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Christian Polling Group Finds Atheists Divorce Less Than Christians

by David Badash on July 2, 2013

in News,Religion

Post image for Christian Polling Group Finds Atheists Divorce Less Than Christians

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.

According to a Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life Survey, the least-educated Americans are Jehovah’s Witnesses, followed by black Protestants and fundamentalist Christians. The most highly educated are reformed Jews, followed by Unitarian Universalists and the godless.

Some groups seem to like their flocks ignorant so that pastors’ interpretations of God’s edicts are not questioned. Other groups prize scholarship and achieve more in their lives here on Earth.

In fact, a review of 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.

This is also true in the United States. The more religious a state’s population, the higher the crime, STD and teen pregnancy rates. The report does say that the religious are happier than the secular but posits that the ostracism of the latter may be a major cause.

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{ 23 comments }

ukvillafan July 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Well, knock me down with a feather, as we say here in the UK. How surprising is this – NOT!! :-)

fpcinnyc July 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I'm so glad I got over my religion!

Truth_Stalker July 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I was never actually 'religious' to begin with, but I must say that I'm immensely proud of those (like you) who were religious once, and have taken the morally fulfilling road by walking away. Congratulations. Glad to have you on our side! :-)

bndkllr2 July 2, 2013 at 4:21 pm

It looks like the Fundamentalists have their new enemy now-Atheism. Or rather, FACTS.

jmi2 July 3, 2013 at 11:54 am

and now there is the latest research that shows the 'Nones', that includes atheists, are now the 2nd largest religious group in the U.S. only after catholics. wait! that's an oxymoron. they aren't a religious group. that's why they are called 'Nones'. oh, well.

Kel_Dommage July 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

Hey – full props to Barna Research Group for discovering this and publishing the results!

colibriverde January 22, 2014 at 1:22 am

Of course, being a conservative Christian group, they try to spin the results, so I wouldn't give them too much credit. On their website, they state that atheists and agnostics have behaviors that "distort comparisons with other groups". If you go to their website, you'll see that they completely rationalize the results to be in their, (conservative Christian) favor. https://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-fam

weevolved July 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

That is to say the more we know about EVERYTHING (the more educated we are) the more we understand the value of evidence to explain it, and how devoid is the evidence for any gods. Hasn't this always been the cry of the pious? The one most dangerous threat to one's faith is KNOWING TOO MUCH!

erikaritter November 15, 2013 at 1:28 am

I would have to respectfully disagree. I think the most dangerous threat to one's faith is NOT KNOWING ENOUGH. There are so many people who call themselves Christians yet know nothing about being a Christian. They don't follow Bible standards or even know what the Bible says. It just makes them feel all warm and fuzzy to say they are Christian. I think any polling on the Christian vs non-Christian society is going to be skewed because so many non-Christians consider themselves Christians. Likewise there are Christians who bury their heads in the Bible, only hang out with other Christians and know nothing about other beliefs, religions, science or the outside World. They cannot defend their beliefs because they have not challenged their beliefs. Many were raised to believe but don't have any reason for believing themselves and that's wrong. I believe every one should know as much as they can to be convinced of what they believe. This article is comparable to saying, "Monogamists have more partners than Polygamists"…that doesn't make sense. If a person has more than one partner…they are not monogamous. Likewise, if nothing you do fits with Christianity, then you're not a Christian — not sure what you are but Christianity is pretty clearly defined. People who continuously commit crimes, divorce their spouses for no reason, hurt people with other beliefs and hate others who are different: people who gossip and create arguments…those people are not Christians and it's unfair to judge all people in that group based on the actions of hypocrites.

colibriverde January 22, 2014 at 12:57 am

You seem to be saying that when Christians act immorally, then they are not Christians. To me, that just seems like a way to unfairly maintain your sense of moral superiority over non-Christians. The truth is, Christians can and do commit crimes, divorce, hurt people, etc. And apparently, they do these things more often than atheists do.

nikflorida March 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

Carry that thought forward a little bit (you can do that, can't you?)

Since Christians commit crimes, divorce, and hurt people more often than atheists, perhaps that would imply that Christianity is NOT effective at improving a person's moral standards?

Truth_Stalker July 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

It's 'revelations' (pun intended) like this one that make me proud to be the godless heathen that I am. Any book that is 85% dysfunctional and only 15% 'decent' is NO place to extrapolate morals from. Humankind would've abandoned religion a LONG time ago, but unfortunately, there's tons of money to be made by taking advantage of believers, as well as the general public via politricks (formerly Politics). If we fight to get rid of the monetary system, all things dependent on it will perish (religion, political corruption, most crimes, infomercials, etc.) This is why I have joined to fight to make the world a better place for all people by supporting Jacque Fresco's 'The Venus Project'.

www(dot)thevenusproject(dot)com

cplantin September 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

As a freethinker, I resent being called "godless." The proper term is "godfree."

Proudatheist69 November 10, 2013 at 6:38 am

I am an atheist but I think this is not surprising. The religious community feels pressure to get married. Also realize there is a certain percent of religious men right off the bat, that probably will not have sex before marriage and being a normal adult male with certain needs, rushes to the altar. Still though, I think religious are a disgrace to marriage and they are ruining the institution, not homosexuals in love.

moroyal November 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Don't know if it's worth pointing out, or not, but the divorces rate stats only holds true if there if no distinctions made between self-proclaiming "Christians" and those who try to follow the example of Jesus. I.E. Those who attend church on a regular basis, hold a biblical worldview, evangelize, etc. have significantly lower divorce rates than any other demographic.

colibriverde January 22, 2014 at 1:13 am

If someone proclaims that they are Christian, who are you to say that they are not?

babzilicious November 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm

I'm an ex-Jehovah's Witness … not at all surprised that JW's rank among the least educated. College is not encouraged unless the end result allows one to be a full-time minister, or pioneer. Lots of home schooling going on as well. Glad I got out, got my degree, and embraced my atheism. My husband (also an atheist) and I have been happily married for almost 8 years. So there! :-P

bndkllr2 November 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I think the information age has signalled the final blow to most uppressive religious dogma. And THANK GOD! History has shown that when societies overcome their ills, they shed religion like a snake sheds its skin. I am not totally against religion, because I think what we consider supernatural will eventually be accounted for by natural processes, including a consciousness that permiates the universe. But I also think human nature has used ignorance as crowd control, which is what most organized religion is, in my opinion.

camotim December 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Probably because they marry a lot less than Christians.

CitizenWhy February 18, 2014 at 11:55 pm

More fundamental Christians tend to assert that God causes every action so they act immaturely and irresponsibly. And some believe they are saved forever after baptism so they don't have to act responsibly.

Why would anyone be surprised that a group that preaches contempt for women and preaches a totalitarian status for the husband would have marriages that don't work?

nikflorida March 8, 2014 at 9:25 am

Um, aren't Baptists "fundamentalist Christians"?

James Smith April 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Are you an evangelical christian? Most atheists know the difference between "less" and "fewer". "They commit fewer crimes and divorce less."

CitizenWhy April 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

This is no surprise to me. When women and men or men and men or women and women enter marriage with a concern for some kind of equal partnership and mutual respect, rather than numbing subordination, then the marriages are stronger. The marriages among the seculars and liberal Christians and Jews that I know are very strong, not cluttered with nonsensical rigidity about roles.

The Evangelicals are afraid to confront their self-delusion. They use Leviticus to condemn homosexuals yet Leviticus commands the death sentence for adulterers, and most divorces start with adultery. There is no death sentence prescribed for homosexuality. So until their congregations start killing off the many adulterers among their pastors and pew mates they really need to lay off Leviticus, lol.

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