Religious Singles' Group Index
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

Religioius Singles' Groups Can Prevent Religious Intolerance

Many religious groups try to prevent intermarriage by encouraging intolerance. I believe that marrying within one's religious tradition is a perfectly legitimate objective, but it should be encouraged without demonizing the rest of the human race. Religious singles' groups can make marriage within the faith far more likely without encouraging bigotry.

Singles can be encouraged to search in religious singles' groups by pointing out that they reduce the probability of divorce. My parents meet in a religious singles' group. Couples that married had to leave the group, so they formed their own group which still meets monthly more than 50 years later. Of the more than 30 couples who were active in the married couples group for an extended period none divorced. They have enjoyed more than a millennium of happy marriage. Pretty good for a bunch of liberal Protestants from Berkeley, California.

My former landlord, a Catholic, tells me that his group based in San Francisco had much the same experience, but they only have a reunion once every decade, so the record is much less certain. Other groups report similar success.

The point is not that couples who meet in religious singles groups never divorce, but that their divorce rate is likely to be much lower. A rate close to zero is incredible for Berkeley and San Francisco, California in the second half of the 20th Century.

By collecting and using success stories like this, we can promote religious singles groups, and therefore marriage within the faith, without encouraging intolerance for people outside the faith.

I have found that young people think that avoiding divorce is a very important objective. In fact my parent's story will actually get young people to go to church. If you want the young people in your religious group to remain involved this should be important to you.

Finally, let me repeat what a psychologist once told me. All likes and dislikes are mutual. As Christians we are to love those that hate us, but Jesus was not suggesting that this is the natural tendency of the human race. Encouraging intolerance toward other groups will tend to increase their intolerance for your group, and there will be an element of poetic justice in this. As the Bible says, sow the wind, reap the whirl wind.

Given this the very legitimate objective of encouraging marriage within your faith should be pursued through means that do not encourage intolerance.


More of my web pages on religious singles' groups

Inspired by the success of my parent's church singles' group I have written a number of other pages on religious singles' groups.

Tell me what you think. Here is my contact information..

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