Strong Support for Church-State Separation

A national survey from the Public Religion Research Institute has encouraging news for supporters of religious liberty. According to the survey, a large majority of registered voters either “completely agree” (36 percent) or “mostly agree” (31 percent) that “we must maintain a strict separation of church and state” in America.

Those results, from a national survey conducted Sept. 1-14, are mostly in line with what a Texas Freedom Network Education survey found in May. According to our survey, 51 percent of likely voters in Texas “strongly agree” that “separation of church and state is a key principle of our Constitution.” Another 17 percent said they “somewhat agree.”

We noted other interesting findings from the Public Religion Research Institute’s “American Values Survey”:

  • 38 percent of registered voters “mostly disagree” and another 24 percent “completely disagree” that “on most political issues there is one correct Christian position.”
  • 56 percent of registered voters are more worried by “public officials who are too close to religious leaders.”
  • 29 percent of registered voters said they consider themselves “part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement.” 20 percent said they consider themselves “part of the progressive religious movement or a religious group working for social justice.”
  • 37 percent support allowing gay couples to marry. Another 27 percent don’t support gay marriage but believe gay couples should be allowed to have civil unions. Only 33 percent of registered voters opposed any legal recognition for gay couples.
  • 18 percent believe abortion should be legal in all cases, while another 37 percent said the procedure should be legal in most cases.
  • Most registered voters have unfavorable opinions of Sarah Palin, the half-term Alaska governor who seemed to thrill religious-right voters as John McCain’s running mate in 2008: 23 percent have a “mostly unfavorable” opinion while 29 percent have a “very unfavorable” opinion of Palin.

You can read more from the Public Religion Research Institute’s survey here. The TFN Education Fund survey of likely voters in Texas is here.

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One Comment

  1. Cytocop CT(ASCP)
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I’m disturbed that only 36% “completely agree” that a strict separation of church and state be maintained. To me, 36% is NOT a “large majority.”

    On the other hand, it is heartening to see that:
    * 56% are more worried by “public officials who are too close to religious leaders,”
    * 37% support allowing gay couples to marry.
    and
    * 37% said abortion should be legal in most cases.

    Those are higher numbers than I expected to see.

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