Christian Polling Group Finds Atheists Divorce Less Than Christians

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An Evangelical Christian pollster finds that atheists commit less crimes, divorce less, and are better educated than their fellow Christians. 


“It is obvious that you do not have to believe in a higher power in order to live a moral and successful life. Quite the opposite,” the Knoxville News‘ Al Westerfield writes of the study, adding that “the groups with the highest crime rate, the poorest marriages and the lowest education continually strive to force their beliefs on the nonreligious. And the politicians pander to them. Why else would they pass laws to put religion in the schools and on courthouse facades? And then they wonder why the godless could possibly be upset.”

“According to a Barna Research Group report, fundamentalist Christians have the highest divorce rate, followed by Jews and Baptists,” Westerfield writes:

The godless are tied with Catholics and Lutherans for the lowest divorce rate. It seems that some groups that claim to follow the Bible most strictly are not putting their money where their mouths are. The godless who are thought to be without morals seem to take their vows more seriously.

Written By: David Badash
continue to source article at thenewcivilrightsmovement.com

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  1. Well, that’s irritating. I tried to find the original source of these statistics online via google, and when I found an article that contained sources religioustolerance.org, the first source with the data tells me that “Barna no longer has this report online”. Fortunately, that site has a pretty comprehensive breakdown of the statistics based on location, age, religion, and Christian denomination: “The data showed that the highest divorce rates were found in the Bible Belt.”

  2. @OP – An Evangelical Christian pollster finds that atheists commit less crimes, divorce less, and are better educated than their fellow Christians.

    US prison figures seem to support this view!

    Atheists don’t commit as much crime as the Religious do.

    Congratulations atheists… you are more well-behaved than the rest of society. No, this isn’t a “pat you on the back” piece. But, I think it’s important for us to remember that we ARE moral people that know how to be good citizens without a divine babysitter telling us what’s right and wrong. And, there is evidence to show that this is correct.

    • In reply to #3 by Alan4discussion:

      @OP – An Evangelical Christian pollster finds that atheists commit less crimes, divorce less, and are better educated than their fellow Christians.

      US prison figures seem to support this view!

      Some have noted that this statistic may be skewed because religious belief in prison comes with benefits – being able to leave for services as well as a positive reception by parole boards.

  3. The article said “worldwide studies found that criminality and religion go hand in hand. The countries with the most religious people have the highest crime rates, highest sexually transmitted diseases and the highest teen pregnancy rates.”
    and they are under educated !! What kind of morality is that ?…..more like sheep condemned to the slaughter…
    Religion likes to keep their people down on their knees in servitude and ignorant of their human rights….They might as well be in a cage at the zoo…..like animals with no control over their own bodies or reproduction…Its a primitive disgrace….

  4. Taking oaths seriously was the first hint that I was atheist. When attending mass as a kid, the whole church would recite the nicene creed (or the apostles creed in some instances), I would sit there and abjectly disagree with most (or all) of the tenets proffered in the words of the prayer. I simply COULD NOT be okay with the shit that was the central tenet of the faith.

    When I say this to my believer friends, they (to my horror) would AGREE with me but still think they were part of the faith. As if an omnipotent god could be fooled about the thoughts your are (or aren’t) having while professing your faith.

    It drove me away at a very early age, even though I still stood in the church until I was old enough to walk away.

  5. Maybe I need to rethink my atheism, this article suggests I could get more action if I sign up with the nutters. Not sure I’m sure enough of myself to be that self righteous. Amazing aside – I left out the space in self righteous and my kindle corrected it to astrophysics.

  6. Why might this be?

    1. Christians have an unrealistic belief that divine intervention will help hold the relationship together.
    2. Unrealistic expectations of virtue as defined by religion. I could hardly imagine an atheist gay male couple for example getting divorced over a single instance of adultery.
    3. Christians rely on incompetent counselors — unmarried priests and theologians.
    4. Christianity teaches scolding, intolerance and nit picking. Partners drive each other away.
  7. One of the benefits of being an atheist is that you no longer have to outsource your life’s decisions to some third party, i.e. a deity. The buck starts and stops with you. This, in my opinion, is the first step to adulthood and a genuine morality.

