Map of regional divorce rate photo courtesy of Jennifer Glass, University of Texas - Austin.

Map of regional divorce rate. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Glass, University of Texas at Austin


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(RNS) Conservative Protestants in red states aren’t the only ones seeing high divorce rates — so are their neighbors, according to a new study.

Researchers found that simply living in an area with a large concentration of conservative Protestants increases the chances of divorce, even for those who are not themselves conservative Protestants.

According to researchers who took into account race, income and other factors, marriage and fertility trends that are common among conservative Protestants — younger marriage, more kids, less higher education — affect all people in areas most populated by conservative Protestants, no matter their personal religious affiliation.

“Conservative Protestant community norms and the institutions they create seem to increase divorce risk,” researchers say in the study. For example, those who are struggling in their marriage may feel discouraged to find help in communities where marriage is idealized or marital failure is viewed as shameful, the researchers suggest.

“Generally, religion, religious belief and religious activities are thought to strengthen marriages,” said co-author Jennifer Glass, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “It appears that the cessation of education, early marriage and early parenthood, you’re set up for relationship conflict, financial stress and dissolution.”

The study, titled “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates” in the American Journal of Sociology, analyzed county divorce statistics and information from a study of religious congregations, divorce statistics, information on the religious breakdown of local areas and a national survey.

Researchers considered why states with larger proportions of religious conservatives have higher divorce rates than states with lower proportions of religious conservatives. The study compared “conservative Protestants” — those who believe the Bible is without error — with other “mainline Christian” denominations (including Catholics), other faiths and those who aren’t affiliated with a religion.

The research suggests that “the average county would double its divorce rate as its proportion (of) conservative Protestant(s) moved from 0 to 100%,” but “this effect is much smaller than the unaffiliated effect, which is almost three times larger.”

The findings are not as straightforward as saying “conservative Protestants are causing trouble for other people’s marriages,” said Charles Stokes, a sociology professor at Samford University, who conducted a separate study on Americans who, on average, got married at a younger age.

In his own research, Stokes found that conservative Protestants who attend church regularly are significantly less likely to have gotten divorced than nonreligious peers.

“The pattern that pops out in this data is that when you look at those who attend church weekly, their divorce rates are the same as other high-attending Christians,” Stokes said. “Nominal Christians are probably getting the community norms but aren’t in a social structure to live the norms out.”

Mark Regnerus, one of Glass’ colleagues at UT, has stirred controversy over his research of gay parents and has been a proponent of earlier marriage, though he doesn’t condone teen marriage. Regnerus, who has some similar research in the past on marriage and sex, says he sees issues in what people expect in marriage and the little social support they receive.

“The analyses revealed here point out the wisdom in waiting until you’re out of the most significant danger zone — the teens — and well into your 20s,” Regnerus said in an email. “What I can see in this study is the obvious shortcomings of a culture of ‘romantic individualism,’ one that’s toxic to marriage, rather than a warning to wait until you’re ‘older’ to marry.”

Read more: Too many evangelicals could be bad for your marriage

KRE/MG END BAILEY

Categories: Beliefs

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

Sarah Pulliam Bailey joined RNS as a national correspondent in 2013. She has previously served as managing editor of Odyssey Networks and online editor for Christianity Today.

51 Comments

  1. The research suggests that “the average county would double its divorce rate as its proportion (of) conservative Protestant(s) moved from 0 to 100%,” but “this effect is much smaller than the unaffiliated effect, which is almost three times larger.”

    Isn’t this the bigger story?

  2. Glyndon Morris

    Why was it necessary to include a discredited researcher who had nothing to do with the study being discussed in this article? Does Ms. Bailey need some additions to her Rolodex?

  3. Actually, what’s the ‘control’ group — the conservative Protestant effect is 2x, the unaffiliated is 3x…than what? I would’ve assumed the 2x effect was a measurement against communities with large numbers of the religiously unaffiliated.

