It is an enduring stereotype – conservatives prefer suburban McMansions while liberals like urban enclaves – but one that is grounded in reality. Given the choice, three-quarters (75%) of consistent conservatives say they would opt to live in a community where “the houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away,” and just 22% say they’d choose to live where “the houses are smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores and restaurants are within walking distance.” The preferences of consistent liberals are almost the exact inverse, with 77% preferring the smaller house closer to amenities, and just 21% opting for more square footage farther away.
This is significant for the Christian for the simple reason that cities generate the majority of the culture that is consumed by everyone. Many of the current cultural shifts should not be surprising, therefore, since they principally originate in the city centers where 75% of conservatively-oriented people don’t want to live.1
However, if Christ is to be brought to bear on all of life and all of culture, then the church (Christians) must be present where culture and policy are created – regardless of one’s square footage preference.