Holy Subdivision!


There was a very interesting point raised in a Campus Progess interview conducted by Ben Adler with James Howard Kunstler (which Wiretap reprinted):

Adler: There have been studies that show the exurbs (far-flung suburbs), where mega-churches often serve as the main source of community, are trending very conservative politically. Do you see any connection between the rise in Christianist Fundamentalism and suburbanization?

Kunstler: I do think that the preoccupation with evangelical religion has, to some degree, been a substitute for the destruction of public life in general, which has followed the destruction of public space. And the thing that's ironic and sort of paradoxical about it is that the whole Christian Fundamentalist sector employs the methods of big box chain retail in order to do their thing...."

A corollary point to the rise of fundamentalism was raised in an inverview I did with former GOP strategist Kevin Phillips:

Frel: You say that the resurgence and religious fervor of the Pentecostals, fundamentalists and so on wouldn't be so extreme if they hadn't been kicked out of the public square in the in 1960s.

Phillips: I think that liberals in the '60s and '70s vastly underestimated the importance of religion to the average American. We've always been a religious country -- our bible sales have been just huge, historically. And the notion that there was a new secular era coming in which we could overlook that was a great mistake. There were attempts to get prayer out of the schools completely, take the Ten Commandments off the walls of buildings and so on. All of this mobilized millions of Americans to take up the cudgels for these religious issues."

A question emerges from these two points -- does the massive suburban Christian fundamentalist population exist because it was "kicked out" of the public square (literally) from American cities starting in the '60s? Is there a pattern of high-density secular urban residents who stayed?

Does ideolopolis theorist and Democratic poll analyst Ruy Teixeira have anything to say on this point?

Rolling off of those tracks, there was one other interesting point from the Kunstler interview:

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