    • I find that invoking Mark Regenerus was a bit uncalled for and not related to the article.

      As you may be aware, Regenerus was the paid lackey hack who did the study which allegedly showed that closeted people who entered heterosexual marriages were troubled. [As any form of regular lying by a spouse will cause] The study, the fundies dishonestly represented as their alleged proof against gay marriage.

      • Perhaps you should read again. He’s done similar research. Is it not pertinent to quote someone from the same university that’s done similar research? Maybe you didn’t read that far. She didn’t even get into the “controversy,” so it’s not like she’s using it to discredit researchers at the university in general.

        “Regnerus, who has some similar research in the past on marriage and sex, says he sees issues in what people expect in marriage and the little social support they receive.”

        I think it’s sad that I had to quote that for you.

        • What’s important about Regnerus is that his study and process were flawed…and he was paid to create a specific outcome.

          Therefore, he has no credibility.

          Thus all of his research is suspect, and none of it should be used as no one can vouch for his admittedly faulty work.

  4. First, why is divorce considered a bad thing? I have met very few couples who divorced who would have been happier staying together. Most remain friends.

    If a couple has no children, the harm is zero.
    If a couple has children, there is harm for sure. Though regrettable, the harm can be managed and, like life, can be adjusted to. It is better than a bad marriage going on for decades!

    Religion poisons everything.

    • “If a couple has no children, the harm is zero.”

      Not quite. There are material costs associated with divorce. If one or both partners had expectations of love and permanency, a divorce may well be amicable, but there can be emotional damage.

      “First, why is divorce considered a bad thing?”

      Marriages contracted or lived poorly are much more of a bad thing.

      “Religion poisons everything.”

      An overreaction and a falsehood. Human malice in any religious or cultural setting is the real poison. Human error doesn’t help much either.

      • TODD,

        “There are material costs associated with divorce..emotional damage.”
        So what? Life isn’t a bowl of cherries or a rose garden.

        Staying married is wrong if it isn’t working out. Only religion puts that extra burden on divorce. If people want to BREAK UP nothing should stop them – especially guilt about an imaginary God who should have seen it coming and didn’t intercede at any point ahead of time.

        “Religion poisons everything”

        Yes it does. It meddles everywhere – especially on matters of love!
        People have enough problems without having to deal with system of unfounded claims about ‘what god would want.’
        Oy!

        • So you blame “religion” (which is an over-broad word) for its high divorce rates AND for trying to keep people from getting divorced? Oh, Atheists.

          “Yes it does. It meddles everywhere – especially on matters of love!
          People have enough problems without having to deal with system of unfounded claims about ‘what god would want.”

          Christians can believe whatever they want about marriage. You’re just another Atheist with a tyrant sized ego, trying to shove your beliefs down our throats.

          The reason it’s hard to get a divorce isn’t so much because of religious belief, but because secular reasons such as children and property.

          “If people want to BREAK UP nothing should stop them – especially guilt about an imaginary God who should have seen it coming and didn’t intercede at any point ahead of time.”

          If *Christians* want to get *divorced* nothing should stop them? Well Christians believe that marriage is a holy institution and it’s a metaphor for Christ and the church, so it’s not something to be taken lightly, regardless of your Atheistic take on the matter. You missed the part where church-going Christians tend to divorce less than the general population. In our church it’s plain to see why this is – they have a great support system and people are praying for them (whether you believe in its efficacy or not) and counseling them. Divorces are often mutual and the accumulation of years of petty offenses. What does that say about the people involved? Sometimes saving a marriage means growing as a person.

          Another thing that goes unmentioned is the capitulation of leftist (Atheistic, in its philosophy) sexual ideologies which promote the desire to embrace a more sexually “liberated” culture. This is completely antithetical to Christian marriage. So the Atheist pushes sexual liberation, which erodes the traditional cultural fabric of marriage (in fact this “study” does the same thing) – which includes the idea of being with one person for the rest of your life – and then turns around and *blames* the Christian for marital infidelity. Awesome!

