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?
Riddle me this: If a baseball and bat cost $110, and the bat costs $100 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost? The answer may reveal more about you than you think (at least according to these psychologists).
Mitt Romney encouraged students who can’t pay for college to simply borrow from their parents, despite the fact that approximately two-thirds (66%) of the general population say the government should do more to help students pay for college and pay off student loan debt.
Spanish Catholic churches are using the recession to promote the priesthood’s this-worldly benefit: namely, a steady job. And, strangely enough, the economic argument might be working.
In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing, police are reporting scattered incidents of racial violence committed in Martin’s name. It isn’t widespread, but the attacks certainly point to racial tensions. For more on the racial friction that is evident among the Millennial generation, see Dr. Robert P. Jones’ latest article for the Huffington Post.
Former President Bill Clinton released a controversial ad for Barack Obama, which implied that Mitt Romney would not have made the choices necessary to find and kill Osama bin Laden. He picked an issue which resonates with many: shortly after bin Laden’s death, a majority (52%) of Americans predicted that capturing and killing Osama bin Laden would help America’s image in the world.