On Shrove Tuesday 2010, I ate my last piece of golden, delicious sausage while listening to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” A Lenten practice of consuming no meat unfolded, followed by a turkey-less Thanksgiving, and an Advent with rice and beans. There were two reasons for my going cold turkey as a vegetarian: survival in an interfaith marriage to a devout Hindu, and a spiritual exploration of what it might mean to practice nonviolence and environmental sustainability as a Christian vegetarian.
Interfaith couples can connect to their traditions and find commonality through symbols, such as a strand of rope that signifies unity and strength.
Forty-two percent of U.S. marriages are interfaith. Naomi Schaefer-Riley convinced me that this is one of the biggest stories in religious life.
"More than ever, people are building interfaith marriages," says Joyce Shin of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. "Too often, religion is seen as an impediment to this instead of as a resource."