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JANUARY 25 SYMPOSIUM EXPLORES RELIGION IN THE 2012 ELECTIONS

Political, Public Opinion Analysts Come Together for Houston Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2012

Even as Americans grapple with the nation's most difficult economic challenges in decades, religion and social issues continue to play a major role in shaping the battle for the Republican presidential nomination this year. Some of the nation's most respected political and public opinion analysts and commentators will discuss why that's the case at a public symposium on "Religion in the 2012 Elections" on January 25 in Houston.

The afternoon symposium will be co-sponsored by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, the Rice University Religion and Public Life Program and the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, a public policy research and civic education organization based in Austin.

Featured speakers will include John Green, a senior research adviser at the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life; D. Michael Lindsay, author and president of Gordon College; Pulitzer-winning columnist Leonard Pitts; Anna Greenberg of the national public opinion research firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and scholars from the James A. Baker III Institute and Rice University.

Panel discussion topics will include religion and immigration; Islamophobia; religion and science; and older "culture war" issues like abortion and gay rights.

The opening panel will feature a moderated conversation among Green, Lindsay and Pitts that touches broadly on the role religion plays in modern American electoral politics. The panel discussion will focus particularly on the various ways religious issues and candidates' beliefs are influencing the 2012 presidential race.

The symposium runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at James A. Baker III Hall (6100 Main Street) on the Rice University campus in Houston. All panels are free and open to the public, but registration is required (tfn.org/symposium).

The TFN Education Fund will sponsor a special presentation by Pitts at 7 p.m. that evening at Congregation Emanu El (1500 Sunset Boulevard) near the Rice campus. Tickets to Pitts' speech are $20 and may be purchased at tfn.org/symposium.

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The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund is an Austin-based public policy research and civic education organization that focuses on issues involving religious freedom, individual liberties and public education.

 

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