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 Jean-Paul Sartre forayed into social media, what delights would emerge?
Atheists and agnostics, along with other subgroups of the religiously unaffiliated, are strongly supporting Obama over Romney, but tend to be less likely to vote. One Bloomberg writer wonders whether this will make a difference in the upcoming election. Well…I can’t say too much, but if you come to the release of our 2012 American Values Survey next week, you might get some answers.
In the first of a series of new “audience talks,” Pope Benedict XVI decried “religious relativism” and “do-it-yourself religion.”
A new poll finds that Maryland voters are likely to legalize same-sex marriage this November. Same-sex marriage is legal in six other states and the District of Columbia, but it has never been authorized by a popular vote. Americans are divided on whether gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry legally.
Average student debt is up, and the unemployment rate for recent college graduates continues to stagnate. Approximately two-thirds (66%) of the general population say the government should do more to help students pay for college and pay off student loan debt.