I don't know how I got so lucky, but I've managed to find a small group of conservative professors to have lunch with every week--three of them are even socially conservative. What are the odds of four of those in the same room? One fellow is retired and gets angry all the time because greedy, selfish, short-sighted businessmen are ruining the country with mass immigration. He thinks the Southwest is finished.
I worry about his health (he's 79 and has a various health problems), so I told him that this is where religion comes in (he converted to Roman Catholicism a few years back). Thinking about your country will only make you mad, but rest assured that, in the end, everything will be alright. Life is only a moment; focus on eternity.
After, I wondered if it is true that religious people are less angry than the irreligious. I regressed a GSS question on the frequency of feeling angry onto a list of demographic variables and church attendance. Here are the results (sample size = 1,181)
Standardized OLS Regression Coefficients
Church attendance -.06*
*statistically significant effect
Older people and those who attend church frequently are significantly less angry than their counterparts. The other characteristics don't matter. (I'm surprised blacks are not angrier than whites. Anger cannot explain their higher rates of violence).
In addition to giving a person "the big picture," religion--most religions, at least--frowns on anger. My priest patiently hears my confessions of anger far too often. Angry white dude--I'm such a stereotype.
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