Using an evidenced-based, social-scientific approach to religion, Kenneth D. Wald and Allison Calhoun-Brown challenge the perception that religious influence in American politics is a problem to be solved. Instead, they contend that religion is a form of social identification that not only shapes our ideas about politics, but it also shapes the behavior of political elites and ordinary citizens, the interpretation of public laws, and the development of government programs. Ultimately, the authors show how religion plays a fascinating and crucial role in our nation's political process and in our culture at large. The eighth edition of Religion and Politics in the United States has been fully updated to include the latest scholarship and coverage of the 2016 presidential election. It also features a new discussion of the religious right, center, and left, as well as the impact of religion on the fight for equality based on gender and sexual orientation. Additional student resources include all new discussion questions and further readings at the end of each chapter, as well as a companion website featuring self-quizzes.