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Americans Want Christmas, More Religion in Schools

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Americans continue to strongly support the celebration of Christmas in public schools, places that most already believe lack enough religion.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 76% of American Adults believe Christmas should be celebrated in public schools. Just 15% disagree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

These findings are unchanged from surveys for the past two years. 

Also little changed from previous surveys is the 54% of Americans who say there’s not enough religion in the public schools. Just 12% say there’s too much religion in public schools, while 27% say the level of religion in schools is about right.

Among adults with school-age children at home, 82% favor celebrating Christmas in public schools, and 61% believe there should be more religion in those schools. 

Support for more religion in school appears to mostly concern Christianity. In March, 96% of Americans felt Christmas should be observed in schools, while 75% said the same of Easter. There was significantly less support for observing the major Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist holidays in schools.

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The survey of Adults was conducted on December 10 and 13, 2015 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.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Americans favor prayer in public school. Seventy-three percent (73%) support giving parents a choice between a school that allows prayer and one that does not. 

Significant majorities of adults across most demographic categories believe Christmas should be celebrated in public schools.

Eighty percent (80%) of adults who celebrate Christmas in their family support its presence in schools, compared to just 27% of those who don’t celebrate Christmas.

Sixty percent (60%) of adults 40 and over think there is not enough religion in public schools, a view shared by just 45% of younger adults.

Republicans (70%) feel much more strongly than Democrats (44%) and adults not affiliated with either major party (52%) that there is not enough religion in the public schools.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all Americans say their religious faith is important in their daily life, with 49% who consider it Very Important. Most adults (57%) say it is not possible to have a healthy community without churches or a religious presence.

Seventy-one percent (71%) think Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than about Santa Claus.

Two-out-of-three Americans (66%) also believe public schools should allow children to wear costumes to class in celebration of Halloween.

Forty-two percent (42%) of U.S. voters believe that when it comes to the concerns of racial, ethnic, religious and social minorities in America, the government is too sensitive. Twenty-nine percent (29%) say the government is not sensitive enough to those groups. Eighteen percent (18%) think the level of government sensitivity is about right, while 12% are not sure.

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

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