Despite much media coverage focusing on protests against Christmas and religion in schools around the holidays, a recent poll shows Americans overwhelmingly want both observed behind public school gates.
According to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey conducted nationally, a whopping 76 percent of adults in America assert that Christmas should be celebrated in public schools, with only 15 percent disagreeing. And this isn’t a new trend, as the results have remained consistent over the past couple of years.
In addition, 54 percent of adults participating in the poll believe that public schools don’t have enough religion in them, contrasted to a mere 12 percent of Americans who say the schools have too much religion — while 27 percent expressed that the amount of religion currently on public schools campusis is adequate.
The Rasmussen poll also singled out parents who are currently raising school-aged children in their homes and discovered that an even higher percentage (82 percent) voted in favor of students and teachers celebrating Christmas in public schools. These parents were also more likely to express on the survey that there should be more religion in public schools (61 percent) than the average American adult— seven percentage points higher than all American adults.
Exaggerated problem with Christianity?
The overwhelming support of religion in schools was primarily directed at Christianity
“Support for more religion in school appears to mostly concern Christianity,” Rasmussen Reports disclosed. “In March, 96 percent of Americans felt Christmas should be observed in schools, while 75 percent said the same of Easter. There was significantly less support for observing the major Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist holidays in schools.”
Conducted from December 10─13 this year, the survey also found that 57 percent of American adults support public school prayer, with an even higher percentage (73 percent) indicating that parents should have the choice of sending their children to schools that allow or disallow prayer.
With many schools making even the mention of Christmas taboo or treating teachers or students observing it as if they committed a crime, Rasmussen Reports set out to find what demographic groups thought about celebrating Christmas in public schools across America. It found that significant majorities across demographic lines agreed with the practice.
“Eighty (80) percent of adults who celebrate Christmas in their family support its presence in schools, compared to just 27 percent of those who don’t celebrate Christmas,” the researchers reported. “Sixty (60) percent of adults 40 and over think there is not enough religion in public schools, a view shared by just 45 percent of younger adults.”
A more pronounced disparity between those agreeing and disagreeing about the amount of religion in public schools was found between party lines.
“Republicans (70 percent) feel much more strongly than Democrats (44 percent) and adults not affiliated with either major party (52 percent) that there is not enough religion in the public schools,” the pollsters divulged.
Not a forgotten faith
Contradicting many claims that the United States is a post-Christian nation, the survey found that faith is still a crucial part of most American adults’ daily lives.
“Seventy-one (71) percent of all Americans say their religious faith is important in their daily life, with 49 percent who consider it ‘Very Important,’” Rasmussen Reports informed. “Most adults (57 percent) say it is not possible to have a healthy community without churches or a religious presence.”
On the same note, researchers found that 71 percent of participants believe that “Christmas should be more about Jesus Christ than about Santa Claus.”
Switching gears to a secular holiday, Rasmussen Reports noted that 66 percent of American adults believe that “public schools should allow children to wear costumes to class in celebration of Halloween.”
Focusing on the way government works to accommodate minorities, researchers found that for the most part, public officials overreact.
“Forty-two (42) percent of U.S. voters believe that when it comes to the concerns of racial, ethnic, religious and social minorities in America, the government is too sensitive,” Rasmussen Reports revealed. “Twenty-nine (29) percent say the government is not sensitive enough to those groups. Eighteen (18) percent think the level of government sensitivity is about right, while 12 percent are not sure.”