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.
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.
An overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, and for most of those who celebrate, it’s a religious holiday rather than a secular one despite the strong commercial overtones of the season.
Very few Americans are offended when someone wishes them a “Merry Christmas,” but most are more likely to say “Happy Holidays” to someone else rather than risk offending them. They also prefer being greeted by store signs that say “Merry Christmas” rather than “Happy Holidays.”
Source: Ramussen Reports, December 14, 2010