(Sightings) Martin Marty—How Shall We think about the American Divide?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One might add to the list of the many causes of the divide: cynicism spread by cynical popular culture and mass media; hyper-individualism (St. Ayn Rand) and denigration of community and support of "the common life;" polarization in politics and the loss of civility in "discourse;" quick-fix solutions to problems in religious, educational, and cultural life where patience would have more to offer; certainly the move into the world(s) of virtual reality with artificiality and insubstantiality in the bytes-world; radical pluralism and the jostling it brings. I know, I know: there is an up side to most of these, but we need to remind ourselves of more causes of division and isolation of "classes" than get much attention in Charles Murray's world.

That being said, [Charles] Murray is still worth a read, not least of all because of data with which he works and statistics he presents. Of the numerous "worlds" he headlines for the "white working class": "Marriage down 36 percentage points;" "males with jobs working fewer than 40 hours per week, " "percentage doubled;" "secularism up 21 percentage points. . . ."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHistoryMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSociology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

Posted January 27, 2012 at 6:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS wrote:

Having read both Dr. Murray’s article and Dr. Marty’s, uh, comments, I can’t help but think that Dr. Marty sounds precisely like one of the upper class “Belmont” residents.

The Rev. Steven P. Tibbetts, STS
ELCA Pastor, Peoria, Illinois

January 29, 5:50 pm | [comment link]
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