Chaves Ch. 4 Reflection

Chapter 4 of Chaves’ book was about religious involvement. Data collected has shown that there has been a decline in America’s religious involvement over recent decades. Weekly attendance at worship services has declined as well as the percentage of new generations of Americans who have been raised in a religiously active family. The changes in American family household and structures has caused religious involvement to decline, showing that religion has become less important in contemporary America. Chaves emphasizes church attendance, saying that people report they go to church more often than they actually do, but although church is an important factor in religiosity, I do not think it is the end all be all in regards to explaining just how “religious” one is.

I say this because when looking at my mom, church attendance is not nearly as important for her as simply staying connected to God is. I think that claiming poor church attendance is a reflection of declining religiosity is faulty because people still are involved in church and religion without having always to physically be there. My mom for example, does not always make it out to church but when this happens, she makes sure to watch a church service that is broadcasted on television. She may not physically be in a seat at church— which is how data has been collected for church attendance— but she still makes it a point to stay involved. I just found it interesting that there is a great emphasis on the correlation between church attendance and religious intention, but one can still be religiously or spiritually involved without having to go to church on a regular basis.