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?
Two influential senators may be on the cusp of a bipartisan breakthrough to expand background checks for gun buyers. Two-thirds (67%) of Americans are in favor of stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws.
A Mormon leader warns that the legalization of an immoral act does not make those acts any less “spiritually damaging.”
A new study finds that racial minorities waited longer to vote in 2012. On average, african Americans waited about twice as long as white Americans.
Elizabeth Dias, writing in Time magazine, speculates that Hispanic evangelicals might help the GOP blunt the recent Democratic advantage among Hispanic voters. One-in-five Hispanics currently identifies as an evangelical or born-again Protestant.
In light of Holocaust Remembrance Day and Margaret Thatcher’s death, a reflection on the Iron Lady’s proudest moments.
I leave you with the touching story of a girl and her cat.