(Week of 6/30/2012) Happy Fourth of July. In 236 years since today’s truths were first proclaimed, they have held up pretty well in the U.S. Almost three-in-four (74%) strongly believe that all people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What division exists on this question is a reflection of a person’s religious commitments and reaction to the phrase “endowed by their Creator”—while 35% fail to strongly endorse this statement among those who say religion is not at all important in their lives, and 33% of those who say religion is not too important also fail to strongly agree. Among those who say religion is very important in their lives, only 16% fail to strongly endorse this statement from the Declaration of Independence that we celebrate today in the most recent Economist/YouGov poll (Week of June 30, 2012).
What about the statement in that Declaration that “it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish “ any form of government becomes destructive to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Only 64% strongly support that statement today, although Thomas Jefferson and others seemed to feel at one time that it was a self-evident truth. Conservatives and Republicans today are much more likely than Democrats and liberals to endorse the right of the people to alter or abolish their government for good cause.
Photo source: Press Association