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?
PRRI CEO Dr. Robert P. Jones sat down with FoxNews.com’s Lauren Green last week to discuss PRRI’s latest report, which examines Americans’ opinions on whether supernatural forces are at play in sports. Be sure to check out the full article and video, which have been prominently featured on the FoxNews.com Sports page, by clicking here!
Over at The Monkey Cage blog, prominent political scientists are weighing in on the polarization of American politics. For more on the topic, be sure to check out Dr. Robert P. Jones and Daniel Cox’s book chapter on increasing partisanship among white Protestants and Catholics in Religion, Politics, and Polarization: How Religiopolitical Conflict is Changing Congress and American Democracy.
The New York Times has an interesting piece on what we could expect from President Obama’s State of the Union address tomorrow, including a renewed emphasis on fighting economic inequality. Sixty-two percent of Americans say the primary cause of America’s problems is an economic system that results in continuing inequality and poverty, while 35 percent disagree.
Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan have penned a new article for The Washington Post on the ramifications former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s recent comments regarding the Obamacare contraception mandate may have on the GOP’s efforts to better connect with women.
Renee Gadoua examines the United Methodist Church’s continued struggle with the issue of same-sex marriage in her latest for Religion News Service. Sixty-eight percent of white mainline Protestants agree gay and lesbian relationships should be accepted by society, while 23 percent disagree.
Does Siri believe in God? Yasmine Hafiz over at The Huffington Post offers up a great interview with her iPhone’s surprisingly hilarious operating system.