Is Conservative Christianity Bad for Marriage?

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Original poster
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
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I found this to be an interesting read and thought it would make for a good discussion here.

Saving the sanctity of traditional marriage my ass.


We’ve long known that, in general, the parts of the country most obsessed by family values are also the most beset by family breakdown. Crimson-red Southern states like Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas have the highest rates of divorce, while the liberal, decadent Northeast has the lowest. People have tried to explain this phenomenon in a number of ways. Some conservatives argue that the Northeast has low divorce rates only because it has low marriage rates, too. Others suggest that it’s all about class—in addition to being conservative, the South is poor, and poverty is linked to family dysfunction. “It’s a puzzling paradox,” says Jennifer Glass, a sociologist at the University of Texas. “These are places where you would expect the reverence for marriage and social disapproval for divorce to keep couples together.”

Working with Philip Levchak of the University of Iowa, Glass set out to investigate this paradox. Examining America county by county, they found that, even controlling for income, education and rates of nonmarital cohabitation, the link between conservative Protestantism and divorce remains. It looks as if right-wing Christianity itself undermines modern marriage.

By promoting abstinence until marriage, these communities encourage people to marry young. Poor sex education and limited access to contraception for teenagers lead to unintended pregnancies and shotgun weddings. Gender-role traditionalism leads to single-earner families with precarious finances.

Further, Glass and Levchak write, “the effects of personal and community-level conservative Protestant affiliation are additive, meaning that conservative Protestants in strongly conservative Protestant counties have higher divorce risks than conservative Protestants in mainline dominant counties.”

http://www.thenation.com/article/178035/conservative-christianity-bad-marriage
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
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UK
Does this still apply if we correct for income levels and other factors?

I will agree that in my personal experience people have better relationships as they get older.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
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Conservative Christianity is bad for the entire world.

I'm not sure what kind of Christianity I fall under but my own special brew:

1. Believes in a higher power.
2. Believes in equal rights for all not just straight white males.
3. Takes the thing about "Love thy neighbor" seriously.
4. Believes in science, evolution, big bang, etc.
5. Believes money should go to charity not church.
6. Actually follows Jesus's teachings about love, acceptance, and not condemning others.

By brand is way better than anyone else's, it lets you love God AND others at the same time!

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I guess we need to ban conservative Christians from getting hitched to preserve the sanctity of marriage.
Honestly I agree with this. It's very hurtful to people, like a cult.

There was a town not far from me growing up which was something out of the 1800s. Kids married in high school or just right out of it, they were never taught about contraceptives, they were told they'd go to hell if they had sex before marriage, etc. I knew a good amount of them.

A LOT of them ended up divorced.
 

chown33

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Aug 9, 2009
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Does this still apply if we correct for income levels and other factors?
From the OP's quote:
Working with Philip Levchak of the University of Iowa, Glass set out to investigate this paradox. Examining America county by county, they found that, even controlling for income, education and rates of nonmarital cohabitation, the link between conservative Protestantism and divorce remains. It looks as if right-wing Christianity itself undermines modern marriage.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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...2. Believes in equal rights for all not just straight white males.
3. Takes the thing about "Love thy neighbor" seriously.
...6. Actually follows Jesus's teachings about love, acceptance, and not condemning others.

My brand is way better than anyone else's, it lets you love God AND others at the same time!
The irony in this post is delicious...but wait, there's more.

I guess we need to ban conservative Christians from getting hitched to preserve the sanctity of marriage.
Honestly I agree with this. It's very hurtful to people, like a cult.
What was that you said about taking the "love thy neighbor "thing seriously? How about the equal rights part? You're just as much a hypocrite as the people you rail against. I'll remember your take on conservative Christian marriage the next time you spout off about people not respecting your rights. It will be hard to take anything you say about that seriously after this.

Christ did associate with sinners, and he did not condemn them (unlike you appear to be doing here). Instead he taught them to be better and instructed them to "go thy way and sin no more"

But you probably think that was judgmental, don't you.

One thing's for sure, a Christian who truly believes and follows Christ wouldn't write a post telling everyone how much better they are than someone else.

I for one recognize that I'm far from perfect, and that I'm a sinner, but I try. One thing I will not do is accept moral relativism as truth. There are some things that are wrong no matter how you slice it. You can call me a bigot, but your god (and my god) is pretty clear on the subject.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
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I found this to be an interesting read and thought it would make for a good discussion here.

Saving the sanctity of traditional marriage my ass.

http://www.thenation.com/article/178035/conservative-christianity-bad-marriage
I'd say ignorance and poverty are bad for marriage. Great reading! It is a paradox, a complete lack of sincerity of preaching, claiming to follow a standard, but it's mostly lip service for show, fooling others or thyself, while trying to gain some perceived advantage in the world or knock back the Federal Government, because you are not smart enough to figure out that while you are voting for the conservative them, especially if the them has $$, you are voting against yourself especially if you don't have any.

Conservative Christianity is bad for the entire world.

