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 daily 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?
Want to get information about voting from your Representative or Senator? The likelihood of receiving a response may depend on whether your name is Jacob Smith or Santiago Rodriguez, particularly among legislators who support voter ID laws. A novel experiment conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California found strong evidence linking support for voter ID laws to racial bias.
At the recent Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies conference at Catholic University, speakers and panelists, including Pope Francis’s top advisor, condemned free market capitalism and asserted libertarianism is at ideological odds with Catholicism considering the faith’s four core social teachings. Only about 1-in-5 Catholics are libertarian (4 percent) or lean libertarian (17 percent).
To celebrate the beginning of Pride Week 2014, transgender veterans gathered in Washington D.C. on Monday to speak out against the U.S. Military’s ban on transgender troops. According to the Williams Institute, there are currently 15,000 transgender individuals serving in the military and 134,000 transgender veterans.
The Huffington Post reports that Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona has offered sanctuary to Daniel Neyoy Ruiz, who was ordered by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to leave the country in May after he was unable to produce legal documentation. Ruiz, who has a 13 year-old American-born son, has been in the United States for more than 14 years. A significant majority of Americans (84 percent) say keeping families together is an important moral guide for immigration reform.
Check out these 40 maps at Vox that tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Internet and its history.