Americans Want Christmas, More Religion in Schools

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The FINANCIAL — 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.

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.

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.

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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.


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