"I felt like I'd been sucker-punched," she recalls. "A million thoughts sprang to mind, but I didn't know what to say first. I felt scared. And sad. And indignant. And really angry, all at the same time."
Yet, statistics indicate this scene could play out over one in four dinner tables across the country. More than 28 million married or cohabitating Americans—almost one quarter—are interfaith, according to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey.
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At first blush, you might not even recognize the newest religious fusions. "I've married so many pagans to Jews and Christians," says Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway, an interfaith minister and couples counselor who has performed over 500 interfaith weddings over the course of her career. "They call themselves 'Cath-Wics,' she says. "And then there are the 'Hin-Jews.'"