(CNS News) -- A new Pew Research poll found that 45% of Americans, nearly half the country, think the United States should be a "Christian nation" to one degree or another, and that 60% believe America was originally intended to be a Christian nation.
The Pew Research Center conducted the survey among 10,588 U.S. adults and asked them, “Do you think the founders of America originally intended for the U.S. to be a ‘Christian nation’?” 60% of Americans said yes, while 37% said no.
When asked, “Do you think the U.S. should be a “Christian nation”? 45% said yes and 51% said no.
The survey also asked, “Do you think the U.S. is now a “Christian nation”? 64% said no and 33% said yes.
Commenting on the words “Christina nation,” Pew said, “While some people who say the U.S. should be a Christian nation define the concept as one where a nation’s laws are based on Christian tenets and the nation’s leaders are Christian, it is much more common for people in this category to see a Christian nation as one where people are more broadly guided by Christian values or a belief in God, even if its laws are not explicitly Christian and its leaders can have a variety of faiths or no faith at all.”
“Some people who say the U.S. should be a Christian nation are thinking about the religious makeup of the population; to them, a Christian nation is a country where most people are Christians,” said Pew. “Others are simply envisioning a place where people treat each other well and have good morals.”
In related questions, the survey asked, “Should churches/other houses of worship endorse political candidates?” 20% said yes and 77% said no.
When asked about the amount of influence the Bible should have on our laws, 27% of U.S. adults said, “If [laws] conflict, Bible should have more influence than will of people,” and 19% said, “Will of people should have more influence.” Only 1% stated that, “Bible should have little or no influence on U.S. laws”.
The survey also revealed that 23% believe religion is gaining influence in the U.S. while 74% said it was losing influence.
Another question asked was, “Thinking about the way things have been going in politics over the last few years on the issues that matter to you, would you say that your side has been winning more often or losing more often than winning?”
The poll further asked whether the Republican or Democratic Party was friendly, unfriendly, or neutral towards religion. 58% of voters said the Republican Party was friendly towards religion; 37% said that the Republican Party was neutral towards religion; and 11% said the GOP was unfriendly toward religion.
In contrast, only 21% of adults said the Democrat Party was friendly toward religion; 44% said it was neutral; and 32% said the Democrats were unfriendly towards religion.
In conclusion, Pew said, “The survey suggests that more Americans see religion as a positive influence in American life than a negative one. Four-in-ten U.S. adults say religion’s influence is declining and that this is a bad thing. Approximately one-in-ten say religion’s influence is growing and that this is a good thing. Roughly half, then, express a positive view of religion in these questions.
“By contrast, about a quarter of U.S. adults express a negative view of religion by saying either that religion’s influence is waning and that is a good thing, or that religion’s influence is growing and that is a bad thing.”