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.
In the March PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey, respondents who said that they believed religious liberty was under attack in the U.S. today were given the opportunity to explain, in their own words, what they understood this threat to be. Notably, only 6 percent mentioned the recent debate around the contraception coverage mandate. The most frequently mentioned reasons are the removal or God and religion from the public square (23%), government interference in religion (20%), and hostility toward Christians or religion (10%).
Stay tuned to our blog as we unveil more analysis of the “Fortnight of Facts About Religious Liberty.”