3.16.19 Are Secular Democrats the New Normal?

Are Secular Democrats the New Normal?

“Were a Democrat from the Clinton, Bush, or Obama eras to watch the presidential-announcement video that Beto O’Rourke released on Thursday, they would likely be struck by how it ended. Or, more specifically, by how it didn’t end,” writes Peter Beinart in The Atlantic. O’Rourke did not close with any mention of God.” Beinart argues that for much of American history, invocations of God were standard fare for politicians seeking the presidency. O’Rourke joins presidential candidates on the Democratic aisle—Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Elizabeth Warren—that did not reference God in their announcement videos. Beinart connects this dynamic to the increase of white Democrats that do not have a religious affiliation. Beinart says, “According to unpublished data tabulated for me last year by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), 8 percent of white Democrats expressed no religious affiliation in 1990. By 2016, the figure was 33 percent.”
Big Changes May Be Coming to California Gig Economy Workers

A 2018 California Supreme Court decision (known as the Dynamex ruling) has massive implications on gig economy workers in the Golden State. The decision establishes new tests for how businesses classify their workers. California workers are currently waiting on guidelines from the state legislature, but many gig economy workers may be reclassified as employees as opposed to independent contractors. The move could mean more benefits and protection for these workers, but some are fearful that the flexibility that these positions provide may no longer be available. Citing PRRI data, The Pew Charitable Trusts reports “About 1 in 10 Californians in the previous year had participated in the gig economy, such as driving for companies like Uber and Lyft, a 2018 survey found. Conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan polling group, the survey found that nearly half the Californians who participated in the gig economy were low-income.”
Majority of Americans Favor LGBT Discrimination Protections

A new study from PRRI, conducted by Daniel Greenberg, Emma Beyer, Maxine Majle, PhD, Oyindamola Bola, and Robert P. Jones, PhD, found that across the country, no matter party or demographic, the majority of Americans support nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community,” writes Katie Burkholder in the Georgia Voice. The Human Rights Campaign also cited PRRI’s report. “A recent survey by PRRI found that seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) support laws like the Equality Act,” Ianthe Metzger writes. Also on Equality Act bill, The Washington Blade’s Chris Johnson writes: “According to new polling from the Public Religion Research Institute unveiled this week, a supermajority of the U.S. public backs LGBT protections along the lines of the Equality Act. Sixty-nine percent of Americans favor laws that would prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination in jobs, public accommodation, and housing. Moreover, a majority of the public in every state supports these protections.”