Becket Law recently released its third Religious Freedom Index, 21 questions put to a nationally representative group of 1,000 American adults. The results portray a nation that values the contributions of religious organizations to the well-being of the United States.
The poll also shows that Americans strongly support a level playing field for faith-based organizations, wanting the government to partner with them on fair and equal terms. Becket’s Religious Freedom Index demonstrates a widespread desire to hear faith-based opinions and worldviews, important to many Americans in these disruptive times.
Religious Freedom: Overall, backing for religious freedom increased in this year’s index, pushing it to a new high of 68 percent on a 0-100 scale.
Level Playing Field: More Americans than ever before responded that they believe religious organizations should be just as eligible to receive government funding as non-religious organizations – a six-point increase from the previous year to a high of 71 percent.
Value of Free Speech: 62 percent of respondents believe people of faith should be free to voice their religiously based opinions in public, even on controversial topics.
Parents and Children: 63 percent of respondents said that parents are the primary educators of their children and should have the final say in what their children are taught.
Closures: In some parts of the United States during the pandemic, there was an imbalance between how local and state governments treated many commercial and cultural activities and religious ones when it came to pandemic management and closures. In Becket’s poll, a majority said that funerals and religious services should be considered essential activities.
Becket’s Religious Liberty Index demonstrates that Americans have a growing appreciation of the role of religious organizations and religious liberty. Most Americans still agree with Tocqueville’s adage: “The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom.”
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