          • Atheists don’t divorce as much as Christians do.

            Honesty is an easier way of life.
            Honestly, “God” is a ridiculous, ancient idea and it destroys everything good.

    • If this is the outlook on marriage, it’s no wonder that the rate of people getting married in and of itself is on the decline! If one says, “for better or for worse,” that pretty much is saying, I promise to go to hell and back with you before giving up on our love. There is NO relationship, marriage, friendship, or otherwise that is going to always leave you happy. If you want that kind of love, you can’t look to a human. Since no one is perfect, you’re gonna be pissed off at each other occasionally. We’ve created a culture in which we hold onto elementary school relationships where a little argument results in a breakup…

  5. My parents, socially conservative, religious people, stayed married although their marriage was not a bed of roses. They worked to keep together. My grandmother was one of the first in her conservative community who got divorced (in the 1920s. Even though her divorce was biblical, she could never re marry since remarriage after divorce was viewed with that traditional fundamentalist understanding that remarriage after divorce is synonymous with adultery. Her family was also marginalized in some ways because divorce was considered shameful. That community’s discipline may have gone too far, but so is present generation’s where divorce is no longer viewed as shameful, or as a failure.

    • The greater degree of openness about domestic violence tends to make divorce less shameful or seen as a failure nowadays.

      Part of the conservative religious mindset concerning marriage involves overlooking, ignoring, minimizing or reprehensibly, condoning domestic violence.

      There was always a double standard with such people when it came to adultery as well. Husbands who cheated are seen as flawed and worthy of being forgiven. Wives were transgressors from which no mercy is spared.

      Blanket policies about marriage or divorce lead to horrific results. Some marriages last, some don’t. Its just the nature of two people living together.

      • “Part of the conservative religious mindset concerning marriage involves overlooking, ignoring, minimizing or reprehensibly, condoning domestic violence.”

        I’ve been involved in “conservative religious” communities my whole life and I’ve NEVER seen domestic violence overlooked, minimized, or “condoned.” The last point really gives you away and tells me you know next to nothing about these cultures – that you honestly believe it’s somehow inherent in the “mindset” of Christians to condone violence against spouses. You, sir, are a liar.

    • Mark,

      When considering marriage and divorce today, it appears important to you that people who opt to divorce feel a sense of shame and failure. I assume that is because you believe that a greater sense of shame and failure would serve as a deterrent to divorce.

      But everything I read on the subject suggests that people who divorce feel tremendous amounts of shame and failure. And yet they still go through with it. So I’m not persuaded that amplifying the guilt and shame is the answer.

      Like you, I am also interesting in reducing the risk that marriage will end in divorce. But where you seem to believe the key to a reduced divorce rate is negative reinforcement (make divorce too unattractive to consider), I believe the key is refraining from marriage until that marriage truly has a reasonable shot at success. That means that all of the following marriages should be discouraged: partners are too young/immature; partners are not financially self-supporting; partners don’t genuinely cherish each other in word and deed; partners are not in recovery from their addictions; partners have personality disorders, etc.

      If people would stop getting into “misbegotten marriages,” divorce would be rare.

      • “I assume that is because you believe that a greater sense of shame and failure would serve as a deterrent to divorce.”

        Why would you assume he meant that? Maybe he means that people should find the idea of separating from someone you vowed to be with your entire life, through thick and thin, shameful? It’s not a deterrent, it’s something that should be felt but isn’t. Most of the “shame” in marriage these days is the affect that the marriage will have on children – a good thing to be ashamed of, for sure, but it’s (at least from what I’ve seen) hardly a “what will my child think of me as a parent?” but something along the lines of, “what happens when my child finds out the real reason for the divorce – that their dad was a hapless bastard?”

        “That means that all of the following marriages should be discouraged: partners are too young/immature; partners are not financially self-supporting; partners don’t genuinely cherish each other in word and deed; partners are not in recovery from their addictions; partners have personality disorders, etc.”

