders I interviewed — and not only Jewish ones — were broadly worried about interfaith marriage.”

    That I can understand. They want to keep the suckers who fund them*.

    But aside from that, what is supposed to be wrong with intermarriage?

    (*As American said.)

  18. mcohen
    April 6, 2013, 9:20 pm

    “”young people are likely to intermarry at the “most secular points in their lives.” I.e., before they grow up and worry about getting a proper visa to heaven. “”

    a book i recently read by E.L Doctorow “City of God” is worth a read

    the trick to surviving intermarriage in my opinion is that the mutual spirituality of the union should be stronger than the individual

    • sardelapasti
      April 7, 2013, 1:25 am

      mcohen – What does “spirituality” mean?

      • mcohen
        April 9, 2013, 6:54 am

        sardelapasti says:
        April 7, 2013 at 1:25 am

        “mcohen – What does “spirituality” mean?”

        link to en.wikipedia.org

        The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition,[1][2] although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for “the sacred,” where “the sacred” is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.[3]

        thats what wikipedia says

        i have my own definition based on personal experiences -i will give you an example of what happened to me 2 years ago

        i went for a walk while on vacation along the beach -then onto the rocks -i walked for sometime and came to a sheer drop off and could not go on-but for some reason i decided to
        in the distant i could see a beach with sand but to get there i had to walk up a mountain path and go around the drop off-it was a narrow path and difficult but i persisted -i was a little anxious because by this time it was near sundown and i did not want to walk back in the dark
        eventually i reached the beach and started walking along the sand
        there was a cliff on one side and the ocean on the other
        i saw something white moving in the small rocks at the base of the cliff and wandered over-to my utter disbelief it was a small dog lying on its back wedged in between 2 rocks and what i had seen was its leg moving around
        i went up to it and saw a trickle of blood from its mouth dried on the sand so it must have fallen off the cliff and got jammed -the cliff was at least 5 meters high -i looked at its eyes and could see it was slightly blind
        i put it in my shirt in a sling and decided to walk up a dry riverbed coming down the mountain-it was difficult and my feet were bleeding when i got to the top
        there were houses and i put the dog down and asked a lady to watch the dog while i walked back to the car park a few kilometers away so i could take the dog to a vet
        anyway i passed a caravan park and for some unknown reason decided to stop in at the reception and ask if anyone was missing a dog
        they told me the maintenance guy was missing his dog and they called him over
        i told him about the dog and we decided to go back to where i left it on the sidewalk
        when we got there it was his dog -he just picked it up and cradled it in his arms -did not say a word
        as i was standing there i decided to go home and said goodbye -i looked down at the dog in his owners arms and the dog looked at me-and it smiled-
        i excitedly pointed at the dog and said -hey did you see that-and everyone said what -what is it -but the moment was gone so i left
        the dog had wandered down the mountain and because it was half blind had fallen over the edge
        sometimes i think about what happened -what made me go to that beach
        over the years other things have happened to me.i get a feeling about something and act on it but there is no rational answer
        you feel it -you know it exists-but what is it ?
        thats what i would call spirituality-the unseen edge-you keep turning the coin but it alludes you and then one day you start to believe
        the hand of G-d

        3 sides to a coin-heads,tails,edge-the edge is the hand of G-d both seen and unseen

    • just
      April 7, 2013, 8:47 am

      Not only the mutual spirituality, but also the love, respect and justice that each feels and shows for the other.

      Perhaps that recipe “ripens” with age and experience.

  19. piotr
    April 6, 2013, 9:47 pm

    I do not see how raising children in a faith constitutes child abuse.

    Still, I have somewhat vague idea what people get from modern religiosity. In the good old days you can improve your crops, health of your children etc. and last but not least obtain eternal salvation if you remained faithful and observant follower of the one and only true religion. As the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said, “My ummah will be divided into seventy three sects. All of them will be in the Fire except one” which will go to Paradise. Thus is it of utmost importance to have the correct faith, lest your crops wither, children die and you spend the eternity by the Lake of Fire.

    But now we learn that it is good to follow a religion, a community etc. for some vague benefits of being rooted or having spiritual experience.

  20. Nevada Ned
    April 7, 2013, 2:05 am

    A lot of subscribers to the NYT are intermarried. They would not have been dissuaded from intermarrying by reading an article like this NYT op-ed. One of the mighty Sulzbergers was the child of an intermarried couple, and was raised as (gasp!) a Presbyterian.
    I wonder how Naomi Schaefer Riley would react if Christians started taking a hard line against intermarriage with Jews: wearing lapel pins and bumper stickers proclaiming “DON’T EVER MARRY A JEW!” This would be denounced as anti-Semitism.
    Meanwhile, in Israel a couple of decades ago, the rightwingers introduced a bill in the Knesset that would have made sex between Jew and non-Jew a crime, punishable by prison time. The bill failed, but got a lot more votes than sane people might predict. During the debate, opponents pointed out the precedent for such laws: the 1936 Nuremberg laws, passed by Nazi Germany.
    Someone should ask Naomi Schaefer Riley whether she favors the imposition of Nuremberg laws to curb the rise of intermarriage.

