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?
Chalk this one up as a victory for religious pluralism: last night, the flagship school from America’s most Protestant state played one of the country’s preeminent Catholic universities for the BCS championship.
Late last week, the Church of England announced that it will permit gay clergy in civil partnerships to become bishops – as long as they pledge to remain celibate. Nearly 6-in-10 white mainline Protestants believe that gay and lesbian people should be eligible for ordination as clergy with no special requirements.
Does the Catholic Church need to refocus its energy on parochial education?
Candidates for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s open congressional seat are courting religious leaders, hoping to garner their influential endorsements. Thanks to Arnie for sending this in!
Leading Israeli rabbis are embroiled in a debate over whether a controversial pro-life group accurately reflects Jewish teachings on abortion. Jewish Americans are nearly unanimous in their agreement that abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances.