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 is why we can’t have nice things.
A new study from Baylor University examines how anti-Obama and “racist” hate speech is spreading on Facebook. Over at our Faith in the Numbers blog, PRRI Affiliated Scholar Paul Djupe analyzes the extent to which Americans believe “[Obama] doesn’t understand the problems of white Americans.”
According to a new report from the Center for Health Statistics, 37% of the births between 2006 and 2010 were unintended. Our new poll (which you should check out if you haven’t already!) finds that 77% of African Americans and 60% of Hispanics report having a close friend or family member who had an unintended pregnancy.
How will religious and social factors play during the 2012 election? Not so much, says the LA Times’ Mitchell Landsberg, analyzing our new survey alongside another recently released report from Pew.
Evangelist Billy Graham leapt to the defense of the embattled fast food chain Chik-fil-A, praising the company and its CEO, who recently proclaimed his opposition to same-sex marriage, for “for their strong stand for the Christian faith.” For more on the religious dimensions on this issue, take a look at our blog.
Another controversy over whether a mosque should be built is brewing in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. A slim majority (51%) of Americans say they would be comfortable with a mosque being built near their home.