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?
Innovations in sixteenth-century German warfare were surprisingly whimsical.
A new study casts doubt on the effectiveness of robo-polls, raising the question of whether the results of automated polls in the 2012 Republican primaries may have been adjusted to match live-interview surveys.
Today is the annual March for Life, although activists are divided about the best way to rally people to their cause. Our new survey shows that about 7-in-10 Americans say that the term “pro-life” describes them somewhat or very well (71%), while about the same number (68%) say the same of the term “pro-choice.”
Meanwhile, a newly introduced bill in New Mexico would criminalize abortions after rape as “tampering with evidence.” Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) of Americans agree that a woman should be able to access abortion if she became pregnant as the result of rape.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced new legislation that would ban the sale and manufacture of 157 types of assault weapons, as well as magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Since August 2012, support for gun control has increased 8 points. Six-in-ten Americans now favor the passage of stricter gun control laws.