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.
Opposition to President Obama’s health care reform law has been the heart and soul of many Tea Party activities since the law’s passage in 2010, so it’s unsurprising to see that so many Tea Party members favor action by the Supreme Court to overturn the law. After all, as this graph shows, no group was more supportive of the Supreme Court overturning the health care law than members of the Tea Party. But now that Obamacare has been left mostly intact, could opposition to health care reform galvanize the Tea Party, which hasn’t been as much of a force in 2012, to spring back into action? Some perspectives from the New York Times, Business Insider, and CBN.