Whew — Wednesday was a big day for surveys.
And one shows that two-thirds of Americans support the protection of religious liberty.
Commissioned by the nonprofit Becket Fund, the study reveals that 67% of Americans endorse the freedom to exercise spiritual belief, determined by a list of questions regarding a variety of issues from religious pluralism to the societal role of churches and separation of church and state.
The report concludes thusly:
“Even after decades of religious freedom being pulled into the culture wars, Americans accept and support a broad interpretation of religious freedom. Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of the government penalizing groups and individuals for living out their religious beliefs.”
That sounds pretty good, huh?
Although, I wouldn’t consider 67 a great score — it’s a high D.
How far back do you think we’d have to go to find a tally north of 90?
One component of the study saw a solid C, as per The Washington Free Beacon:
A vast majority of respondents expressed opposition to government interference in religious matters. About 75 percent of respondents said they believed individuals and groups should be able to maintain potentially controversial beliefs about marriage without facing discrimination, fines, or penalties.
And Eureka! — an A:
Nearly 90 percent said they supported the individual right to practice religion on a daily basis without the potential for harm, either from other individuals or the federal government.
Believe it or not, amid the numbers, Democrats and Republicans actually came together.
One topic of definite disagreement among those surveyed — which was, incidentally, 1,000 online adults across the country: Separation of church and state (which is not, of course, in the Constitution).
Regarding the government publicly displaying religious images or symbols, 44% opposed the practice compared to a majority in favor.
Becket Fund President and Senior Counsel Mark Rienzi explained that he hopes the study’s value is increasingly embraced:
“Over time, we hope the Religious Freedom Index will become an essential resource to anyone who studies attitudes about religion and religious freedom in America.”
Perhaps it will be, but will religious liberty?
In another survey making headlines, racial minorities believe the First Amendment “goes too far” (here). And just last month, America saw a candidate for the presidency of the United States say he would liberate churches from their tax exemption if they stood against homosexuality (here).
A lot is at stake in 2020. And one of those — surely — is the fate of freedom where worship, faith, and conviction are concerned.
I hope we’re all given more space — to believe, speak, and live as we see fit.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.