Poll Finds Jesus OK In Prayer
Special Report - July 30, 2010
A new Civitas Institute poll has found that a wide margin of North Carolina voters from both sides of the political spectrum disagree with the State House’s current policy that asks guest chaplains to offer nonsectarian prayers. The chamber’s guest chaplain prayer policy has been under fire of late, after Winston-Salem pastor Dr. Ron Baity’s invitation to offer the opening legislative prayer for the House Session during the week of May 31 was withdrawn because he insisted in closing his prayer “in Jesus name.” See our previous story on the incident and Dr. Baity’s letter to House leaders, asking for an apology. In response, House Speaker Joe Hackney has formed a special committee, co-chaired by Representatives Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Deborah Ross (DWake), to evaluate the House’s current guest chaplain prayer policy. See our previous story on this, including the list of committee members.
The Civitas poll, which was released July 28, asked 600 likely North Carolina voters July 19-21 the following 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?” According to the results, 70 percent of those polled said they disagree with the prayer policy, 27 percent said they agree with it, and three percent said they are unsure.
Disagreement with the current policy was consistent among voters from both political parties, as well as with unaffiliated voters, who participated in the poll. Among Republican voters, 74 percent disagreed with the House prayer policy, while 24 percent agreed with it. Among Democrats, 70 percent disagreed with the policy, and 26 percent disagreed. Among unaffiliated voters, 61 percent disagreed with the policy, while 31 percent agreed with it.
Speaker Appoints Prayer Committee - July 21, 2010
Pastor Challenges Prayer Policy - July 12, 2010
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