Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky: religion and interfaith marriage

By: Marion L. Usher, Ph.D. “Adam was Jewish and I was raised Mormon. We grew up in Salt Lake City, … Continued

By: Marion L. Usher, Ph.D.

“Adam was Jewish and I was raised Mormon. We grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. We had known of each other our entire lives and were reacquainted on a flight home for Thanksgiving for a truly Hollywood-style story. Our interfaith marriage class greased the wheels of conversation for both of us. After each class, we felt comfortable talking about such challenging issues as children, families, — and Christmas.”

For many who work with interfaith couples and families, the big questions being asked about Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s wedding are, who will perform the wedding ceremony? Will the service reflect Chelsea’s Methodist upbringing or Marc’s Jewish faith? Or both? Or neither?

I too am curious about these questions, but I am far more interested in whether Chelsea and Marc have taken the time to answer the central religious questions that will permit them to build a religious life together.

Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that they too will want religion incorporated in their home. Consequently, a central issue for them, and all interfaith relationships, will be to make choices and to decide precisely how religion will be practiced in the new family they are now establishing.

Choices, we know, always involve losses and gains. In an interfaith relationship the losses stem from the fact that each person comes from a different cultural and religious background, and cannot share the easy familiarity of having grown up in the same religious experience. The acknowledgment of this difference and of the loss of similarity is the first step in the decision making process. Gains can only emerge as the couple grapples with defining ‘what will religion look like in our home?’

The salient question every interfaith couple needs to answer is, “Will we practice both religions equally or will we choose one religion to be the ‘lead religion’ in our home?”

I have coined the term “lead religion” because it describes a sometimes challenging reality: the existence of two religions in the home. Even when there is a conversion, there are still two religions in the home since each person comes from a different religious background, and parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins come from and celebrate different religions. Embracing a “lead religion,” means practicing one religion as the dominant religion in the home, while still respecting the other religion. This is an approach that both honors and welcomes the other religion, a vital decision for any interfaith family.

This article is the first in a series that will cover key issues relevant for interfaith couples. The second will discuss the places interfaith couples can go for help. The third will focus on constructing a religious identity. The fourth will present “best practices” on how to have a successful marriage, and the fifth will present how to create an interfaith wedding ceremony.

Marion L. Usher, Ph.D.
[email protected]
www.JewishInterfaithCouples.com

  • jiji1

    “Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives. “Flat out lie. Both sets of parents worship GREED AND LYING.They and their families are disgraces to their grandparent’s faith. They should both convert out to islam or satanism (redundant).And you should stop pushing your interfaith hocus pocus in case you really brainwash someone who has the potential to embrace their faith and not dilute it / shelve it for “romance”.When people “intermarry” their children INVARIABLY GROW UP WITHOUT GOD.Of course thats what you leftists really want.

  • PSolus

    “When people “intermarry” their children INVARIABLY GROW UP WITHOUT GOD.”Lucky kids.

  • schnauzer2

    Why does every keep qsking which one will convert? Who says they plan on having any religious involvement in their lives at all? politicians and their family go to church becasue thats what the average voeter expects. It says nothing about their actual level of religiosity. Even if their families were on the above average end of religious observation, there is nothing that says the kids are the same. As a side note, who cares? Chelsea is only know because of her parents and Marc is only known because of Chelsea. neiother of them is seeking a public life. Leave them alone.

  • usapdx

    And just what bussiness is their marriage is of anyone?

  • schnauzer2

    Posted by: PSolus “Posted by: jiji1 – When people “intermarry” their children INVARIABLY GROW UP WITHOUT GOD.”Lucky kids.

  • forgetthis

    “Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives. “Really? I don’t know anything about Marc’s family, but I’m struggling to figure out what religion you’re supposing the Clintons practice.

  • swissmiss150

    Mrs. Clinton used to worship at a Methodist Church when she lived in the White House.

  • ak1967

    Both of them will do just fine, as long as they both are progressives and open minded. And I am sure they are.

  • mightysparrow

    JIJI1 said: “When people “intermarry” their children INVARIABLY GROW UP WITHOUT GOD.”Wrong. I know many examples of couples who intermarried, and they have religious kids. As for your ad hominem attack on “leftists,” that is too ignorant for me to even bother to respond to it.

  • mightysparrow

    “In an interfaith relationship the losses stem from the fact that each person comes from a different cultural and religious background, and cannot share the easy familiarity of having grown up in the same religious experience.”It’s not a loss if the couple never had it to begin with. It is a complication, compared to marrying someone of the same faith, but it is not a loss. Moreover, even among people of the same faith, there are different traditions to deal with that often clash, as each person’s family approaches religious doctrine and practice differently.

  • ak1967

    What religion or combination of religions, or how much of each or no religion etc is all private matter for the couple. None of our business. They will do just fine. They both are progressives and respectful of other people and religions.

  • Gramina

    Posted by: schnauzer2 Huh. That’s funny — that’s exactly the approach my (Episcopalian) parents took. Perhaps you find yourself in agreement with the religious right that Episcopalians aren’t actually Christian? (or actually religious?)

  • lufrank1

    Why is it ANYONE’S Business?Get a Life!

  • Jerusalimight

    Being a Jew it indeed my business what every other Jew does. The Torah tells us explicitly that every Jew is responsible for every other Jew.Terrible it is for our people when a Jewish man abandons the thousands of years of commitment to God his fathers made, worked on, and died for…and marries a woman that won’t even bear him Jewish children……sit shiva for him…

  • doublesecretrotation

    If this wasn’t Chelsea Clinton, no one would care outside their immediate families. Indeed, no one *should* care and its no one’s business anyway.Hasn’t some other Hollywood starlet done something stupid that the media could report on, or are they waiting for Lindsay to get out of jail?Get a LIFE, people.

  • leilaash

    Why is it “reasonable to assume that they too will want religion incorporated in their home?” All evidence show that we youth in the “millenial” generation don’t care as much about religion as our parents.

  • Jihadist

    Why is it ANYONE’S Business?*******************************************This is of interest for other inter-faith couples and their children – to see similarities or differences of experiences.

  • edallan

    First, it certainly seems reasonable enough to write a series of articles on issues potentially confronting interfaith couples.Second, it is distressing that there remain people like JIJI1 who are striking examples of the positive role that religion or faith or whatever has played in their lives.But third, you write: “I am far more interested in whether Chelsea and Marc have taken the time to answer the central religious questions that will permit them to build a religious life together.” And this is any of our business why?

  • Dog-1

    “…and marries a woman that won’t even bear him Jewish children…”And you wonder why we have problems in this world… Just keep fueling the fire of atheists entertainers, Religious terrorists with sexist, twerp-like remarks like that. How cinematic of you!!

  • platypus_chutney

    This piece reads like something out of 1950s, when a question like this would be interesting – or make any sense to even ask. As it is, this post may simply reflect Marion Usher trying to make some use of her humanities PhD. The main indicators for this are rhetorical questions and arbitrarily coined phrases like “lead religion.”Relatively few people under 40 are particularly religious. Everyone I know is either an atheist or apathetic with respect to religion. Given that the Clintons are liberal, I assume Chelsea is basically an atheist – or one of the “liberal” Christians who are basically atheists with an amorphous psychological comfort blanket.Frankly, if someone marries someone of a different faith then that indicates to me that neither person has particularly strong feelings about their own beliefs. Otherwise you have to accept that your spouse is going to hell, evil, etc. Religion is slowly dying out, along with other superstitions and bigotry. Good riddance.

  • Jerusalimight

    My dear Dog 1,You characterize my concerns that a Jew should choose to leave the fold of Jewish fatherhood as “sexist, twerp-like remarks.”First of all they are not possibly sexist remarks. My wishes would obviously be perfectly well satisfied if he had either Jewish girls or Jewish boys. Or both, as most of my neighbors have 8, 10, 14 Jewish children.We…like…Jews…Dog 1. It’s allowed by the Constitution. It’s my legal right to love the Jewish religion and the Jewish people.And you know what? I would never sign my name ‘Dog.’ Or ‘Garbage.’ Or ‘Vermin.’It’s called believing in something. committing your life to something. You would never understand…

  • asizk

    “Jerusalimight,”To start with:what the hell are udoing in Jerusalem-it is an occupied Arab city;do u live in a stolen Arab home?And…..your comment stinks with clanishness and parochialism….shame on your…who said the children of a jewish women are jewish? Is not enough that the children are human-and carrying the name of the Clinton dynasty??? Or are the Clintons below your dignity?

  • tkavanag

    My father was Rhode Island Roman, my mother the daughter of a Kansas Methodist minister; they baptisted me Episcopal, and so I grew up, un5il I decided none of them made any sense.

  • bandmom22

    I have a hard time believing the religion of Chelsea’s parents was anything more than a political prop, pulled out when the going was getting tough. Don’t hear too much about ol Bill and Hill attending church of any kind now except for the Church of benefitting the Clinton bottom line.The groom – don’t know much about him and don’t care. He’s marrying into a snake pit but I’m sure he’s forewarned.

  • nana4

    Chelsea and Marc have known each other for many years, seemingly as good friends, first, then deciding they liked each other so much, had so much in common, they decided to spend the rest of their lives together. We know she has dated others and I assume he has, too.I am sure they have discussed religion between themselves and with others, not necessarily the WP, but, others who count.I learn today, that Marc’s mother is a Methodist and his father a Southern Baptist. Marc has chosen the Jewish faith. He chose Chelsea and she chose him. I am sure this topic or issue or element of their marriage is taken care of and it really is not any of our business to wonder IF they have given serious thought to it. Probably more serious thought than anything here.

  • motherof3

    nana4, I think you are a little confused. If I am not mistaken, both of Marc’s parents have always been Jewish. It is Chelsea who has a Methodist mother and a Southern Baptist father.In any case, I agree that how Chelsea and Marc handle this issue is their business.

  • motherof3

    “To start with:what the hell are udoing in Jerusalem-it is an occupied Arab city;do u live in a stolen Arab home?”Thank G*d it’s not occupied anymore. She has been liberated.”who said the children of a jewish women are jewish?”Jewish law, that’s who.

  • Wildthing1

    Hopefully all of their Gods are sex positive and are the product of sexual relationships themselves…

  • Logic3

    “Chelsea comes from a family where religion was an integrate part of their lives”? Are you talking about Hilary and Bill or someone else? Hilary is a perpetual promoter of abortion, ambitious power hungery feminist and refuses to bake cookies. All the while, Bill is a perpetual woman watcher and was in an adulterous affair with a girl the same age as his daughter. What kind of religion is that? Religion was an integral part of the Clinton’s “Living a religious life”? Religion means to connect with God’s Will (mend one’s errant ways). Religion does not mean to be a minion of the devil and serving the evil one’s kingdom such as promoting abortions, adultery, pushing same sex marriage and kneeling at the altar of dirty money, as if, money is their god.

  • drbill21

    One’s religion represents one’s deepest beliefs about reality. A Christian by definition is someone who believes that all have sinned and are separated from God but for a belief in the atonement of Christ. All others go to hell, not to put too fine a point on it. Unsurprisingly, Jews do not believe this.Interfaith marriages represent the idea that the relationship is more important than the religion, which is to say it is more important than God, at least the God that they claim to believe in if they claim a certain religious tradition.The only conclusion is that Chelsea is not seriously Christian and Marc is not seriously Jewish. That is, apart from their family heritage, neither would have chosen the religion to which they are associated.No true Christian would (could!) marry a non-Christian and no true Jew would (could!) marry a non-Jew.

  • nancyellen879

    Without commenting on any specific comment left by others, I would like to ask the moderator of this forum: What are your standards? They seem too low to me. I feel you are letting through some vicious and hateful “comments” that I feel are not appropriate or relevant to Dr. Usher’s thoughtful post. Whether one agrees with her or not, one should not be allowed to use this forum to attack the parents of the bride or anyone else. At least, that is my opinion.

  • kurthunt

    Religion is silly. Just live by the Golden Rule, and you and your neighbors will be just fine.

  • genericrepub

    In any Christian/other religion scenario, it comes down to the big question, “how to you deal with Jesus Christ?”. In this sense, the more fundamentalist Christian faiths with a requirement of a personal decision get it right. Its the child’s choice ultimately. As one who had Lutheran, Catholic, and Baptist grandparents, and attended an Episcopalian school from 3rd grade to 12th grade, and a Methodist college, I welcomed the opportunity to make my choice. Parents who shun religion in order not to equip their children to choose, doom their children to choosing a life separate from faith.

  • SouthStar

    I see most of commentators lose-of-mouthy criticize Chelsea’s parents, but few the groom’s; I wonder why, since the Clintons one way or another avoided jail, where the Mezvinskys have not. Guests, elegantly I guess, will rub elbows with former inmate groom’s father, who was defined as a “scam-wave” by prosecutors when sent to prison.

