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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Interfaith marriages and other ramblings

Recently, the Pew Forum released a study on marriage. Among the 10 key ingredients to a happy marriage, respondents listed shared faith. It ranked above children or sharing household chores. Of course, a survey is just a list of numbers and percentages, but it made me wonder about the people behind them. Why is having the same religious beliefs so important? And for those who get married and don’t share the same faith, is it hard? What are the challenges?

 I would love to explore this further for a story for our religion section.  If you’re interested in participating, please email or call me, aumble@freelancestar or 540/735-1973. I’d like to chat with interfaith couples and, also, people who chose not to marry someone because they didn’t share the same faith.

Also, this past week, I had the opportunity to meet with some local Christians who are going to Iraq to pray. A photographer and I only had a few minutes to meet with them before they left. As they drove off, I remarked on the strength of their faith. I’ve only been on this beat for a few months, but I’ve met a lot of people with very powerful convictions. When you spend your days covering religion, it’s easy to see how it could affect yours. I check out a lot of other religion reporters’ blogs and many are talking about this story by LA Times religion reporter William Lobdell, which describes how eight years on the beat caused him to lose his faith.