From behind a hand-carved, wooden podium at the front of a colorful classroom, my fifth-grade teacher spoke.
The students listened quietly, fascinated by her lesson: how to get to heaven. "But it’s a lot harder for Catholics to get to heaven than it is for Protestants." She told us about the Sinner's Prayer and how awful it is to confess sins to a priest, how questionable the Catholic mass is and how rarely the Gospel is preached in Catholic churches.
Even then, they didn’t want their face to appear on film.
This was only a few months ago – and reflects a hidden truth about Northern Ireland today; more couples are bridging the Protestant-Catholic divide than ever before, but many remain unwilling to talk about it.
Until then, I had lived under the egocentric assumption that everybody is either Catholic or Jewish.
I wondered why there was such confusion in America, and I concluded that it must come down to the Easy-Belivism mentality.
A Christian dating a Mormon; a Christian dating a Jehovah's Witness; a Christian dating a Jew; a Christian dating a non-Christian; a Protestant dating a Catholic; a charismatic dating a non-charismatic, a Catholic dating a Mormon.
Over the years, I have received emails from people involved in these various types of interfaith dating relationships.
Before this conversation goes any further I need to know my name isn’t going to appear anywhere.” Thus speaks a Catholic woman from Northern Ireland upon being asked questions about her 35-year marriage to a Protestant, writes We carry on talking under the promise of anonymity. Yet it’s still not something she openly wants to talk about both in terms of herself or her children. But in Northern Ireland, where church affiliation reflects more than just belief, it’s particularly controversial. He’s an accountant.’ Here it’s ‘He’s a Presbyterian,” jokes Paul Mc Laughlin from the Northern Ireland Mixed Marriage Association (NIMMA). He was approached by a local Irish TV station and asked for the contact details of people from mixed marriages.
“Things are much easier now than before, in part because of the diminishing power of the church,” she adds.