  • SubRosa2

    As a Unitarian Universalist minister once quipped: “If you’re gonna be more than one faith, we’re the one faith for you!”

  • qqbDEyZW

    All the interest of Chelsea and religion yet nothing said or asked about Jenna and Henry Hager. Nothing the Clintons do is accepted. Jenna drunk/drugged up kicked out of Brazil and dirty dancing with who ever, using her middle finger and using fake ID. The Media supported her and covered up her bad conduct. Even Laura had to lie for her daughter as the engagement was fixed to calm down Jenna. Chelsea was raised with respect and she told her parents of both her engagement/wedding plans. Sarah’s daughter told the Media/Press of her engagement to Levi Johnson, get example of Palin Christian Family Values.

  • millerroberta

    This marriage is doomed. The Bible says “Be not unequally yoked…” Wait till Chelsea wants to have a Christmas tree and Marc puts his foot down and says no tree.

  • flrman1011

    there was never a proven exodus from eygpt. researchers believe maybe less than a 100 people . a story was told by a few men to some caaninites( my spelling is probably wrong). the jews actually worshiped pagan gods up to and after they returned from babylon. it slowly became a monolithic belief then . it is everyones rite to believe what they want . love is special with the right person no god under any religion would disagree. stick your man made rules . the problem is man added these rules not god .

  • phvr38

    What to do when “Daddykins” accompanies the newlyweds on their honeymoon? How’d they snare the poor guy?

  • nuke41

    Invent your own religion, serve koolaid when they want to leave it.

  • cadam72

    Posted by: millerroberta

  • beargulch

    A lot of people marry “outside of their religion” and deal with it.Better advice for people is what to do when you marry outside of your sexual orientation.

  • moemir4

    They should both convert to Islam and ask an Ayatollah to perform the wedding ceremony.

  • post_reader_in_wv

    1) Although this column proves that we can’t resist talking about this subject, let’s be sure to let Marc and Chelsea live their religious or non-religious lives PRIVATELY.2) Those who claim to know who is a “true Christian” or a “true Jew” would be well-advised to leave that judgment to God. They should concern themselves far more with His judgments about them than offering their judgments about others.3) Religious AND atheist fundamentalists (“My opinion is sole truth!” OR “God said ________ (fill in the blank with your own version of the precise language) and I believe it and you’re wrong if you disagree with me!” OR “There is no God and that settles it!”) are intolerant morons guilty or breath-taking arrogance.Have a happy life, Chelsea and Marc. Unfortunately, there are too many people out there (and lurking on this comment page) just waiting for you to fail.

  • AIPACiswar

    Let’s “pray” these two have the brains and guts to put foolish god worship on the shelf where it belongs.I can’t believe idiots still think religion matters. You have to be either broke and stupid, or rich and ensconced, to buy into that ancient baloney.

  • Chops2

    Screw conversion. U fell in love with someone for who they are so let them be.

  • millerroberta

    The family that prays together, stays together. Those who say that religion is not a big deal in a marriage have probably never been married.

  • malafry

    Religion is a context for experience; people who argue religion argue context until they have the experience. Some never do. If, however, they both love God they’ll find themselves together in that love. The experience trumps the theology.

  • millerroberta

    Perhaps Chelsea and Marc should both convert to Unitarianism. That way no one gets to be offended.

  • EarlC

    I missed someething in the lead article. What are the religions in question. I know that Chelsea was reared in a Protestant Christian home. If I had to base my comment on the above article, all I can assume is both parties have different religions.

  • Observer001

    It’s clear the Washingtonpost opens certain columns to comments for the sole purpose of generating traffic. Really, you open this column to posts in this political environment? Really? Why not just post an open invitation “all trolls welcome, Chelsea Clinton’s on the menu”?

  • dcpcc1967

    Marion L. Usher, Ph.D. what a poorly written article. So what religion is Ms. Clinton and what religtion is Mr. Mezvinsky? What’s the point of this article?

  • RDog1

    What “protestant” household was Chelsea brought up in??? The Clinton’s are at best agnostic and only went to church for show and so people could see Bill’s giant bible cover!!Most American Liberals of jewish descent don’t practice Judaism except for show, either.So there’s no conflict here that I can see!!rd

  • holocaustgaza

    Hmm, it seems Chelsea is stepping in her mothers foot steps. Mother Hillary is involved with the AIPAC thugs and Chelseas’s finances parents have been already indicted and punished for bank fraud….The Clinton’s always a good example of a good family.By the way I don’t give anything about race, color, religion but I can’t understand why a new master race is claiming new human rights like murder, fraud, theft or worse.

