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Whether or not religious students choose to date outside their faiths, most say they usually plan to marry someone of their own faith.“I think a couple should decide to have one religion, to transmit one to their children, otherwise [the children will] feel divided, and it won’t be easy for them to form an identity,” says Jonathan Hernandez ’09, who is Catholic. Summer ’06 always assumed that she would raise her children Jewish.Now that she’s in a serious relationship with a practicing Catholic, however, her children’s faith is no longer quite so certain.That can be an irreconcilable problem at times,” she said after a forum on interfaith dating last month.Though these concerns may seem distant now, Summer says that if she were to marry her current boyfriend, they would have to make a decision about how to raise their children.“The options are to raise our children as Jews, as Catholics or as atheists.
Summer says she disagrees with her boyfriend’s belief that he is responsible for supporting her when she begins law school in the fall and he enters the work force.“I think it’s my financial responsibility,” she says.Some Christian students jokingly refer to interfaith relationships as “missionary dating,” pointing out that conversion might be a consequence of the relationship.Skoda says the phrase negatively connotes one person setting out in a relationship in order to convert the other person, and she says she thinks that this happens infrequently, if at all.Madubata ’06, an Episcopalian.“Christians consider sex to be something more than some pleasurable act.It’s an actual union between two people becoming one,” Madubata says.
“It’s more up in the air than it’s ever been for me,” she says.