Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Karl Marx's skin lesions

Here's a story about Karl Marx. Dermatologists now think he had some skin disease, and they speculate that it affected both his life and work.

"In addition to reducing his ability to work, which contributed to his depressing poverty, hidradenitis greatly reduced his self-esteem... this explains his self-loathing and alienation, a response reflected by the alienation Marx developed in his writing."

So, it's not about the alienation of the lower classes, it's about skin lesions.

Does this tell us anything about Marx's modern day adherents?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I'm having a hard time with words today, so here's a picture I took of a town celebration at the end of summer.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hay for Horses

He had driven half the night
From far down San Joaquin
Through Mariposa, up the
Dangerous mountain roads,
And pulled in at eight a.m.
With his big truckload of hay
behind the barn.
With winch and ropes and hooks
We stacked the bales up clean
To splintery redwood rafters
High in the dark, flecks of alfalfa
Whirling through shingle-cracks of light,
Itch of haydust in the sweaty shirt
and shoes.
At lunchtime under Black oak
Out in the hot corral,
-The old mare nosing lunchpails,
Grasshoppers ling in the weeds-
"I'm sixty-eight," he said,
"I first bucked hay when I was seventeen.
I thought, that day I started,
I sure would to do this all my life.
And dammit, that's just what
I've gone and done!

From "Rip-Rap"

by Gary Snyder

I was talking with a friend about life regrets, and the next day he dropped off this poem. I especially like it because it takes place not far from where my family lived in Fresno.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Religion and politics diagram

Here's a really funny diagram about religion & politics.

I'm not sure that I agree with all of it... I would put democrats into the stupid-politics overlap along with republicans. Also, I don't think that fundamentalists have a corner on the stupid-religion overlap (or even that all of them fit into it).

Still, I'm a sucker for a clever Venn diagrams, and this is one.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Speaking with conviction

Here's a wonderful video from a comedian named Taylor Mali. It's a thought-provoking critique of how we present knowledge. Enjoy!

Thanks to Mark for the link!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

First imitate, then innovate

An interesting idea from the fruitfultime blog (which is different from fruit, full-time which is sponsored by the citrus growing industry).
When you're learning something new, focus on imitating what other, successful people have done. Once you've learned that, then start trying to do things differently.

In their words:

"To think creatively, be innovative, come up with new ideas, build new stuff, you first need to learn all that is currently known about the topic of interest. Only then can you push the envelope and be innovative. To become proficient in any subject, skill, profession, or sport, you need to be determined and disciplined.

In other words, you first need to master yourself, your core skills. You need to learn how to become more efficient, effective, disciplined, determined, and focused."

This makes a lot of sense to me. I've gotten (re)interested in photography these last several months, and rather than just going out and trying to take cool pictures, I found a wonderful book, and I'm trying to replicate some of the techniques and composition that he uses. In one section, he talks about panning the camera to follow a moving subject. Here's a picture of one of the runners that I took at one of Joshua's cross-country meets.

Cool, huh? Not particularly innovative, but better than what I would have done otherwise.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall colors

There are some advantages to living in New England, at least in autumn. Here are some pictures from last week. I think nature makes it beautiful for a few weeks to give us something to think about when its just sticks, rocks, and squirrels until spring.

Our street:
Side view of house:
View out my office window:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The value of women's sex in the romantic marketplace

This is from an article by Baumeister and Vohs (Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2004) in which they apply economic principles of supply and demand to the romantic marketplace.

