A really interesting part of class this week was our viewing of the documentary, Separate Realities, which described the religious lives of two different individuals in similar locations. This film was really impactful for me because i have always found it interesting to understand how different perceptions one’s relationship with God can change one’s viewpoint on life. My personal experience with religion is very similar to Susan Anderson’s, the Episcopalian worshipper in the film. I deeply related with her doubts concerning God as well as her search to find a fair and intimate relationship with God. This is much more closely related to my experience and interest in religion, as I have personally looked deeper into religion as a grew older and found that my own doubts in the Christian faith would ultimately lead to my distance from the church. I think in the case of Susan Anderson, it was possible to come to terms with the doubts in her mind about worship and faith and still remain a strong member of her church.
As a result, it was really interesting to see Glenn Stover’s experience as a Baptist. Although I have been exposed to the concept of Baptist worship, it was helpful to see an individual’s perspective on this form of Christianity. For Glenn, his relationship with the Lord was heavily dependent upon his ability to spread the Word of God to others. This is a more churchly approach to religion (as defined by McGuire to consider themselves, “uniquely legitimate and exist in a relatively positive relationship with society.” (156)). When watching the film, I couldn’t help but find myself disagreeing with Glenn’s opinion about his purpose in the church, which I realize is indicative of my own Episcopalian upbringing that emphasized a personal relationship with God rather than a duty in the community.