I'm not sure what kind of Christianity I fall under but my own special brew:

1. Believes in a higher power.
2. Believes in equal rights for all not just straight white males.
3. Takes the thing about "Love thy neighbor" seriously.
4. Believes in science, evolution, big bang, etc.
5. Believes money should go to charity not church.
6. Actually follows Jesus's teachings about love, acceptance, and not condemning others.

By brand is way better than anyone else's, it lets you love God AND others at the same time!
Do you believe in recreational sex between adults if pregnancy is avoided when no pregnancy is wanted?

If so, that is the final straw and I declare you an enemy of conservative Christianity, not that anyone on that side of the isle abstains from sex... :p
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
476
17
Chicagoland
Being poor, ignorant, and socially conservative are bad for marriage.

It just happens that poor, ignorant, and socially conservative people (in our country) are frequently Fundies.
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
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I have a hunch whenever two people get married and they're not of the same faith, or not of the same LEVEL of faith, their relationship may be more prone to deterioration than if they actually hold the same degree of belief.

I didn't see a causal explanation in the article. "It looks as if right-wing Christianity itself undermines modern marriage" is a statement that seems to discredit the writer's work, since it's a conclusion that can't reliably be drawn from the data.

It's like saying that carrots cause cancer, simply because a majority of cancer patients have eaten them. No causality is shown.
 

Michael Goff

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I have a hunch whenever two people get married and they're not of the same faith, or not of the same LEVEL of faith, their relationship may be more prone to deterioration than if they actually hold the same degree of belief.

I didn't see a causal explanation in the article. "It looks as if right-wing Christianity itself undermines modern marriage" is a statement that seems to discredit the writer's work, since it's a conclusion that can't reliably be drawn from the data.

It's like saying that carrots cause cancer, simply because a majority of cancer patients have eaten them. No causality is shown.
The thing I got from that, if you were to link religion, is this. Religious couples are likely to marry quicker, and younger married couples are more likely to divorce.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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You need to get your sarcasm meter checked.

Agreeing with the sentiment of the sarcasm doesn't make him a hypocrite.
No, saying he follows Christ, loves his fellow man, and believes in equal rights, then 5 seconds later saying he "honestly agrees" that conservative Christians should be banned from marriage makes him a hypocrite.

The fact that he constantly rails against others for not respecting his rights, and insists that everyone who opposes SSM hates gays despite their postings saying the opposite makes him a hypocrite even more so.
 

MorphingDragon

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Mar 27, 2009
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No, saying he follows Christ, loves his fellow man, and believes in equal rights, then 5 seconds later saying he "honestly agrees" that conservative Christians should be banned from marriage makes him a hypocrite.
You seriously need to consume more British humour. The intent of sarcasm is not the same as the words being spoken/written. Meaning is implied through the use of irony as well as cultural contexts.

Before you can properly accuse Chrono of hypocrisy, you must prove that yg17's statement is 100% literal, being free of irony or facetiousness.

The fact that he constantly rails against others for not respecting his rights, and insists that everyone who opposes SSM hates gays despite their postings saying the opposite makes him a hypocrite even more so.
Speaking out about the hatred of others does not mean you hate others expressing hatred.
 
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chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
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The irony in this post is delicious...but wait, there's more.



What was that you said about taking the "love thy neighbor "thing seriously? How about the equal rights part? You're just as much a hypocrite as the people you rail against. I'll remember your take on conservative Christian marriage the next time you spout off about people not respecting your rights. It will be hard to take anything you say about that seriously after this.

Christ did associate with sinners, and he did not condemn them (unlike you appear to be doing here). Instead he taught them to be better and instructed them to "go thy way and sin no more"

But you probably think that was judgmental, don't you.

One thing's for sure, a Christian who truly believes and follows Christ wouldn't write a post telling everyone how much better they are than someone else.

I for one recognize that I'm far from perfect, and that I'm a sinner, but I try. One thing I will not do is accept moral relativism as truth. There are some things that are wrong no matter how you slice it. You can call me a bigot, but your god (and my god) is pretty clear on the subject.
First, I know your stance from other posts and your stance isn't based in any logic.

Second, if you actually researched your Bible you'd realize that yes, it IS clear on the subject and gay is ok. Jonathan and David were lovers but everyone skips over that conveniently. I don't see a single spot in the Bible saying gays can't get married. Jesus never says a peep about gays and homosexuality isn't even listed on the 10 commandments. The entire gay community says its not a choice but you bury your head in the sand and refuse to hear it. Thats sad.

Also don't bother quoting scripture to me that thinks it proves your point. I've spent a LONG time researching it myself (as a gay Christian) and can blow away any verse you try and claim condemns it since the verse is either mistranslated (Corinthians, Romans), taken out of context (Leviticus, Genesis), or completely misunderstood/twisted (Sodom and Gamorrah).

Why is it so hard for you to see that gay people don't have equal rights, and every time we have a shot at it a conservative "Christian" group comes along to try and squash it. This isn't someone just saying that they don't like gays or whatever (which is completely fine), this is people actively working to pass legislation to prevent it or to promote discrimination.

