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Would You Worship at George Washington's Church?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

A church in Alexandria, Virginia where George Washington worshipped is removing a plaque honoring his attendance there to avoid offending visitors and potential new members. But most Americans say, why bother?

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 14% of American Adults say they are less likely to attend a church that Washington worshipped in. Slightly more (16%), however, say they are more likely to worship in that church.

For nearly two-out-of-three adults (65%), though, Washington’s attendance would have no impact on their decision whether to go to the church. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Regular churchgoers are even more likely to say the first president’s attendance would have no bearing on their decision where to worship.

Also coming down at the Alexandria church is a plaque marking Robert E. Lee’s attendance there. The church’s leadership insists that because both men are now controversial to some, the plaques honoring their historic connection to the church “make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome. Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques.”

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The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on October 30-31, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Likely U.S. Voters oppose removing the names of Washington and Thomas Jefferson from public places and taking down statues in their honor because they like several of the other early presidents were slave owners. Ninety-four percent (94%) agree it is better to try to learn from the wrongs of the past than to erase them.

Sizable majorities in nearly every demographic group say their worship decisions would not be affected by where Washington, known since the late 1700s as the Father of Our Country, went to church.

Women feel more strongly that way than men do.

Twenty-four percent (24%) of blacks say they are less likely to attend a church Washington worshipped in, a view shared by 11% of whites and 15% of other minority Americans. But over 60% of all three groups say his attendance would make no difference to them.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of all Americans believe they should be proud of the history of the United States, but 66% think most of their fellow countrymen don’t know much about their country’s past.

As recently as four years ago, Americans continued to choose Washington as the greatest Founding Father.

But 68% think political correctness is a problem in America today.

Most voters have long believed that most school textbooks are more concerned with being politically correct than with accurately providing information.

Only 40% think the Founding Fathers would regard the United States as a success today. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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