Most Americans support existing cultural expressions of Christianity, but fewer than one in three would go so far as amending the Constitution to establish Christianity as America’s official religion, according to new survey.
Amid recent debates over posting the Ten Commandments in government buildings, having “In God We Trust” on currency and including “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, fewer than one in five said they agree with changing public policy to remove those expressions, according to a survey released Monday by The Barna Group.
Americans opposed by a two-to-one margin, however, “a constitutional amendment to establish Christianity as the official religion of the United States.”
In one sub-group, meanwhile, a majority thought such an amendment would a good idea. Evangelicals were twice as likely as the general population to support the idea, with 66 percent answering in the affirmative.
A majority of Americans also support the teaching of creationism in public schools, according to the survey. Nearly six in 10 (59 percent) Americans, and 86 percent of evangelicals, said public schools should allow the biblical perspective on creation to be part of their curriculum.
The survey was based on a nationwide survey of 1,618 adults interviewed in May. The sampling margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.4 percent.
Barna defines “evangelicals” as a subset of born-again Christians. “Born again” are those who say they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and believe they will go to heaven when they die because they have accepted Christ as savior.
In addition to meeting criteria for born again, evangelicals are those who add that their faith is very important in their daily lives, feel a personal responsibility to share their faith and believe in the existence of Satan, that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches, salvation by grace and that Christ lived a sinless life and describe God as “the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today.”