  • djmolter

    Religion has very little to do with morality. being of different faiths has very little to do with whether a marriage will succeed.

  • katbartley

    This article seems just fluffy enough to avoid any controversy, and avoid any journalistic content. I think that something involving ‘journalistic content’ would have mentioned:1) where was ms clinton jr baptised? and something along the lines of information that the public did not already know. and i’d be interested to know those things about bill and hillary too. what churches did they attend as children? i give chelsea credit though, she seems far more morally decent than either of her parents.

  • sperrico

    I’m agnostic, but I do respect people with real religious morality in their dealings with people.I can only echo what others have said.

  • feslop

    The great theologian Dolly Parton said, “A bird and a fish can fall in love, but where are they gonna live?” Religion in theoretically mixed marriages is not a show-stopper where one or both partners are only nominally or culturally Christian, Jewish or whatever. If a person who is totally committed to the statement that Jesus is the Son of God marries a person who is totally commited to the statement that Jesus is not the Son of God and you have a religious version of a Carville-Maitlin marriage, where both are well paid to publically vent about the idiotic politics embraced by their partner, thus easing the heat in the kitchen during personal meals…

  • ThisIsReality

    Nobody cares about these dipweeds except for the same people who follow the Kardashians and Paris Hilton.

  • Delongl

    What are their religions? Or are we supposed to apply stereotypes to their names?

  • paris1969

    “Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives.”

  • googleer

    This one time when I was at band camp…..

  • pbalvarma

    Wonder whats there to debate so much about. If the 2 people involved have got married out of love to each other the ? of religion does not arise at all. Both practice each others religion and on special occasions like xmas etc each support the other and join in the festivities. When children come why not make then follow both religions and once they are of age where they can decide let them decide which one to follow. And friend JIJI1 dont be so cynical..

  • seraphina21

    Interfaith marriages are a recipe for disaster. Invariably, even for the non-religious, religion bubbles up to the surface. Read Rachel Cowan’s book about it. She interviewed many interfaith couples who had long and hard struggles. Also, the children will have confused religious identities, or none at all.

  • mocoster

    If they have not discussed this fully they are not ready to get married

  • batsheva

    I was outraged by the statement, “Even when there is a conversion, there are still two religions in the home since each person comes from a different religious background, and parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins come from and celebrate different religions.” My husband is a convert. His relatives do not live with us or near us, and our daughter only has minimal exposure to them, and religion is seldom brought up. There is only one religion that has ever been practiced in our home, and any discussion of other religions are no different than they would be if they were religions of my child’s classmates. To call our religion the “Lead religion” in our home, when it is the ONLY religion in our home is offensive in the extreme. The term is fine for interfaith marriages, not for marriages between two people of the same faith.

  • DevorahLeah1

    I find the hostility and rudeness in some of the comments really puzzling (and sad). You don’t know Chelsea, nor do you know Marc, yet some of you think it’s okay to pass judgment. Here’s what I know– and I’d be lying if I said I have ever met either person. Chelsea, by all accounts, (including even conservative commentators who disagree with Bill and Hillary on politics) has been very well-raised and is a decent and intelligent young woman. Bill Clinton (according to friends of his) has a deep respect for Judaism, and newspaper reports have stated that when he was living in Arkansas, one of his closest friends (since both were in high school) was a Jewish guy who went on to become a rabbi. Hillary has absolutely attended church and her Methodist faith is important to her. And both of Marc’s parents are Jewish, as is he. Marc had a bar mitzvah, and from what I can gather, he comes from a home where Judaism was observed, although probably not in the Orthodox manner (I think I read his family was either Reform or Conservative) . Also, somebody said the couple could “celebrate” Yom Kippur together– umm, Yom Kippur is the most serious day in Judaism and one observes it with fasting and prayer, rather than celebration. But that said, I am among those who believe most interfaith marriages are going to have problems, given the conflicting theologies of the two faiths, and trying to blend the two contradictory ideologies is just gonna confuse the kids, assuming they want to have kids. But I do hope the couple can work these things out and do what is best for their relationship. Making snide remarks and being critical of Chelsea (based on some dislike of Bill and Hillary) seems petty and cruel. What did either Chelsea or Marc ever do to any of you? I invite the commenters to just wish them well, and hope they have a loving and supportive marriage. That’s certainly what I wish for them, whether I agree with interfaith marriage or not.

  • stephanesibani

    “Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that they too will want religion incorporated in their home”… I hope they will dump religion because nobody needs it to be a good person and love others – humanism is good enough for that, not fairy tales about the human soul from some prophets each convinced to detain the truth with a bit fat T…

  • rickshawjim

    So they are different religions.

  • rickshawjim

    Their families respective religions are steal and gain power…

  • samscram

    Typical patronizing advice from an academic who apparently believes that Chelesa and Marc aren’t capable of figuring out for themselves that differences in religion may be among the myriad challenges that they will face during their marriage. From the tenor of the article, one would suspect that the writer believes is that what this country needs is a marriage approval system run by “certified” marriage arrangers, ordained to vet, advise and consent to each and every proposed marriage which will prevent couples from making the mistake of entering into a religiously incorrect marriage, thus assuring a lifetime of marital bliss.

  • schnauzer2

    Posted by: GraminaI have been to catholic, lutheran, baptist, presbyterian, episcopal, methodist and even a few jewish services as a child an as an adult (I sing in a community choir that often fills in at various members churches during their choir’s vacations). Even within a specific denomination some are more welcoming to outsiders than others and some are more fire and brimstone than others.

  • BorincanoDC

    Wow, so many of you people are mean…. and ignorant!Unless you live with people day in and day out I’d say it’s pretty hard to understand the content and commitment of their religious lives. Judging such personal details about public people from what you read in the newspapers (after you filter the info through what you thought of them in the first place) doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere near the truth.I have no idea, and neither do almost all of you, whether Chelsea or Marc accept the propositions of the religions they were raised in fully, partly, or not at all.Having said that, the advice to talk about these things beforehand is pretty good advice. After 30 years of marriage to a woman born and raised in another religion, I’d say hashing these things about before “I do” is vital. I was a weekly-attending, congregationally active person when I met my girlfriend, a well-schooled, but lukewarm Jew. I did not, and would not, ask her to convert. She told me up front she would never do it, and that settled the matter for me.We dated for years, married and lived as a couple for a long time before we had children. When the time came she said it would be silly for her to take the lead role in the children’s religious upbringing since her commitment to religion was so much weaker than mine.Now we have three well-adjusted, religious children… and the questions they ask about the differences between us, what happens when we die, tensions in the family over the intermarriage are smart and fearless… and we answer them as best we can. My wife has done a difficult thing, and make sacrifices to give us the happy home we have today, and I am thankful for that every day. Reading the posts above, I would only say it is neither as hard, nor as easy as some of the posters have made out to raise a family when you are a couple from different religions… but hey, I see couples every day from the same religions who have children with no faith, who multiply divorce and marry, and have generally made a hash of things. So, there are no hard and fast rules here…

  • Dog-1

    Jerusalimight”"…And you know what? I would never sign my name ‘Dog.’ Or ‘Garbage.’ Or ‘Vermin.’Just another supposed religious zealot who really believes only in himself as shown by his sexist, anti-people remarks. You’re a disgrace to your people – I assume your people are Americans. and FYI Jerusalim Dirt-bag punk. Dog-1 is the sector of beach in France my father landed on in WW2 where he was wounded.

  • pgr88

    Inter-faith Marriage? What a JOKE.Clinton and her hubbie are both left-wing, secularist yuppies. That is their religion. In that sense they are quite well-matched.

  • phvr38

    How has poor Marc been able to put up with Daddykins and Mommie Dearest?

  • texaswade

    I would like to suggest that for a modern couple, they really don’t need to choose any religion. If they feel they have to stay connected to a church family, maybe Unitarian is the way to go. However, when there is so much evidence to the fact that religion is made up by men from antiquity – from long before scientific discovery – I would suggest that religion is an obsolete concern.

  • grunk

    According to this Usher lady, interfaith marriages are OK as long as the kids are brought up Jewish.This lady is full of crap. She pushing an agenda.

  • zippyspeed

    I’d actually be more interested in learning which of their deeply religious precepts hold it’s a good idea to have a $5 million wedding in the midst of one of the worst economic periods in American history. People out there are living in their cars and watching their kids go hungry, and these elitists are eating $10,000 wedding cakes.Remember this the next time someone tries to BS you with the lie about Republicans being the “party of the rich”.

  • Wallenstein

    Ms. Usher:You are literally the only person on the entire planet who found the “interfaith” aspect of this marriage worthy of commentary. Now please leave our planet and return to your own.

  • yameenzusnet

    I find no information about how the new couple feels about the issue. What is the purpose of this article?

  • ignoranceisbliss

    Interfaith Marriage?I didn’t know that the liberal progressive extremists were able to classify Socialism and Global Warming as Faiths?Above it says: Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives.Slick Willy and Hitlery where such great religous examples for Chelsea and the Nation as a whole. What “great” role models. Maybe this story is refering to Bill in his photo ops at African American Church before the elections.

  • SouthernerInDC

    ignoranceisbliss, you say “Slick Willy and Hitlery where such great religous examples for Chelsea and the Nation as a whole.” What exactly did Mrs. Clinton do that offends you? Was it when she stuck to her marriage vows when no one would have blamed her if she had chosen to divorce? Was it taking her daughter to church on Sundays? (which she did, because I used to see the Clintons in church all the time)Perhaps you are ill-informed, but Secretary Clinton is well known as a lifelong, and devout, Methodist. Please tell us how her religious faith offends you.

  • Wildthing1

    I didn’t know anyone had faith in marriage anymore now that the toxic nuclear family has exploded…

  • bruce19

    I only find the over-the-top price tag for this wedding, to be offensive. It is a poke in the eye to all us 99 percent-ers who stretch our budget to afford a new pair of shoes, to see the Clintons go uber-elite! Go donate that money to a food bank and let the kids elope.

  • password11

    Hey Jerusalimight – Go rot, you bigot. And oy vey to you!

  • password11

    grunk – you nailed it. That broad has an angle. No surprise that WaPo brought her in.

  • joseph_charles

    This religious stuff is so strange. It’s all B.S. To prove the point. “My religion is better than yours and to prove it, I am going to kill you!”This is how most of these religious nuts feel about their religion.Look at the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland (the “troubles” are starting up again). Look at the Muslims any where in the world (total nut jobs). The Jews and Muslims in the Middle East.The examples are too numerous to elaborate here.

  • st50taw

    @ignoranceisblissYou must be just about the most blissful person on the planet.

  • hock1

    @joseph_charles @to the delusional nuts

  • jimsteinberg1

    One stone-thrower, as brave as his recourse to pseudonym, writes here: ‘I didn’t know that the liberal progressive extremists were able to classify Socialism and Global Warming as Faiths?’

  • NatinFallsChurch

    I feel like many of you are missing the point- the author is simply using a current headline- the Chelsea Clinton wedding – to explore an issues that many couples do grapple with. No one’s saying that the Clinton’s are the most devoutly religious family in the country and if you’re not interested in the topic, then move on. What makes you think that you can judge someone’s deeply personal beliefs based on their outward actions, anyway? You don’t know what goes behind closed doors at the Clinton house and has it escaped your notice that the vast majority of people, even religious ones, don’t live up to that ideal in their personal lives? I’ve heard of more than one example of ministers who are also murderers or child molesters. And why do conservatives always think they have a monopoly on faith? The difference between democrats and republicans is not who is more religious- it’s how far that religion reaches into the governing of our country. Just because you believe in a secular government doesn’t mean you aren’t religious- our founding fathers are a prime example of this. And just because people don’t share YOUR beliefs doesn’t mean that their’s don’t matter. Another premise of our founding fathers was religious freedom and today, these same principles protect Christians, Jews, Muslims and everyone else equally. So many ignorant people out there…and sadly, these are the ones that actually DO read news stories. I shudder to think about the folks that aren’t posting in these forums!

  • Beingsensible

    I only find the over-the-top price tag for this wedding, to be offensive. It is a poke in the eye to all us 99 percent-ers who stretch our budget to afford a new pair of shoes, to see the Clintons go uber-elite! Go donate that money to a food bank and let the kids elope.

  • dionysianmadness

    Per the article, “The second will discuss the places interfaith couples can go for help.”Let me guess. They can go to a therapist who has a practice right off Dupont Circle who has a (ahem) “non-traditional” PhD from the Union Institute where they can learn “how they can make Jewish choices while still respecting their partner’s religion.” Will a toll free number be flashing at the bottom of the screen?

