Mike Cope's blog

Monday, December 06, 2004

The state with the lowest divorce rate in the most recent statistics? Massachusetts. Nine of the ten states with the lowest divorce rates are blue states. Of the states with the highest divorce stats, all ten are red states. Add to this the findings of George Barna, a "born-again Christian," who found that "born-again Christians" have about the highest divorce rates in the USA. What's that about?


  • Thank you for pointing out that George is "Barn-again."

    By Blogger Grant, at 12/06/2004 01:29:00 PM  

  • Kinda puts the "Protection of Marriage Amendment" into perspective, huh? It looks like Christians, Heterosexuals, and Red Staters have done a fine enough job of destroying the institution of marriage, thank you very much...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/06/2004 01:46:00 PM  

  • IMO - people in the "red states" do get married in large percentage, which is not necessarily the case in many of the "blue states" where co-habitation is more prevalent, ergo fewer marriages = fewer divorces.

    Also, in the US, because of the tax laws, many couples in high income levels are deciding to go with legal separation rather than divorce. The highest per capita income states are mostly blue states, ergo higher income can = fewer divorces and more legal separations.

    And how often do we address the difficulties of maintaining a marriage in our churches? How often do we teach them that "marriage" is not a noun, it's a verb. Does the church give young marrieds the mentoring they truly need? How many Titus women are coming alongside the younger women to mentor them? Same goes for the guys.

    Here I go again, but if we want our young families to see what they'll face as divorced single parents, encourage them to volunteer in your church's Single Parent Family Ministry. Seriously!

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/06/2004 01:59:00 PM  

  • Statistics!!! Could it be that Massachusetts has the lower divorce rate because people there don't bother to get married in the first place? I don't know that this is true, but statistics by themselves, without further comment, do not necessarily suggest that "Christians, heterosexuals and red staters" have destroyed the institution of marriage. I do know that the divorce rate among "born aginners" is probably not a lot different than the general population, but is the marriage rate the same? It is a pertinent question, because if a large percentage of people just shack up, and then break up, but are not included in the population of the study, the apparent result may be misleading.

    That being said, I agree that the divorce rate among people of faith is way too high. But don't draw the conclusion that it is because they are "Christian, heterosexuals or red staters."

    By Blogger don, at 12/06/2004 01:59:00 PM  

  • Red State, Born-Again Divorced and Fired by the church you tell me I am still trying to figure it all out.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/06/2004 02:20:00 PM  

  • Hmmm.......maybe the fact that you can't get divorced unless you ARE married has something to do with it. My guess is that the divorce rate in San Francisco is even LESS than it is in Mass. How is that?

    I haven't looked at the figures lately, but if they are consistent with the past, the divorce rate in most of Africa is close to ZERO......remember, large parts of the continent have never heard of Christianity or Jesus the Christ. But, the rate of adultery and unfaithfulness is out the roof!

    Yes, divorce among Christians is a sorry testimony to the world of our discipleship and transformation.

    By Blogger David U, at 12/06/2004 03:09:00 PM  

  • Perhaps all the above is true. But, perhaps the statistics follow the stereotypes. Blue=tolerant, red=less tolerant, born again=rule keeping. If so, God has a lot of work on his hands which translates to God's servants have a lot of work on their hands.

    By Blogger WDS, at 12/06/2004 07:25:00 PM  

  • I thought there was neither Jew nor Greek, nor Blue state nor Red state in Christ. Oh well. Sorry, maybe it's the long day, but this hit me the wrong way and I say it's the worst Mike Cope post yet. Red and Blue are all screwed up. Neither stats nor politics will ever prove how much we all need Jesus. Interesting. No, sad. Maybe it's because the ink on my sister's divorce papers haven't dried and seeing how she and my ex-brother-in-law are being so selfish and just disgusting about it. Nothing to do with their claims or politics but everything to do with their hard hearts.

    By Blogger Jon, at 12/06/2004 07:53:00 PM  

  • I think it's about the high number of human beings in the world, each "group" with its own distinct set of struggles, each person with his or her own selfishness, each one with his or her own flaws. The way the numbers show up when we map any number of sins is often both ironic and sad. Just shows how much grace we as God's people have received and how we are no more deserving of it than anyone else. Maybe that's what it's about, at least in part.

    By Blogger Q, at 12/06/2004 09:32:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger J-Wild, at 12/06/2004 09:48:00 PM  

  • Here are more statistics on divorce (http://www.divorcemag.com/statistics/statsUS.shtml) than a person might ever want to see. The lower divorce rate in MA I think has more to do with the fact that MA and New England in general tend to be more staunchly Catholic rather than people just aren't getting married. Besides aren't the statistics presented in percentages rather than raw numbers?

    To me Mike's post just affirms the idea that marriage, in the best of circumstances, is hard and people fail at it all the time. The church has little power in keeping people together. We can teach, model, walk beside, mentor, and rebuke but in the end marriages that start off bad often end up bad. I would be curious to know the divorce rate for ACU. Gaining some perspective from living in NYC I am amazed at how young a lot of students at ACU are when they decide to get married (I was one of them). Are the students properly equipped to deal with the underlying pressure at a place like ACU that they must find their spouse? What about when students make dangerous compromises for fear of graduating without a potential spouse? These things weren't specifically addressed when I was there. There is a collision course of abstinence, lust, immaturity, loneliness, fear, desire, faithfulness to God, and social pressure that can make for a dangerous match making situations at Christian Universities. This scenario plays out in Christian Colleges all over the country and isn't limited to the Churches of Christ. Just to be clear I feel lucky to have found my wife and we have a fantastic relationship (she is a Harding graduate), but I know others who aren't as fortunate.

    What the church does do that the world doesn't is recognize the hurt, destruction, pain, and devastation that a divorce brings. In these things the church helps to display the redemption, healing, and grace of God in those situations. I feel like the world is desperate to make sense of the pain of divorce, (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6594607/site/newsweek/) but they just can't reconcile it deep down. I agree that this problem isn't a partisan issue, and we, as Christians should never treat those whom we disagree with as anything but Children of God not Blue Staters or Red Staters

    By Blogger J-Wild, at 12/06/2004 09:53:00 PM  

  • As unexpected as it might be for some that the red states have a higher divorce rate, it might also be unexpected to some to hear that the blue states who speak out so admirably for the poor are the least charitable with their money. Check it out:


    By Blogger Brian, at 12/06/2004 10:12:00 PM  

  • Brian - are we then to conclude that if we talk a lot about the poor, but keep our money enclosed in a tight fist, we can then count on staying out of the divorce court? Hmmmm! lol

    By Blogger Kathy, at 12/07/2004 06:03:00 AM  

  • Jon - My worst post ever? No way! Have you read some of the stinkers I've written over the past year and half? :) Thanks for your note. I'm sorry this caught you at such a tender time (in your family). I hope you can see this morning (12/7) where I was leading this discussion. Mike

    By Blogger Mike, at 12/07/2004 06:11:00 AM  

  • Nothing Is What It Seems
    by Linda M Hill

    Every Sunday morning I see
    You sitting in the pew
    Greeting the congregation
    As you always do
    A smile pasted on your face
    You shake everyone's hand
    You are the mirrored image of
    The most perfect man

    I always looked up to you
    I thought you were the best
    One giant step above me
    Better than the rest
    You are so well loved
    The pillar of our community
    Looked on with admiration
    And complete dignity

    Your wife teaches sunday school
    Your children kneel and pray
    The perfect christian family
    Is what I used to say
    There is a secret life
    You keep hidden deep inside
    When I found out about it
    Respect slowly died

    I learned that all your money
    Don't buy you happiness
    And even with your beautiful home
    There's something that you miss
    I don't condone what you do
    It's none of my concern
    Who am I to judge you
    For taking the wrong turn

    The congregration smiles
    As they gather all around
    The choir sing's Amazing Grace
    Such a lovely sound
    You sit quietly in the pew
    But only I can see
    Your wink at my best friend
    Smiling beside me

    (C) Linda Hill 2004

    By Blogger David Michael, at 12/07/2004 06:30:00 AM  

  • i can only assume that bush will begin pushing for a constitutional ban on divorce.

    of course, that loses him key talking heads like rush and newt.


    By Blogger chrismith, at 12/07/2004 08:40:00 AM  

  • The more blogs I read, the more wisdom I see in the seperation between church and state! OH my! IMO ~ Red and blue states are just states. Stats don't ever mean as much as we like to think they do. God hates divorce. God loves us.

    By Blogger SG, at 12/07/2004 09:22:00 AM  

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