They state that "a heterosexual community can be analyzed as a marketplace in which men seek to acquire sex from women by offering other resources in exchange." The question then becomes what effects the value of the sex offered by women. Here are their answers:
Assumptions of the romantic marketplace
- In general, men want sex more than women want
- In general, men have resources women want
- Women are free to make sexual decisions
- The man and woman live in a culture in which information about others' sexual activities is known or hinted about, so that each person knows the current market price

Factors that decrease a woman's market value
- Woman's age is past young adulthood
- Woman is unattractive
- Other women also want the man (competition)
- Woman has high drive sexual drive
- Man has much higher status than the woman
- Woman lacks alternate access to resources
- Woman has had many prior sexual partners or has the reputation of having had many - partners
- Larger pool of women than men (supply exceeds demand)
- Permissive sexual norms (low market price)
- Men have easy access to pornography or prostitutes (low-cost substitutes)

Factors that increase a woman's market value

- Woman is attractive
- Woman is in young adulthood
- Woman wears sexually attractive clothing
- Other men also want the woman (competition)
- Man has high drive sexual drive
- Woman has had few or no prior sexual partners, or has the reputation of having few or no partners
- Larger pool of men than women (demand exceeds supply)
- Female collusion to restrict men's ual access to women (monopolistic manipulation)
- Men have few opportunities for sexual satisfaction
Two questions
Do you think this is accurate?

If so, do you think this is moral?
(Thanks Mark for the article!)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Exchange theory and romance

Romantic love is the thing of poets, songwriters, college students text-messaging and… sociologists. One way that sociologists explain love is from the perspective of exchange theory. According to this theory, people think about relationships in terms of the various benefits and costs available to them, and they chose the relationships with the most benefits.

Think about the relationships that you’ve been in. What are some of the j0422305 benefits that you received? They can make you feel loved and special. It’s fun to have somebody to do things with—you feel less lonely. They can also offer sexual gratification.

What are some of the costs? They can take a ton of time and money, even when you don’t have much of either. They can be full of conflict. They can produce a lot of anxiety, and there’s the always-present threat of rejection.

Once we have become aware of these benefits and costs, how do we use them to figure out what to do? Two decision-making standards have been proposed. The first is called comparison level. We figure out what we have to gain from a relationship and then we compare it to what we have had in the past. If the potential relationship is better than our previous ones were, we go for it. If it’s not, we don’t. The idea here is that we want something better than we’ve had before.

The other decision-making standard is comparison level of alternatives. We evaluate a current or future relationship not against past relationships but against other options that we think are available to us. The operating principle here is “can you do better?” Should you get involved with a particular person? Well, it depends on your other options.

These decision standards apply to both getting into a new relationship and to staying in an existing relationship. Should you ask someone out? Well, do you think that a relationship with that person will provide you more benefits than your past relationships did (i.e., comparison level)? Do you think that you wouldj0422513 do better asking someone else out instead (i.e., comparison level of alternative)? Likewise, if you are already in a relationship, how long should you stay in it? You might stay as long as it’s better than what you’ve had in the past or until you think you can do better.

Now that you understand this sociological perspective on relationships, I would recommend being careful with how you use it. Specifically, society has rules and guidelines about how we present our decisions to potential romantic partners. When you’re at the local bar this weekend and see a very attractive person, don’t go up to them and tell them that they exceed both your comparison level and comparison level of alternatives. Even saying that the benefits of hooking-up exceed the costs probably won’t work. This is where poets and songwriters come in—they provide much more useful advice on how to enact our romantic lives.


Being 100% honest about the exchange aspect of relationships, even you’re being truthful, can make you sound rather cold-hearted and calculating. Consider the following exchange in a personal ad on Craig’s List. In it, a beautiful woman discusses her problems meeting her ideal mate, and in response a wealthy man subjects her to a rather brutal cost-benefit analysis.



What am I doing wrong?

Okay, I’m tired of beating around the bush. I’m a beautiful (spectacularly beautiful) 25 year old girl. I’m articulate and classy. I’m not from New York. I’m looking to get married to a guy who makes at least half a million a year. I know how that sounds, but keep in mind that a million a year is middle class in New York City, so I don’t think I’m overreaching at all.

