"The faking is especially prominent in the dating scene"

Be sure to read the comments to the Freakonomics post on faking religious belief. Working on a college campus, where Christianity has a certain social and dating cachet, this comment from "Matt" jumped out at me:

Must be something about Texas. The faking is especially prominent in the dating scene here. A girl I know started going to church to meet guys, and I asked her how it went. She said, “They were all there for the wrong reason, too.”

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14 thoughts on “"The faking is especially prominent in the dating scene"”

  1. Phil,
    But seriously, Christianity is often more a social than a religious animal in the Bible Belt. Particularly on Christian campuses. This is a very common deal--going to church to meet people--here.

  2. I know many people who view church in the same way as a single's bar, and they almost always justify their behavior as an attempt to find a "good" or "safe" person, as though the simple fact that they met in church protects and shields them from all the evil people that we Christians just know are out to get us. And I've seen a lot of people hurt themselves and each other in acting on that assumption.

    It's the same with this campus as a whole; there's an undeniable pressure to find one's "soul mate" before graduating and leaving this strange habitat for the wider world, with the underlying assumption that meeting good, upright, and moral people is difficult if not impossible anywhere else. It's all a part of the sanctimonious holier-than-thou attitude that is so difficult to avoid anytime Christians are in the majority (at least in my experience).

  3. I've noticed this in the online scene as well. People put Christian in their profile. I've talked to many women to say Christian in the profile, but then in conversation, they often explain that they never go to church any more, are burned out with religion, or don't believe it anymore.

    It's interesting, but not all that surprising phenomenon -- I guess people are afraid they will not be seen as a good made if they are not religious.

  4. I've found this has been common for decades in Chinese churches - not the dating, but the social faking it you mentioned previously. As an added plus to the company, you get to raise your kids with friends who are (generally) more well-behaved "good influences".

    I think practicing Christians can tend towards this just as easily. If I visit a more conservative church, I find I tend to act more conservative as well (name-drop conservative authors, talk more Christianese, let on that I know the mainstream evangelical culture fairly well).

    I am a bit curious about your own situation, Dr Beck - you strike me as fairly open theologically, yet the Churches of Christ don't exactly have an Episcopalean church's reputation.

  5. jchan,
    I can, at times, be a duck out of water, theological speaking, in the CoC. However, I find "progressive" CoC congregations (like my current church) to be pretty hospitable locations. Our movement isn't very theological. It is, rather, pretty focused on church forms and structures (i.e., the way we organize ourselves and worship). This gives members a great deal of theological latitude. The main thing is to remain biblical, which I think I am, if somewhat unconventionally so.

  6. What's the big deal seeking out the oppposit sex has always been an unspoken campaign and integral part of religious experience. The Clergy for millinea have recognized the building a sect or denomination depended on getting people of like views to create family unit. Probably no group in North America has been more successful at this than the LDS.

  7. Look for a dataset, and you're most likely to get old datasets dating as far .And you do that, of course, by demonstrating how useful free, open data is.

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