Atheism and marriage

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The atheist divorce rate is a steep 37%.[1]

For more information, please see: Atheism and divorce

Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote about atheism and marriage: "Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews... According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics."[2]

The atheist divorce rate is a steep 37%.[1] Additionally, 51% of atheists are likely to cohabit and 31% of atheists never actually get married.[1]

According to the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) over 50% of all atheists and agnostics don’t get married.[3] The fertility rate is significantly lower in the atheist population (see: Atheism and fertility rates).

The social researcher and author Shaunti Feldhahn found that those who attend church regularly have a significantly lower divorce rate than those who don’t.[4][5] Feldhahn conducted eight years of research on divorce statistics and examined U.S. Census data, data from various university centers and relevant books/journals.[6] In addition, Feldhahn interviewed social science researchers about their methodology and to confirm various quotes.[7]

In relation to atheism and divorce, Vox Day wrote in his book The Irrational Atheist about atheist Daniel Dennett's arguments related to divorce:

Dennett further claims that “brights” have better family values than born-again Christians based on “the lowest divorce rate in the United States” which depends on the flawed 1999 Barna study instead of the 2001 ARIS study he makes use of later in the book, a much larger study that reaches precisely the opposite conclusion. It is certainly a quixotic assertion, considering that these family value atheists are half as likely to get married, twice as likely to divorce, and have fewer children than any other group in the United States...

Barna calculated divorces as a percentage of the entire group, not as a percentage of marriages within that group. Since according to ARIS 2001 more than half of all atheists and agnostics don’t get married, this is an apple-orange comparison. If one correctly excludes the never-married from the calculation, then atheists are 58.7 percent more likely to get divorced than Pentecostals and Baptists, the two born-again Christian groups with the highest rate of divorce, and more than twice as likely to get divorced than Christians in general.[8]

Furthermore, the Christian apologist Ken Ammi wrote in his atheism article at Creation Ministries International:

“According to Barna, ‘Forty-two percent of adults who associate with a faith other than Christianity had co-habited, while atheists were the most likely to do so (51%).

“It is critical to stress that it is a well known fact that cohabiters experience a very high number of ‘breakups’ before getting married. ‘Millions of people … believe that cohabitation is a prelude to marriage. And for many, it is. However, Smock reports that 45% of cohabitations break up with no marriage. Another 10% continue cohabiting.’

“Barna did not include this enlightening fact in his research. Thus, if 21% of atheists divorce after marriage, and 45 % break up once or more before marriage, what we have is the astounding rate of about 66% of atheist couples experiencing ‘at least’ one break up. If, however, the number is 37%, then we have a shocking figure of 82% …

“What needs mentioning is the fact that many atheists do not cohabit as a prelude to marriage. They in fact see cohabitation as ‘equivalent’ to any marriage relationship … These break ups were not included in the Barna research …

“The appellation ‘Christian’ a Christian does not make. There are great numbers of people in this world who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have never internalized the teachings of Jesus Christ." … [9]

See also: Atheism and divorce

Irreligion and illegitimate births

See also: Atheism and illegitimate births

Ben Judah wrote in his article London’s religious awakening: "So it’s high time to ditch a few myths. ‘‘London values’’ are not what many people assume. According to the 2011 census, only one in five Londoners are atheist or agnostic – compared with one in four in the country as a whole. The new London is the region where the fewest births are out of wedlock – just 36 per cent compared with, say, 59 percent in the secular North East. The villages and the small towns in the provinces, not inner London, are where the godless are."[10]

Other factors related to low marriage rates of atheists

Women are more likely to find atheism unappealing. See: Atheism and women

Survey data and website tracking data of prominent atheists' websites indicate that in the Western World, atheism is significantly less appealing to women.[11][12][13] Studies also indicate that atheists are a minority in the population. In addition, studies indicate that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves.[14][15]

Irreligion and domestic violence

The irreligious have a higher rate of domestic violence (See: Irreligion and domestic violence).

Atheists and interfaith marriages

See also: Atheism and interfaith marriages and Atheist marriages

Atheism is a worldview and a religion (see: Atheist worldview and Atheism is a religion) with a variety of commonly held beliefs among atheists (see: Atheism and beliefs).

Given that atheism appears to be significantly less appealing to women, atheists are a minority in many parts of the world and that people tend to marry people with similar values or who resemble their parents or themselves; this would suggest that male atheists may find it more difficult to find prospective female partners for marriage. And of course, militant atheism might make matters even more difficult.

Furthermore, the Bible teaches Christians not to marry a non-Christian (The Bible also teaches a believer to stay married to a non-believer if you are already married).[16] Also, interfaith marriages often have greater marital friction and interfaith marriages historically have had higher rates of divorce.[17] According to a Washington Post article, "According to calculations based on the American Religious Identification Survey of 2001, people who had been in mixed-religion marriages were three times more likely to be divorced or separated than those who were in same-religion marriages." [18] Therefore, it would not be surprising if atheist/theist marriages also have increased marital friction and higher rates of divorce since these two worldviews are so different.

