So if church life declines, giving and serving probably will, too. Well then, how are [working class] Fishtown’s churches doing? Murray observes that, in Fishtown, there was a huge drop in religious observance in recent decades, though not in affiliation. Yes, Fishtowners still tell the census takers that they are Christians but the majority do not go to church:
In Fishtown the religiously disengaged became a majority amounting to 59%. (p. 204)
Strikingly, residents of nearby fashionable Belmont were more likely to go to church.
These facts, of course, do not fit the popular stereotype of working class fundamentalists bitterly clinging to guns and religion while the educated elite have thrown off the shackles. Murray disentangles what we hear from what we see by two observations: …