    By the way, Dennis Ross, a (supposedly) US diplomat who is actually an Israeli supporter, is currently employed by the Jewish Agency in Israel, attempting to curb intermarriage, which the Jewish Agency (of course) views as a deadly threat to the existence of the Jewish people blah blah blah etc etc. I wonder if the Jewish Agency got Naomi Schaefer Riley to write the NYT op-ed.

  21. The Hasbara Buster
    April 7, 2013, 8:54 am

    Remarkably, less than half of the interfaith couples in my survey said they’d discussed, before marrying, what faith they planned to raise their kids in…

    One of the most puzzling aspects of American society, as compared to other Western countries, is the social pressure to have a religion. Why on earth are kids expected to be raised in a faith?

    Even in my country, where the new Pope comes from, the people are nominally Catholic but essentially secular, going to church maybe two or three times a year and, in a large and growing number of cases, completely skipping a religious wedding. Despite my funny-sounding Middle Eastern last name, I don’t recall ever being asked what my religion is except in connection with my views on abortion.

    My children were raised without any religious training, but with many books on different faiths in the house. The result is that my daughter is completely indifferent to all religion, while my son is virulently atheist. That brainwashing from the crib, in the form of an imposed religion, should be advocated and even expected is simply unacceptable in an enlightened society.

    • piotr
      April 9, 2013, 10:52 am

      I left Poland more than 30 years ago, but I think that religion is still very important there, although the place of religion is very different from USA. One strange aspect is that in Poland there are some small non-Catholic religious communities, but the general choice is Catholic/non-Catholic with finer subdivisions into conservative Catholics, “I am a Catholic but …”, indifferent to religion and hostile to religion or at least to the clergy. In that context the issue of mixed marriages does not arise at all, Catholics and atheists (and all other combinations) can marry and nobody would raise an eyebrow.

      One outcome is that atheism does not impair political carriers in Poland, while in USA it is easier to find openly gay politicians than openly non-religious.

  22. American
    April 7, 2013, 10:01 am

    Speaking of religion (slightly off topic) but noteworthy, I came across this in the Army Times. Reminded me of the prior scandal in the Army where they had a well known Islam opponent teaching army classes that Islam was a religion of hate. There is too much religious crap going on if you ask me….in my state we have a fanatic in the house who has gotten a bill up to make Christianity the ‘State Religion” and it looks like it has a number of supporters.

    Training material listing Catholics as ‘extremists’ angers archdiocese
    Apr. 5, 2013 – 03:21PM |
    Comments

    By Karen Jowers, Staff writer

    Catholic military archdiocese officials are calling on defense officials to review training materials after learning that a briefing from an Army Reserve unit cited Catholicism as an example of “religious extremism” — on a list with al-Qaida, the Ku Klux Klan, and the white supremacist Christian Identity.

    “The archdiocese is astounded that Catholics were listed alongside groups that are, by their very mission and nature, violent and extremist,” said a statement from the Archdiocese for the Military Services.

    Catholics make up about 25 percent of the armed forces, according to the archdiocese.

    An Army spokesman said the briefing was held a year ago. “After receiving a single complaint following the presentation, this person deleted the slide, and it was never again shown,” said Army spokesman George Wright, in an email response. “This person apologized for any offense it may have caused, and we consider the matter closed.”

    The slideshow, titled “Extremism & Extremist Organizations,” includes a list of 17 religions or organizations, to include evangelical Christianity, that are “religious extremism.”

    The materials were used in an Equal Employment Opportunity briefing at the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Pennsylvania, said Ron Crews, a retired colonel who served as an evangelical Christian chaplain in the Army. Crews is executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. A soldier who saw the briefing contacted him, he said.

    “The archdiocese calls upon the Department of Defense to review these materials and to ensure that taxpayer funds are never again used to present blatantly anti-religious material to the men and women in uniform,” according to the statement, which noted that archdiocese officials had talked with the Army chief of chaplains office about the incident.

    Officials in the 316th ESC referred the matter to Army public affairs.

    As noted in the statement from the archdiocese, Wright said, it was an isolated incident not condoned by the Army.

    “The slide was not produced by the Army, and certainly does not reflect our policy or doctrine. It was produced by an individual without anyone in the chain of command’s knowledge or permission.” Wright said the briefing material stated that the presenter was not a subject matter expert, and produced the material using Internet research.

