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The Poll You Won't Hear Debated Tonight

You won’t hear about this from the establishment media, but Pat Caddell recently conducted a national survey to get a flavor of opinions following the recent Supreme Court decision on same-sex “marriage.”

The poll was a solid national survey of 800 respondents with an overall margin of error of +3.46 percentage points and it yielded some very surprising results – which is probably why it has been ignored by the Religious libertyestablishment media who have already pronounced all matters related to same-sex “marriage” to be settled now that the Supreme Court has mandated the practice in all 50 states.

What Caddell found was that there is an overwhelming sense on the part of American voters that they want to find common ground in order to protect both the expression of religious freedom and the rights of homosexuals. What is clearly being signaled according to Caddell is an aversion to having an all-out political and cultural war between these competing interests.

That being said, when push comes to shove, the American people, in vast majorities, come down on the side of protecting religious freedom.

When Caddell asked if there can be a commonsense solution that both protects religious freedom and gay and lesbian couples from discrimination, 71% agreed and 20% disagreed.

However, when asked which was more important, by a four to one ratio, voters said protecting religious liberty (31%) over protecting gay and lesbian rights (8%). But over half of respondents said BOTH were important (53%).

Two questions were asked in relation to the role of government in regulating these issues. More than two-thirds (68%) disagreed that the federal and state government should be able to require by law a private citizen to provide a service or their property for an event that is contrary to their religious beliefs. Only 18% agreed. Indeed, 51% strongly disagreed with this. When asked whether it should be up to the federal government to determine what constitutes legitimate religious beliefs only 11% agreed and a massive 79% disagreed. Indeed, even two-thirds of those on the “left” of the segmentation disagreed.

The following question was asked on the poll: “Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage. If a same-sex couple wanted to hire the photographer for their wedding, should the photographer have the right to say no?” Overall 82%, the highest percentage on the poll, said, yes, the photographer had the right to say no. Among the segmented “center” 84%, and among the “right” 97% said the photographer had the right to say no.

Even among those on the “left,” 40% said the photographer had the right to say no, 10% were undecided with the other half saying the photographer did not have the right to say no. Further, we found a majority believing that the military has no right to regulate the religious actions of military chaplains.

The second part of the poll dealt with spirituality, belief in God, church attendance, and religious affiliation. The results actually were illuminating and countered some general perceptions in the media.

If Caddell had followed what most polls do by asking major denominations the poll would have had 24% in the category of none/no preference. This category has been rising in recent years leading to a superficial, but understandable, conclusion that close to one-fifth of the people are non-religious or non-believing.

However, in this survey Caddell specifically asked all religious denominations as well as Agnostic, Atheist and “no preference.” He found that 7% answered Agnostic (4.9%) or Atheist (2.6%). Thus, that 7% of those that were not sure whether God exists or believe there is no God is a lot less than normally assumed. Of those 13% who were “no preference” over three-fifths are spiritual and express a belief in God.

Indeed, in a follow up question to them, 71% identify as Christian. Therefore, the vast majority of the growing category of none/no preference are Christians who are religious, but reject any specific organized denomination of the Christian religion.

On the issue of the wedding photographer an amazing 80% of Agnostic/Atheists said the photographer had the right to say no.

So, if 82% of Americans believe the religious liberty of individuals to follow their beliefs should be protected and Christian wedding photographers and others with scruples against participating in same-sex “marriages” should have the right to say “NO,” why is it that religious freedom has suddenly become the new “third rail” in establishment Republican politics?

The two leading establishment Republican candidates for President, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, were quick to say “The court has spoken, it’s all over,” after the Supreme Court handed down its same-sex “marriage” mandate. But as a host of legal proceedings now working their way through the lower courts and state and local administrative agencies show the religious liberty issues that attend the Supreme Court mandate are far from settled.

No Republican presidential primary debate can be complete without addressing the traditional values agenda and smoking-out where the candidates stand on religious liberty and protecting freedom of conscience. Click this link to review a PDF of the results of Pat Caddell’s “flavor of opinions” survey on American attitudes on same-sex “marriage” and religious liberty.

We urge CHQ readers to make sure they go to the Fox News – Facebook live chat page through this link and demand religious liberty protections and the traditional values agenda be part of tonight’s debate.

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My biggest priority for a candidate from the right is show some guts, talk about the R platform and distant yourself from any kind of government growth, it's past time to pare and repair this government, weed it and replant the things that identifies the right from the decaying left, make conservatism and fiscal responsibility a major fact and voice moral logic on all social issues. Make the rule of law a point of order and end the union special interest in our government.....