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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.Sites for evangelical Protestants offer perhaps the greatest market for growth.With a large pool of adherents, combined with the common belief that one must not be “unequally yoked,” evangelicals provide a ready-made market for matchmaking entrepreneurs.Compared to the early 1900s, the role of the family has decreased, now playing a part in only 10 percent of all matches.In its place, friends and college became more important.The earliest matchmaking bureaus advertised their services in newspaper personals sections.They developed a reputation for fraud because they often exaggerated and embellished the number of single, wealthy clients on their rolls.

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.“God and nature do the rest.” A century after Savidge’s enterprise, faith-based matchmaking services are thriving—but online, where nearly a quarter of all couples now find each other.From to the Jewish dating site, J-Date, nearly all religious traditions have online dating sites marketed specifically to them.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.With many romantic relationships in the early twentieth century occurring under the watchful eye of family members, friends, and church leaders, marriages tended to be religiously and racially homogenous.

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