A recent survey, which was carried out in the wake of Houston’s move to subpoena sermons, reveals that majority of voters believe religious leaders should have the right to defend their personal beliefs without government intervention.
The Rasmussen Reports released on October 21 show 77 percent of American voters do not believe that “the government should be allowed to prosecute religious leaders for comments that criticize government and social policies that violate the basic beliefs of their religion.”
On the other hand, only 14 percent of voters said that the government should be able to take legal action against religious leaders for those exact same reasons.
In addition, 34 percent said religious leaders do involve themselves in politics when they condemn government policies that infringe upon the basic beliefs of their religion. Contrary to that, 40 percent said religious leaders do not necessarily participate in politics under those circumstances. However, 26 percent respondents had no opinion.
When asked if it was a hate crime for religious heads to disapprove of social policies, such as same-sex marriage, that infringe upon their personal faith, 63 percent said no while only 24 percent said yes, and 13 percent respondents were undecided on this matter.
According to the study, voters were evenly divided on whether religious heads influence policy decisions to a significant degree. About 31 percent said religion has too much influence, 30 percent said it does not while another 30 percent said the influence was just about right. In general, 78 percent respondents said religion played an important role in their daily lives while 19 percent said it did not.
“These attitudes haven’t changed since we first asked this question five years ago,” said the Rasmussen analysis.
The survey, which was conducted on October 17 and 18, included 1,000 potential voters with a 95 percent level of confidence and sampling errors of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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