I wandered into the breakroom at work, with its incessant TV. There was a commercial going for Christian Mingle.
Christian Mingle is a dating service for christians. Okay, I suppose they should have that. I don’t have any problem with the idea of like-minded people pairing up. One less thing to argue about in a relationship, and I speak from experience.
But the slogan. “Find God’s Match For You.” Ugh.
Surely if god has a match for you, he can manage to put the two of you together without having to engage the services of a dotcom intermediary. It’s the same sanctimonious puffery you expect from almost anything religious. “This is not our match for you, it’s god’s. We’re doing god’s work.” Think I’m reading too much into that? Check out what they have to say about it, from their own website:
Our tagline, “Find God’s Match for You™” has caused some controversy. To clarify, while we in no way mean that Christian Mingle is the only place where one can find the person God has meant for them, we do believe Christian Mingle is a tool God can and has used to bring people together.
No hubris in that, huh? We’re making tools that god himself uses! (No grammar in it either. “God can and has used”?) Yeah, we run a dating service, just like match.com and Yahoo Personals and Craigslist, but ours is special because it’s in god’s toolbox.
There’s another one when you go to the site. A bible verse (imagine that) along the top of every page: “Delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” There’s the bribe. Isn’t it sort of base and selfish to believe in a religion just because you think you’ll get stuff? If there was a god to believe in, I’d think you’d want to believe in it because it was true, not because you gain from it.
And the verse is not even true anyway; not in general, and certainly not on Christian Mingle. What if the desires of your heart involve someone with the same reproductive plumbing as you? No opportunity for that. You choose as soon as you start setting up: “I am a [man seeking a woman][woman seeking a man].” Those are the options. Straights only. If you’re not one of those, well, we can’t help you. Or won’t. Or god won’t, which is what they really mean by imposing that limitation. Nice toolset you guys gave god to work with.
I know a guy who Delights Himself In The Lord all day long. Half the time when I walk past his desk, there he is with his bible, Delighting. And yet the lord has not given him the Desires Of His Heart; in fact he has lost that stuff in a bitter divorce that’s keeping him from his kids, and I think part of the reason is that he put his faith above his marriage. And he’s on track to do it again someday; I talked to him about it once and he intends to double down and be even more faithy next time around. This is part of that “gotta love Jesus more than your spouse” mentality. No woman wants to come in second. This one didn’t, anyway.
In a weird way I suppose that’s an endorsement of the idea behind Christian Mingle. As I said at the start, I think if you’re going to base your life and your relationship on a delusional idea, you should at least share the delusion. But from the outside it looks like drowning in saccharine sanctimony. Eww.
So I find myself sort of simultaneously approving and disapproving of Christian Mingle. More disapproving than approving, really. I don’t think the world needs more self-important religious sanctimony, and I think relationships are better without an imaginary third spouse in the picture. And I think their bias against gay people is exactly representative of the institutional bigotry that blights organized religion in general and christianity in particular. (It’s going to cause christianity to slowly distill itself down to a core of vile bigots surrounded by repulsed apostates – you can see it happening already – but that’s for another day.) But if you must be religious, and you need a date, I suppose it makes sense to choose someone wearing the same blinders as you do.