Are there any guys who make 500K or more on this board? Any wives? Could you send me some tips? I dated a business man who makes average around 200 - 250. But that’s where I seem to hit a roadblock. 250,000 won’t get me to central park west. I know a woman in my yoga class who was married to an investment banker and lives in Tribeca, and she’s not as pretty as I am, nor is she a great genius. So what is she doing right? How do I get to her level?

Here are my questions specifically:

- Where do you single rich men hang out? Give me specifics- bars, restaurants, gyms

- What are you looking for in a mate? Be honest guys, you won’t hurt my feelings

- -Is there an age range I should be targeting (I’m 25)?

- Why are some of the women living lavish lifestyles on the upper east side so plain? I’ve seen really ‘plain jane’ boring types who have nothing to offer married to incredibly wealthy guys. I’ve seen drop dead gorgeous girls in singles bars in the east village. What’s the story there? j0422990

- Jobs I should look out for? Everyone knows - lawyer, investment banker, doctor. How much do those guys really make? And where do they hang out? Where do the hedge fund guys hang out?

- How you decide marriage vs. just a girlfriend? I am looking for MARRIAGE ONLY

Please hold your insults - I’m putting myself out there in an honest way. Most beautiful women are superficial; at least I’m being up front about it. I wouldn’t be searching for these kind of guys if I wasn’t able to match them - in looks, culture, sophistication, and keeping a nice home and hearth.



I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament. Firstly, I’m not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful” as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way. Classic “pump and dump.” I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.


So, what’s the lesson here? While it might be a good idea to know why we make romantic decisions, we might want to be discreet about how we discuss them with potential or existing romantic partners.

That being said, let’s get out there this weekend and maximize comparison levels!

Originally posted in

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Me Church

Here's a funny video clip about a modern sensibilities about church. (Click preview).

(From Ben D.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Saturday stuff

A funny poster (sent by John)

Go Fight Ham Fighters!

Over the years I have been a fair-weather fan of several baseball teams, the Red Sox, Orioles, Dodgers, and anyone playing the Yankees.

Now, however, I have a team that I believe in, be a true fan... The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters! My new favorite team offers distinct advantages:

- The name (and I do like ham!)
- Their mascot: "Fighty," is fluorescent pink and resembles a fuzzy pterodactyl and rides a bicycle
- During the fifth-inning sweep, the cheerleaders and groundskeepers dance to the Village People's YMCA
- In 1980's the Fighters wore bright orange-and-yellow uniforms in an attempt to attract fans.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is Religion Good for You?

"Doubling the rate of religious attendance raises household income by 9.1 percent, decreases welfare participation by 16 percent from baseline rates, decreases the odds of being divorced by 4 percent , and increases the odds of being married by 4.4 percent."

This is a summary of an article by Jonathan Gruber. He develops a in which leaving near people of the same religion results in greater religious attendance which in turn creates well-being.
>He speculates that religion increases well-being through several mechanisms:

1) "That religious attendance increases the number of social interactions in a way peculiar to religious settings"

2) "That religious institutions provide financial and emotional "insurance" that help people mitigate their losses when setbacks occur"

3) "That attendance at religious schools may be an advantage"

4) "Religious faith may simply improve well-being directly by enabling the faithful to be "less stressed out" by the problems of every day life"
(Emphasis and enumeration mine)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Naughty Nazgul

My seven-year-old son asked me some questions the other day that showed a strong sense of morality and analogous thinking (and made me laugh, too).

He started with the premise that we should always wear helmets when we ride our bicycles. "Okay"

He then asked if horseback riding was like bicycling in that we should also wear helmets. "Sure"

He then bought up something that he noticed watching Lord of the Rings... the Nazgul did not wear helmets when they rode their, well, whatever they ride. "That's true." At that he shook his head in disapproval.

So... in addition to be servants of the dark lord, the Nazbul are also naughty.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Midterm day

I gave my Soc of Religion class their midterm today, and I was struck by several things.

