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.
Only a year after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, Time Magazine reports on the transgender revolution, another movement that is challenging long-held American norms and beliefs. Cited in the cover story is recent data from PRRI which showsnine percent of Americans say they have a close friend or family member who is transgender.
Calling the failure to address immigration reform a “stain on the soul of our nation,” Catholic bishops traveled to Washington D.C. again this week in their latest effort to push for action on the stalled legislation. In addition to meeting with lawmakers, the Bishops also held a mass at a Capitol Hill church and presented an open letter to House Speaker John Boehner. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Catholics favor allowing immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally a way to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements, while 16 percent favor allowing them to become permanent legal residents but not citizens, and 18 percent favor identifying and deporting them.
Earlier this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its study on women in the workplace. The report concluded that men are still significantly out-earning women, except in only a handful of occupations.
Millennials are immortal. At least they seem to think so.
Despite advocating for a constitutional amendment to declare marriage exclusively between a man and a woman, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch concedes that same-sex marriage will soon be the “law of the land.” More than 6-in-10 (62 percent) Republicans oppose same-sex marriage.
For today’s Flashback Friday, we look back to May 31, 1930 when Clint Eastwood was born. Interestingly, a PSRA/Newsweek poll in a 1995 that ask Americans “Which movie star would make the best president,” Clint Eastwood led the pack with 27 percent of the votes. Happy birthday, Mr. Eastwood!