The theodicy of the middle and upper class has turned Christianity on its head. It is a perversion of what Jesus of Nazareth taught. Here are some of the characteristics:
The theodicy justifies the privilege and good fortune of the wealthy and explains why others are not as blessed.
Religious affiliation is based on socio-economic status
Economic prosperity is a sign of God's favor.
There is high value on individual initiative and accomplishment.
Sin is an act or deed of individual failure.
The world is not fallen and unjust and therefore needs no change or transformation.
Worship services are orderly and controlled and highly ritualized.
This theodicy does not accept the inerrancy of the scripture, and science and technology are accepted.
There is moral relativism.
Sermons and teachings are usually saccharine and emphasize positive thinking and support for the current political and social order.
The religious world view promoted makes the middle and upper classes happy with who they are and justifies their privilege.
The primary denominations in the United States for the Middle and Upper Class are Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Unitarian Universalist.
While George W. Bush claimed to be born again he repeatedly claimed that God had called him to become President of the United States which became a justification for his policies and actions as well as his "right" to be President.
Upper and Middle Classes often use their religious affiliation to pursue their secular goals. Their use of privilege to oppress and subjugate others is often justified in terms of the articulation of a nomos and cosmos that legitimizes and makes plausible their preferences and right to rule. They often seek out the legitimizing association with popular religious celebrities like Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Rick Warren, etc.
Religion as a social construction has tremendous political and secular power to manipulate people and promote and sustain social order. It is in the understanding of how it works that we are able to use the religious impulse for constructive purposes instead of oppression.
Unitarian Universalism is a very small denomination in the United States and yet historically is broadly represented by many leaders from Presidents to social activists.
In our current society, Unitarian Universalism appeals primarily to upper middle class, well educated, liberal people who affiliate more for social reasons rather than out of any religious commitment.
Most UUs are not Unitarian Universalist by birth but rather people who have affiliated with the church by choice hoping that the cost/benefit ratio will be in their favor. UUs will come to church as long as it meets their preferences and needs, but there is no abiding or deep covenanting in spite of the discussion of the desirability of covenantal relationships.
One of the criticisms of Unitarian Universalism made by people like Michael Durall and others is that Unitarian Universalism has low appeal not because it asks too much from its adherents but because it asks too little. Consequently, Unitarian Universalism may continue to be a religion of self justification for people of privlege who are looking for ways to assuage their middle class guilt rather than as a means for personal and social transformation.