The new ‘States of Marriage and Divorce Study’ published by the Pew Research Center shows that the highest divorce rates primarily come from the states typically referred to as the “Bible Belt”.
I live in the South. Right smack in the middle of the Bible Belt, in fact. And it seems like down here that you can’t drive anywhere without passing an uncountable number of churches… even if you’re just going to the store five minutes away. I pass four churches on my one mile trip to Albertson’s. For the most part, they’re all beautiful buildings, filled with good intentioned beautiful people. And yes, they’re FILLED with people! The attendance for churches in the South leads the nation. In fact, according to a new study by Barna Research, Baton Rouge (where I live) was just listed as tied for #2 for church attendance (tied with Salt Lake City at 61% of weekly attendance, behind Birmingham, AL with 67% of people being weekly churchgoers, and just beating out Huntsville, AL at 60%).
But according to this new Pew study on divorce… cross referenced with the new 9 year study from Barna on Christianity and church attendance… it seems like being a good Christian, and going to church… might not necessarily help the institution of marriage much. In fact, it may even hurt it: (Note: I will explain why this is, and how we can lead our way out of this disturbing trend in the next few months. Stand by. But for now, here is the reality we must change:)
Texas leads the nation in thrice married (or more) adults in total count. Arkansas is the state that leads 3-time marriage counts in percentage of its population. The states of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada (along with a few others) find themselves above average in the three time marriage category. In fact the only thing that saves a clean sweep of the entire southern US being in the trash can when it comes to divorce rates, is that California is actually below average in the three marriage category and in the overall simple divorce stats as well (although it should be noted that California is most often identified as ‘West Coast’, so it’s somewhat of an empty win for the South). Please Note: It’s important to also notice that ironically California is also is home to the #1, #5, #7, and #8 cities in the country with citizens who least identify themselves as being Christians (San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles) according to Barna. (However almost 7 out of 10 people in SanFrancisco identify themselves as Christian, which is still an overwhelming majority.)
For reference, New York and Massachusetts lead the nation in the lowest three-time marriage rates, and they also have lower than average divorce rates. In the Barna study those states’ largest cities (New York and Boston) are listed as #6, and #9 on the states with the lowest Christian percentages.
So is Christianity and churchgoing really not good for marriage?
First, correlation is not causation. But to answer that question plainly; the problem here ISN’T Christianity or churchgoing. But I do think that part of the problem with divorce… and crime… and bigtory… and hatred… and fear… IS directly connected with the way that Christianity is being taught. Which is why I AM Spirituality exists. The fact is… that there is a wonderful spiritual truth that resides below the surface in full compliment of the teachings of Jesus found in the Bible, and in full compliment of numerous other religions’ primary messages also. And thankfully, this truth is one that you can tap into yourself without hearing from someone preaching it to you. No faith required here. There are no preachers here. Only guides to the stuff keeping you from real spirituality (so you can move that stuff out of the way). And we present it so you can see it, hear it, feel it.
And this truth can not only help save marriages… it can save society as a whole, and solve most of mankind’s innermost challenges.
Stand by. We just finished the comprehensive Body, Mind, Spirit Model that explains every action every human has ever taken, and will ever take, and that holds people back from being able to live more like Jesus did. With compassion, love, and forgiveness. Even for your undeserving, difficult spouse. 😉
For reference, you can read the e(ntire Pew study here, and read about the Barna study here. For the rest, you will need to subscribe to this blog (there’s a link to do that on every page) so you get the automated email alert anytime a new video goes up. Don’t miss out. This stuff is going to change the way we look at humanity and the world.
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