Thursday, August 03, 2023

Service Announcement.

 Although it may appear that way, this blog is not yet dead.

The last few months have been very busy, I've been suffering from writers block and I have been reading a lot.

I'm going on break for the next six weeks.

I hope to have something then.

Friday, April 21, 2023

The Wall

The other day an interesting graphic was posted on twitter which got me thinking about a post I wanted to write for a long time.

Back in 2014, The Pew Research conducted a Religious Landscape Study in the U.S. The study is interesting for its extensive demographic data which, when looked at a bit deeply is quite informative with regard to today's state of affairs.

In particular I'm interested in the data concerning households earning more than one hundred thousand dollars a year. This group or class constitutes the majority of the country's governing class. And by governing, I mean it in its most expansive context.  Within this group are found senior and middle bureaucrats, lawyers, doctors, journalists, businessmen, accountants, virologists, business men, community elders and so on. Much attention is directed towards billionaires and media celebrities but the yeoman's work of day to day governance and organising the country is done by far less notable men. It's the values of this class that set the "tone" of the country.

In theory, Democratic government grant's sovereignty to the people and technically this is true, but in reality the issues that the people get to vote on and how their day to day affairs are run are largely based on the the decisions and values of the governing class.  In a democracy some people are more equal than others.

Firstly, some Basic Demographic data.

What I've decided to do is concentrate on the major sized groups as I'm time limited and this isn't a full blown statistical survey. This covers 92% of the greater than $100K demographic. Interestingly, the impression that I've formed trawling the data is that the remaining 8% tends to cancel each other out on various values metrics. The Buddhists and the Hindus tend to be very permissive with regard to homosexuality and abortion, the Mormons and the Orthodox their opposite.  

What I've tried to do is calculate the absolute number of each religious group in the  >100K class and then determine their proportion in it. For example the Jewish community makes ups 4% of the U.S. population yet it makes up 5% of this class. If there are any errors in my calculations they are unintentional. 

If we take the above minority groups out, then the composition of the governing class in the U.S. can be broken down as follows.

The majority of the U.S. governing class is still nominally Christian. Let that sink in. The U.S. rot is a majority "Christian" affair. Jewish conspiracy theorists can also take note, the governing class of the U.S. is 95% not-Jewish.
The question of religious orthodoxy was quite difficult to determine based upon the questions in the survey but I concentrated on two:

a) Do you oppose/favor gay marriage.
b) Abortion should be legal/illegal in all or most cases.

I took these two questions as proxies for religious orthodoxy.  Orthodoxy being defined as what was considered broad social consensus before the Sixties revolution. I am old enough to remember when the concept of gay marriage was thought to be a laughable joke.  Things have obviously moved on a bit.
With regard to gay marriage the response for the class in 2014 was as follows:

Quite frankly I was shocked when I crunched the numbers and I really didn't think it was so bad. Now Obergefell was in 2015, and it's obvious to me that when the the U.S. Supreme Court decided to recognise gay marriage they were affirming what many of their social peers had already come to accept. The decision was not an impost on the country as much as a recognition that the ruling class had changed its mind. Within the leadership class the moral base and understanding of traditional conceptions of marriage had completely eroded. Also remember that the demographic that was sampled here are the "best and brightest" of their cohort.  These are the people who have the most natural ability and have been afforded the best education. We're not talking about the proletariat. From a Christian perspective, it's truly a disastrous situation.

With regard to the question of Abortion the situation is not much better:

It's pretty much the same and suggests a common causal link.  Interestingly though, in its reversal of Roe v Wade, the members of the Supreme Court would have probably earned a lot of personal and social opprobrium as a result of their decision. Say what you want about Trump, but his nominations made the difference and his crew are pushing against the tide.

Now if we accept that the above two questions as normative for what is considered "sound" Christianity,  then we can say that by 2014 the U.S. leadership class was critically de-Christianised. If you want to understand why Christians are starting to be persecuted, the pie charts above are your answer. The majority of governing apparatus does not share your view of things.  And remember, this was 2014, things have gotten a lot worse since then.

So who exactly is supporting the "slouch towards Gomorrah".

The figures are virtually identical. From what we can see the majority support is still from self-professed Christians.  A few things to note. Support for both abortion and homosexual marriage is roughly proportionate to the religious demographics of the 100k class with the exception of the "Nones", who over represented and the Evangelicals, who are under-represented.

So who is "manning the gates" and not supporting the abandonment of traditional mores.