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?
Take that, gender wars! Gen X men are just as hooked on cooking shows as their female peers.
Are voters starting to question politicians’ sincerity when they talk about matters of faith? Two-thirds of voters say that it is very important (39%) or somewhat important (28%) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs – but when it comes to this issue authenticity undoubtedly matters.
In just over a week, North Carolina’s citizens will vote on Amendment One, which seeks to alter the North Carolina constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.
Last month, the Jewish Conservative movement’s Israeli rabbinical school voted to admit gay and lesbian students. This move is likely to be met with approval, at least in the U.S.: over 8-in-10 (82%) Conservative Jews favor same-sex marriage.
A pair of researchers from the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute are blaming the Republicans for partisan gridlock in Washington.