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Pew Research Poll: Nativity Scenes OK on Gov't Property, Most Say

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:11 PM

A Pew Research poll shows most Americans say nativity scenes and other religious symbols should be allowed on government property.

Twenty-eight percent of the people questioned believed Christian symbols could be represented if there also were other religious symbols allowed, but 44 percent said they would be fine with Christian symbols “whether or not there are any others,” Pew reported.

Twenty percent believed no religious symbols should be allowed on government property.

The numbers shifted when the respondents were broken down into their political viewpoints. Sixty percent of the people who identified themselves as Republicans believed religious symbols should be allowed whether or not other religions are represented, Pew Research showed. Twenty-five percent of Republicans said nativity scenes should be allowed only if other religions also were represented, and just 9 percent thought no religious symbols should be allowed.

Democrats were more evenly divided, with 32 percent saying Christian symbols should be allowed even without others and 31 percent saying only with other religions represented. Thirty percent said no to any religious symbols on government property.

Lawsuits do occur over religious displays on government property, attorney Matt Sharp, of Alliance Defending Freedom, told USA Today. But courts typically lean toward the government entity, he said, if there’s a secular or educational purpose for the display.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told USA Today that an “all or nothing” rule should apply.

"Separation of church and state means the government doesn't pick the most popular religious group and honor them in a specific way," Lynn said.

Should Religious Symbols Like Christian Nativity Scenes Be Allowed on Government Property?

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A Pew Research poll shows most Americans say nativity scenes and other religious symbols should be allowed on government property.
pew research, poll, nativity, scenes
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2014-11-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 06:11 PM
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