Educating the Clingers

Religious people are generally less smart than non-religious people, right? Maybe not:

While religious service attendance has decreased for all white Americans since the early 1970s, the rate of decline has been more than twice as high for those without college degrees compared to those who graduated from college, according to new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

“Our study suggests that the less educated are dropping out of the American religious sector, similarly to the way in which they have dropped out of the American labor market,” said lead researcher W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.

And where would most of these less educated peoples have gotten whatever education they did receive? I suppose we will never know since that was not part of the study. But the study did note a useful correlation:

Indeed, the study points out that modern religious institutions tend to promote a family-centered morality that valorizes marriage and parenthood, and they embrace traditional middle-class virtues such as self-control, delayed gratification, and a focus on education.

Over the past 40 years, however, the moderately educated have become less likely to hold familistic beliefs and less likely to get and stay married, compared to college-educated adults. During the same period, wages have fallen and rates of unemployment have risen markedly for moderately educated men, while wages have remained stagnant for moderately educated women. For the least educated—those without high school degrees—the economic situation has been even worse, and they have also become less likely to hold familistic beliefs and less likely to get and stay married, compared to college-educated adults.

By the way, in case you were wondering, “familistic beliefs” is an awkward term that means: believes in traditional family structure.

Bottom line? More knowledgeable people tend to find value in religion.

Who’d a thought these clingers had any education at all?

2 thoughts on “Educating the Clingers

  1. What’s in play is what the hyper-educated might sneeringly call bourgeoisie morality.

    Religion does tend to support traditional family structures. The report (including the quotes you cite) also indicates that traditional family structures are more conducive to stability, higher wages, better health, and – to the extent surveys can really measure such a thing – greater personal happiness.

    Well heeled elites have always scorned such mundane constraints and the lives of the nobility throughout Europe have reflected that for a thousand years. But then, they can afford to pay for the consequences of their lousy personal choices.

    When we invite those with less extensive economic means to toss morality to the winds, we invite them to misery, ignorance and destitution. And that’s exactly what the various social surveys, studies and work groups reflect.

    So the question we must ask ourselves as a society – and dare not because it is so dangerous to the politically correct – is how many poor are we willing to consign to such misery in exchange for gay “marriage”? How much suffering are we willing to inflict on the less fortunate in order to escape the bonds of bourgeoisie morality?

    1. The Bonds of Bourgeoisie Morality — Sounds like a good book title.

      I am reminded of the thinking which drove the hard-left ideologues in the old Soviet Union. It did not matter to them if millions starved as long as the system of their choosing was put into place.

      Those who find no basis in morality outside of themselves are quite willing to sacrifice the comfort (and yes, even the lives) of others on the march toward some dreamy utopia.

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