I interviewed three people for this assignment: my mother and two of my close friends Patrick and Matt. I was surprised at how similar, yet different, two of these interviews were. My mother, who is Christian, differed from Patrick who is also Christian. My second friend, Matt, turned out to be Agnostic so his interview was highly different than the other two.
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To begin, my mother and Patrick share the same main religious (Christianity), but different branches of that religion. My mother is Holiness, whereas Patrick is of Pentecostal faith. I was surprised to see how different they were since they’re both Christian. Matt, on the other hand, was obviously completely different from the other two. However, they all three answered “no” to the last question “Is your religious life separate from your life in other institutions?” Although Matt is not religious, he still agreed that his beliefs and disbeliefs do not change any where he goes.
When I compared the interviews between my mother and Patrick, I noticed several similarities. First off, both agreed that they participate in church related activities. My mother said that she “watches Sunday church programs,” and Patrick “helps out at his church during the holidays.” Although these two activities are different, they still demonstrate just how dedicated these two people are to their religion. However, when asked if they attend religious services, my mother responded “no” while Patrick responded “yes – every Sunday I go to church.” Matt, obviously, did not attend any religious service or engage in any religious activities.
Along with attending religious activities, Patrick and my mother were similar in other questions. For instance, both of these people agreed that they prayed every single day. Hey both seemed to be very serious when it came to how often they prayed. My mother responded to this question with “I pray every day. I never miss a day.” Patrick said that he wouldn’t “dare miss a day of prayer.” I found these two responses very interesting. I enjoyed to realize how devoted these two people were to their religious faith.
When asked if they see their religion as a “source of comfort and support,” Patrick and my mother had a lot to say. Patrick responded with yes and explained how he believes his religion to be comforting to him. He explained to me that when he is feeling “down” or “sad,” that he can either “think of the Lord” or “pray” and he “instantly feels better.” I even noticed his face light up when he started talking about this. My mother also agreed that she finds comfort in her religion. She told me that if she’s ever “faced with a difficult situation” that she can just “ask the Lord for guidance” and this “comforts” her.
Although there were many similarities between Patrick’s and my mother’s interviews, there were also several differences. For example, when asked how often they read religious texts, my mother responded with “not very often.” Patrick, on the other hand, told me that he reads “almost every day, at least five times a week.” My mother explained that she has a hard time focusing due to her “anxiety” but plans on reading more often. Patrick explained that he believes it is “very important” that he reads from his bible “as much as possible.” He also told me that he has read the bible three times so far but wishes to increase that number.
Along with this, I also noticed that these two differed when it came to if their religious commitment has changed over time. Patrick told me that, while he was younger, he wasn’t “religious at all.” After he got older though, he “found God.” When I asked him what influenced this, he explained that he felt like he wasn’t “living for a reason,” so he decided to turn to the Christian religion. Since then he has been “dedicated to God 100%.” My mother, however, told me how she “grew up with religious parents.” She explained that she “always knew about the Lord and always believed in him.”
Although these three people rarely connected their religious life to their social life, I can still understand how religion can play a role in a person’s social life and vice/versa. If a person isn’t completely dedicated to their religion, they may find themselves being easily influenced by people to lose faith. On the other hand, a person who isn’t religious may become religious if they are often around religious people. Patrick and my mother seemed to be very devoted to their religions and they both agreed that their beliefs do not change when they’re around others. Matt, even though he is agnostic, also agreed with this.
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