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? This website makes me understand why my parents were so reluctant to buy me a Tamagotchi – much less a Game Boy. But who doesn’t miss the delightful crunching noise that handheld CD players used to make?
According to a new study, there is no state in this nation where it is financially possible to work a full-time minimum-wage job and afford a two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. A strong majority of Americans (including a majority of Republicans) support raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.00, but there seems to be a distinct lack of political will.
Is belief in God contingent upon the ability to imagine what God is thinking?
The latest in viral media: videos of anti-gay sermons or songs in churches. Church leaders take note: nearly seven-in-ten (69%) Millennials agree that religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues.
Some conservative Americans are, according to NPR, concerned that entitlement programs are destroying the American Dream. The ideological divides here are likely related to different views of the health of the American Dream: a majority (56%) of Republicans believe the American Dream still holds true today, while only 36% of Democrats believe the same.
In a lovely infographic, the Jewish Daily Forward shows that the annual “Celebrate Israel” parade in New York City will be dominated by school groups, mainly comprised of students from Modern Orthodox day schools. For more on American Jews’ perspectives on Israel, check out our 2012 Jewish Values Survey.
It’s finally summer! And I know that for some of you, religious fiction makes ideal reading on the beach, or plane, or car backseat, or what have you.
And finally, for those of you who enjoy topical confections, a gift. (Thanks to Laura for sending this in!)