Kirby: Think you’re both in love? Prove it by changing faiths

By Robert Kirby

Tribune Columnist

Published: April 18, 2014 11:59AM
Updated: April 21, 2014 06:19PM
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Robert Kirby, Tribune columnist

Are you single, lonely and a committed [insert faith here]? Are you interested in meeting other [insert faith here] singles for the purposes of romance?

Does your heart yearn for a shared faith so you can marry and then divorce in a few years when one of you changes his or her mind about [insert faith here]?

Given the divorce rate in America, that might be a more accurate way of promoting religious singles dating sites. People, even those we love, have a tendency to change.

If you’re not currently single, just imagine for a moment that you are. It could happen tomorrow. Hey, it’s surprising how often it isn’t up to us.

Anyway, you’re looking for love. Yes, it’s important to have some shared standards. For example, you might not want to enter into a romantic relationship with a vampire, a Republican or someone so flatulent that it actually killed their previous spouse.

But what about religion? Are you committed to a shared faith so intensely that you might not see true love when it’s staring right at you? Is church or theology so important that you’d pass up the potential love of your life?

If it is, I respectfully submit the possibility that you’re more interested in dogma and theology and your own fallible opinion than you are in love, which quite possibly makes you a dimwit (as well as still single).

I’m not saying that people of different religious beliefs shouldn’t get marr... — well, maybe that’s exactly what I’m saying. Hmm. Give me a minute here.

Later: OK, I think everyone SHOULD marry a person of another faith. In fact, it should be a law for members of the clergy (anyone talking about God from an elevated platform).

What? Yes, including celibate clergy. And gay clergy.

Before anyone is allowed to get up and speak from a position of religious authority, they should prove just how well they understand the true nature of God’s all-encompassing love by being deeply committed to someone who doesn’t agree with them.

What better way to test all that love-one-another church noise than in the crucible of matrimony? If you can remain deeply Muslim while being married to a Jew who loves you, then you probably have a better understanding about it.

It’s easy to blather on about love when you don’t have to work all that hard at it. So, if you can’t maintain your commitment to a particular faith while being committed to someone in another, you should have to shut up about God’s love or go to jail.

This is not to say that a shared faith isn’t important, or that it can’t be a strong pillar in a loving relationship. It’s only to say that it isn’t absolutely necessary if you’re really serious about putting each other first.

Then there’s the practical side. Just imagine how much calmer the world would be if everyone in it had to learn how to manage a truly loving interfaith marriage. It’s a lot harder to declare someone of another faith as the enemy when you’re in love with one of them.

Short of marrying a cannibal and hoping that he or she won’t eat you for an anniversary dinner, there’s no better way to test the true efficacy of your personal faith than through the power of love.

You learn to make it work by choosing what DOES work. And because being right in the religious sense so far hasn’t worked worth a #$&@ in the world, maybe it’s time to try something unorthodox.

If you’re single and you have to choose, go with love.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.