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? It’s just another day in American politics: in Virginia, a dead dog got a voter registration form.
Americans, overall, seem quite happy with President Obama’s new immigration policy, which will halt deportations for younger immigrants brought to the country as children. But how influenced are we by immigrants’ personal characteristics, like their ability to speak English? In some cases, it might actually raise levels of support for immigration reform policies. At the Monkey Cage, Dan Hopkins elaborates.
In an op-ed for the Guardian, Lisa Sowle Cahill takes the Vatican to task for their criticism of Sister Margaret Farley, a well-known academic whose 2006 book on sexual ethics recently raised the Catholic hierarchy’s ire. Cahill points out that Farley’s arguments, which are often out of step with the Vatican’s, are actually more reflective of lay Catholics’ perspectives.
Last week, a Canadian judge ruled that Canada’s ban on doctor-assisted suicide infringes on the rights of the disabled. Earlier this year, Gallup found that Americans are nearly evenly divided on the morality of doctor-assisted suicide.
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that Asian Americans have overtaken Latinos as the largest share of recent immigrants to the United States. According to a survey conducted last fall by PRRI, a majority of Americans say that newcomers from other countries strengthen American society.
In what is sure to be the performance of his lifetime, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry will play former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Obama’s upcoming debate preparations. I would make a joke about this, but everyone else is having too much fun with it.
Never let it be said that Ronald Reagan did not have a sense of humor.