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?
Can people predict elections, even when polls can’t?
A new Pew poll reveals that few religious leaders are endorsing candidates from the pulpit, despite some encouragement to do so. While more than half of Americans who attend services regularly say their clergy have encouraged them to vote, only around 1-in-5 say their pastor or religious leader have spoken about the candidates themselves.
At CNN, author Jonathan Dudley recalls the days (in the not-so-distant past) when conservative Christian theology supported abortion in some circumstances. Today, 64% of white evangelical Protestants say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.
This, my friends, is true commitment to the internet.