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?
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The GOP platform will include a plank supporting a ban on the use of foreign law (including Shari’a, or Islamic law) in U.S. courtrooms. Only 14% of Americans, however, believe that American Muslims ultimately want to establish Shari’a or Islamic law as law of the land.
A new poll shows Barack Obama with a large lead over Mitt Romney among Hispanic Americans. Nevertheless, this crucial constituency seems less than excited about casting their votes in November. Earlier this summer, slightly more than half of Hispanic Americans said they were certain to vote (43%) or probably going to vote (12%).
Meanwhile, Hispanic evangelicals are becoming an increasingly powerful political force.
Most Americans who have heard of Paul Ryan’s plan to shift Medicare to a voucher system oppose the change, according to a new poll from Pew. A plurality of Americans also reported a negative opinion of Ryan as Romney’s choice for VP.
It’s not particularly scientific, but Amazon’s “Election Heat Map” provides a different – and intriguing – way of seeing red and blue America.
Want to drop the f-bomb? You’ll find yourself in good (rude?) company in Los Angeles.