Dr. Melissa Deckman is a Professor of Political Science at Washington College and a PRRI Affiliated Scholar. Her research interests center on the intersection of religion, women, and politics. She has written in the past about the Christian Right’s participation in school board politics. Her most recent work is as co-editor and contributor to Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools. PRRI sat down with Dr. Deckman to discuss the significance of the book.
On this week’s episode of “Interfaith Voices,” I joined host Maureen Fiedler and fellow guest Kim Lawton, the managing editor of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, to discuss the faith factor in the 2012 election. I discussed the complex results from PRRI’s recent survey on black Americans’ and Hispanic Americans’ perspectives on contraception and abortion, and answered questions about whether Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith will affect the campaign. When asked to comment on Americans’ views of President Obama’s faith, I explained:
It’s striking that more people today wrongly believe that Obama’s religion is Islam than believed that in 2008…That number has actually gone up during his presidency. But that increase has come largely among people who self-identify as Republicans, who are not likely to vote for Obama anyway…The bigger problem for Obama is another number. Another 4-in-10 say they don’t know what his faith is, which is a bigger problem, because many of these people are Independents or moderates, who are up for grabs this election.
To listen to the full episode, head to Interfaith Voices.