The Christianophobia of the Rich

The Christianophobia of the Rich October 19, 2017


Hostility against Christians among the general public has not increased over the last three decades. But who has hostility against Christians has changed. Today more anti-Christian bias is coming from the rich. Because wealthy people have more power, their hostility is amplified.

That is the conclusion of sociologist George Yancey, who studied 30 years of data. Today, he says, wealth is a statistically significant predictor of anti-Christian bias.

Here is the profile of those who tend to be hostile to Christianity: white, male, politically progressive, irreligious, and wealthy.

Of course, not all or even most wealthy people are hostile to Christianity, any more than all white people are.  It’s just that of the small segment of people who have an anti-Christian bias–about 18%–those tend to be among the characteristics.

Read this story. For the published research go here.

Yancey, a sociology professor at North Texas University, also happens to be a fellow Patheos blogger. Read his discussion of his findings here. 

Twenty years ago, he says, those who admitted to disliking Christians—what he calls Christianophobia—were white, male, progressive, but had low incomes. Today, they tend to be wealthy.

So while the absolute level of hostility directed at conservative Christians has not increased, the power level of those with that hatred appears to have increased. This means that those conservative Christian leaders who have been complaining about increased hatred are not completely wrong.

He cites the businesses that punish states for enacting religious liberty measures. He also sees the increase in anti-religious messages in the media, television, film, and other cultural expressions as pointing to the “Christianophobia” of the wealthy elite.  (Prof. Yancey has written a book on the subject.)

Studies show that being “rich” is also a marker for political progressivism.

Do you see an exquisite irony here? “The rich” are the bête noir (the dark beast) of progressives. Add “white” and “male” and you have the ultimate villain, the cause of all our woes.

It would seem that some of the biggest critics of rich white males are rich white males.

This is a major problem for the left. Their theoretical constituency, the working class, votes for Donald Trump! And the bourgeois capitalists they hope to overthrow are their major supporters!

Marxists have a term for the phenomenon of workers who are politically conservative and so act against their class interests: “false consciousness.”

Neo-Marxists, who add other kinds of group oppression to Marx’s class conflict, also use the term. “False consciousness” is also exhibited by African-American police officers and by women who are pro-life.

But by this logic, are not “the rich” who support progressive causes (obviously, not all do) also guilty of “false consciousness”?

The question remains, why should wealth be a predictor of anti-Christian bias?  Why do you think?



Photo by David Orban, Nano Art:  A Camel Through the Eye of a Needle, via Flickr, Creative Commons License

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