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?
This fascinating “missed connections” graphic raises more questions than it answers, particularly when it comes to the state of Indiana.
In a column for the Washington Post, Christian Piatt argues that the religiously unaffiliated shouldn’t be described as “nones.” As our recent survey shows, only about one-third of religiously unaffiliated Americans identify as atheists or agnostics, and many religiously unaffiliated Americans report that they believe in God.
Pope Benedict XVI, in one of his last acts as pontiff, amended Catholic Church law so that the conclave to choose his successor can begin earlier. As Dr. Robert P. Jones, PRRI CEO, noted in a recent interview with NPR, many American Catholics support adjusting traditional beliefs and practices to fit changing circumstances or the adoption of modern beliefs and practices.
A transgender rights bill is advancing in the New York state legislature. Approximately 9-in-10 (89%) Americans agree that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.
A group of Christian leaders are, once again, urging Congress to eschew their financial squabbles and find a way to agree on new revenue and spending cuts that will simultaneously reduce the deficit and protect America’s poorest citizens.
Why was this photo taken? Maybe it’s better not to know.