The Christian divorce rate myth (what you've heard is wrong)


#1

"Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!" It's one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it's perhaps one of the most inaccurate.

Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population.

bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656


#2

[quote="Abyssinia, post:1, topic:229880"]
"Christians divorce at roughly the same rate as the world!" It's one of the most quoted stats by Christian leaders today. And it's perhaps one of the most inaccurate.

Based on the best data available, the divorce rate among Christians is significantly lower than the general population.

bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34656

[/quote]

That would be a "No true scotsman" fallacy =)


#3

I'm sure that the supposed myth comes from the fact that many people who think they're Christian but are actually not (lapsed, JW, w/e) are the ones getting the most divorces. But even if Christians are not getting divorced at as high of a rate as we once thought, the rate is still quite high, especially for we Christians who put the most value on marriage and staying together.


#4

[quote="dskysmine, post:2, topic:229880"]
That would be a "No true scotsman" fallacy =)

[/quote]

??:o


#5

[quote="Daegus, post:3, topic:229880"]
I'm sure that the supposed myth comes from the fact that many people who think they're Christian but are actually not (lapsed, JW, w/e) are the ones getting the most divorces. But even if Christians are not getting divorced at as high of a rate as we once thought, the rate is still quite high, especially for we Christians who put the most value on marriage and staying together.

[/quote]

I was a lapsed catholic when i got married to an atheist lady and soon after that we got divorced and now i am a remarried catholic...but now have problems going for confession and receiving communion..but all my kids are brought up according to catholic ways. I have submitted my marriage annulment petition but till now no development/progress from the Priest who is dealing with the tribunal. How long does it take for an annulment? Can anyone tell me a good reason for this long process?


#6

[quote="dennisngang, post:5, topic:229880"]
I was a lapsed catholic when i got married to an atheist lady and soon after that we got divorced and now i am a remarried catholic...but now have problems going for confession and receiving communion..but all my kids are brought up according to catholic ways. I have submitted my marriage annulment petition but till now no development/progress from the Priest who is dealing with the tribunal. How long does it take for an annulment? Can anyone tell me a good reason for this long process?

[/quote]

That's a topic and question that should be addressed in its own thread.


#7

[quote="dennisngang, post:5, topic:229880"]
I was a lapsed catholic when i got married to an atheist lady and soon after that we got divorced and now i am a remarried catholic...but now have problems going for confession and receiving communion..but all my kids are brought up according to catholic ways. I have submitted my marriage annulment petition but till now no development/progress from the Priest who is dealing with the tribunal. How long does it take for an annulment? Can anyone tell me a good reason for this long process?

[/quote]

Welcome to the forums!

The process takes so long because the church wants to make sure she does a complete job before she declares that you were never really married before (marriage is null=annulment). For the sounds of it, if you were married to an atheist, she may not have been baptized and you may not have been married in the church. If either one is true, then the marriage will most likely be considered null.

The best way to have this addressed is to start a new thread asking this question. There are a lot of great resources on the board, but I don't think they would get to your question unless it up in the title.

Good luck and you will be in my prayers.


#8

[quote="Daegus, post:3, topic:229880"]
I'm sure that the supposed myth comes from the fact that many people who think they're Christian but are actually not (lapsed, JW, w/e) are the ones getting the most divorces. But even if Christians are not getting divorced at as high of a rate as we once thought, the rate is still quite high, especially for we Christians who put the most value on marriage and staying together.

[/quote]

I was thinking that also. When they do those studies or surveys, they likely do not properly define religion. So you'll have bunches of people who are only nominally Catholic or Christian but not practicing identifying themselves as that religion. They should at least follow the religion question with a question on to what extent the religion is practiced.

The page the OP links to importantly points out:

The factor making the most difference is religious commitment and practice. Couples who regularly practice any combination of serious religious behaviors and attitudes -- attend church nearly every week, read their Bibles and spiritual materials regularly; pray privately and together; generally take their faith seriously, living not as perfect disciples, but serious disciples -- enjoy significantly lower divorce rates than mere church members, the general public and unbelievers.

and

The divorce rates of Christian believers are not identical to the general population -- not even close. Being a committed, faithful believer makes a measurable difference in marriage.

