Quick little dash in to say hi and talk about the Christian concept of “traditional marriage.” I haven’t had my wakeyjuice yet, but if I’d had any in front of me, this piece here would have gotten coffee all over my monitor! Well said, well said.
It’s SFW–for those whose clicking fingers are still tired, a recent study has discovered that not only do conservative Christians divorce more often than other religious (and non-religious) groups, not only do Christian-heavy states have more divorce than more secular states, but areas with lots of conservative Christians increase the divorce rate for everybody in the area–even people who aren’t Christian. We already knew that conservative Christians divorce as often as, if not more often than, other groups. They tend to marry young, pop out babies too quickly, don’t understand their bodies or show respect for their own needs, face lower incomes as a result of the early breeding (and their preference for having a stay-at-home wife/mother even if they can’t really afford to do it), and suffer from rigid gender roles that guarantee conflict and resentment. I couldn’t possibly write a better script for divorce than that–they’ve left nothing whatsoever to chance.
But this study’s found out that the higher conservative Christian divorce rates affect even people who aren’t conservative Christians. In areas dominated by conservative Christianity, even people who totally aren’t part of that group divorce more often. The blog piece does a good job of answering why that might be, but I’m sure most of us who are survivors can already guess; areas dominated by those folks are marked by early marriage, misogyny, lack of access to contraception and abortion, incomplete or inaccurate sex education, stigmatization of sex, lower incomes, higher crime and drug-abuse rates, and less education in general. The real shock is finding couples who stay together.
We’re going to talk about this study a little more later on when we talk about the Big Grace Issue I’ve got percolating over here. I want you to be thinking about this study today and wondering why there isn’t a bit more of a “trickle-down” effect. Conservative Christians have told me repeatedly that they think they’re the “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”–it’s how they justify their repeated attempts to force the rest of us to act the way they think they should act. But even as they’re trying to force their views about marriage onto the rest of us, they can’t even keep up the charade in their own private lives. It seems to me that letting gay folks marry does way less “damage” to marriage than all these straight folks who marry unwisely and then divorce. (But I’m reluctant to make too much noise about that last bit–there’re already way too many Christian men who think no-fault divorce laws are the real problem here, letting all these no-good slutty sluts can just up and dump a Godly Christian Husband for any old reason they want. We’re going to talk about this stuff as well next week.)
Gay people aren’t the biggest threat to conservative Christians’ conceptualization of “traditional marriage.” I’ve always said that conservative Christians themselves are. The more numbers we get, the more studies we do, the more statistics we assemble, the more it seems like conservative Christianity’s take on marriage is not only the stuff of sheerest fantasy but also a big fat failure.
Yeah, me either.