Raleigh, N.C. – Both Democratic and Republican voters in North Carolina disagree with the policy forbidding guest chaplains in the state House from mentioning Jesus in the opening prayer session according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
According to the live caller poll of 600 likely voters, 70 percent of voters said they disagree with the policy that forbids chaplains from mentioning Jesus in their prayer. Twenty-seven percent of voters said they agree, and three percent said they are not sure.
Republicans oppose the guidelines by a 74 percent-24 percent margin. Democrats also disagree with a 70 percent-26 percent margin in opposition. Moreover, unaffiliated voters also oppose the policy by 61 percent-31 percent.
“Speaker Hackney’s attempt to stifle free speech has backfired, evidenced by voter disagreement with this policy that caters to a minority viewpoint,” said Civitas Institute president Francis De Luca. “Has political correctness gone so awry that we can no longer mention Jesus while saying a prayer in a Judeo-Christian nation? What is next, no prayer to open the session?”
Lawmakers plan to review the policy after a guest chaplain said he was instructed not to reference Jesus in his prayer at the House chamber earlier this month. In response to the incident, House Speaker Joe Hackney and Minority Leader Paul Stam will look over the measures concerning guest chaplains to ensure that they act accordingly with constitutional procedures.
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see www.nccivitas.org/media/poll-results/.
Full text of question:
Currently guest chaplains in the North Carolina House of Representatives are forbidden from mentioning Jesus in the prayer opening the session each day. Do you agree or disagree with this policy?
Strongly agree – 15%
Somewhat agree – 12%
Somewhat disagree – 14%
Strongly disagree – 56%
Not sure – 3%
AGREE – 27%
DISAGREE – 70%
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 likely general election voters in North Carolina was conducted July 19-21, 2010 by Tel Opinion Research of Alexandria, Virginia. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters we interviewed had to have voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in either the 2004, 2006 or 2008 general elections or were newly registered voters since 2008.