Atlantic Cities has an article about “America’s Most (and Least) Religious Metro Areas.” Based on a Gallup survey, the data shows that “the most religious metros as well as states are in the South, while the least religious are in in the Northeast and West Coast.” The post has a great map, which I can’t reproduce here. The author elaborates on religiosity’s correlations to other variables, such as income, working class jobs, and education, then concludes:
“Politicos on the left and right like to explain religious voters’ proclivity purely in terms of values. But this misses a central point – that religion is inextricably bound up with the nation’s underlying economic and geographic class divide.”
I completely agree that religiosity is connected to class. But surely religion has something to do with religiosity. It matters that Provo (the most religious city) is heavily Mormon, that Boston (in the bottom 10) is heavily Catholic, that Florida and New York have more Jews than other places, that Baptists are the largest denomination in the South, and so on. Religion is connected with class, but it is not just epiphenomenal, a marker of something deemed more significant like politics or economics.