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?
If you eat diamond-encrusted sandwiches for lunch, this is undoubtedly the bag to keep them in.
Mitt Romney, who has been attempting to skirt questions about abortion in the wake of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin’s controversial comments, declared that abortion is a matter for the courts, not the purview of the president. This immediately raised the hackles of some abortion rights advocates, who pointed out that the president has the power to nominate Supreme Court justices. Nevertheless, it is true that abortion tends rank relatively low as a priority for Americans’ presidential vote.
A fascinating look at the Republican Party’s transformation over the past half-century, as faith became a central element of the GOP platform.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan will offer the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC, next week. Dolan stirred up some controversy when he accepted an invitation to give the benediction at the Republican National Convention. Perhaps this move will calm the critics.
A federal judge dismissed Wheaton College’s lawsuit against the Obama administration, saying that the evangelical college’s case against the White House’s contraception mandate were premature.
This gives a whole new meaning to the notion of “finding yourself.”