Thought-provoking read from Peter Beinart in The Atlantic:
Maybe it’s the values of hierarchy, authority, and tradition that churches instill. Maybe religion builds habits and networks that help people better weather national traumas, and thus retain their faith that the system works. For whatever reason, secularization isn’t easing political conflict. It’s making American politics even more convulsive and zero-sum.
For years, political commentators dreamed that the culture war over religious morality that began in the 1960s and ’70s would fade. It has. And the more secular, more ferociously national and racial culture war that has followed is worse.
Beinart’s article begins with Trump voters, but goes on to describe how religious disengagement relates to Sanders and Clinton voters, to the “alt-right,” and to the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s worth reading the whole piece to grasp the scope of what Americans’ weakening ties to their local churches means for America’s unity.
Update: See also this corresponding piece in the Christian Post that argues that a less religious America is a more racist America.