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?
Be warned, cat hoarders of Kansas: it’s now illegal to have more than four kitties per household.
According to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, abortion remained a heavily legislated issue in 2012, with 43 new laws in 19 states restricting access to abortion services. A majority of Americans believe abortion should be legal, but their views about its morality are far more complex.
Even though the country’s wealthiest citizens are about to see a tax increase for the first time in two decades, the world’s richest people have even more money in 2012 than they did last year. A majority of Americans support raising taxes on people who have household incomes of more than $250,000 per year.
You may think you’ve escaped political campaigns for a few precious months, but think again: here are six races to watch in 2013.
What changes will the 2010 health care law bring in the new year? NPR has some answers.
Faced with shrinking congregations, evangelical leaders are trying to reinvent church in an increasingly secular culture by meeting in coffee shops and art galleries.
Will Illinois be the next state to embrace gay marriage?