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 it takes to be an Olympian? NPR has a look at what fuels our athletes–literally–with a breakdown of what (and how much) they’re eating.
President Obama’s administration has released a new report showing an estimated three million Americans signed up for Obamacare by the end of January, a number lower than originally expected but far higher than predicted during the height of the rollout troubles. In July 2013, 42 percent of Americans said they favored repealing and eliminating the health care law, while 42 percent opposed.
David Gibson’s latest for Religion News Service explores the growing divide among the historically unified Catholic bishops on issues regarding LGBT rights. In the United States, 76 percent of Catholics agree gay and lesbian relationships should be accepted by society, a significantly higher portion than the 67 percent of Americans overall who say the same.
It looks like the winter storm may be responsible for more than just cancelled flights, as a sheriff in Georgia is canceling Valentine’s Day due to the weather. Last year, more than 6-in-10 (63 percent) Americans reported that they were very or somewhat likely to celebrate Valentine’s Day, while more than one-third (35 percent) said they were not too likely or not at all likely to celebrate the holiday. For a look at how Americans plan to mark the occasion, check out this former Graphic of the Week!
And for today’s Flashback Friday, a timely look at a Time/CNN/Yankelovich Partners Poll from February 1994: While 58 percent of Americans reported expecting to receive a Valentine’s Day present that year, a full 76 percent said they planned to give a gift.