Hi! I’m Lee McCaskill, and I’m a student at Furman University. I’m going to be writing this blog series on religion, and how someone’s religion plays into their daily life. This will range from how someone interprets the movies they watch to how they decided to vote. I’m going to investigate this through various interviews and observations, seeing how people behave in different situations and talking to people about how religion plays into their lives. By doing this, I’ll be able to religion in some way affects everyone’s life on a daily basis, either in how they make decisions or react, or in how other people act around them.
Why’d I choose Religion?
I grew up in Clemson, and, especially as younger child, I went to church every Sunday. As I got older, I began to explore other churches and programs aside from my home church to see what else I could learn and what other experiences I could have. As a freshman in college, I’m actually considering a career in ministry, particularly youth ministry. I have also always tried to figure out what motivations people have for doing what they do, so I really want to take a closer look at how religion plays into that.
My Major Goals
Everyone’s entire day is made up of decisions. What clothes do you wear? How do you greet people? How much do you work? What do you do for lunch and who do you eat with? What do you do on the way home? What do you do when you get home? What do you do before bed? And then you do it all again the next day.
And then there are the even bigger, not so daily questions. What job do you have? Where do you live? Who do you live with? What do you do in your free time? What are you spending money on?
My main goal is to determine whether or not religion is a factor when most people make these decisions, and how much influence it has in those decisions. To do this, I’ll be observing and interviewing people to learn their beliefs and how they think that affects their decisions.
I also want to look into how religious beliefs affects people’s opinions, like how they interpret things like books and movies, how they believe other people should behave, and how people should be governed. This will lead me into exploring how religion can affect people in a broader way, such as who people vote for and who leads people. I also want to see how religion can affect things like entertainment and education, looking into what movies are popular and what types of education are most used.
My General Outline
- Start specific, looking at individual people and decisions
- Discuss their religion, and in turn their daily decisions
- Get an idea of most people’s religions and its affects
- Observe to see how most people act
- Look for correlations in beliefs and behaviors
- Also ask if people think their religion does affect their behaviors
- Work towards looking into a person’s religion and values and the effects those have on larger aspects of their life
- Look for similarities in belief and major parts of people’s lives
- Ask people if they take their religious views into account before making the larger decisions in their life
What I’m Expecting
I plan to learn how religion affects people and society as a whole, and how much it does so. Religion has always been a pretty major aspect of my life, so I think it will be really interesting to see what roles it plays in other people’s lives. I think I’ll find it has bigger effect than most people would guess, whether directly or indirectly. I think someone’s own religion may even affect them without them realizing it. It would affect them in similar ways it would others, but instead of them actually taking their beliefs and values into consideration when they make an important decision, they do it subconsciously.
I expect religion to impact primarily these main parts of a person’s life:
- Their friends
- People are going to spend time with more like minded people, so they’ll be friends with people who go to the same church or believe the same thing
- Where they live
- Similar to how it affects friends, people will live near their church and likely near people with similar religious beliefs
- What job they have
- People often believe they have a calling, and I think they will try to find a job that follows their religious values, and also one that makes them feel like it’s where they’re supposed to be
- What they do for entertainment
- People believe certain entertainment and content goes against their values
- I also think it will have an influence on the way they interpret certain things, especially movies, and what meaning they find in things
- Political viewpoint
- I think it’s almost impossible for someone’s religion not to guide their political choices and perspective, particularly in the recent election
I’m excited to take this deeper look into the influence of religion, and I hope you guys are too. If you have any questions, contact me and I’ll respond as soon as I can. Or, if you want to add your experience or opinion, or have a suggestion for the blog, contact me and I’ll try to include that in a post!