  • huguenotklj

    Exactly what religion was it that was an integral part of Chelsea’s life growing up? Because it certainly wasn’t Christianity. Oh yes, it was the pursuit of power for power’s sake.

  • forgetthis

    Religion is silly. Just live by the Golden Rule, and you and your neighbors will be just fine.LOL! You’re so funny. Golden rule? You do realize that the Golden Rule is a quote from Jesus, right? Well… so much for silly religions!!

  • YouSee

    How about some privacy for these young people? It is not exactly prince Charles and Diana? Religion is a personal preference and before this article I did not know this author and moreover it is her life. I would like to know which part of writing is part of good judgment and which part is paparazzi?

  • Logic3

    “Chelsea comes from a family where religion was an integrate part of their lives”? Are you talking about Hilary and Bill or someone else? Hilary is a perpetual promoter of abortions, an ambitious power hungery feminist and refuses to bake cookies. All the while, Bill is a perpetual woman watcher and was in an adulterous affair with a girl the same age as his daughter. What kind of religion is that? Religion was an integral part of the Clinton’s “Living a religious life”?

  • rasterfreeart

    Is the KLA terrorist Hashim Thaçi who murdered Christians and destroyed churches and monasteries across Kosovo on the guest list? After all it was devout and faithful Bill Clinton himself who brought this thug to power.Well, since Thaci is Muslim and the groom is Jewish I guess interfaith coexistence would quickly show its limits.By the way, is it true that Monica Lewinsky is going to be Chelsea’s Maid-of-Honor or did she just perform services at the stag party?

  • AMGABBER

    With regards to the “Golden Rule”…virtually all faiths share a derivative but the earliest recorded writings appear in the Talmud…Leviticus 19:18 an 19:34…

  • Yankeesfan1

    “Chelsea and Marc each come from families where religion was an integral part of their lives.” Let’s see, Bill was, and as far as we know, still is, a blatant, unrepentant serial adulterer, including with women his daughter’s age. Hillary role-modeled to all the young women of Chelsea’s generation that they should not only tolerate but even defend their husbands’ adultery and exploitation of young women. Just curious, did Hillary schedule this wedding on the same day as any of her husband’s family’s weddings, as Sally Quinn (pictured at the top of this blog) did? (Sally scheduled her son’s wedding on the same day as her husband Ben Bradlee’s granddaughter’s wedding — and then said ooops, Ben was supposed to write it down on the calendar but didn’t.)

  • mimi-mo

    Their marriage can work if they place little priority or importance in religious matters; or they can choose to respect each other with regards to their different beliefs, traditions etc. As a Christian, however, we are called to avoid being “unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corin. 6:14) – to avoid close partnerships with those who are not equals spiritually (which can include different denominations within Christianity). Of course, any marriage can work with great effort, but it doesn’t seem wise to marry someone who has very different beliefs and values.

  • StanKlein

    For an excellent book on the subject, see

  • creatornaturelover

    I come from a Jewish family that had an inter-faith marriage. He was Catholic & she was Orthodox Jewish.They agreed ahead of time that the children would be raised Jewish.However, after a few years their marriage dissolved and my cousin ended up raising the 2 boys on her own while she worked.I was raised Jewish as well. However, I came to faith in Y’shua (Jesus) Ha MashiachThe woman that commented that Christians shouldn’t be yoked with non-Christians is absolutely correct.The only way this union between Chelsea & Marc will succeed, is if both don’t really care too much about their faiths.This is a distinct possibility if you look at the lives of Bill & Hillary. Neither one is hardly the “salt of the earth.”Perhaps Marc is a reform Jew, which means he only goes to the synagogue a few times a year.If Chelsea cares about serving Christ at all, there will be conflict in their house. We don’t need to be flies on the wall, in order to figure that out.Jesus said, in Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. We will have to see if Chelsea follows Jesus or the pattern of this world.

  • chaialani

    People who speak about the “lead”-religion and that Marc & Chelsea have to decide HOW they’re going to educate their children don’t understand anything about judaism.Chelsea is a Mormon and not a Jew so their children aren’t going to be jewish. And if her religion is really important to her then she’s going to acquaint´her children with her religion and the jewish part won’t be there anymore. I hope that Marc has some siblings.

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