The Terrorizing Style in American Politics
For The Washington Post, Philip Bump analyzes the infiltration of political violence and violent threats into American politics over the past decade. Citing remarks made by current and former legislators as well as data from U.S. Capitol Police about the increase in threats against Congress, Bump shows how these threats are affecting legislators’ decision-making. While threats emerge from both sides of the political spectrum, data shows that the embrace of political violence is more common on the right. In 2022, PRRI found that 3 in 10 Republicans said they agreed that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country,” about three times the percentage of Democrats agreeing with the same sentiment.
Tens of Thousands March To Demand End to Fossil Fuels Ahead of UN Climate Summit
Rebecca Falconer at Axios reports that yesterday tens of thousands of people marched in New York City and across the U.S., demanding President Biden and other world leaders end the use of fossil fuels ahead of this week’s UN Climate Ambition Summit. Speakers at the New York event voiced their disapproval of the Biden administration’s new oil and gas drilling permits. The Guardian reports that Biden garnered approval last year by passing a historic $369 billion climate law, but was also criticized for allowing new oil drilling projects in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. In total, more than 650 climate actions took place across the world last week. Last year, PRRI’s American Value Survey found that 62% non-Christian religious Americans said climate change is a critical voting issue for them.
Facing Pushback From Both Parties, New Mexico Governor Scales Back Firearms Order
The New York Times’ Colbi Edmonds reports that on Friday New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham scaled back a temporary public health order that had restricted carrying open or concealed firearms in the Albuquerque metro area. Lujan Grisham initiated the executive order after several recent fatal shootings of children. After pushback from both sides of the aisle, the order was reduced to only parks and playgrounds. PRRI data finds that about one in five Americans (19%) say that most or all of the people they include in their close friendship network own a gun, including 8% who say that all of the people in their friendship networks own a gun.
How Humanist, Atheist and Spiritual-But-Not-Religious Chaplains Tend to Patients’ Needs
At The Conversation, Amy Lawton shares research from Brandeis University’s Chaplaincy Innovation Lab focused on the experiences of 21 nonreligious chaplains. One chaplain, an atheist and a humanist interviewed for the study, says that his “aha moment” came after a history professor told him that beliefs are the source of a community’s power. Nonreligious chaplains often take overlapping values and beliefs from multiple major world religions, such as finding beauty and meaning in the natural world or finding strength in their conviction that human beings are inherently good. Lawton notes that American atheists are more likely than Christians to say they often feel a sense of wonder about the universe. PRRI’s 2020 Census of American Religion found that 23% of Americans are religiously unaffiliated.
Read PRRI’s spotlight “Political Polarization and Democracy in the United States” here.