Rural Reverence

October 3, 2009


On the road to a country church...

If I can walk what might seem a controversial line for a moment, how important is one’s religious affiliation to small town survival?  Are towns with a more devout citizenry more likely to flourish?  Does the specific religion play a role?  I am interested in all aspects of this issue.  Does a faith which promotes large families benefit coummunities?  Do certains faiths press their followers out further into the world?  I welcome any thoughts or opinions, as long as they are respectful.

2 Responses to “Rural Reverence”

  1. Think of Hanover without the Catholics or Linn-Palmer without the Lutherans. You don’t have much left if they were not there.
    Now, they’re also still the central groups creating the next generation in those communities.
    Honestly, at times when I feel like maybe I want to bail on rural Kansas, the fact that I closely identify with the high percentage of Lutherans in Linn-Palmer makes me change my mind. It is also why I located in Linn and still attach much of my activity to Linn rather than Washington.
    Its a cultural thing I guess. But the same could likely be said about race.
    And as far as specific religions playing a role, I bet the more conservative ones have a greater pull factor than the less conservative… mostly because the less conservative probably lose there members at a higher rate than the more conservative.
    Just my opinion.

  2. thefryeguy Says:

    I think you are right on just about every point. I have just anecdotal evidence to offer, but there are communities in Washington County that were once the same or similar in size to towns such as Linn. Though Linn has definitely had its own problem with population sustainance, they are doing better than some and as you say: predominantly Lutheran. Compare this to a largely Methodist community like Haddam or a largely Presbyterian community such as Mahaska. I know there are many more factors at play, but this is surely furtile ground for sociological research!

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