I can't believe you can't see this, I can only assume you don't want to see it because you want to feel better about yourself for hating gay people.

Would I act on passing legislation against conservative Christians? No because I'm not a conservative Christian and if they want to live like that then fine. I DO have a problem when they try and invade MY life and MY rights which have zero effect on them.

I don't see them ever lobbying against divorce, but they sure do lobby against two consenting adults getting married. Why? Hatred, pure and simple.

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Do you believe in recreational sex between adults if pregnancy is avoided when no pregnancy is wanted?

If so, that is the final straw and I declare you an enemy of conservative Christianity, not that anyone on that side of the isle abstains from sex... :p
Science already shows sex is important so of course I'm for it. Abstinence is stupid. Not only does it affect people mentally (again, science shows this) but it also affects intimacy of relationships.

No sex before marriage is silly IMO.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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Before you can properly accuse Chrono of hypocrisy, you must prove that yg17's statement is 100% literal, being free of irony or facetiousness.
I don't doubt that yg17's post was sarcasm, which is why I responded to Chrono's and not yg's post.

But Chrono responded by saying "honestly, I agree with this" which means he wasn't being sarcastic.

It's not hard to see.
 

jnpy!$4g3cwk

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2010
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I don't see them ever lobbying against divorce
Be careful. I'm old enough to remember when it was next to impossible to get divorced in some states, and, the rules of divorce required that at least one, if not both, parties would lose (the lawyers always won, though).
 

dec.

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The thing I got from that, if you were to link religion, is this. Religious couples are likely to marry quicker, and younger married couples are more likely to divorce.
Plus there seem to be some that get married without any test drive, which probably ends up in disappointments sometimes too ("You know, you could have told me that it's errr ...not exactly huge..." or simply bad chemistry etc.)...
 

MorphingDragon

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I don't doubt that yg17's post was sarcasm, which is why I responded to Chrono's and not yg's post.

But Chrono responded by saying "honestly, I agree with this" which means he wasn't being sarcastic.

It's not hard to see.
What is "this", the intent of the sarcasm or the words themselves?

You need to address this assumption for your accusation of hypocrisy to hold.

Occam's razor would say the intent of the sarcasm.
Be careful. I'm old enough to remember when it was next to impossible to get divorced in some states, and, the rules of divorce required that at least one, if not both, parties would lose (the lawyers always won, though).
I used to work IT for a law firm that did Family law. Some of the lawyers would get payments form the government to represent children in a bad divorce.

Lawyers always win, it's the best system.
 

SLC Flyfishing

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...off topic rant...
I'm not here to quote scripture with you. I know homosexuality is a sin, as are many other things that aren't mentioned explicitly in the bible. But I'm not your spiritual leader, so you're on your own there. I really couldn't care less what (or who) you do, it's your life and your actions are between you and your "higher power". I just reject the notion that society should call what's right wrong, and whats wrong right.

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What is "this", the intent of the sarcasm or the words themselves?

You need to address this assumption for your accusation of hypocrisy to hold.

Occam's razor would say the intent of the sarcasm.
If he agreed with the sarcasm, he would have posted something sarcastic. Instead of how conservative Christianity is bad for everyone and that he "honestly agrees" with the notion that they should be banned from marrying.

Perhaps a "lol I agree" or something along those lines. But "honestly, I agree with this" is not sarcasm.
 

MorphingDragon

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2009
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If he agreed with the sarcasm, he would have posted something sarcastic.
A sarcastic statement can warrant a sincere response. A sincere statement can warrant a sarcastic response. It's a language device, not a piece of grammar.

But then again, you are obviously the most literate in this forum. How dare I question your prowess of the English language. I am unworthy of your knowledge.

Perhaps a "lol I agree" or something along those lines. But "honestly, I agree with this" is not sarcasm.
So you would rather MacRumours devolving into facebook rather than someone trying to express an opinion?
 

chrono1081

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Jan 26, 2008
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I'm not here to quote scripture with you. I know homosexuality is a sin, as are many other things that aren't mentioned explicitly in the bible. But I'm not your spiritual leader, so you're on your own there. I really couldn't care less what (or who) you do, it's your life and your actions are between you and your "higher power". I just reject the notion that society should call what's right wrong, and whats wrong right.

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If he agreed with the sarcasm, he would have posted something sarcastic. Instead of how conservative Christianity is bad for everyone and that he "honestly agrees" with the notion that they should be banned from marrying.

Perhaps a "lol I agree" or something along those lines. But "honestly, I agree with this" is not sarcasm.
So with that first bolded statement you think you can just make up whatever you want about what things aren't explicitly stated in the Bible and decide whether its right or wrong? Hm…

As for your second bolded statement how is two loving consenting adults "wrong"? I'd hate to live in your world where love between two people (again, consenting adults) is wrong.

And lastly, Morphing Dragon is right, it WAS sarcasm. I completely agree that conservatism is a cult, but I'm not going to agree with denying conservatives marriage like that do everyone else. That would bring me down to their level and I don't want to be there.