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? Ever wondered whether your surname is more common in some parts of the country than others? Well, I hadn’t either, but this National Geographic map is still worth a click or two. If that educational endeavor doesn’t do it for you, take a few moments to marvel at the convoluted history of sentence diagramming.
A new study from Villanova University asked Catholics in Trenton, NJ to talk about what issues they would raise if they had their bishop alone for a few minutes. The study, which was presented last week, arranged an impressive list of grievances, including congregants’ desire for priests to spend less time “on issues like homosexuality and birth control.” Surveys have consistently shown that lay Catholics’ opinions on these issues differ significantly from their hierarchy’s official stance.
All eyes are on the Supreme Court as the arguments for and against Obamacare roll into their third day. According to the Pew Research Center, the general public remains split on the health care reforms (for more in-depth analysis of where religious Americans fall on certain aspects of the health care law, check out our blog), but opposed to the individual mandate.
The FBI is assisting in the investigation of an Iraqi woman’s death in southern California. The woman was found severely beaten in her home, with a note from her killer that indicates the attack could be a hate crime. A friend of the family described the woman, Shaima Alawadi, as a “respectful, modest” Muslim woman who wore the hijab as an expression of her faith.
At the New Yorker, Joan Acocella reviews a new book which seeks to understand evangelical Christians’ relationship with God. In the words of the author, T.M. Luhrmann, evangelicals place “a flamboyant emphasis on the direct experience of God.” (It’s worth noting that fully 7-in-10 Americans believe that God is a person with whom people can have a relationship, although this relationship may not always be “flamboyant.”)
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