The Washington Post Outlook section featured an interesting article this weekend on a surprising topic—whether or not marrying someone of the same religion is likely to make your marriage more successful. This is particularly relevant to Jews, who now find themselves with an intermarriage rate of almost 50%.
The article comes out clearly on the side of intermarriage being more likely to bring about divorce and separation, citing the fact that according to “calculations based on the American Religious Identification Survey of 2001, people who had been in mixed-religion marriages were three times more likely to be divorced or separated than those who were in same-religion marriages.” A Jew and a Christian supposedly have a 40% of getting divorced in five years, while two mainline Christians only have a 20% chance.
The article raises some questions, especially in light of Leah’s recent post on JDate and the pitfalls of assuming that the same religion means the same values. The author claims that religion is about more than just religion, but rather about values, such as how to raise children, how to spend money, and how to choose friends. Consequently, as the millennial generation becomes more and more willing to marry people from outside of their religion without discussing religion prior to the marriage, they will end up having to deal with conflicts over those values. But does sharing a religion, even if only in name, mean that people share the same values?
Photo credit: Grant MacDonald