Americans Ambivalent About Separation of Church and State

October 3, 2005

Source: PR Newswire

On October 3, 2005 PR Newswire reported, "Nearly one in three Americans believe that freedom of religion is the single most important Constitutional guarantee -- ranking behind only freedom of speech -- but half of those polled in a national survey are much more ambivalent about the separation of church and state. In the second annual survey, commissioned by the Council for America's First Freedom, a combined 50 percent of respondents said the separation between religion and government should either be less strictly interpreted (27%) or is not necessary at all (23%). Underscoring that sentiment, a total of 54 percent said they would support designated time in public schools for students to pray aloud or in groups, a figure that rises to 66 percent for either silent or after-school prayer... 'While Americans count freedom of religion as among their most precious rights, many citizens apparently make no connection between the right to practice their religion and what can aptly be considered an extension of that entitlement -- that is, keeping matters of faith out of the public domain. The results of this survey reflect a conflicted citizenry on this issue.' [said Tommy Baer, president of the Council for America's First Freedom, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating citizens about religious liberty.]"

See also: Interfaith, Civic