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 this week’s installment of Figuring Faith, Dr. Robert P. Jones explores Americans’ attitudes toward immigration policy. Examining the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States, Dr. Jones shows that Americans are less divided on approaches to immigration policy than one might assume:
When asked whether a range of issues should be decided at the national or the state level, nearly 8-in-10 (77 percent) Americans say that immigration policy should be decided at the national level, while 1-in-5 (20 percent) say it should be left up to the states. Americans are more unified in their support for a federal approach to immigration policy than on any other issue, including health care policy and same-sex marriage. Strong majorities of Democrats (85 percent), Independents (77 percent), Republicans (68 percent), and Tea Party members (69 percent) all agree that immigration policy should be decided at the national level.
To read the full piece, head to Dr. Jones’ blog at the Washington Post, “Figuring Faith.”