Speaking personally, I found it pretty universal, Eric. I think we all seek for our own identities in our own way, and race can play an important part in that. I'm British, but I'm also English, and I think I draw some idea of who I am from where I have come from. If that makes any sense
"Also, I find it funny that since my column was posted, the google word ads at the top are now advertising Jewish stuff" eric
nope, for me it says - Anger Management, Save Your Broken Marriage, Help With Anger Problems, Warning About Anger. ;D boy do u have lotsa problems! LOL! ;D google at its funniest!
back on serious note - yes it's more universal plus it's a valid point u're raising. in a massively majority white, one can't help but feel drowned identity-wise but to form some kind of exclusivity means potential offense for minorities, it's also stiffling. really, it's a curse with hidden blessing & at the same time a blessing laced with curse.
with america being the melting pot, does it cause its people to develop such identity crisis due to conformity & assimilation? not sure though, are people of developed countries, especially urban dwellers have identity crisis in that they are very removed from their traditional culture & in their most modern, they have whitewashed identities/roles which lack depth/history therefore needing some kind of identity anchor to associate themselves with. do such need drive one to participation of cults & such?
One quick point - I do not see America as being much of a melting pot. Far too many people seem to define themselves first and foremost as something other than American. You have Irish-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans etc, but this is a very divisive structure. If America is truly to be a melting pot, it needs to discard these labels, and its people must think of themselves purely as Americans.
America is a salad bowl with lots of different people tossed in, but not necessarily mixing well. The melting pot theory isn't and never has been very accurate.
Anyway, I understand what you've gone through Eric. I was raised Jewish. I even went to a Jewish private school for elementary. I had a B'not Mitzvah with my best friend (at the time). I practiced all the holidays with my parents. Even though we were very reformed - didn't practice all the traditions, barely a fraction of them, we were Jewish.
But then I was turned off religion because of politcal crap that was going on at the temple. When the rabbi retired, the cantor was fired and a new rabbi and cantor were brought in. I didn't like them at all. The rabbi sounded like a used car salesman. And I really missed the cantor because she helped me through a rough time when my grandma died.
So I pushed it all away and was very reluctant to particpate in anything. So gradually, my parents and I have done fewer and fewer holidays/traditions over the years.
But I realize now that I shouldn't have pushed it all away so quickly. I still want the culture, the history of Judiasm. It's a part of who I am and now I have to find myself in terms of being Jewish - not the religion, but the culture.
Especially since I'm getting married, my fiance and I have to come to terms with religion. He's Christian and, while I admit I'm not very good at being Jewish, it is still what I am. And it's going to be tough because of one differing point - Jesus. I just can't believe in him. It goes against everything I've learned. And he doesn't want to raise our children practicing both Judiasm and Christianity - he says it'll confuse them. I agree with him.
But then what do we do? I told him we could raise the children Christian (much to chagrin of my mother, I'm sure), but he wants me invovled too. So we're at a bit of an impasse, but I'm sure we'll get through it somehow.... somehow...
I would suggest the best thing to do is to raise your children with an awareness of religion and what it means, but allow them to decide for themselves if they wish to follow any specific faith.
Perhaps it is not a good compromise, but I believe it to be the only one if Will truly wants you involved in their religious upbringing.
If I were you, I'd also make absolutely clear that there is no chance whatsoever of you converting to Christianity. If he thinks you might, there is a very bad misunderstanding that needs sorting out now in case it damages your relationship in the future.
He's not going to convert me. He's been very clear on that. He just wants us to come to an agreement that involves both of us.
Not sure if he'll go with the idea of religious awareness and letting the kids decide... he's active in going to church every Sunday.
We've talked about this before without getting to any conclusion. I know we should talk about it more before we get married, but we just have so many dang things to do. I never know when to approach the subject.
The conflict is in how we'll raise our children, which will still be a couple of years. But certainly we'll need to decide on something before then.
Silva - Well, since you're Jewish, and the mother, technically the kids are Jewish
But seriously, one religion should be chosen. While I am not the biggest advocate of Sunday School, I realize it's necessity for little kids. Its a great connection to the community starting from pre-school where they can make friends. they also learn the basis for their morals. I think it's really important that this foundation be laid, irregardless of what religion either of you would continue to hold.
You can still celebrate both religion's holidays and teachings, and surround them with ceremonies and vestiges of both hertiages. But for the good of the children, I believe they should be sent either tp teh church or synagogue, and perhaps the easiest decidion to make when doing this is which house of worship will provide a better learning experience for your children.