The Elusive Wapiti updates his “Marry a Zealot” post

The Elusive Wapiti updates his marital advice for young Christian men.

He begins like tis:

Ten months ago, I published the second installment in the ‘Advice to My Sons’ series, titled “Marry a Zealot“, in which I exhort them and others to become fervent Believers–and seek out other Believers as mates–to best insure them against the ravages of divorce should they marry.

The point of that post was to highlight the additional protection that serious religious conviction, as indicated by active religious attendance, provides them against divorce, an important consideration for men in the post-Christian West nowadays. By way of contrast, a secondary point of that post was to show that mere self-identification or occasional participation in religious services exposed a fellow of the marrying kind to greater risk of marital disruption than if he and/or his wife had no religious affiliation at all.

Since the link to the pdf that supported that post has since disappeared, I did some spadework to recover the data that supports this advice.  I was able to locate it here, on page 9 of the scholarly article Bad News about the Good News–The Construction of the Christian-Failure NarrativeJournal of Religion & Society, volume 14.  The article drew the data shown in the following tables from the General Social Survey, 1980-2009.

His main concern is how religious belief correlates with divorce.

Here shows the evidence then says this:

When one takes one’s faith seriously enough to put it into action, as measured in this case by attending church at least once per week, this behavior appears to yield anti-divorce benefits.  Yet I am thoroughly unimpressed with a 38% divorce rate for Evangelicals, a group whose noisy claims to family values are belied by their itchy dissolutive trigger fingers. Moreover, the picture for active black Protestants remains dark and grim; their marriages garner no protection whatsoever from church attendance.  The data for Roman Catholics is much more encouraging, and it seems that the RCC has been more effective than Protestant denominations at countering the scourge of divorce. Perhaps the theological rigidity and hierarchical structure associated with Marianism makes it less vulnerable to socio-political contagions like feminism and divorce, while the, ahem, diversity, of Protestantism makes it more prone to worldly influences.

I think that it is a good idea in general for young men to not leave marriage at the level of feelings. I have posted before a list of questions to find out if a woman is a zealot. I think that young Christian men should read Wapiti’s post and then my post and then act accordingly.

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