Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Latest Pew poll

Here’s the 46 page pdf. Here’s the web summary, which contains everything but the raw data and the precise questions asked.

The news stories emphasize either evidence of substantial public support for "teaching the conflict" between evolution and creationism or evidence that people regard the Democrats as less religion-friendly than the Republicans, not to mention less religion-friendly than they were a year ago, during the 2004 campaign.

My explanation for this last finding, not substantiated by anything in the poll, is that the anti-religious vitriol spewed by the Bush-hating Left in the aftermath of the election has come to be identified with the Democrats, Jim Wallis’s best efforts to the contrary notwithstanding. Howard Dean’s ill-advised wiscrack about the "white Christian party" surely hasn’t helped either.

Other interesting, but thus far unnoticed poll findings include these: Support for the faith-based initiative remains high (66-30 favor it), unless the question is posed in terms of "taking some of the federal funds spent on government anti-poverty programs and
giving them to religious groups to provide
social services," in which case the numbers roughly reverse (33-58). The latter formulation is of course oversimplified and misleading.

Regardless of whether they approve of the job he’s doing (he’s still down 45-47), people’s overall opinion of GWB is still favorable by a 51-46 margin. By contrast, the favorable-unfavorable ratings of other groups are as follows: Christian conservatives (42-34), corporations (49-40), the ACLU (38-35), Congress (49-40), Republicans (48-43), and Democrats (50-41).

Finally, by a 67-28 margin, respondents thought that liberals have gone too far in keeping religion out of schools and government. This sentiment is held by whites and blacks, in all regions, across all levels of education (though only by a 54-42 margin for college-educated folks [I should note that the poll in many ways suggests that college education seems to be the great secularizing influence in the U.S.]), in both parties and among independents, and among all groups of Protestants and Catholics. The only outliers are liberal Democrats (33-64) and secularists (42-50).

There are other nuggets in the report, but it’s late, and I’m tired.

Update: John Hinderaker has more.

Discussions - 12 Comments

If we’re going to "teach the conflict" and acquaint students with a variety of theories regarding the origins of the universe, humankind, etc., it’s only fair that students also hear the Flying Spaghetti Monster variant on the Intelligent Design theory. It’s a theory that’s growing increasingly popular, especially in the Kansas area, and overall believers in the theory number somewhere around 10 million. Definitely, let’s "teach the conflict" and let The Truth be revealed!!

Joe, thanks for bringing this to our attention. Hope the beginning of the school year’s going well for you. See you at the APSA?

Funny how none other College is the secularizing influence. It is too much the case that young students actually look up to their proffesors (in and of itself this is a good thing.) however, the proffesors abuse this by spewing left-wing garbage into their heads.

The older I get the more I distrust surveys and find them useless and misleading. Half the time people don’t answer them thoughtfully, and responses are too easily manipulated by phrasing and the timing of questions. I’m glad Bush doesn’t put much stock in these "weather vanes." They are simply a distraction.

"Funny how none other College is the secularizing influence."

What does this mean?

Phil,

Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t even catch that. This is what I was trying to say and is a better statment. Funny how none other than College proves to be the secularizing influence.

This is just my opinion - "Darwinism" is a scientific theory taught in Science class "Creationism" or "Intelligent Design" is a religious theory and would belong more in a Theology class. I took a World Religions class at AU that I thought was great - it gave a historical perspective as well as touched on current events. Would this be acceptable in a high school forum - to present religious traditions in an educational forum rather than integrating Christianty with Science?

Dear .....

Perhaps if you had spent more time around those left-wing professors, you might have learned how to spell "professor." Apparently, your right-wing instructors didn’t do such a great job!

Dain: "The older I get the more I distrust surveys and find them useless and misleading. Half the time people don’t answer them thoughtfully, and responses are too easily manipulated by phrasing and the timing of questions."

Are you preparing to expire, soon? I don’t think that your level of mistrust and disdain for social science has much more room to increase!

Happy Fall semester, everyone!

Oh, I don’t know, Fung. The social sciences continue to outdo themselves in shabby pseudo-science and political suckupsmanship. And I have plenty of time to appreciate their level of absolute degradation and hypocrisy!

This is just my opinion - "Darwinism" is a scientific theory taught in Science class.

Yes it is a theory, with no evidence to back it up.

Uh, ..., there you are wrong. I think you’d better open your eyes. The world is chock-full of evidence supporting natural selection (everything from the vestigial tail at the end of own spines to the poison-resistance of some insects after repeated attempts at extermination). Hell, epidemic disease itself is a textbook example of natural selection (i.e., most of our childhood diseases were once lethal plagues...we and the bugs have co-evolved to increase mutual survival).

Sorry, but in a broad sense Darwin was absolutely on-target.

Sorry Dain, I forgot to look through the treads again before I posted. Refer to my statements in the tread titled Lee Harris on Darwinism and I.D.. (comment #2)

Here I am making a distinction between natural selection and the origin of where we came from. I should have been more clear and unfortunately was not. However, I would argue that the elimination of polio, smallpox etc. is not natural selection. (at least in the sense related to natural selection as being "natural".)

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