        One point you miss: We are not teaching children that marriage is a very serious, lifelong, commitment. The problem with “easy, quick divorce” is that it makes the marriage rest on a ton of conditions, such as finances, fidelity, cleaning the sink after brushing your teeth, etc. This makes it that much easier to be absolved of the commitment. If you don’t respect the institution, then divorce isn’t so bad. The more socially acceptable divorce is (in referring to the petty reasons for divorce), the more divorce there will be.

  6. Younger marriage need not be based on unthinking individualistic romance. The family should be involved in the process from the start. “Romantic individualism” is the pagan, not the Christian conception of marriage. “Struck by a ray from the ear of Aphrodite.” Sadly it has taken hold of our culture, even among evangelicals.

    • Riley,
      Can you say more about the assertion that “‘Romantic individualism’ is the pagan [...] conception of marriage”? I’m not sure I really understand what you’re talking about.

      I just can’t think of any Pagan-specific concept of marriage. But perhaps you know more Pagans who expound on marriage than I do.

      When you say “Pagan,” are you referring to self-declared adherents to a “pagan” religion? Is there such a thing? Or are you simply using the word as short-hand for “non-Christian”?

  7. Some of these areas with high % of conservative Protestants are also some of the most economically pressed. Divorce rises with economic hard times. I’d like to see a study of the confounding variables before drawing much inference.

    • It is worth pointing out that economic hardship – AND DIVORCE – go hand in hand with adherence to religion.

      The emancipation of women is the single strongest indicator of economic success for a country or state.

      Wherever religion is strong: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, North Korea (cult of the ‘dear leader’), India, Egypt, Bible Belt of America – economic woes follow.

      Religion poisons everything.

      • North Korea is thoroughly Atheistic. They’re more non-religious, pro-Atheism, than any of your secular European utopias.

        I find it hilarious that Atheists basically take everything bad about humanity and say “if they were real Atheists they wouldn’t have (x)” as if Atheism has inherent in it some sort of grand benevolence. You certainly don’t have any texts prohibiting fellow God-haters from forming cults. Why not love a leader? What in Atheism demands your particular brand of douchbaggey American Atheism? Why not admit there are no gods and get on with worshiping a dictator?

        • This is merely a little device atheists invented to distance themselves from all the atrocities that secular, atheist regimes have committed, once those atrocities became too public to ignore. Make no mistake that the atheist “intelligentsia” of the early 20th century had no reservations about the so-called “religious” or “cultish” aspects of atheist, communist Russia or communist anything else. They subscribed enthusiastically to those regimes’ values…until the results came in.

          • Some ask, “did Hitler and the Nazis follow the God of Israel who is the Father?”
            YES. The Nazis followed Jesus Christ.

            But some say Jesus taught, “You shall not murder yet Nazis murdered. Jesus taught ‘love thy neighbor.”

            Well, you need to understand how the Nazis understood that instruction.

            Yes, The Nazis were told by Jesus to love their neighbor but…to KILL God’s enemies.

            So Nazis loved other Nazis and killed the enemies of Jesus (The Jews) :
            Jesus said “Bring those enemies of MINE and EXECUTE THEM in front of me” (Luke 19:27)

            THE ENEMY OF JESUS IS…
            .”…the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.” – Hitler

            So the Nazis believed they had God on their side – which is why each Nazi belt buckle reads “Got Mitt Uns” (God on our side).

            The Nazis loved Jesus, and his enemies needed to be killed. The Bible is clear, Jesus approves of wiping out the Jews.

            Below is some history.
            Read as much of it as you can.
            Hitler was a very strong believer in Jesus Christ and saw in Jesus a fascist soldier doing the Lord’s work against a world of vipers.

            1. Adolf Hitler: The Nazi Party Represents Positive Christianity
            “We demand freedom for all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The party as such represents the standpoint of a positive Christianity, without owing itself to a particular confession….”

