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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.
And most Americans simply did not need additional matchmaking help—friends and family played the part just fine.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.Still, the details made for sensational type, and newspapers across the country printed the dispatch.Despite rejecting Snell’s offer, Savidge received hundreds of letters expressing romantic interest in the wealthy rancher.Progressive Era reformers and radicals (studied by scholars like Christiana Simmons and Clare Virginia Eby) supported companionate marriage ideals that, theoretically at least, enhanced the autonomy of each individual in the marriage relationship.
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.
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.
Modern matchmaking services like Christian Mingle have the potential to be more than a punch line: they can also play a role in ensuring that conservative evangelicals marry within the faith, raise children in the faith, and maintain prominence on the national stage for generations to come.
THE HISTORY OF MATCHMAKING as a mass-marketed commercial enterprise stretches at least as far back as the late nineteenth century.
“It’s a great site to find other singles who like long walks on the beach … Products catered to the conservative Christian subculture are generally not promoted to a wide mainstream audience, which helps to explain why Colbert’s audience would have been amused by the Christian matchmaking site.