Based on interviews with more than 35,000 American adults, this extensive survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details the religious makeup, religious beliefs and practices as well as social and political attitudes of the American public. This online section includes dynamic tools that complement the full report. For a video overview and related material, go to the resource page
Reidar Visser: US presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, continue to ignore the shifting political realities in Iraq. Obama and Biden consistently portray the principal dynamic of Iraqi politics as a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis, whereas the main front in Baghdad is between two essentially cross-sectarian coalitions.
As the US presidential election nears, the excitement of US voters is increasing. This excitement can be sensed even from a distant country like Turkey.
Having condemned hyper-sexualized culture, the US religious Right is now wildly pro-sex, as long as it is marital sex. At the same time, the language of repression has returned via the secular notion of self-esteem — to the detriment of women in particular.
David Neil Lebhar: While the race between Obama and McCain is too close to call, US voters and the world must realize that the two candidates’ foreign policy positions are not especially different. Furthermore, due to economic instability, domestic concerns, and a shifting geo-political balance, the next president will have to react to international issues through re-defined multilateralism.
Paul Owen: The suggestion is that by picking Hillary, Obama would either have dulled the impact of John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, or made it less likely that he would have picked her at all. But I don’t buy it
"How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?" asks New York Times columnist Bob Herbert about Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, the inexperienced governor of Alaska.
As mean-spirited Sarah Palin continues her astronomical rise into the political stratosphere and the American presidential campaign moves away from serious issues and back to the culture wars of 30 years ago, am I the only American voter who cringes in horror at what may still transpire: the election of John McCain and his unqualified running mate?