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 wonder what a century of American votes looks like? Check it out in this amazing new isarithmic history map, shows peaks and valleys of Republican and Democrat support through the years by way of a minute-long video.
The Church of Sweden, which claims two-thirds of the Swedish population as members, has elected Antje Jackelen to serve as its first female archbishop. In America, 71 percent agree that women should be eligible for ordination as clergy with no special requirements, while 20 percent disagree.
The Sistine Chapel may be forced to limit its visitor intake, due to dangerous pollution levels that are beginning to damage Michelangelo’s famed frescoes. Vatican Museum leaders say they’re pursuing a new air conditioning and air purification system to limit dust, humidity and carbon dioxide, which they hope will solve the problem and allow the estimated 5.5. million annual visitors to continue to tour the chapel.
Kirk Siegler’s latest for NPR explores the unique challenges facing immigrants currently living in the United States illegally who are working to recover and rebuild from the Colorado floods.
Ever wonder how we got to Ke$ha? Take a look at this fantastic new interactive music map to see where sounds originated and how beats have developed through the past 200 years!