With Chelsea Clinton's July 31 wedding to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky fast approaching, the surrounding media frenzy has zeroed in on a particular point of interest: the fact that Mezvinsky is Jewish and Clinton Methodist.
Mixed-faith marriages are not uncommon. According to the General Social Survey, 15 percent of U.S. households were interfaith in 1988. By 2006 the figure had climbed to 25 percent, and it continues to grow.
Still, the interfaith aspect of such unions presents unique issues that single-faith couples do not encounter, and this complication has armed the media with an additional lens through which to scrutinize the impending Clinton-Mezvinsky union.
This morning, the CBS Early Show featured a segment in which relationship coach Donna Barnes discussed with co-anchor Harry Smith the particular challenges that mixed-faith couples face.
Barnes listed questions that may come up if Clinton and Mezvinsky decide to have children. "How do we raise the kids?" she said. "If we convert to one or the other [religion], then our whole family is not converting, so what do we do at holidays?"
She added that having parents of two different faiths can be of great value to children, however. "How wonderful to be a child who's exposed to both, and to be taught a little bit of the Jewish religion and a little bit of the Methodist religion," she said.
See the rest of the discussion below: