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?
Next time you get a latte, try not to be disappointed, it probably won’t live up to this.
This weekend, for the first time, a woman lead the closing prayer at a major Mormon conference. Although most (82%) Americans report that they know little or nothing at all about Mormon religious beliefs and practices, Mormons are viewed favorably by two-thirds (67%) of the public.
Anne-Marie Slaughter discusses the value of letting go of gender stereotypes in the home. Four-in-ten (40%) Americans agree that family life suffers when the woman has a full-time job, and a majority (54%) of the public say that women are naturally better suited than men to raise children.
This past Friday a federal judge ruled that the morning-after pill be made available over the counter for all ages. A slim majority (52%) of Americans support allowing teenagers age 16 years of age or older access to birth control without parental approval.
This week senators are preparing to finalize a bipartisan bill that would establish a path to citizenship for the millions of people living in the United States illegally. More than 6-in-10 (63%) Americans say immigrants currently living in the U.S. illegally should be allowed to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements.
Pope Francis declared his intention to address the long controversial sex abuse scandals within the church.