The topic of religion can strike up a lot of controversy, especially between two people who are romantically involved.
Relationships among students at Pierce College can vary from casual dating to marriage. But religion plays various roles in all relationships.
Some students take religion into account when dating someone. Others don’t want their religion to dictate who they will date.
“I’m very tolerant,” Pierce College student Andrew Merwin says.
Merwin declares himself a Christian. He is divorced but was married to a Buddhist woman, and they have a child together. Merwin teaches the child Christian values while his ex-wife teaches Buddhist values. Merwin wants his child to choose what is best.
Merwin, who tries to be an example to his child by staying open-minded, thinks that two people’s religions should not affect their compatibility.
“I don’t see why two opposite people can’t have a relationship and make it work,” he says.
Student Devan Jones feels the same. After having been raised by his father who is a pastor, Jones wanted to break away from what his parents had been forcing on him.
Jones used to be a strong Christian. But after recently realizing his father’s religion is not for him, Jones is unsure of what religion he wants to be a part of. He says he is simply trying to find himself.
Jones also says religion should not affect a relationship between people. He feels that relationships depend on feelings between two people, not their particular religions.
Student Kyle Litzenberger feels differently.
“Religion is very important to me,” he says. Litzenberger is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is currently dating a girl who is also Mormon.
He says if he really liked someone of a different religion, he would date them as long as they remained tolerant to his religion.
“It’s just not ideal,” he says. Litzenberger has dated someone with a different religion before, but it was not successful.
“There is a reason it ended,” he says.
Richelle Selig, another Pierce College student has a different take on the issue. She says that the particular religion does not matter as long as her significant other has a religion. She feels that religion does not have to be the base of a relationship but that there should be some spiritual aspect there.
Selig proclaims herself a Christian. She once dated another Christian boy who was not very active in his religion, and she said she didn’t like it.
While different students at Pierce have different takes on the role of religion in relationships, there seems to be a trend. If married to a person with a different religion, a lot of students would let their children decide for themselves which religion to follow.
“Do you have to pick a religion for them?” Merwin asks. He wants his child to pick.
Litzenberger and Selig both agree that children should make their own decisions regarding relationships.
“It was forced on me,” Jones says. “I want my children to choose for themselves.”
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