Charisma Caucus

Some Americans Don't Believe Muslims, Atheists Have First-Amendment Rights

The U.S. Constitution (Washington State House / Flickr )

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans incorrectly believes that Muslim citizens don't have the same First-Amendment rights as other American citizens.

Also incorrectly, 1 in 7 believes that atheists aren't protected by those rights.

These are among the findings of a new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, which also found that a fraction of Americans surveyed—15 percent—named freedom of religion when asked to name the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Those rights are: freedom of religion, speech and the press; and the right of assembly and to petition the government.

"These results emphasize the need for high-quality civics education in the schools and for press reporting that underscores the existence of constitutional protections," said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The study is conducted annually by the center in advance of Constitution Day, Sept. 17 (observed on Monday, Sept. 18), the anniversary of its signing in 1787. The sample included 1,013 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Also shown in the study: More than half of Americans surveyed—53 percent—believe undocumented persons have no constitutional rights when, in actuality, they do. The Supreme Court settled that more than 130 years ago in Yick Wo v. Hopkins, ruling the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause extends to noncitizens.

Another finding that will disappoint those who believe Americans should know the basic rights given to them in their Constitution: More than one-third of those asked (37 percent) could not, unprompted, name a single First Amendment protection.

And only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) could name all three branches of the government (legislative, executive and judicial), the same result as in last year's study.

For the original story, visit religionnews.com.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective