This book by Charles Murry is a much discussed critique of class structure in the U. S. He gives evidence the lower 30 percent of income earners is growing less interested in church and civic behavior compared to the upper 20 percent. This is about class, not race or ethnicity.
I have not read the book, but he reportedly looked at “honesty, sobriety, family commitment and industriousness.” Church membership is dropping more rapidly in the lower 30 percent as well.
A commentator today wrote the cause of church decline is the lack of clear moral preaching. If preachers were delivering sermons of maintenance of moral standards instead of pandering to the wishes of congregations, he wrote, people would return to church and all this would change.
To the extent this deterioration to behavior is actually happening, certainly is it cause for concern. It could not have anything to do with preachers or the church. That preachers are skirting around moral condemnation and church membership is dropping is the result of this decline, not the cause of it.
I think most people view the growing divide between rich and poor as something benign, something that is only harmful to those on the lower end. But what seems to be happening is that a larger proportion of our country’s citizens do not think of themselves as having ownership in it.
It seems inevitable all classes will eventually feel the effect of this. One thing I’ve noticed is in countries with very unequal distributions of income, homes have bars on their windows.