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?
You’ve probably seen PRRI in the news this weekend, thanks to the successful release of our new Hispanic Values Survey Friday in Austin. Check out some great coverage of the report’s findings at The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post and Associated Press, and be sure to read the full report on our website!
During a recent Q&A with CNN’s Jason Miks, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins argues against a link between religion and morality. Dawkins, an atheist, is joined in his reasoning by nearly half of Americans; only a slim majority (52 percent) agree it is necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values, while 47 percent disagree that a belief in God is necessary in order to be moral.
A seven-year-old girl has been stripped of her title as Little Miss Hispanic Delaware after pageant officials were unable to verify her Latina heritage. News reports say the girl, who is black, was the only one asked to provide proof of her heritage, and the decision to revoke her win has brought up the issue of racism against Afro-Latinos.
How do you discuss race with your kids? NPR’s Code Switch posed just that question to followers, and has since amassed an interesting set of responses that seem to point to a new focus on candid and matter-of-fact talks at home about race relations in America today. Seventeen percent of Americans say racial tensions are a minor problem in their community, while 42 percent say they’re a major problem. Thirty-nine percent say racial tensions aren’t a problem in their community at all.
You may already know that American women make 77 cents to the dollar earned by men, but have you ever wondered how the income gap by gender varies across the country? Check out the latest stats by state over at The Atlantic.