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“Ask a Priest: How Much Should Be Spent on an Engagement Ring?”
Q: I have been looking at engagement rings and noticed it seems hard to not find a retailer who in some way approves of or supports the LGBTQ lifestyle. I even found a neat retailer who makes diamonds in a lab so that they are ethical, unlike some mined diamonds. The retailer has some very nice simple diamond rings, but I noticed it is supportive of gay marriage. It isn’t blatant on their website but I read an article saying they are OK with it. Would it be wrong to buy from them? Also, how much should one reasonably spend on an engagement ring, from a Catholic perspective? They have nice ones under $1,000, but I can feel like a cheap guy buying one of them. Maybe that is more the world’s propaganda than anything. I don’t have a huge income, but I could spend more than $1,000. – N.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: Probably a lot of stores support the LGBTQ lifestyle to some degree. In America, business is business, as they say.
I don’t think there is a problem if you bought a ring from one of these shops, so long as you don’t signal your support for pro-LGBTQ lifestyles.
If you can find a more traditional shop, then that would be an option. Perhaps there are Christian shops in your area. But if you can’t find one, don’t worry about it.
As for the price of a ring: that is really a personal decision.
It might be good, though, to lean toward something modest. Given the amount of poverty in the world, it’s a good idea to live a modest life and to share things with the poor.
This might be something to talk over with your fiancée-to-be. Now might be a good time to start a dialogue about what kind of life you envision together, and how the two of you view material goods.
If the two of you can have a shared vision of your life together — a life that includes prayer, frugality, concern for the poor, etc. — that could go a long to helping you to avoid the rat race of consumerism and to live an integrally Christian life. In a word, it could help you become saints.
When you decide to propose to your sweetheart, you might do it in some kind of spiritual context (after a prayer together, for instance). That will help make it a beautiful, faith-filled moment — as multifaceted as the diamond that adorns the ring.
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