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?
As Boston fans cheered the Red Sox to their World Series victory Wednesday, Religion News Service’s Mark Silk discusses the “religion” of sports in New England. Fifty-five percent of Americans say football has replaced baseball as America’s national sport, while 36 percent say it has not.
Be sure to check out Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies William A. Galston’s take on our 2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarians in America!
Wondering which GOP constituency will play a significant role in deciding the party’s 2016 presidential nomination? Check out my latest blog post for a breakdown of which groups may make the biggest difference, and why.
Belgium is considering a law to allow euthanasia for children, as well as adults with early dementia, as medical ethicists debate whether these two groups of people can reasonably decide to end their own lives. Half of Americans favor allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives, while 45 percent oppose.
A new report finds the National Security Agency tapped cardinals’ phones as they gathered to select a new pope this past spring. Forty-two percent of Americans say the government has gone too far by monitoring private telephone and email conversations of American citizens, while 31 percent say the government should continue this program in order to protect American citizens from terrorism. Twenty-three percent are neutral on the question.
And for today’s flashback Friday, check this out from Gallup: in 1954, just 38 percent of Americans said men in rockets would be able to reach the moon in the next 50 years, while 51 percent said they would not.