Atheists Have Stronger Family Values Than Evangelical Christians

The family that prays together may be less likely to stay together. Research shows that the folks trying hardest to force their religious beliefs on other people, Evangelical Christians, are more likely to divorce than those with no religion at all.

Atheists have the lowest divorce rate when compared to religious groups (except Catholics and Lutherans, with whom they are tied). This is according to a Christian polling company (which confusingly refers to evangelicals as “non-denominational“). The company, The Barna Group, published the numbers in 1999. While many news outlets reported on the study, their links to it are all dead, suggesting that Barna pulled the study off its site. Still available on the website is a 2008 study that, not surprisingly, came to different conclusions.

The original findings about divorce among non-believers are borne out by a 2009 comparison of geographical regions by the U.S. Census Bureau: the Northeast, known as the home of educated liberals (both liberalism and high levels of education correlate with atheism), has the lowest divorce rate, while the Bible Belt has the highest.

The gap between what evangelicals preach about morality and what they do extends beyond their love lives. Federal Bureau of Prisons numbers show that Christians commit more crimes per person than atheists, who commit fewer than the followers of any religion.

In the United States, the “more religious a state’s population, the higher the crime, STD and teen pregnancy rates,” reports Al Westerfield in Knoxville News, summing up the findings of empirical studies. The same pattern holds true when comparing countries: more religious people means more crime, more sexually transmitted diseases and higher teen pregnancy rates.

The numbers make it all the more bewildering that Christians find atheists about as trustworthy as rapists.

A Guardian article discussing what science says about non-believers concludes that atheists are “less authoritarian and suggestible, less dogmatic, less prejudiced, more tolerant of others, law-abiding, compassionate, conscientious, and well-educated.” In a word, based on scientific research, atheists are moral. But that won’t sway evangelical Christians, as they are generally not big fans of science.

They also won’t be moved by the Catholic Church’s acknowledgement that the godless can be good, moral people, since they do not follow the Pope.

The truth is that adherence to a belief in right and wrong doesn’t require a belief in God, and the admirable lives of countless non-believers proves it.

Related Stories:

Atheists About As Trustworthy As Rapists, To The Faithful

Vatican: Atheists Are Going to Hell After All

Photo credit: Thinkstock/Digital Vision


Naomi B
Naomi B5 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Timothy W.
Timothy W2 years ago

I find it a bit alarming that some humans need a religion or a deity to tell them how to treat others decently. I am Atheist, and have been since I was a young child raised by a Methodist preacher. I never felt the need to have a preacher or a book how to treat others. I believe in the notion or treating others the same way I want to be treated. Seems like common sense to me.

David Thieke
David Thieke2 years ago

Thanks for the article . Very interesting. I'm not an atheist , but virtually all the atheists I know are very moral people.

Michael C.
Michael C2 years ago

Well I am an Atheist as is my entire family so not shocked. Good info though

Miriam O.

დ╮ THANK YOU for your time and for posting! ╭დ
I'm not sure about that!

feather w.
Feather W2 years ago

very interesting..

Bobby B.
Bobby B.2 years ago

Wow, I would have found is article more enjoyable if the statistics and facts were not blended in with blatant, idiotic assumptions...

"The numbers make it all the more bewildering that Christians find atheists about as trustworthy as rapists".

holly masih
h m2 years ago

...also,it is not religion that has caused wars and divisin,but the DISTORTION of religion.I believe there is a GOD,but man made religion is man's failed attempt at making peace with Him.

holly masih
h m2 years ago

What you have observed is that atheists have stronger values than those who PROFESS to be Christians.....but are NOT.Not judging,but to be a Christian,muslim,fill in the blank with ANY belief system,you must ascribe to what its teachings are.One who does not is not truly a member of that group,no matter what they say.Atrue Christian does not hate,or judge,or pick and choose what they want to follow and condemn others who do not "sin" the same way that they do.Whether or not you are a Christian,think about this.When someone challenged Yeshua (Jesus) one time about what the most important commandment was,His response was "love the Lord your God,with all your heart mind soul,and strength.Love your neighbor as you love yourself.This sums up the law and the profits."In other words , all of the law is based on God,love your neighbor,love yourself.Whether or not you have a religion,how many true Christians are there,based on this definition?Another question:How would the world be different if we ALL did this?Something to think about.

Angela Padovani
Angie P2 years ago

Thanks for the article and comments on the article. I believe you can't judge all people in a group the same.