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, my friends, is no ordinary cat video.
The appeal of anti-Mormonism is simple, says a historian: it makes other people feel good.
The debate over the placement of crosses at the entrance to a public university in Texas continues. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans agree that we must maintain a strict separation of church and state.
A survey of Irish Catholics reveals a sharp rift between lay Catholics and the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Many Catholics disagree with the Church’s official stance on issues like gay rights or contraception.
In a column for the Washington Post, C. Welton Gaddy and Salam Al-Marayati argue that embracing American Muslims as an important part of the American community can help deter violent extremism. Muslims’ place in American society is something of a fraught issue: Americans are evenly divided over whether the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life (47% agree, 48% disagree).