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?
Ever want to take a step back and examine your life? This new metadata tool from MIT might make that a little easier.
Over at the Christian Science Monitor, Linda Feldmann explores the decoupling of gay marriage and abortion, two issues that have historically been at the heart of the culture wars. Recent research finds that American attitudes on these issues are diverging, particularly among Millennials.
Although the issue of abortion has received a lot of attention recently because of the debate over restrictions in Texas, Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post notes that a number of states have passed restrictions similar to those being proposed by the Texas legislature.
Dominican religious groups are protesting the nomination of a gay U.S. ambassador to Santo Domingo, saying the move is an insult to their country’s culture. The Pew Research Center finds that attitudes about homosexuality in the world vary dramatically by region.
Is yoga a religious practice, or just a good workout? A San Diego judge had to decide when parents sued their children’s school district for teaching the “inherently religious” practice they said violates the separation of church and state.