            - Article 20 of the program of the German Workers’ Party (later named the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, NSDAP)

            2. Adolf Hitler: I am a Catholic
            “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”

            - Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

            3. Adolf Hitler: Religious Life as the Highest and Most Desirable Ideal
            “I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal.”

            - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 1

            4. Adolf Hitler: Christianity and the Holy German Reich
            “As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven.”

            - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 3

            5. Adolf Hitler: Significance of the Religion of Love
            “The more abstractly correct and hence powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings… If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth… In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality.”

            - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 8
            - – - Hitler: The Religion of Love
            “The more correct and powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings… If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth…even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder.. to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality.”
            -Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 8

            6. Adolf Hitler: Personification of the Devil
            ….the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.

            - Adolf Hitler (following the position of Martin Luther), Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

            7. Adolf Hitler: Christians Should Deal with Atheistic Jews
            And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God; because then, as always, they used religion as a means of advancing their commercial interests. But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews; whereas our modern Christians enter into party politics and when elections are being held they debase themselves to beg for Jewish votes. They even enter into political intrigues with the atheistic Jewish parties against the interests of their own Christian nation. – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

            -

            HITLER – Stop the “Atheists”
            “And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God…But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews; whereas our modern Christians enter into party politics…with the ATHEISTS…against the interests of their own Christian nation!”
            HITLER Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

            8. Adolf Hitler: As a Christian, I Feel that My Lord and Savior was a Fighter

            My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. …Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. …

            - Adolf Hitler, speech on April 12, 1922

            -

            Hitler: “As a Christian, I Feel that My Lord and Savior was a Fighter”

            “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian….to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers…”

            - Adolf Hitler, April 12, 1922

            9. Adolf Hitler: Fascism is Closer to Christianity than Liberalism or Marxism
            The fact that the Curia is now making its peace with Fascism shows that the Vatican trusts the new political realities far more than did the former liberal democracy with which it could not come to terms. …The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy …proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism…

            - Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929, on the new Lateran Treaty between Mussolini’s fascist government and the Vatican

            -

            HITLER LOVES THE CHURCH

            “…The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy …proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism…”
            - Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929, on the new Treaty between Mussolini’s fascist government and the Vatican

            10. Adolf Hitler: Compromises with Atheism Destroy Religious, Ethical Values
            By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. …

            - Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed.

            -

            HITLER: Compromises with Atheism Destroy Religious Values
            “By its decision to carry out the moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare….The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society.”
            -Adolf Hitler, before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933

            11. Adolf Hitler: Burn out the Poison of Immorality
            Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country]… I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past … (few) years.

            - Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

            Read as much of the above as you can. That is real History that I have provided for you.

            Hitler was a very strong believer in JESUS CHRIST and in the teachings of Jesus such as the Parable of the Minas – which was about THE IMPORTANCE AND HOLINESS OF KILLING ENEMIES.

            Religion sucks.

        • GARRETT,

          You said, “North Korea is thoroughly Atheistic.”

          No it isn’t. It is the most religious country in the world. The Dear Leader IS GOD and is capable of performing miracles on earth.

          That is not Atheism.

      • All you have done is present a little collage of Hitler’s political pandering to the majority of his day, little different from what politicians do today. Publicly he played upon the religious convictions of his constituents. Privately he had only contempt for them and intended to dispose of them all as soon as this was feasible.. His hero and the greatest influence upon his life was Friedrich Nietzsche, who openly repudiated Christianity’s preoccupation with compassion and charity as hindrances to human potential, and the same themes appear and reappear constantly throughout all of Hitler’s written and spoken words.

        Would you say that mixing in some Christian rhetoric and some hate-speech against atheism might have been considered a bit expedient for motivating religious Germans to fight against a rival nation that had recently adopted atheism as its banner??? You think???

        At least the rest of the west called out this fraud, punishing its perpetrators and repudiating its philosophy. How have you atheists called out your totalitarian embarrassments? By trying to re-label them as religious. LOL! NOBODY buys this nonsense.