1) Giving tests is perhaps the only truly boring aspect of an otherwise consistently interesting job. (Faculty meetings are about the only competitor). Granted taking tests isn't fun, but watching people take tests is no great shakes either.

2) Good multiple choice questions are really hard to write. That may be the one aspect of teaching that I still feel pretty unsure about. Any advice?

3) I'm pretty sure that about 1/5 the class will be glaring at me on class Thursday. That's usually about how many seem to get grades much lower than they think they deserved. It will take a few lectures before they warm up again. When I started teaching, I would make personal attributions... I didn't do a good job with those lectures (after the midterm). Now it's pure situational attributions.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Playing Halo at Church?

Here's an interesting story, sent to me by David Weakliem, about a church that uses the video game Halo to attract young people to church.

The church using it identifies the need to reach teenage boys with its message, and from what I know of my teenage boy, Halo is the way to do it.

Critics suggest that its too violent--violating the "do not kill" thing in the Bible.

I actually think that I'm okay with this. I let my boys play Halo at home because it's sufficiently caricatured that I don't think that it's teaching them .

At church? What do you think?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

An inspirational video

Here's a video that was shown at church this morning. The pastor set it in the context of doing what were created to do.

Remarkably inspirational!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Saturday Stuff

I am now the proud father of a tiger cub. Floyd, a strapping first-grader, has joined the cub scouts and was commissioned as a "tiger cub." He seems to enjoy it, a lot, and my favorite part: Their motto is "do your best" and then they roar like tigers. Cathy has volunteered to be a den mother, and it has been fun for her too.

Our church has started the "40 days of purpose," based on Rick Warren's book The Purpose Driven Life, and we're hosting one of the small groups. Last week's topic was what does God want for us in life. In the midst of discussing it, I cracked that I'm lucky because I also have my wife to tell me what I should do. At that point, one of the members in the group smiled and commented: "The Purpose Driven Wife."

Children can be brutal... just ask Casey.

Congratulations Dan on the teaching award.

An honest assessment of the job market for Sociology MA students.

One more reason to still be suspicious of people dressed like clowns.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Social Construction of Crime

What is a crime? This simple question turns out to have a variety of answers.

A simple answer would be that a crime is doing anything that is against the law. The problem with this, however, is that there are tens of thousands of laws, and who could possibly remember all of them? Did you know that here in Connecticut it is illegal to throw away used razor blades? In Massachusetts, it’s illegal to use bullets as currency? In Arkansas, it is illegal to drive barefoot? image

Some laws may be well-known but rarely or never enforced. For example, when was the last time you got a ticket for driving five miles over the speed limit? If a law is either not known or not enforced, does breaking it constitute a crime?

This raises the issue of which laws actually get enforced, and one answer uses the social psychological principle of social construction. Rooted in the sociological perspective of symbolic interactionism, social construction is the idea that social realities happens as people interact and come to an agreement about what a situation means.

Here’s an example that happens fairly regularly here at UConn: A student walks around at night with a beer in their hand, and they see a police officer. Not only are they underage, but they are also not supposed to have an open container in public, so they drop the beer. The student defines the situation as one of avoiding an alcohol-related crime. The police officer sees the dropped bottle or cup, goes over to the student, and tells them to pick it up and dispose of it properly. The police officer defines the situation as one of littering. This situation is pretty straightforward—the student readily accepts the police officer’s definition and throws away the cup or bottle.

In other situations, however, there is protracted negotiation about what is happening and what is right and wrong.

Here’s a remarkable video shot in St. George Missouri. Police Sergeant Sgt. James Kuehnlein confronts 20-year-old Brett Darrow for being stopped in a parking lot. It turns out that Brett had a video camera on in the back of his car, and so we are able to hear the whole interaction. Here’s a snippet of the conversation:

Kuehnlein asks for identification. When Darrow asks whether he did anything wrong, the officer orders him out of the car and begins shouting.

"You want to try me? You want to try me tonight? You think you have a bad night? I will ruin your night. … Do you want to try me tonight, young boy?"

