Americans Oppose Religious Influence On Government

The majority of Americans oppose clergy influence on the gov­ernment, according to a new public opinion poll.

The AP/Ipsos survey, conducted in 10 countries in May, found that 61 percent of Americans are against attempts by religious leaders to influence “government decisions.” All the other nations polled were also opposed to clergy influence over public policy.

Countries on the list were Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea and Spain. France led the group with 85 percent of poll respondents expressing opposition to mixing religion with public policy.

The poll, like a slew of others, showed religion to be very important to Americans, even more so than countries with government-subsidized religion, such as Spain and Germany. Eighty-six percent of Americans said religion was “important” in their lives. Respondents from France and England were far less likely to dub religion as important in their lives. Only 37 percent said so in France, and 43 percent in England.

Those respondents with absolute belief in God’s existence were highest in Mexico, at 80 percent, followed by America, where 70 percent of the respondents said they have no doubt God exists.