The highest rates [of divorce] are in, of all places, the Bible Belt, where you still see billboards piously proclaiming: "The family that prays together, stays together." George Barna, a born-again Christian and the head of a research group that does surveys among faith groups, finds that only 19 percent of Northeasterners have divorced, compared to 27 percent of Southerners and Midwesterners.
Barna's surveys also revealed another surprise – the divorce rate among conservative Christians is much higher than for other faith groups. Twenty-seven percent of born-again Christians have been divorced, as opposed to 24 percent of other Christians, and – Holy Moly! – only 21 percent of atheists and agnostics.
I'm always squeamish about explaining aggregate data based upon individual dynamics, but these numbers don't come as a great surprise to me.
It could be argued that other factors such as education and income account for the differences in divorce rates between these groups, but then it would appear that education and income do more to preserve the traditional family unit than conservative Christendom does.
Perhaps Republicans concerned about family values should refocus their efforts.