As someone not that far removed from a “redneck” heritage, I think that Gordon has hit on something very important: often our discussions of R-rated movies and such is, for both sides, really a discussion of class. One side sees itself as sophisticated and informed. The other side sees itself as obedient and faithful. The first sides accuses the second of being anti-intellectual. The second side accuses the first of being proud and unwilling to take counsel.
But in the US there is a complication to that picture that I’m not sure how to understand. LDS are generally more educated than comparable church groups. (Though that phenomenon is probably more pronounced in Utah than outside it, I don’t think it is only a Utah thing.) We often take that as a point of pride, yet I worry that it is true because those with blue-collar jobs and high-school or less educations don’t feel comfortable among us. I live in a blue-collar part of Provo where having a Ph.D. makes me a rare specimen, and that is one of the reasons I like my ward. But even there it seems clear to me that those without college degrees of some kind or another nevertheless have a life-style and culture that is more like that of college and white-collar types, and that those who do not share in that culture do not feel comfortable among us. For example, part of what we expect is that people will dress in business-like dress when they come to church, though that is likely to be more difficult for many who do not dress in that way for any other occasion.
One finds a similar expectation of dress in many black churches and they tend not to be havens for intellectuals and businessmen. And there are many in my ward and others who are comfortable putting on a suit and white shirt for church and for nothing else. So the expectation isn’t necessarily a deterrent. But it does seem to me an example of having cultural and class-based expectations that can make it difficult for some to feel like they are part of us, sufficiently difficult that those who are already weak in the faith are less likely to come to church.
I think both Gordon’s observation and mine are true, but there seems to be some kind of contradiction between them.