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.
In case you missed it, PRRI’s latest survey, conducted in partnership with Religion News Service, received significant national media coverage this week! Be sure to check out some thoughtful takes on the findings at The Washington Post, PBS Newshour, The Associated Press (via 9News in Colorado), Reuters (via The Chicago Tribune), The Huffington Post, The Christian Post, Religion News Service, KKTV in Colorado Springs, and Birmingham Business Journal. The survey, which explores Americans’ opinions toward a range of issues like holiday spending, the “war on Christmas,” and Americans’ belief in the historical accuracy of the Christmas story, can be found on our website by clicking here!