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In the following decades Americans increasingly viewed marriage primarily as an expression of romantic love between two individuals, love that could cross boundaries of religion, race, and sex.
Journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley points out in her 2013 book Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America, “[O]ur cultural messages today seem to reinforce the idea that marriage is a purely individual choice.” The romanticized individualization of the marriage relationship has also led to dramatic changes in how Americans find their future spouses.
Similar to its competitors like Christian Cafe.com, Christian Singles.com, and Equally Yoked.com, it appeals largely to conservative evangelicals.
One need only browse through the site’s endorsement section to see its audience: its proponents include Southern Baptist pastors, Concerned Women for America, and individuals connected to the evangelical mega-churches Willow Creek and Saddleback Church.
Regardless of how much Progressive Era notions of companionate marriage changed mainstream marriage power dynamics, there certainly was a shift in American conceptions of marriage.
Christian Mingle has gained prominence by saturating television airwaves with testimonials promising to help “find God’s match for you.” Its ubiquitous presence on television makes the brand an easy punch line.
“I have already found God’s match for me,” James Napoli wrote in a satirical open letter for the Huffington Post last year, “and it is pizza.” Likewise, in early 2012 “The Colbert Report” devoted a segment to lampooning Christian Mingle.
The oddity of having a preacher playing the role of Cupid made the rounds in newspapers for decades, with stories on Savidge’s matrimonial bureau and on-demand wedding services appearing in print from Spokane to New York.
“I just simply bring the man who wants a wife and the woman who wants a husband together,” Savidge told the Boston Globe.