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?
The case for not using your iPhone while in the bath, or eating a bowl of soup.
In your surprising and slightly implausible news of the day, Jeb Bush is predicting that Texas will turn blue in 2016. Other analysts, citing the much lower voting rates of Latinos, suggest that a political realignment of the Lone Star state is much further away.
After famed evangelist Billy Graham met with Romney, a line was removed from Graham’s website which referenced Mormonism as an example of a”cult.” According to last year’s American Values Survey, nearly half (49%) of Americans believe the Mormon faith is a Christian religion.
Nate Silver says that those looking for Obama to bounce back after yesterday’s debate may be disappointed.
A group of atheists graded the presidential candidates on issues related to church/state separation. Libertarian Gary Johnson got the highest grade (a “B”), while Obama earned a “C” and Romney received a failing grade.
Early voting will proceed in Ohio.
Yiddish is trendy again – but not among the people you’d expect.