No doubt partly due to atheist men significantly outnumbering atheist women and the fact that atheists lean towards the liberal/left end of the political spectrum, the NY Times reported that "Secular Americans welcome the rise of interfaith unions as a sign of societal progress."[19]

Atheist marriages

See: Atheist marriages

Atheist weddings

See: Atheist weddings

Atheism and divorce

See: Atheism and divorce

Unattractiveness of atheists as potential marriage partners

Atheists have a reputation for being arrogant, angry, socially challenged, immoral, uncharitable, cowardly and engaging in profanity, so their attractiveness as a potential marriage partner is significantly diminished (see: Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and anger and Atheism and social intelligence and Atheism and morality and Atheism and uncharitableness and Atheism and cowardice and Atheism and profanity).

See also: Views on atheists

Atheism and polymory

See: Atheism and polymory

Atheist marriages and childless couples

See also: Decline of global atheism

Michael Blume, a researcher at the University of Jena in Germany, wrote concerning the sub-replacement fertility rates of most atheist populations: "Most societies or communities that have espoused atheistic beliefs have not survived more than a century." Blume also indicated concerning concerning his research on this matter: "What I found was the complete lack of a single case of a secular population, community or movement that would just manage to retain replacement level."[20] See also: Atheism and sexuality

In addition, professor Eric Kaufmann using a multitude of demographic studies argues in an academic paper entitled Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century the decline of atheism in terms of its global adherents is an established trend that will persist for the foreseeable future and the rate of decline will accelerate. In the Western World, due to immigration and the higher birth rates of religious people, Kaufman writes: "Committed religious populations are growing in the West, and will reverse the march of secularism before 2050."

Atheism, Marriage and suicide

See also: Atheism, marriage and suicide

Pitzer College sociologist Phil Zuckerman declared concerning suicide rates: "this is the one indicator of societal health in which religious nations fare much better than secular nations." Please see: Atheism and depression and Atheism and suicide

The atheist population has a higher suicide rate than theists (see: Atheism and suicide).

As noted above, Christian apologist Michael Caputo wrote: "Recently the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published its mammoth study on Religion in America based on 35,000 interviews... According to the Pew Forum a whopping 37% of atheists never marry as opposed to 19% of the American population, 17% of Protestants and 17% of Catholics.[21]

According the website Marriage and Family Encyclopedia: "Marital status has a strong association with rates of completed suicide. Suicide rates are higher in the divorced and widowed than in single people, who in turn have higher suicide rates than married people. This protective effect of marriage on suicide is stronger for men than for women, although it is found for both men and women (Gove 1972)."[22]

Prominent atheists whose wives believe in the existence of God

See also: Prominent atheists whose wives believe in the existence of God and Atheism and women

Below is a list of prominent atheist who have wives that believe in the existence of God:

Richard Carrier, adultery, divorce and polyamory

See also: Atheist leaders and immoral relationships and Atheist marriages

The atheist Richard Carrier divorced his wife and now practices polyamory.[25] Before divorcing his wife, he was involved in adulterous affairs[26]

The Christtian apologist Jason Engwar at the Christian blog Triablogue wrote:

Richard Carrier has a post up announcing that he's "polyamorous", which he calls his "sexual orientation". He's been adulterous in his relationship with his wife, and they decided to get a divorce after having tried polyamory for a while. In the thread, he refers to how he has "sympathy for people who cheat on their spouses", how he's come across "many" polyamorists, and how he's become more convinced that "monogamy is the actual problem". So far, most of the responses at his blog are positive.[27]

Carrier advocates the crank notion that Jesus never existed and is merely a myth which is a baseless, extreme minority position among historians and contrary to abundant historical evidence pointing to Jesus being a historical figure (The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, a parcel of the propaganda of the atheistic, communist Soviet Union, is the only encyclopedia to ever advocate the Christ myth. See also: Historicity of Jesus).[28][29][30]

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Post Scriptum to Original Article, "Atheism and Divorce.". Atheism Exposed (2008).
  4. Go to church
  5. The Good News About Marriage
  6. About this Book - The Good News about Marriage
  7. About this Book - The Good News about Marriage
  8. The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens by Vox Day, ASIN: ‎ 1933771364, Publisher: BenBella Books (March 11, 2008)
  9. Atheism = Mario Grinbank - Creation Ministries International
  10. London’s religious awakening by Ben Judah
  18. Interfaith marriages are rising fast, but they're failing fast too, By Naomi Schaefer Riley Sunday, June 6, 2010
  19. Interfaith Unions: A Mixed Blessing By NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY, New York Times, Published: April 5, 2013
  20. Atheists a dying breed as nature 'favours faithful' - Sunday Times Jan 02 2011 - Jonathan Leake - Full Draft Version from Michael Blume, 06. January 2011, 11:11
  23. David Silverman
  24. About Austin Cline
  25. Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue
  26. Coming Out Poly + A Change of Life Venue
  27. Atheism, Adultery, Polyamory, And Shifting Morals
  28. A Response to "Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story" by JP Holding
  29. The Incredible Sinking Carrier or, The Impossible Faith Vindicated by JP Holding
  30. Scholarly opinions on the Jesus Myth by Christopher Price