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?
I know you were looking for a new explanation for the debates over grain-hoarding in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, so here it is. And it’s shocking.
In an interview, Roman Catholic Cardinal Dolan said the church won’t change its official policy on same-sex marriage, but it could be doing more to welcome gay and lesbian people. A majority of Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
One Oregon high school created six unisex bathrooms to accomodate students who don’t feel comfortable in a gender-segregated bathroom. Will others follow suit?
The Wall Street Journal chronicles the ever-increasing polarization among the states on the issue of abortion. A majority of Americans say that laws about abortion should be decided at the national level.
Interestingly, although the teen birth rate has declined over the past few years, half of Americans believe it has risen.
The internet has always been an exciting place – but we can all agree that it peaked in 1995.
Meanwhile, internet maven Google caused a bit of stir when its popular “Google Doodle” celebrated Cesar Chaves’ 86th birthday, while ignoring Easter.