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Wednesday, April 11, 2012


One must admire the couples that marry outside their tradition, ethnicity, faith, and race. Indeed, they are doing what the spiritual masters had done for thousands of years; to fall the barriers between people, and learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God given uniqueness of each other.

I have seen disappointments, where couples from different faiths wishing to marry were not able to do that.  Either the parents or the guardians of the religions were not comfortable with the situation and did not want to be a part of it, which we must respect.  All that the couples wanted was a touch of their own tradition and I feel their anguish and a sense of in-completion in their marriage when the tradition is not followed.  I recall a situation where a Jewish mother disowned her daughter for marrying an “infidel” Baha’i, it happens with every religion including Atheists. 

By the way, these issues are prevalent chiefly among immigrant families; however, it is not an issue with the 2nd and 3rd generation down the line.

Recently I officiated a Jain-Muslim wedding, and it was a pure delight to see the parents on both sides focused on giving their kids a sense of fulfillment that I really had to give them a hug. After the ceremony the parents were literally crying with joy, it was a beautiful moment for me to witness their heartfelt joy. I was literally taken back with the admiring looks they bestowed on me.

Here is one of the many paragraphs of the sermon. The others paragraphs dealt with specifics of each faith and their commonality of values.   

The Dharmic (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism) religions point out that it is your Karma that determines your life path in terms of continuation of the journey after the body form collapses, into possibly a new form. The same thought is echoed in the Abrahamic (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) traditions in a different format; a life after the death – both sides prop up the idea that there is an eternal heaven, Mukti, Moksha, Nijaat or salvation from the cycles of suffering.  The interfaith (Sikh and Baha’i) religions, the independent (Zoroastrian) religion and the native traditions as well have a similar take.  It is all there, it is our arrogance that prevents us from seeing the good in others.

I just could not believe the request to officiate the weddings since then. I am happy for them that they saw the essence of each beautiful religion as I shared with them.    A Hindu-Jain, A Muslim-Catholic, and a full Muslim wedding are in the making. And today, I had a call to do, a Hindu/Agnostic wedding.  God willing, it will be a delight to be a part of happiness of others.

I am writing an article on the topic and will be including part of the sermon I gave after the main ceremony – I will be happy to share it, if you are serious and have a need for it. Please  send an email to SpeakerMikeGhouse@gmail.com . It will not be on my blog.
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Mike Ghouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairs, Islam, India, Israel, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he writes weekly at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post,and several other periodicals. www.TheGhousediary.com is Mike's daily blog.

1 comment:

  1. Amrit Lal,

    There is really no statistics on this, but it is common to see Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish interfaith weddings, without conversions, if that was your interest.

    Just in the last two years, I personally know about 9 Muslim girls marrying 4 Hindus, 1 Jew, 1 Atheist, 1 Baha’i and 2 Christians. There is a lot more going on there. There are Muslim boys marrying Hindu girls, Hindu boys marrying Muslim girls - typically both traditions are observed. Believe it or not, kids love both the traditions. With my own son, we had a Buddhist, civil and Indian versions for them; my daughter in law is Chinese Malay. In the Indian version, which is common to all Indians, we added a few Muslim items.

    We do have parents among Muslim, Hindus, Christians, Jews, Baha’i and others who are not comfortable compromising their traditions and cultures and they have a right to be that way, just as others have their rights. Some are still stuck up in theories propagated by gossipers and hate mongers. Thank God, in the US, except a few Muslims, Hindus, Jain, Sikhs and Christians, a majority of the people wants their children to be happy and they will go to great lengths to see that their wishes are taken care of.
    Unlike in India, where we worry about their education and their future marriages... we do not have that issue in the US. Honestly, the kids here have understood religion to be a way to find peace, and they are comfortable with all the paths. They look at the essence of the religion rather than the rituals. Indeed, every path is beautiful.

    Every religion teaches us to be a good human being, if we wear the good glasses, we see the good in others, and if we are colored, we see the reflections of our bigotry to generosity in others. If I am not clean in my heart and mind, I have no right to tell others to be clean.
    With prosperity and economic independence, India will see similar trends in the next generation or two. However, India led the world in Pluralist ethos, and I am committed to give the gift of India to America through my organization - www.AmericaTogetherFoundation.com

    Mike Ghouse