Illegal Immigration Backlash Worries, Divides Latinos
About four-in-five of the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants are of Hispanic origin; a new national survey finds that Latinos are divided over what to do with these immigrants.
Can Civilization Survive Without God?
Two brothers, both authors of much discussed books on opposite sides of the question, argue over whether religion is necessary for the development and maintenance of values, ethics and order in modern day societies.
Gay Marriage Gains More Acceptance
For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose same-sex marriage, though, support (42%) remains below opposition (48%). The shift in favor of gay marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is “unacceptable” for homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments, but more than a third say the practice of “walking away” from a home mortgage is acceptable under certain circumstances. Homeowners whose home values declined during the recession and those who have spent time unemployed are more likely to say that “walking away” from a mortgage is acceptable.
Anti-Muslim Sentiment Makes News
Coverage of a pastor’s plans to burn the Koran and the controversy over the planned Islamic center completely overshadowed coverage of Sept. 11 commemorations.
Many Say Coverage of the Poor and Minorities Is Too Negative
Pluralities say that coverage of poor people and Muslims is too negative, while somewhat smaller percentages say the same about coverage of blacks and Hispanics. About a third say that coverage of wealthy people is too positive — the highest percentage for any group tested.
Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim
More than a year into his presidency, 18% of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A plurality say they do not know what religion he follows. The view that president is a Muslim is highest among his political opponents. Yet the public also generally says Obama handles his religious beliefs appropriately.
Federal Court Strikes Down California Same-Sex Marriage Ban
A federal district court judge struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, ruling that the prohibition violates the U.S. Constitution. The decision, which is expected to be appealed, represents the first time a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. Constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Media, Race and Obama’s First Year
A year-long study finds that, as a group, African Americans attracted relatively little attention in the U.S. mainstream news media during the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency — and what coverage there was tended to focus more on specific episodes than on broader issues and trends affecting the lives of blacks generally.