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Americans Still Favor Religious Symbols on Public Land, Religious Holidays in the Schools

Monday, December 13, 2010

It becomes a hot-button issue this time every year:  Should religious symbols be displayed on public land, or is that a violation of the long-standing separation between church and state?  While legal battles continue to arise, Americans still overwhelmingly support such displays.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 74% of Adults say religious symbols like Christmas Nativity scenes, Hanukkah Menorahs and Muslim Crescents should be allowed on public land.  Only 17% disagree and feel these symbols should not be allowed. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

These findings show little change from late December 2008.

Eighty percent (80%) of American Adults also favor celebrating religious holidays in the public schools, another area subject to repeated legal challenge. This includes 43% who believe all religious holidays should be celebrated in the schools and 37% who think only some of those holidays should be recognized. The question did not specify which holidays should be celebrated and which should be excluded. Fourteen percent (14%) are opposed to celebrating any religious holidays in the schools.

These numbers track closely with findings last year at this time.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on December 10-11, 2010 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.


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