Getting into the mindscape of a sociologist, it is nice to see some visual representation of the research that has been completed to see where we should go from here. The subdivision of data is meticulous and conflicting at times, but I think this is what we and they must deal with in order to figure out what to do next. The differing cultures and traditions allow for a multi-faith conversation to happen—now that people, especially younger people, are becoming more accepting of beliefs other than their own. The Pew Research website was a nice visual learning experience to examine the demographic differences held by various beliefs, practices, as well as political and social views. The fact of the matter, for me, came when I searched under the “reading scripture” tab and discovered that 88% of Jehovah’s Witnesses are the ones who read their scripture the most per week; followed by Mormons at 77%.
Also, I very much enjoyed Mark Chaves’ chapters that gently spelled out the changing trends right now. Overall, the truth is in the figures he presents, and most people already know: church attendance and belief in God in the U.S. is going down. The religious diversity, however, in America is growing. Additionally, I find it hilarious that the “nones” category must be put in quotation marks as not to confuse anyone with the actual nuns. Mostly, the way you phrase a question, makes all the difference in what kind of results you will receive. There are numerous ways to conduct a survey—and it’s up to the individual to determine which way is best for them and the results they seek.