Thanks for the insightful comment. Those are really helpful articles. I’ve seen a lot of that myself, primarily in Nashville and Memphis, where the Evangelical Churches and the non-traditional churches are flourishing, while many of the mainstream Churches are slowly fading away. The kinds of people you describe are the mainstay of those churches. They are middle class, at least right now, and have mid-level white-collar jobs in the growing health care sector or in one of the management companies Nashville sprouts (like Corrections Corporation of America).
I met some of them through singing and others professionally, and they were by and large nice people, bless their hearts. Most of them are convinced that they got where they were by personal merit or the grace of the Almighty, and that luck and timing had nothing to do it. When they got downsized and filed bankruptcy and lost their underwater houses, they never saw the big picture, that getting fired happens to people like them, because that’s how the system operates. Many of them saw it as a test from the Almighty. They all assumed that things would work out. It stopped working out in 2006-7, but they don’t see that.
I’m not unsympathetic to them and their problems. But they were as a group self-centered, and lacking in personal insight. They were not able to deal with the real world when it slapped them in the face.
I used to tell them that I’d like to be more helpful, but that the law was changed to benefit banks, just like most laws were, and that it was no longer possible to help. They looked lost, unable to make any connection between voting for conservatives and the problems they had. It was very unpleasant, and I’m glad I don’t have to do that any more.