It's true: we Wheelwrights have rarely suffered. And unlike most of those other Americans, I also had the church; don't underestimate the church—its healing power, and the comforting way it can set you apart. (8.281)
Religion is also a source of comfort in this novel. Here, John suggests that, for those who believe strongly, faith can ease suffering. Still, he acknowledges, there are many people who can't experience this benefit because they don't have faith.