“Born Again” in relation to “The Social Context”

I have not had much experience in interacting with people from sectarian faiths because I grew up in a more denominational community. In high school, I learned that people who were fundamentalists and believed in the literal truth of the Bible were unintelligent and stuck in old, traditional values. I always viewed people with conservative ideologies because of their religion as people who were opposed to social change. I now understand because of classes like this religion and sociology class and cultural anthropology classes that there are reasons for certain faiths and religious organizations. Rather than to judge the way these people live, it is more interesting to observe how and why they live and believe in the way they do.

In “Born Again”, the daughter of the pastor describes her Christian school as very close-knit and “everybody knows your business”. In the “Social Context”, McGuire explains that this primary relationship is important part of the sectarian orientation because is supports the believer in the face of real or perceived opposition (183). Similarly, many people often criticize Baptist churches for their belief in creationism rather than evolution. This church criticized public schools that taught evolution. It depicts what McGuire calls “cognitive minority” – a group of people whose worldview differs from that of the dement society. Close-knit relationships provide a structure within which the believers’ distinctive worldview  is plausible, whereas outside the group that worldview is disconfirmed (183).

It is easy to criticize certain religions for having values that might not line up with that of your own. However, as a sociologist it is important to recognize that there are explanations to this and the reasons for people believing in certain things says a lot about society as a whole.