Some Americans don’t believe Muslims, atheists have First Amendment rights

By Kimberly Winston

(RNS) — Nearly 1 in 5 Americans incorrectly believe that Muslim citizens don’t have the same First Amendment rights as other American citizens.

Also incorrectly, 1 in 7 believe 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.

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1 COMMENT

  1. @OP – Some Americans don’t believe Muslims, atheists have First Amendment rights

    It seems there are those who would like that to be so in poland!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41538260

    Tens of thousands have taken part in a controversial prayer day in Poland.

    Catholics were encouraged to go to designated points along the country’s borders for a mass rosary prayer for the salvation of Poland and the world.

    Church leaders say the event is purely religious, but there are concerns it could be seen as endorsing the state’s refusal to let in Muslim migrants.

    The feast day marks the anniversary of a Christian victory over Ottoman Turks at the sea battle of Lepanto in 1571.

    People were bussed in from more than 300 churches to points all along the border.

    Some priests and Church commentators said the event could be seen as support for the government’s refusal to accept Muslim migrants, a policy backed by a majority of Poles.

    Organisers said the prayer was not directed against anyone or anything.

    Poland, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic, refused to take part in an EU deal in 2015 to relocate refugees from frontline states Italy and Greece.

    The Polish position has put it at odds with the Vatican, with Pope Francis urging greater acceptance of migrants on a visit to Poland last year.

    So those besotted with Catholicism, are celebrating their deliverance from Islam in 1571!

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