  8. There’s the other reason to add: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”:

    Religion is generally held by poorer people in tougher conditions, so the social dynamics around such things as crime and stable relations are a great deal more strenuous. Atheists tend to be in a more comfortable position economically (not always I stress, but I’d predict a corrrelation will be there), so have had the time to think through what they’re doing, have gotten educated rather than marrying young and finding out what a mistake that was. Hence a lower divorce rate.

  9. One factor may be that atheists follow at set of values because they believe in them; the values are right and just, and atheists make rational decisions to live by those values. The religious follow a set of values because they are told to; they believe they will be punished if they do not follow them. It is easier to follow rules that you believe in than rules that you are forced to follow.

  10. I resent the implication that if you are not married you are not living a moral life. Read first sentence. I for one don’t believe in god but I also don’t get how somebody who signs a document should get more rights than somebody who doesn’t. BTW, I’m married. I know I’ll get my coat.

  11. we’ve all been asked “if you don’t believe in an all-seeing god, what’s to stop you committing xxxx…?”

    this question should be “if you believe in an all-forgiving god and an eternal afterlife after this brief existance, what stops you committing xxxx…?”

    belief in god isn’t a philosophy to be good, it’s insurance for being bad

  12. I’ll hypothesise that the causal connection is intelligence.

    My rusty memory suggests that low divorce rate correlates with high intelligence. Its possible because smarter people are smarter at picking a suitable partner in the first place, and then successfully negotiating living together. There is the same correlation with crime. There is also correlation with wealth, which also reduces incentive for petty theft. We also know that atheism correlates with intelligence.

    The brain also requires exercise. I can imagine a region where the schools are crap resulting in a adult population with lower IQ than a region where the schools intellectually stretch their pupils. That and the smart people leaving for more prosperous regions (which also correlates with IQ).

  13. I think there might be a simple social psychology explanation for divorce rates.

    Everyone knows it’s well-established the opposite sex are impossible to live with. Particular the ones of opposite sex to me. And it’s even worse for homosexuals because the problem then just extends to all sexes.

    When cherished beliefs (like marriage vows) are uncomfortably disrupted by the facts of reality (cognitive dissonance) there is an extraordinarily strong drive for people to appear consistent with their previously publicly proclaimed beliefs. This means that if the ostensible reason for a belief must be discarded then the affected individual is obsessively compelled to establish an appropriately credible substitute belief to maintain consistency (and social stability).

    Generally the new justification for the belief is likely a better justification, and therefore less prone to similar subsequent invalidation. But it is still likely to be motivated reasoning. So any superficially plausible explanation will probably suffice for the purpose. Chances are that people eventually become immune to cognitive dissonance and lose the ability to justify continuing their marriage.

    Maybe most religious people are justifiably doubtful about the strength of their irrational faith. But they don’t have anything suitable to replace it with.

    Maybe non-believers in the supernatural monitoring of marriages are compelled to find other more substantial reasons for continuing marriage right from the outset. The smarter the people the more creative their rationalisations, and the more consistent they might be with reality. Alternatively, maybe the sense of privacy enabled by the lack of supernatural voyeurism in the bedroom makes for better sex.

    • In reply to #23 by Pete H:

      I think there might be a simple social psychology explanation for divorce rates.

      Everyone knows it’s well-established the opposite sex are impossible to live with. Particular the ones of opposite sex to me. And it’s even worse for homosexuals because the problem then just extends to all sexes.

      Whe…

      Well…at any rate I understand and agree with your last sentence!!

  14. I am somewhat confused… Isn’t this old news? I’m pretty sure the original Barna study was in 1998 with a follow-up in 2008, so at least five years ago! Mr Badash, what’s your source other than a news story which sources another news story which in turn sources… nothing?

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