Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How much stupider can Americans get?

If this news doesn't illustrate the need for more comprehensive history and civics instruction in our public schools I don't know what does.
Most Americans believe the nation's founders wrote Christianity into the Constitution, and people are less likely to say freedom to worship covers religious groups they consider extreme, a poll out today finds.
The survey measuring attitudes toward freedom of religion, speech and the press found that 55% believe erroneously that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. In the survey, which is conducted annually by the First Amendment Center, a non-partisan educational group, three out of four people who identify themselves as evangelical or Republican believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. About half of Democrats and independents do.
That's bad enough but the study conducted by the First Amendment Center shows even more disturbing tends
  • 74% of Republicans endorse the notion of a constitutional provision for a Christian nation; 50% of Democrats and 47% of independent voters agree.
  • Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000.
  • 58% of Americans would prevent protests during a funeral procession, even on public streets and sidewalks; and 74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others.
  • 34% (lowest since the survey first was done in 1997) think the press “has too much freedom,” but 60% of Americans disagree with the statement that the press tries to report the news without bias, and 62% believe the making up of stories is a widespread problem in the news media — down only slightly from 2006.
  • 25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees,” well below the 49% recorded in the 2002 survey that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but up from 18% in 2006.
  • So there you have it. Americans are willingly walking into a fascist state with their eyes wide shut. But then why wouldn't they? Funding for public education has been under attack by anti-tax reactionaries for decades and has produced the excepted results. And an a population ignorant of its own history, fed the right propaganda, is easily lead.

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