Mark A. Smith is professor of Political Science and an adjunct professor of Comparative Religion and Communication at the University of Washington. His research focuses on economic and religious groups, ideas, and influences in American politics. In his new book, Secular Faith: How Culture Has Trumped Religion in American Politics, Dr. Smith argues that religion is not nearly the unchanging conservative influence in American politics that we have come to think it is and is best understood as responding to changing political and cultural values rather than shaping them.
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? In case you were wondering how things are going in Europe lately, Norway is out of butter (thanks to a no-carb dieting craze) and a cookbook called Starvation Recipes is selling well in Greece (thanks to its ongoing economic woes). Which is to say that I’d much rather be in Norway for the holiday season, fat-free as it may be.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops joined other religious leaders in urging members of the House of Representatives to extend unemployment benefits. This is a position that may resonate with many lay Catholics: nearly 7-in-10 Catholics (69%) say that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
At the Washington Post, Paul Goldman and Mark J. Rozell use PRRI data to examine what has thrown religious conservatives and Newt Gingrich into a “marriage of convenience.”
Herman Cain’s headquarters in Iowa shut down last night. If you were there, you could have gotten a Herman Cain pin and/or plastic cup! Talk about missed opportunities.
A new study from the Journal of Psychology says that working moms with babies or pre-schoolers (especially moms who work part-time) are happier than stay-at-home mothers. Nearly 6-in-10 Americans believe that family life does not suffer when a woman has a full-time job.
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