I find this study sort of biased, because why is there the automatic correlation between education and wealth, especially given that many with college degrees are ending up poor and unemployed? So ignore the biased "less educated" and translate it as poor.
"Our study suggests that the less educated are dropping out of the American religious sector, similarly to the way in which they have dropped out of the American labor market," said lead researcher W. Bradford Wilcox, a professor of sociology at the University of Virginia.
We are one of the most over-educated and under-employed societies in history, but I found it interesting how they point out how low incomes mean staying out of the church houses. They focus on white Americans, I supposed because churches have served a different role historically in African American circles, but this secular study comes to the conclusion that less white poor people are attending the churches out there. On this blog I've discussed the demographics, the seeker sensitives and hirelings are going for, the people with MONEY to fill the pews and to fill their coffers.
The study also shows that Americans with higher incomes attend religious services more often, and those who have experienced unemployment at some point over the past 10 years attend less often. In addition, the study finds that those who are married (especially if they have children), those who hold more conservative views toward premarital sex, and those who lost their virginity later than their peers, attend religious services more frequently.
So why are the folks with higher incomes attending religious services more often? Because they are what the churches are being marketed for of course. It is interesting that the unemployed drop out as well. I found this part odd the implications especially in today's economy that poor equals uneducated, considering I personally know unemployed people with master's degrees, I ask what planet are these researchers on? Also stable incomes mean father's able to support families and more stability in having children.
One commenter was very blunt in his response to this study :
People don't go to church because they realize the organizations are corrupt, and in no way reflect the teachings or practices of Jesus or the early church.
Biblically, tithing was abolished under the new covenant, BTW. I think it is mentioned exactly a few times in the New Testament, but most of those are where Jesus is criticizing the fact the pharisees are hypocrites about it.
Church in America has become nothing more than a ponzi scheme to make the pastor and a few of their buddies wealthy at everyone else's expense. It certainly isn't about finding God, and it certainly isn't about doing good for needy people either, most of the time.
No true Christian belongs in a church.
I have had many poorer people tell me they stay out of the churches, because of the pressure for tithes, and financially supporting the church, and a feeling of not belonging. While I experienced a small church that was good to the poor, they are out there, this is a trend I have had people personally talk to me about.
Oh one thing too, when you read the verse about the tithing, all the false preachers refer to, they skew it for their own enrichment. The main verse used is Malachi 3:10. I do not agree with this author on everything, he is a dispensationalist and belongs to the NEA, but he is correct about some of the false aspects of tithing teachings and how they are abused in the churches. Those who say you are under a 10% tithe and if you don't come up with your 10% that you are not in God's will, are wrong. Christians are not under the law. Let God lead you in your giving.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: