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Divorce Kills Religion


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Two widely recognized trends in American society might have something to do with each other.

Divorce rates climbed to the highest levels ever in the 1980s, when about half of all marriages ended in divorce.

And in the present day, Americans are rapidly becoming less religious. Since 1972, the share of Americans who say they do not adhere to any particular religion has increased from 5 percent of the population to 25 percent.

Could those two trends be related? A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute says yes. The children of divorced parents have grown up to be adults of no religion.

People whose parents divorced when they were children are significantly more likely to grow up not to be religious as adults, the study found. Thirty-five percent of the children of divorced parents told pollsters they are now nonreligious, compared with 23 percent of people whose parents were married when they were children.

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Andrew Root, a professor at Luther Seminary who has written a book about the spiritual consequences of divorce for children, was not surprised to hear about the study’s findings.

“Everything in a divorce gets divided. Literally everything. Parents’ friends get divided. Relatives get divided. Everyone takes sides,” Root said. “Even religion takes sides. The church gets divided. Dad leaves Mom’s faith, or vice versa. Negotiating those worlds becomes difficult.”

Root said churches are not doing enough to speak directly to the concerns of children in those situations, so the kids lose faith in the ability of the church to help them. He said that when the divorce rate climbed in the 1980s, many members of the clergy, especially mainline Protestant pastors, stopped speaking out against divorce so as not to alienate struggling congregants. But by going silent on the subject, they didn’t offer any comfort to the kids.

As adults, Root said, those same people do not believe the church will respond to their adult problems. “They’re now thinking, ‘I’m dealing with depression.’ Or, ‘I’m dealing with my own marital troubles.’ The church must not have anything to say to me, because when I was 8 and dealing with divorce, my Sunday-school teacher didn’t even say, ‘Man, Amanda, that must be really complicated for you’,” Root said.

The new study, which asked many questions about nonreligious Americans’ beliefs about faith, touched on other consequences of parents’ marriages as well. It showed, as other research has demonstrated, that children raised by parents who have two different religions, grow up more likely to have no religion at all.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2016/09/27/how-decades-of-divorce-helped-erode-religion/

Seems intuitively obvious....

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Some divorces cause religion.

:DYeah..some divorces make one change their life in big ways!!  In any case, divorce is sad..I know.  Believe it or not, religion caused a lot of trouble between my folks.  Mom could just not do enough!  I remember as a senior in high school..I begged them to divorce.  I didn't want to see my little brother go through what I had.  So..it is to be said that it sadly works both ways.

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Lack of morals is causing divorce and less interest in religion.  More people don't want to commit to anything that they feel limits their freedom.

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1 hour ago, MorningStar said:

Lack of morals is causing divorce and less interest in religion.  More people don't want to commit to anything that they feel limits their freedom.

I agree with this to a point.  Not for all..but a lot of the young people (because I work with so many)  just do not want to do anything that is hard.

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

I am not young anymore and I do not want to do anything that is hard.

:DThis is why young people should pick up the slack!  I know you don't want to do anything hard...but I bet you do a lot of tough things you don't want to do..

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4 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

No one wants to do hard things. But we do them because we must.

I agree.  I look back at the days when after my husband died and I was so overwhelmed.  It is amazing what you can do when you have no choice.

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  • 2 months later...
3 hours ago, cinepro said:

We had that problem at my office, and it was tough for some people to understand until we used this helpful video in HR training:

Millenials in the Workplace

I prefer the follow-up video covering how Millenials can deal with crazy Baby Boomers: 

 

Meanwhile I am either a smug Gen Xer watching the two tear each other apart or I am a very old Millenial depending on who you ask. We really need to nail these things down to a specific year. I need a mental health day to deal with this identity crisis.

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On 9/30/2016 at 0:40 PM, Jeanne said:

:DYeah..some divorces make one change their life in big ways!!  In any case, divorce is sad..I know.  Believe it or not, religion caused a lot of trouble between my folks.  Mom could just not do enough!  I remember as a senior in high school..I begged them to divorce.  I didn't want to see my little brother go through what I had.  So..it is to be said that it sadly works both ways.

It seems to me that this is yet another case of POV.

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