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?
Medieval dancing mania: caused by psychedelic bread or fear of God? You decide.
After a divisive election, it appears that most voters – Republicans and Democrats alike – want their lawmakers to move past ideological logjams and find a balanced solution to the budget crisis. Dr. Robert P. Jones has more at Figuring Faith.
Pat Robertson has certainly never been predictable. Last week, Robertson challenged creationism on his Christian Broadcast Network TV show, declaring, “If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was.” A majority (57%) of Americans believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time, compared to 38% who say that humans and other living things have existed in their present form since creation.
A student group for atheists and agnostics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is set to gain the largest grant from an institute of higher learning ever awarded to a nontheistic, student-led organization.
What’s next for Michelle Obama? Some wild speculation from Samuel L. Jackson and others.
The Menorahment: even if it’s a little flimsy, it’s “awesome for world peace.”
And now for something completely different: should the growing success of major league soccer in the U.S. raise flags for the way the National Hockey League operates? Thanks to Dan for sending this over!