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Williamsburg Freedom Survey
Results
17 June 2002

1. This country has been built on a number of different principles that have become a part of our core system of beliefs. Which one is most important to our society as a whole?

Freedom of the press
3%
Freedom of religion
19%
Freedom of speech
26%
The opportunity for economic advancement
12%
The right to pursue an education
12%
Access to affordable health care
20%
None of the above/Other
5%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
1%


2. Which one of those principles do you think is next most important to society as a whole?

Freedom of the press
7%
Freedom of religion
16%
Freedom of speech
19%
The opportunity for economic advancement
14%
The right to pursue an education
23%
Access to affordable health care
17%
None of the above/Other
2%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
<1%


3. Which one of these same principals is most important to you and your family in your everyday life?

Freedom of the press
3%
Freedom of religion
21%
Freedom of speech
14%
The opportunity for economic advancement
18%
The right to pursue an education
13%
Access to affordable health care
26%
None of the above/Other
2%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
1%


4. Which one of those principles do you think is next most important to you and your family in your everyday life?

Freedom of the press
3%
Freedom of religion
12%
Freedom of speech
16%
The opportunity for economic advancement
20%
The right to pursue an education
26%
Access to affordable health care
18%
None of the above/Other
3%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
<1%


5. As you may know, the First Amendment guarantees a number of different things, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Knowing that, which of the following two statements comes closer to your view?

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion are important. However, in these difficult times, many people in this country have taken advantage of these freedoms and have distorted the intent of the Founding Fathers.
44%
The First Amendment spells out the core principles upon which America was founded. Especially in these difficult times, it is important that we maintain these freedoms and continue to uphold the fundamental rights and freedoms that our Founding Fathers guaranteed.
50%
Neither
2%
Don’t know
3%
Refused
1%


6. As an American, which to you is more important?

Your fundamental freedom as an individual and the ability to do whatever you want
30%
Your fundamental responsibility to society and the role you play as a citizen of this country
60%
Both equally
7%
Neither
1%
Don’t know
1%
Refused
1%


7. What do you consider to be your fundamental responsibility as an American citizen?

Being a good citizen
21%
Upholding the law
21%
Serve and support country
8%
Vote
7%
Morality
6%
Helping children / next generation
5%
Freedom
5%
Being informed
4%
Other / No Answer / Refused
23%


Thinking now about the topic of patriotism…

8. One of the definitions of patriotism is “love of country.” Knowing that, why do you personally love your country?

Freedom
56%
Because I'm an American
15%
Best place to live
10%
Opportunities
8%
Diversity
1%
Democracy
1%
Other / No Answer / Refused
9%


9. Since September 11th, many people have noted that there seems to be a renewed sense of patriotism in the United States. Do you think these feelings of patriotism among the general population are…

Not as strong as they were immediately after September 11th 40%
Just as strong as they were immediately after September 11th 32%
Even stronger than they were immediately after September 11th 25%
Don’t know 2%
Refused 1%


Thinking some more about patriotism…

10. Which of the following two statements comes closer to your view?

Patriotism means that Americans should continue to challenge their leaders and speak out about the important issues facing the country. It is not patriotic to let our elected officials make decisions that we disagree with while we remain silent, even while America’s security is threatened.
65%
Patriotism means that America must support its leaders and speak with one voice. It is not patriotic to challenge our elected officials while America’s security is threatened because we need to show faith in them and our government.
29%
Neither
3%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
1%


11. Which of the following statements comes closer to your view: The U.S. Constitution is…

A document that should be reinterpreted every generation or so in light of new social challenges and political realities
36%
A document that should be interpreted as the Founding Fathers intended in order to preserve the core principles they stood for
59%
Neither
2%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
1%


12. Recently, an American university decided to teach the Koran—the Islamic bible—in one of its courses. As a result, two opinions have emerged. Which opinion do you agree with more?

Those who say that it is INAPPROPRIATE to teach American students the Koran because, even though it may broaden a student’s world views, those beliefs were related to the terrorist attacks on America.
27%
Those who say it is APPROPRIATE to teach American students the Koran because it will broaden a student’s understanding of world views.
60%
Neither
8%
Don’t know
4%
Refused
1%


13. The United States Justice Department recently announced that it would give the FBI the ability to monitor people’s activities without first having to show evidence of potential criminal behavior. This loosening of restrictions has been granted in an attempt to prevent possible terrorist activity, and would allow the FBI access to Internet sites, libraries and religious institutions. Do you agree or disagree with this new policy?

Strongly agree
26%
Somewhat agree
27%
Neither
2%
Somewhat disagree
22%
Strongly disagree
21%
Don’t know
2%
Refused
<1%


14. Which of the following two statements comes closer to your view:

We are living in dangerous times. If we need to relinquish some of our personal freedoms and privacies to protect our country, we should all be prepared to do that. Granting law enforcement agencies greater powers to do things is important for the security of our country.
49%
Even though we are living in dangerous times, Americans should not be forced to give up personal freedoms. These rights and freedoms are the foundation of our country, and granting law enforcement agencies greater powers would be un-American and wrong. Our principles are more important than the war on terror.
41%
Neither
5%
Don’t know
3%
Refused
2%

Read about the 2002 Freedom Survey



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