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.
Turns out, the “war on women” is not a buzz word that was coined recently.
Two leading anti-abortion groups endorsed Mitt Romney. Considering that 80% of white evangelicals say that “pro-life” describes them well, this may give Romney some credibility among this important conservative constituency.
Will President Obama run a positive campaign this election cycle? It may prove to be a more difficult proposition than it was in 2008.
The Tennessee legislature (which has been busy lately) approved an update to the state’s abstinence-only sex education bill that would define kissing and holding hands as “gateway sexual activities.” Nearly 8-in-10 (78%) Americans support comprehensive sex education.
The “Buffett Rule” heads for a Senate vote on Monday and to an undetermined fate. Yet even as its passage remains uncertain, it is viewed very favorably among the general public. Seven-in-ten Americans say they favor raising the tax rate on America’s wealthiest citizens.