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?
A new Washington Post poll finds 12 percent of Washington D.C.-area drivers admit feeling road rage often while behind the wheel, double the number who reported the same feelings in 2005. It probably has nothing to do with this…
Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. visa system will now treat married same-sex couples the same as straight couples, a move that will make it significantly easier for American citizens in same-sex marriages to get visas for their foreign spouses. Forty-five percent of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian Americans married to foreigners to sponsor their spouses for residency in the United States, compared to 49 percent who oppose.
Many religions, one God? CNN’s Belief Blog offers a fascinating examination of the similarities and differences between the beliefs and deities of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that God is a person with whom one can have a relationship.
Head ‘em up, move ‘em out! Cowboy churches, where saddles decorate the altar and preachers wear bolo ties, are gaining popularity across the United States, Canada and Australia. Church leaders say their unpretentious approach to worship is helping to attract folks who’ve never been to church before, or who stopped going a long time ago.
In relationships, who’s really keeping score? A new study finds that women tend to feel better about their relationship when their boyfriend succeeds, while men tend to feel worse when the situation is reversed.