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. Some companies are turning to a source of creative inspiration that is both retro and unorthodox. But really – if they do it on Mad Men, does that mean you want to do it too?
If you haven’t taken a look at the 2012 Millennial Values Survey, jointly conducted by PRRI and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, what are you waiting for? It has particularly interesting findings on race, as well as the rapidly rising number of religiously unaffiliated Millennials.
The Vatican reprimanded American nuns for failing to take a sufficiently hardline stand against abortion and same-sex marriage. These, according to the Vatican, are “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” For the record, 54% of Catholics believe that abortion should be legal, and majorities of white (56%) and Hispanic (53%) Catholics support same-sex marriage.
When asked about same-sex marriage, Tom Ridge, a Republican former governor of Pennsylvania and the first leader of the Department of Homeland Security, says that Americans on both sides of the aisle should refrain from judging gay people.
Meanwhile, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales declared that Republicans need to find their own voice on Latino issues.
A new survey reveals that belief in God appears to rise with age. The catalyst? Good old mortality.
And yes – we’re still more than half a year away from the election, and the presidential campaigns are already sparring about which candidates has been meaner to dogs.