Thursday, March 16, 2017
  Reverse causation as usual

Beinart wonders whether churches could help to bring Deplorables back into civilization.
Why did these religiously unaffiliated Republicans embrace Trump’s bleak view of America more readily than their churchgoing peers? Has the absence of church made their lives worse? Or are people with troubled lives more likely to stop attending services in the first place? Establishing causation is difficult, but we know that culturally conservative white Americans who are disengaged from church experience less economic success and more family breakdown than those who remain connected, and they grow more pessimistic and resentful. Since the early 1970s, according to W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, rates of religious attendance have fallen more than twice as much among whites without a college degree as among those who graduated college. And even within the white working class, those who don’t regularly attend church are more likely to suffer from divorce, addiction, and financial distress.
Backwards as usual. Churches are like all other social gatherings. All are places where popular attractive high-status people can gather to mock and reject and exclude the unwanted low-status Deplorables. Encouraging unwanteds to attend church is a good way to get MORE suicides and crime and hopeless alcoholism.

Look at this small church singing Fanny Crosby's fine old hymn 'Rescue the Perishing', which advises churches to violate their normal principles.



You're desperately tired of being pushed down and excluded. You walk into this church hoping to find some scrap of respect and 'insiderness'. Would you stay? (Hint: 1:50.)

Churches won't solve anything. You need to start at the JOB end of the problem. Deplorables are MAKERS. They are males whose intrinsic pride is connected to MAKING THINGS. If more Deplorables get a chance to MAKE THINGS, and then RECEIVE MONEY in return for MAKING THINGS, the problem will dissipate.

Trump appears to understand this point, at least in rhetoric. I don't know if he really believes it, but he was tutored by Santorum who does genuinely understand it.

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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