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?
Thank you so much for generously contributing to further PRRI’s work during our Giving Tuesday campaign earlier this week! Cathy Lynn Grossman’s latest for Religion News Service explores new research that expands the definition of religious giving, finding that 71 percent of Americans who donated to some kind of cause, charity or philanthropy last year gave to both religious groups and to nonreligious groups.
Be sure to check out our new Graphic of the Week, which depicts support for increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour by political and religious affiliation. Interestingly, majorities of Democrats (89 percent), independents (68 percent), and Republicans (57 percent) all support the raise for workers.
Three immigration activists who’d gone 22 days consuming nothing but water have “passed the fast” on to thousands of Americans who’ve pledged to continue fasting to keep attention on the issue of immigration reform. Activists have been camped out on the National Mall in Washington and have been visited by several members of Congress as well as President Obama since the “Fast for Families,” organized by a coalition of labor, immigrant and Christian groups, began last month. Eighty-four percent of Americans say keeping families together is an extremely or very important moral guide to immigration reform.
Harvard University’s Institute of Politics has released some fascinating new findings on Millennials’ political views. To learn more about where Millennials stand on religion and politics, be sure to head over to our Millennial Values Survey!
Think holiday shopping is a pain in the United States? Try hitting the mall in Australia or the United Kingdom, where shoppers are roughly twice as rabid during the holidays as they are here. (Perhaps relatedly, they’re also significantly more likely to binge eat and drink than Americans.)