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?
Hotel secrets from a pro (or: why you can go to town on that minibar candy).
It’s curtains for the radio network founded by doomsday prophet Harold Camping, who predicted that the end of the world would happen two years ago. Although more than one-third (36%) of Americans believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in what the Bible calls the end times, they appear to be leery of putting a date and time on the apocalypse; last December, only 2% of Americans said the end of the world, as predicted by the ancient Mayans, would happen by the end of the year.
Remember civil unions? Ten years ago, they were a popular “middle ground” for moderates who wanted some legal recognition for gay couples, but didn’t support same-sex marriage. Today, civil union supporters are mostly conservative. Dr. Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox have more at the Monkey Cage.
A new survey shows that 1-in-4 Canadians say they have no religious affiliation. Our 2012 American Values Survey shows that slightly fewer Americans (nearly 1-in-5) also identify as religiously unaffiliated.
A report on the North Carolina agricultural industry reveals that, sure enough, native US workers are unwilling to do the agricultural work that Mexican and other immigrants end up performing. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans agree that immigrants coming to this country today mostly take jobs that Americans don’t want.
These would be a welcome addition to the food truck community.