Welcome to the Morning Buzz, PRRI’s morning dose of religion-related news with a shot of data – because what doesn’t liven up a morning round-up like some public opinion numbers? There’s yet another presidential debate tonight – for those of you who are puzzled over why there are so many debates happening when the election is over a year away, take a look at this piece from Talking Points Memo. If Adlai Stevenson did it, why not?
This weekend, the Values Voter Summit witnessed heated debates over whether Mitt Romney’s Mormonism should be a factor in the GOP race. In case you missed it, Dr. Robert P. Jones (our CEO) wrote about Pat Robertson’s recent “endorsement” of Romney for “Figuring Faith” late last week, saying, “By pronouncing Romney part of the Christian fold, Robertson signals that Romney’s faith is not so different from that of the white evangelical Protestants who form a strong core of the Republican base.” For more coverage, stay tuned to the blog.
A Hertz car rental store at the Seattle airport suspended more than 30 Somali Muslim shuttle drivers for taking too long on their breaks to pray. According to a recent PRRI survey, a majority (54 percent) of the general public agree that American Muslims are an important part of the religious community in the U.S., compared to 43 percent who disagree.
A Presbyterian minister who left his church over 20 years ago after telling his congregation that he was gay was re-ordained as the first openly gay Presbyterian minister, to a standing ovation. A majority of white mainline Protestants (57%) support the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.
“Protest chaplains” are getting involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement. For more about religion, OWS, and Americans’ views on faith and the free market, see our blog post from last week.
And in case you’re considering an unorthodox funeral, you may want to check out “Holy Smoke,” an Alabama-based company that will load its customers’ cremated remains into shotgun shells, rifle cartridges and bullets. This inspired a spirited discussion among Christian ethicists, some of whom say that the company is disrespecting the dead. One of the proprietors defends himself: “Just because you’re getting shot out of a gun doesn’t make it irreverent.” Perhaps “Holy Smoke” will expand to Georgia, where a judge will soon decide whether churchgoers can bring guns into their places of worship.
For updates and coverage throughout the day, follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Also a reminder that our CEO, online communications associate and press secretary are all on Twitter: they’re@robertpjones, @PRRIAmelia and @PRRIShannon, respectively.