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?
New research finds people who meditate are more likely than those who don’t to act with compassion. Let’s take a collective om, shall we?
Hoping to avoid pregnancy? There’s an app for that. The new app, Clue, is a customizable “fertility tracking tool”. Nearly 9-in-10 Americans say artificial birth control methods are morally acceptable, but new technology may allow women to avoid using contraceptives altogether.
Crossover king Tim Hardaway, the NBA player who said he hated gay people during a 2007 interview, is now signing a petition to legalize gay marriage in Florida.
You can add Eliot Spitzer to the list of scandal-plagued politicians plotting comebacks. Oh, and his run for New York City comptroller could put him on the same ballot as Anthony Weiner. Mark Sanford’s political redemption in South Carolina could bode well for both men, as Republicans are less likely to forgive politicians’ moral indiscretions than Democrats.
Netflix: the new HBO? Check out this article on how the once DVD-by-mail supplier is revolutionizing the way America makes, and watches, television.