    Crews said he talked to the EEO officer who conducted the briefing, who apologized that people were offended, and said the information would be removed. He said it was not clear why Catholicism and evangelical Christianity were originally included.

    “Our concern is that everyone who attended that briefing should be given the corrected information,” Crews said. And he is concerned that the unit didn’t use chaplains as their source of experts on religious extremism. “We’re concerned there’s an environment in the [Equal Employment Opportunity] world that allows this to be presented to soldiers,” Crews said.

    The problem could be more widespread, Crews said, because his organization has received information about briefings at other Army units and at least one Navy installation that labeled groups as “religious extremists” who were part of the Evangelical Christian community.

    “Men and women of faith who have served the Army faithfully for centuries shouldn’t be likened to those who have regularly threatened the peace and security of the United States,” Crews said.

  23. German Lefty
    April 7, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Last week it was Stanley Fish warning that religious differences are “deep and immovable.”

    “Intermarriage” is a really strange term. If marrying a person of a different religion is called intermarriage, then marrying a person of a different sex must be called intermarriage, too.
    As an atheist, I would never marry a religious person. I believe that god botherers have a screw loose. Also, I want my partner to worship me, and not some sky daddy.
    However, I find nothing wrong with “intermarriage” in general.

    • Citizen
      April 10, 2013, 12:18 pm

      @ German Lefty
      How about marriage to a different species? Wouldn’t that be intermarriage too?
      Would it bother you to have a marriage partner that believes there is nothing beyond this human life in the here and now? I guess not. Jews are the least prone to believe in a “sky daddy.” So shouldn’t they be a good catch for you? You prefer Buddhists? Surely not those currently killing Muslims, right? May I presume that when you say you are an atheist, you believe there is no higher power than any single individual human being? If so, than would a serial killer be a good match for you? If not, why not? Just curious. If you think one needs to respect every human individual,
      I am asking why? On what do you base this ethic/morality? Again, just curious, just asking.

  24. MK_Ultra
    April 7, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Maybe, this is what she had in mind when she wrote that piece:

    A.B. Yehoshua: Americans, unlike Israelis, are only partial Jews

    Noted Israeli author says amount of immigration from the United States is minimal and embarrassing; claims that the Holocaust was a Jewish failure.

    link to haaretz.com

    American Jews are only partial Jews while Israeli Jews are total Jews, Israel Prize laureate A.B. Yehoshua claimed at a lecture he delivered Friday on the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jews.

    “They are partial Jews while I am a complete Jew,” Yehoshua said, referring to American Jewry. “In no way are we the same thing – we are total and they are partial; we are Israeli and also Jewish. In recent years, my friends and I have needed to defend Israel against the matter of the state, as if it is merely an issue of citizenship, while Israel is the authentic, deep concept of the Jewish people … in no siddur is there a mention of the word ‘Jew’ but only ‘Israeli’. The name of our country and the territory is Land of Israel – and it is about this deep matter that we must defend against a Jewish offensive.”

  25. MichaelSmith
    April 8, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Philip, she does close by writing: “So while I recognize that the diminishment of religious institutions and a rise in marital instability could be among the long-term effects of interfaith marriages, I cannot wish for the tide to ebb. Nor do I think it will.” I don’t think the two of you are really on opposite sides. Or at least there is some common ground of agreement.

    Her study, or at least how she presents her results look questionable. Interfaith marriages are less common than the numbers she provides would indicate, unless I’ve misunderstood her findings. Also, I wonder just how prescriptive she’s being and how descriptive. The older one is, the less having children is an issue, the more likely one is to intermarry. Perhaps that is a fact that both proponents and opponents of intermarriage can live with.

    • Philip Weiss
      April 9, 2013, 8:59 am

      Thanks Michael! Registered. But I felt the concerns were the focus of the piece

      • Citizen
        April 10, 2013, 12:24 pm

        @ Philip Weiss
        Maybe she should have done a poll that included a few questions regarding what having children would bring to the responses? It’s such an obvious fact0r, which she ignored–that’s why I think her article and poll are not very insightful. We do know that she and hubby are bringing up their kids Jewish, don’t we? Whatever that means…

        “I am no impartial observer. I’m a Conservative Jew married to a former Jehovah’s Witness, who is African-American. (We are raising our children Jewish.)”

        This “I was raised Jewish” is SOP for every Hollywood starlet or star coming from the many intermarriages there. It’s been repeated over and over again? What does it mean? Who says otherwise but Phil Maher, who is not a product of Hollywood, and never misses a chance to attack Catholicism because he was, conversely, raised as a Catholic?

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