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?
Would this gentleman have been able to convince the College of Cardinals to do some “Jesus yoga”? I guess we’ll never know.
The Maryland state Senate voted to repeal the death penalty yesterday. The bill will now proceed to the House of Delegates. Americans are nearly evenly divided on whether people who are convicted of murder should receive the death penalty, or life in prison with no possibility of parole.
For those of you are still following the debate over CPAC’s speakers, Chris Christie is not the only governor to have been left off the list. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will not speak at CPAC (Donald Trump, however, will).
At the Immanent Frame, Stanford anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann discusses prayer and imagination.
A New York Times/CBS poll shows a disconnect between American Catholics and the church hierarchy on issues like ordaining women, birth control, and married men as priests. For more on American Catholics’ perspectives on important issues – especially whether the Catholic Church should adjust religious beliefs and practices or reaffirm traditional beliefs and practices – check out our factsheet.