When the poor lose religion

According to the American Sociological Association, the uneducated and the poor (often of course the same people) are dropping God like a hot brick; the ‘bitter clingers’ are increasingly better educated and more affluent than the unchurched.

As far as I can see, this is bad news for everybody. Atheists and agnostics like to think of themselves as smarter than the God-bothering trailer trash on Tobacco Road, and deeply dislike the thought that they are losing the argument among the most intellectually qualified and best prepared; religious people have to be concerned for the future of religion when whole social classes are dropping away.

It is also very bad news for the poor. The rich can actually get along without much religion; one of the nice things about being rich is that money can frequently shield you from the consequences of a weak character and bad decisions. If you are rich enough, you can do very poorly in high school but Daddy will have a nice chat with the college president after which the school gets a new gym and you get a slot in the freshman class. You can be pretty sure that the college won’t flunk you out or expel you without a lot of second chances and counseling.

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