Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes: Why this story matters

I know what you’re thinking, “Gosh Joel, you haven’t posted much while on vacation and upon your return THIS is the first thing you blog about?”  Well friends, I’m no Hollywood insider, nor do I have aspirations of starting a gossip column with the latest news from stage and screen.  My interest in the divorce announcement of Cruise and Holmes is rooted in its theological implications, here’s why.

A lot of the divorce discussion revolves around Tom Cruise and his very public dedication to the Church of  Scientology.  Some speculate that his beliefs are one of the primary contributing factors in the divorce among other traditional causes.  Regardless of whether or not Katie Holmes left Tom Cruise because of Scientology I want to point out that Scientology couldn’t save their marriage.  They divorced just like the other hundreds of thousands of people who divorce every year. [see note]  Scientology claims to have numerous specific programs and other resources focused on marriage and relationship development.  Scientology’s website features a promotional video touting the religion’s ability improve 70% of marriages (don’t ask me where they come up with that number).  And yet the fact remains that Tom Cruise, a highly trained Scientologist, who is reported to have been a part of the religion since 1984, has now been married and divorced three times.

So why couldn’t Scientology save this marriage, or plenty of other marriages for that matter?  Can we judge a religion’s legitimacy based upon the marriage success rates of its adherents?  What do you think attracts couple’s to the religion of Scientology in the first place?

Hope to hear from you.


NOTE: The CDC gives the statistic of 872,000 divorces/annulments in the U.S. in 2010, which excludes data for California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, and Minnesota.  It’s likely that the annual divorce totals are close to 1 million in the U.S. alone.