(Acton Institute) -- In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of new social crises across America’s middle and working classes, from the opioid epidemic to declines in marriage and family stability to the dilution of social capital. In response, many have been quick to point their fingers at the economic disruption caused by trade and technology.
Yet according to Tim Carney, author of the new book, Alienated America: Why Some Places Thrive While Others Collapse, the data tell a different story about the transformative effects of religious communities (or a lack thereof). (Carney will be offering a lecture on his book at Acton’s forthcoming “On Tap” event on April 3 in Grand Rapids, MI.)
Before and beyond any economic forces or factors, Carney argues, individual behavior appears to be closely tied to participation in religious communities—or a lack thereof. And in an age when church attendance is rapidly declining, few are paying attention to the social and economic ripple effects.
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