More on Fundamentalist Divorce
By Bryan Caplan
I went back to the drawing board on fundamentalist divorce rates to check out a couple readers’ hypotheses. The findings:
1. Excluding people who have never been married, fundamentalists are – as the stereotype would predict – less likely to divorce. It’s noticeable: 33% divorce rate for fundamentalists, vs. 38% for people who think the Bible is just a storybook.
However, fundamentalists still have a higher divorce rate controlling for church attendance. And after adding demographic controls, belief in the Bible still doesn’t predict anything about divorce.
2. Attitude toward the Bible does not have a U-shaped effect on divorce. In fact, insofar as belief in the Bible matters at all, people who believe the Bible is literally true look about the same as people who believe it is “merely” divinely inspired.
3. The data won’t let me do much about people turning to Jesus as a result of divorce. Personally, I can easily believe that divorce prompts people to get more active in their church , but I doubt that divorce prompts more than a handful of people to adopt new theological positions.