Darrow says no.

"Do you want to go to jail for some (expletive) reason I come up with?" the police officer says. Later, Darrow says, "I don't want any problems, officer."

"You're about to get it," Kuehnlein is heard saying. "You already started your (expletive) problems with your attitude."

(Here’s the eventual outcome).

There are various implications of crime being socially negotiated. Most obviously, justice isn’t a predetermined outcome based on what you actually do, instead it’s sometimes what you can negotiate. This puts a premium on your ability to negotiate a successful outcome with police officers and other j0400849 members of the criminal justice system. That’s why it’s such a good idea to be polite and deferential to the police when you interact with them. “Yes officer” and “no officer” are very good things to say, for a pleasant interaction paves the way for a more successful negotiation of what’s going on.

The criminal justice system may not always enforce all written laws, but they do sometimes enforce unwritten laws. There are various norms of how to deal with the police and other officials, such as being polite, and even though these norms are not official laws, they are enforced as if they were.

For example, having a sarcastic tone with a police officer isn’t illegal, but it can change the amount of punishment you get for a crime. Likewise, there is no law saying that defendants in court have to present themselves well and be apologetic, but it’s quite possible that poor self-presentation in the courtroom will lead to a harsher sentence.

This social construction of crime can also be affected by individuals’ place in society. The police and courtroom actors, like anyone, have their preconceptions about different types of people. That means that going into their interaction with somebody they might already have an idea as to whether that person is guilty or how that person will act.

These preconceptions, which we can also call stereotypes, can affect the interaction between the official and the person in question. In the video clip, the police officer clearly has some ideas about young people in fast cars, and he projected them onto the person he stopped. Not only age, but also race, gender, clothing, and general appearance can affect expectations of law enforcement officials which in turn, via social construction, can alter the way someone is treated by the police or the courts.

The next time that you get pulled over, maybe the real question is not what you did but rather what you can construct through social interaction.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mormon missionaries in the class

Last week I invited some Mormon missionaries to my sociology of religion class. We were studying rational choice theory of crime, and I had the missionaries talk for 15 minutes on why the class should become Mormons. Afterwards, the students asked questions and wrote an essay applying rational choice theory to Mormonism.

Overall, it went really well. The poor missionaries, two young women, were exceedingly nervous, but I greatly appreciated their courage in talking with the 200 students.

My students were appropriately gracious in interacting with the missionaries, but there were two times when a lot of jaws dropped.

At one point, a student asked why women have shorter missions than men (18 months vs. 24 months), and a missionary sort of shrugged and said that "they want us to get married young." Pretty sure that's not an idea heard a lot here.

Later, the missionaries were asked about LDS practices, and they mentioned no alcohol, drugs, premarital sex, and then--gasp--no coffee. From the looks on the students faces, the speakers might as well have pulled their faces off to reveal alien heads underneath... What a shock!

Monday, October 08, 2007


I turn 45 years old today. When I check my life expectancy at various websites, I usually estimates from 84 to 90 years old.

So, I'm officially half dead. Sigh...

I'm going to spend most of the day writing midterm questions and attending a longish meeting tonight.

Yeah, I'm a party animal. Amazing that I've made it this far...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Should Rudy get communion?

Here's a story about a Roman Catholic Archbishop saying he would not serve communion to Rudy Giuliani.

His belief: "Burke says that anyone administering Communion — ordained priest or lay minister — is morally obligated to deny it to Catholic politicians who support an abortion-rights position contrary to church teaching."

What do you think? Is this appropriate?

