Is there a connection between physical rootlessness and spiritual rootlessness? I.e., does a mobile society tend to weaken religious convictions? -- Lorraine
If the real question is whether the integrity and cohesion of a society's shared religious convictions are damaged by high levels of mass mobility, then the answer is almost certainly yes. Watch how paleocons and libertarians leap at each others' throats on the open borders question, and you will see this throbbing beneath the surface.
But the more interesting question if we read Lorraine's words at face value is whether the religious convictions of members of a given society tend to lose them if that society is typified by high internal levels of mass mobility. Here I think experience is inconclusive. Americans have always been mobile sorts. Yet religion remains very powerful and vibrant. Indeed, areas in Old New England where Americans have been least mobile are often the ones associated with a general abandonment of religious convictions. And then the Mormons were only highly mobile because the locals kept running them out of town.
Probably moving around a lot -- or even a moderate amount, if great distances are involved -- relates not so much to a dimming of religious convictions but a weakening of personal ties with co-religionists, which may in fact contribute to a strengthening of religious convictions insofar as God goes everywhere with you in a way people, including members of one's former congregation, do not. So is there a link between mobility and Protestantism? Quite possibly -- and quite possibly in both directions as well.