Wealthy christian dating
Modern matchmaking services like Christian Mingle have the potential to be more than a punch line: they can also play a role in ensuring that conservative evangelicals marry within the faith, raise children in the faith, and maintain prominence on the national stage for generations to come.
THE HISTORY OF MATCHMAKING as a mass-marketed commercial enterprise stretches at least as far back as the late nineteenth century.
As historian Nancy Cott put it her book Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation, “Where mid-nineteenth-century judges and other public spokesmen had hardly been able to speak of marriage without mentioning Christian morality, mid-twentieth-century discourse saw the hallmarks of the institution in liberty and privacy, consent and freedom.” The changes in marriage were readily apparent in the 1960s.
From the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960, to anti-miscegenation laws being declared unconstitutional in 1967, to California enacting the nation’s first “no fault” divorce law in 1969, the liberalization and individualization of love and marriage accelerated.
In the following decades Americans increasingly viewed marriage primarily as an expression of romantic love between two individuals, love that could cross boundaries of religion, race, and sex.
Journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley points out in her 2013 book Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America, “[O]ur cultural messages today seem to reinforce the idea that marriage is a purely individual choice.” The romanticized individualization of the marriage relationship has also led to dramatic changes in how Americans find their future spouses.
“I have already found God’s match for me,” James Napoli wrote in a satirical open letter for the Huffington Post last year, “and it is pizza.” Likewise, in early 2012 “The Colbert Report” devoted a segment to lampooning Christian Mingle.
With many romantic relationships in the early twentieth century occurring under the watchful eye of family members, friends, and church leaders, marriages tended to be religiously and racially homogenous.
Before the 1960s, under 20 percent of all marriages were interfaith marriages, while interracial marriages were even more miniscule, making up less than 3 percent of marriages. New freedoms arising from improvements in transportation and communication allowed many young men and women to expand their social circles.
That sense of novelty pervaded the responses to Charles Savidge’s bureau as well, but there are key differences between the two.
Savidge’s enterprise, existing at a time of white, Protestant hegemony, was an interesting historical footnote without much of a lasting impact.