        • SHAWNIE 5

          You said, “You are trying to re-label them as religious. LOL! NOBODY buys this nonsense.”

          HITLER, “MY LOVE FOR JESUS”….”CHRIST IS MY SOLDIER”

          Despite how often Christian apologists try to argue that Adolf Hitler is an example of the evil caused by atheism and secularism, the truth is that Hitler often proclaimed his own Christianity, how much he valued Christianity, how important Christianity was to his life, and even how much he was personally inspired by Jesus – his “Lord and Savior.” There is plenty of evidence that he was critical of Christian churches for seeking independence from the state, but his vision of “Positive Christianity” was significant to him.

          1. Adolf Hitler: The Nazi Party Represents Positive Christianity
          “We demand freedom for all religious confessions in the state, insofar as they do not endanger its existence or conflict with the customs and moral sentiments of the Germanic race. The party as such represents the standpoint of a positive Christianity, without owing itself to a particular confession….”

          - Article 20 of the program of the German Workers’ Party (later named the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, NSDAP)

          2. Adolf Hitler: I am a Catholic
          “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.”

          - Adolf Hitler, to General Gerhard Engel, 1941

          3. Adolf Hitler: Religious Life as the Highest and Most Desirable Ideal
          “I had excellent opportunity to intoxicate myself with the solemn splendor of the brilliant church festivals. As was only natural, the abbot seemed to me, as the village priest had once seemed to my father, the highest and most desirable ideal.”

          - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 1

          4. Adolf Hitler: Christianity and the Holy German Reich
          “As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven.”

          - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 3

          5. Adolf Hitler: Significance of the Religion of Love
          “The more abstractly correct and hence powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings… If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth… In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality.”

          - Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 8

          6. Adolf Hitler: Personification of the Devil
          ….the personification of the devil as the symbol of all evil assumes the living shape of the Jew.

          - Adolf Hitler (following the position of Martin Luther), Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

          7. Adolf Hitler: STOP THE ATHEISTS. Christians Should Deal with Atheistic Jews
          And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God; because then, as always, they used religion as a means of advancing their commercial interests. But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews; whereas our modern Christians enter into party politics and when elections are being held they debase themselves to beg for Jewish votes. They even enter into political intrigues with the atheistic Jewish parties against the interests of their own Christian nation. – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 11

          8. Adolf Hitler: As a Christian, I Feel that My Lord and Savior was a Fighter

          My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.

          It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers…
          …Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. …
          Adolf Hitler, speech on April 12, 1922

          9. Adolf Hitler: LOVES THE FASCISM OF THE CHURCH – Fascism is Closer to Christianity than Liberalism or Marxism
          The fact that the Curia is now making its peace with Fascism shows that the Vatican trusts the new political realities far more than did the former liberal democracy with which it could not come to terms. …The fact that the Catholic Church has come to an agreement with Fascist Italy …proves beyond doubt that the Fascist world of ideas is closer to Christianity than those of Jewish liberalism or even atheistic Marxism…

          - Adolf Hitler in an article in the Völkischer Beobachter, February 29, 1929, on the new Lateran Treaty between Mussolini’s fascist government and the Vatican

          10. Adolf Hitler: Compromises with Atheism Destroy Religious, Ethical Values
          By its decision to carry out the political and moral cleansing of our public life, the Government is creating and securing the conditions for a really deep and inner religious life. The advantages for the individual which may be derived from compromises with atheistic organizations do not compare in any way with the consequences which are visible in the destruction of our common religious and ethical values. The national Government sees in both Christian denominations the most important factor for the maintenance of our society. …

          - Adolf Hitler, speech before the Reichstag, March 23, 1933, just before the Enabling Act is passed.

          11. Adolf Hitler: WE CHRISTIANS MUST Burn out the Poison of Immorality
          Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country]… I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit … We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past … (few) years.

          - Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

          • Read some of your own quotes. Have you no historical education at all? Can you REALLY not see the anti-Soviet and anti-communist thrust in this: “…whereas our modern Christians enter into party politics and when elections are being held they debase themselves to beg for Jewish votes. They even enter into political intrigues with the atheistic Jewish parties against the interests of their own Christian nation.”

            Perhaps you are not personally acquainted with any politicians. I am, and understand well the process of pandering to the convictions of the majority to consolidate power, then discarding the facade when it is no longer expedient. In light of Hitler’s fervent admiration of Nietzsche, his later reversals of his promises of non-interference and tolerance of the churches and the writings and testimonies of those closest to him regarding his private religious and philosophical views, hardly any historians today believe him to be Christian in any doctrinal sense of the word. The most that can be ascribed to him is a possible vague deism, and even that is questionable.

            And having a solid knowledge of the gospel, I of course would automatically recognize anyone as a fraud who claimed that Jesus “had to shed His blood” because He was struggling against “Jewish poison.” “No one takes My life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” The Jesus Hitler talked of was only a man. The Jesus of Christianity is God made flesh.

            BTW, you should properly credit atheism.about.com when you cut and paste their propaganda. So much for “freethinking.” LOL!

        • SHAWNIE5

          “bring me those my enemies, EXECUTE them in front of me” – Jesus
          (Luke 19:27)

          That is from the Parable of the 12 Minas where Jesus plays the nobleman who has a lesson for his enemies. Hitler loved that one. He knew the enemy of Jesus was the Jew.

          You treat this as if it is ‘not religious’ somehow.
          Religion poisons everything – including history education.

          • The enemy of Christ is not the Jew but the entire unbelieving world: “But Me it [the world] hates, because I testify of it that its works are evil.” John 7:7. And the Parable of the Minas is about what we do with the gospel until Christ returns. If the end hasn’t come yet, then the time hasn’t come for any “enemies” to be slain in any fashion. I fail to see why Hitler would care for this, since he evidenced no belief in any second coming or, indeed, any afterlife at all.

        • SHAWNIE5,

          You said, “I understand well the process of pandering to the convictions of the majority to consolidate power.”

          Do you? Then why do you promote the very gullibility that leads to such abuse? Faith is nonsense and people who have it are always ready for a ‘dear leader’ to kill off their freedom.

          As for the accusation of ‘cut and paste’ from atheist.com please be sure that links are not usually followed – AND FACTS ARE NOT ATTRIBUTABLE TO COPYRIGHT.

          • You might not want to talk about “gullibility” too much while accepting at face value the religious schmoozing (unsupported by any life evidence whatsoever) of history’s most devious and longwinded politician. Christ Himself warned against THAT kind of gullibility.

            As has already been pointed out, you supposedly faithless guys have a great plenty of “dear leaders” under your belt. And you will NEVER be able to disclaim them by redefining their appeal as “religious.” You guys are as human as everyone else and as such are prone to gullibility when it comes to someone telling you what you want to hear. At least have the integrity to own your own messes.

  8. This doesn’t factor in that in the “Bible belt”, Christianity is cultural. The saying goes “a mile wide and an inch deep.” That is, you will find a lot more nominal evangelicalism in certain regions vs. others, which makes it seem like evangelicals get divorced more often. Church attendance is the more relevant classifier of devoted religious belief.

  9. “Researchers considered why states with larger proportions of religious conservatives have higher divorce rates than states with lower proportions of religious conservatives. The study compared “conservative Protestants” — those who believe the Bible is without error — with other “mainline Christian” denominations (including Catholics), other faiths and those who aren’t affiliated with a religion.”

    Catholics hold strict views about marriage, premarital sex, birth control etc. It seems to be a flaw in the study or at least a flaw in the conclusions drawn from the study. If they broke out the Catholics would the divorce rate be about the same as other protestants and others?

    I really don’t know but I would like to know. But I would like to.

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