Last updated on: 3/12/2009 10:49:00 AM PST | Author: ProCon.org
1996 - July 19, 2006
The following data are presented to offer readers a comprehensive understanding of American feelings about the inclusion of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and other government documents, and, more generally, both American and International viewpoints on the role of religion in government.
I.B.1. "As you may have heard, a federal district judge has ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion and cannot be recited in public schools because it contains the phrase 'under God.' Do you agree or disagree with the judge's decision that the Pledge is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion?"
"I.E.1. Many public schools require teachers to lead students in recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the phrase 'one nation under God,' although students are generally permitted to opt out of reciting the pledge if they so choose. In your opinion, does that school practice violate the constitutional principle of separation of church and state?"
Yes, it violates the constitutional principle: 26%
No, it does not: 68%
Don't know/refused to answer: 5%
I.E.2. "When you say or hear the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the phrase 'one nation under God,' do you think of that phrase as primarily a religious statement, or as primarily a statement related to the American political tradition?"
Primarily a religious statement: 18%
Primarily a statement related to the American political tradition: 73%
I.F.1. "The Pledge of Allegiance says the United States is one nation 'under God.' A federal court in California has ruled that the Pledge cannot be recited in public schools because this phrase violates the constitutional separation of church and state. Do you support or oppose this court ruling?"
No opinion: 2%
I.F.2. "Do you think the phrase 'under God' [rotate:] should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance OR should be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?"
I.G.1 "As you may know, a federal appeals court ruled this week that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional and cannot be recited in schools because the phrase 'under God' violates the separation of church and state. Do you think the phrase 'under God' should or should NOT be part of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
Should not: 9%
Don't know: 4%
I.G.2. "Thinking about the issue of separation of church and state in this country today, in general, do you think the government should avoid promoting religion in any way, or not?"
Should avoid: 36%
Should not: 54%
Don't know: 10%
I.G.3. "When our government leaders publicly express their faith in God, on balance, do you think it's good for the country, bad for the country, or doesn't have much effect either way?"
Good for country: 60%
Bad for country: 4%
Not much effect: 33%
Don't know: 3%
I.G.4. "Which ONE of the following two statements comes closer to your view? It should be government policy to eliminate all references to God and religious belief in schools, government buildings and other public settings. These references should be allowed in public provided they don't mention a SPECIFIC religion."
Eliminate all references: 12%
Don't mention specific religion: 84%
Don't know: 4%
I.G.5. "Which ONE of the following three statements comes closer to your view? The United States is a Christian nation. The United States is a Biblical nation, defined by the Judeo-Christian tradition. The United States is a secular nation in which religious belief, or lack of it, isn't a defining characteristic."
II.C.1 "Thinking about the presence that religion currently has in public schools in this country, do you think religion has too much of a presence in public schools, about the right amount, or too little of a presence in public schools?"