If George Barna, by far the most prominent head counter among American Christians, is correct, 35 percent of “born-again Christians” have experienced (to borrow from Tammy Wynette) “pure h-e-double-l.” A decade-long study on the Barna Group’s website, published first in 2004, reveals that, “among married born again Christians, 35% have experienced a divorce. That figure is identical to the outcome among married adults who are not born again: 35%.”
Near the end of his article, Barna clarifies that, by “born again,” he is referring to Christians who identified themselves as having made “a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today” and that, therefore, his data on “born agains” included Catholics and many Mainline Protestants. We thus learn that American Catholics (25 percent) are “less likely than Protestants [39 percent] to get divorced,” and that, on the Protestant side, Pentecostals (44 percent) are more likely to get divorced than are Presbyterians (28 percent).
This high level of h-e-double-l does not translate into a high level of moral guilt, however, as “a majority of both Protestants (58%) and Catholics (69%)” did not consider divorce in cases where one spouse had not committed adultery to be a sin.