Religious Involvement

In chapter 4, Chaves discusses the changes in people’s religious involvement over the years as far as how often they attend services in regards to their claims as compared to actual attendance. He mentions how people tend to portray themselves as frequent churchgoers, but upon an actual attendance taken from the service, a large majority of those people are non frequent attendees. Reading this made me think of the discussions in class regarding how religion today is viewed more freely than it was in times before. Today we are given more freedom to choose our own religions rather than to follow that of our family and agreed to traditions that had already been created and set as a standard before us. More people are finding themselves curious about religion in general, which according to Chaves, has sparked a large increase in people who were either not associated with religion, or not frequenters of services, to begin visiting and experiencing different forms of religious traditions. We begin noticing that their claims of how religious they are, or something as simple as their religious attendance, begins to match up with observed attendance. Along with the growing trends of the disappearance of the religious “nones” as those who are becoming more curious about religions, Chaves also mentioned that there is a decrease in those who identify as part of a religious group because we see that a lot of people are beginning to pull away from organized religion in order to find themselves as more spiritual and religious as an individual rather than tied into something. This is a trend we see throughout the coming generation as it grows more and more acceptable, and is something that even I consider myself a part of.