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? It seems like the BBC link I included yesterday didn’t work for some of you, so if you want to see Michelle Obama in all her sack-racing glory, try again here. Although the First Lady would probably not appreciate this segue, science says that if you ate chocolate cake for breakfast today, you might lose weight! Who knew?
The debate over whether religiously affiliated institutions should have to cover no-cost birth control for rages on. Depending on who you’re reading, it could tear apart the GOP as well as the Democratic Party. It could be a calculated tactic to fire up young liberals, or an immense blunder. If the White House backpedals, however, it could upset female voters. What seems clear is that the issue is more complicated than one might think.
Could Romney fail to nab the Republican nomination? (I know, I thought so too.) According to the Examiner, though, it could happen. In order for the scenario to be viable, though, Santorum is going to have to raise a lot of money – fast.
Washington State’s same-sex marriage bill passed in the House on Wednesday. The Democratic governor, Chris Gregoire, is expected to sign the bill into law. To learn more about how religion inspired some of Washington’s lawmakers to support the bill, check out this recent piece for the Huffington Post by our CEO, Dr. Robert P. Jones.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center reveals that nearly a quarter (24%) of young adults have moved back in with their parents after living alone. The good news is that fewer parents seem to mind.
A word to the wise this Friday morning: daffodils are poisonous. But that doesn’t mean that Sandra Lee has neglected to gift the internet world with no-bake cake inspired by the flower. (But does it really count as “no-bake” if all of the components of your “cake” have been previously baked? Also, does this remind anyone else of Sandra Lee’s famous Kwanzaa cake?)
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