(Thanks to David for the link)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday stuff

Here's a video about a stupid dinner-time trick that had Floyd and me laughing for about 20 minutes. (Warning: may be too sophisticated for some people)

Steve Barry has an interesting discussion about men in church. Key phrase: "Singing prom songs to Jesus"

Joshua is off this weekend at a cross-country meet up in Vermont. His running is certainly improving. He was running around the yard with a friend from the team last weekend, and they looked like deer bounding along. The last time I ran a friend commented that I run "like a sociologist"

Everything you wanted to know about building a hang glider--good news about how careful they are! (From John)

Albert Einstein is viewed as a bit of a pop philosopher. After reading this post (by Ray Fowler) about his wedding contract, I am not so sure.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A critique of atheist Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, of Oxford University, is a well-known critic of Christianity. Alister McGrath, also of Oxford, is becoming a well-known apologist for Christianity and critic of Dawkins. Here is the start of his critique of Dawkins:

1) Richard Dawkins approaches the question of whether God exists in much the same way as if he’d approach the question of whether there is water on Mars. In other words, it’s something that’s open to objective scientific experimentation. And of course there’s no way you can bring those criteria to bear on God. I think Dawkins seems reluctant to allow that God may not be in the same category as scientific objects.

2) Dawkins clearly believes that those who believe in God must prove their case and atheists have nothing to prove because that’s their default position. But I think that’s simply incorrect and it’s obviously incorrect. Really, the only obvious position is to say: We don’t know, we need to be persuaded one way or the other. The default position in other words is: not being sure. Therefore I think Dawkins must realize that he’s under as great an obligation to show that there is no God as, for example, a Christian is to show that there’s a God.

What do you think. Is this reasonable?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A gift idea

For the Christian who has everything... talking Bible character dolls. From the description:

"The foot-tall Jesus doll will be able to recite five Biblical verses at the push of button on its back, while the Moses doll will recite the Ten Commandments. The Mary doll will recite a long Bible verse."

My favorite part: Jesus and Moses have totally been lifting. They are ripped! In fact, I think those are workout towels over their shoulder.

"Hey Mo, can you spot me over here on the benchpress. I'm going for a PR."

(Thanks to Wayne for the link)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Playing to my strengths

As part of my sociology of religion class, I'm inviting in local religious-types to talk about different aspects of what they do. Two weeks ago, Ben Dubow, of St. Paul's Collegiate Church, was kind enough to come in and talk about the organizational aspects of church-life. No surprise it went very well--Ben's a talented guy.

He arrived a little early, so he got (had?) to watch me teach. I asked him afterwards what he thought, and he said that I used the room well by walking around while I lecture and made good use of humor.

Then it hit me, two fundamental characteristics of me have finally, finally paid off: I can't sit still and I constantly jokes. For how much trouble they got me into as a student, it's nice, and maybe ironic, that they benefit me as a teacher.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

How many Christians believe in demons?

A reader of this blog wrote and asked if I knew of any data regarding belief rates among Christians in demons. I asked survey-guru David Weakliem, and he pointed me to the 2006 survey "Spirit and Power" by the Pew Foundation.

A survey of Christians in 10 countries, one of its questions asked was if respondents thought that angels and demons were active. The responses varied somewhat by nation and denomination as follows:

Question: Do you *completely* agree that demons and angels are active in the world. (Note: this leaves out respondents who mostly agree.)

United States:
- 72% Pentecostals
- 58% Charismatics
- 41% Other Christians

- 81% Pentecostals
- 57% Charismatics
- 53% Other Christians

- 75% Pentecostals
- 70% Charismatics
- 43% Other Christians

- 66% Pentecostals
- 56% Charismatics
- 48% Other Christians

Monday, October 01, 2007

Do Christians live longer II?

Last Friday's post prompted some good questions about the mortality rates of Christians.

One question regarded gender differences, and as shown in the above chart, taken from Hummer et al. 1999 (Demography), the difference in mortality by church attendance exists for both men and women.

The authors also run of hazard analysis, and the effect of religious attendance says significant even when controlling for demographic characteristics, health, SES measures, and social ties. (It does attenuate from 1.87 to 1.50).

A last question: Does this have any ministry implications for Christian pastors and other workers? I don't know... any ideas.