Thursday, 29 June 2017

Mixed Marriages

Nicholas van Rijn is Catholic although he enjoys the company of a series of mistresses.

Dominic Flandry is secularist but becomes engaged to an Orthochristian.

Rudi Mackenzie is Wiccan but engaged to a Roman Catholic.

(Regular blog readers will know that I refer to series characters created by Poul Anderson and SM Stirling, respectively.)

If I were not already married, might I become engaged to a Christian? No. I would want my children to be educated about religions, not instructed and initiated in a particular religion. I gave my daughter a Bible and a life of the Buddha, made no objections when she attended church with friends and answered any questions that she asked. My niece suddenly realized an apparent contradiction when she said that her father was down in his grave and up in Heaven, then asked me how he could be both down and up. Instead of reinforcing body-soul dualism, I replied that we would find out when it happened to us and she was satisfied with that. If I had been fully honest, then I would have said, "...if it happened to us...," but I had to draw a line somewhere between honesty and not upsetting a child asking about her dead father.

For what it is worth, my daughter has expressed gratitude for the upbringing that she received and respects the beliefs of friends and acquaintances. And it seems that the works of Anderson and Stirling provide a launching pad for discussion of every significant issue.


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And Flandry eventually did marry Miriam Abrams, a xenologist who was the daughter of his mentor Max Abrams. Lady Flandry had been born and raised as a Jewess on Dayan, albeit she seemed to have become a lapsed Jewess.

And the way you answered your niece's question was reasonable. But, do you think it might have been possible to tell her "Christians BELIEVE a body dies but the soul survives"? Using that "believe" means such a reply would not contradict what you believe or think.


Paul Shackley said...

Yes but I would have had to have thought of that at the time!

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Granted! I was, perhaps, being too over analytical.