Find God’s match for you

An article at the Washington Post discusses ChristianMingle, a popular online Christian dating service. Perhaps you’ve seen the ads on TV.

ChristianMingle claims to “Find God’s match for you”.

Skeptical?

Well, it must be true, because Ashley Reccord, who works for the site, says that

People have told us again and again that they wouldn’t have found each other without us and that they believe God used ChristianMingle to bring them together.

and

We don’t mean the ChristianMingle is the only place to find God’s match for you. But we’ve seen through our many success stories that God can bring people together through our site.

This is a perfect object lesson in holding extremely low, if non-existent, standards of evidence. Ms. Reccord seems quite sincere in her belief that the simple fact of couples getting together on ChristianMingle is evidence that God was pulling the strings. And because couples tell her it was God who brought them together, it must indeed have been God, no questions asked.

Never mind that secular dating sites also produce successes. Or that online dating does not seem to work any better than the traditional kind.

It’s rather a clever trick, really. Make the claim that God helps bring couples together on your site, and then go ahead and give him the credit for each success. You don’t even need to ask God for his help.

You don’t even need to believe in God.

All you have to do is sit back and watch believers sign up by the droves because you’ve told them that God will help them. Not only that, but when anyone fails to find a partner, they’ll do as most Christians do, and blame themselves, not God.

Seems like ChristianMingle has hit on a winner!

All joking aside, though, sites like ChristianMingle do offer an extremely valuable service simply by getting people of like-minded beliefs together. It must save quite a lot of awkward discussions about religious beliefs that probably occur on most general-purpose dating sites.

The company that owns ChristianMingle also has sites dedicated to Mormons, Jews, Adventists, and Catholics. Good for them.

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3 Responses to Find God’s match for you

  1. RG says:

    I think it mostly offers evidence of savvy marketing.

  2. I don’t see the point of any dating site but I guess people are desperate. Eharmony is another big one, one that claims to find perfect matches for people. A friend of mine met his ex-girlfriend on there. You know why they didn’t end up working out? She wanted kids and he didn’t. I found that pretty funny, because you’d think wanting kids or not wanting kids should have been one of the checkpoints they used to match these two people. The whole claim of the site is about finding a compatible partner for people. It’s just crazy that they didn’t even find out if these people both wanted kids before they matched them together. That said, I think it’s good that there are different dating sites for different types of people. I’ve seen raw foodist/vegan dating sites, sites for people with dreadlocks, different religions, dating sites for pot smokers to find each other. There are no limits to it. I just personally don’t like the idea of trying to meet someone. All my best relationships happened out of the blue by complete accident. That is my idea of romance, not searching through profiles to find the “perfect” person for you. It’s all silly.

    • Keith says:

      Great point, Terence. Pretty shocking that something as fundamental as the desire for kids was not incorporated into the site’s algorithm!

      At the very least, though, I think dating sites simply allow single people to meet. Many people just don’t have the types of social lives that put them in regular contact with potential mates, so online sites can help to remedy this even if they don’t provide any additional value.

      I know that if I were back in the dating game, I’d certainly pick online dating over chatting up strangers in a bar!

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