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?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was recently snubbed by the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), which did not add him to the roster of conservative luminaries who will speak at this year’s conference. Nate Silver concludes that Christie’s honeymoon with conservatives is over.
Which states have the most to lose if the sequester goes into effect?
Yesterday, oral arguments before the Supreme Court about a key provision of the Voting Rights Act raised the distinct possibility that the justices might deem the controversial section – which requires federal oversight for voting procedures in states with a history of racial discrimination – out of date, and thus unconstitutional. Our weekly graphic illustrates racial and regional differences among Americans on discrimination and government action.
At CNN, Laura Sessions Stepp delves into the problem of teen pregnancy in rural communities.
Meanwhile, which religions are the most chaste? The answer may surprise you.
Today is Pope Benedict XVI’s last day as pontiff, but that doesn’t mean the internet has stopped giving us papal gifts. Today: a pope selection bracket.
And speaking of the internet’s gifts, if you live in DC and have some free time on March 11, you should head over to Georgetown’s Berkley Center to hear Huffington Post Religion editor Paul Rauschenbusch dispense some sage advice about religion and the web.