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.
On Sunday, I was invited to appear on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” where I discussed the role that religion has played in presidential campaigns past and present. I took audience questions and discussed a variety of issues related to religion and politics, including Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and the debate over the contraceptive mandate. Watch it here: