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?
How much would you pay to be liked? If you’re the U.S. State Department, you’re looking at a six-figure answer.
A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that even as Americans are becoming less religious, a plurality (48%) believe the increasing number of Americans who are not religious is bad for American society, while about 4-in-10 say it is not doesn’t matter and about 1-in-10 say this is a good thing. A recent PRRI survey found that roughly one-third of Americans believe non-religious people are changing American culture and way of life for the worse while half (48%) say this group is not having any impact.
An interesting article at The Atlantic points to North Carolina’s new role as a divisive political battleground, and what that could mean for future elections.
After Trayvon Martin’s death touched off a national conversation about race, most assumed prosecutors would paint accused killer George Zimmerman as a racist. Interestingly enough, the issue of race hasn’t really come up.
Ikea is now working to supply durable temporary homes for refugees, saying the shelters could be a cost-effective solution for displaced people around the world. Here’s hoping the homes are easier to assemble than some of their other products…