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.