Saying you believe something or merely belonging to a church, unsurprisingly, does little for marriage. But the more you are involved in the actual practice of your faith in real ways -- through submitting yourself to a serious body of believers, learning regularly from Scripture, being in communion with God though prayer individually and with your spouse and children, and having friends and family around you who challenge you to take you marriage's seriously -- the greater difference this makes in strengthening both the quality and longevity of our marriages. Faith does matter and the leading sociologists of family and religion tell us so.

Two very important points.


#9

This is more of an aside or observation than a response, but a fellow worker and I were talking one day and he mentioned that Catholic annullment was the same as divorce. I said, "Let's test that theory ... how many people do you know who are divorced?"

"Oh lots," he said. We went through a list of divorced people, including a couple on our work crew.

Then I asked, "Okay, how many people do you know who are annulled?"

He was silent for a moment and then said, "I don't know but I'm sure it's lots."

"But you don't know."

"But it's gotta be lots."

"But you don't know."

"Neither do you."

"But you don't know."

"No, I don't. But you don't know that it isn't the same as divorce."

"Yeah, I do," I said. "Because it's not easy to get an annullment. Anyone can get a divorce."

Something to think about.


#10

Thanks for posting the article. More data for teaching Pre-Cana!

I know that in our marriage, there were several points where the Church was the glue that held us together. We would have been a statistic long ago without Her.

I would love to see statistics on contraception and divorce. I would imagine that couples who reject ABC are much more likely to together, but I wish I had a number to share!

Gary


#11

[quote="LWOTF, post:10, topic:229880"]

I would love to see statistics on contraception and divorce. I would imagine that couples who reject ABC are much more likely to together, but I wish I had a number to share!

Gary

[/quote]

I would think so too.


#12

The statistics only count if you change the definition of Christian to only include Christians who divorce less.


#13

Using the phrase "divorce rate" is 50% as it is not a true stat as it would depend on the make up of which factors you want to include in the study.
Its not as issue saying X number of people got married and Y number of people got divorced. Its more complicated than that.

I tend to agree with my mothers advice...Tell me what you want to prove and i can find a stat to prove it.

We should not focused on only "christians" get divorced at a lower rate like its some badge of honor. We should be working on educating all to help our society have less divorce, better marriage and protecting our childern from the disruction of the family.

freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1386478/posts

But researchers say that this is misleading because the people who are divorcing in any given year are not the same as those who are marrying, and that the statistic is virtually useless in understanding divorce rates. In fact, they say, studies find that the divorce rate in the United States has never reached one in every two marriages, and new research suggests that, with rates now declining, it probably never will.


#14

I don't lead a sheltered life. Really, I don't. My folks divorced when I was 31 (gone from home and married already). There's tons of divorce in my close and extended family.

But I can think of only ONE divorced friend or aquintance my age or younger who is an weekly mass attender, and active in something else beyond mere Sunday mass attendance. And that couple I don't know well enough to know if they ever used NFP or have been to confession in their adult lives. I'm talking dozens of people here, folks.

I don't NEED no stinkin' study to tell me what the difference is. I can see it clearly in my friends and family. It's Christ and an attitude on the part of the couple that says Yes to Him over the desires of self.


#15

And in any case what they should be looking at is not the raw divorce rate, but the divorce-and-remarriage-to-another-whilst-the previous-spouse-is-alive rate. Divorce, strictly per se, is not necessarily contrary to Christian doctrine. There are cases where a spouse has done nothing wrong in the marriage, but whose spouse has forced a divorce upon him/her, and who live chastely not seeking to date or court anyone else during the lifetime of the previous spouse. There are tragic cases where it is necessary for a spouse to obtain a civil divorce in order to adequately protect him/herself and the children from an habitually violent/abusive/addicted spouse, and to safeguard his/her property and child guardianship rights. Sadly there are even more tragic cases where a person becoming a practising Christian is the cause of his/her militantly anti-Christian spouse forcing a divorce.


closed #16

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