Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

RELIGION Good for You

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

RELIGION Good for You

Article excerpt

The so-called religious right's political agenda generally draws widespread support among the American public.

That is contrary to what a few activist groups would have people believe, but it's consistent with findings of a poll conducted by Public Agenda, a think tank founded in 1975.

While they don't think theological answers always make the best public policy, most Americans want their political leaders to have religious beliefs.

Eight-one percent favors either daily prayers or a moment of silence in public school classrooms -- and 90 percent would like courses on world religions.

Of particular importance to President Bush, 77 percent think it would be a good idea if government were to increase its funding of faith-based ministries that offer programs to help drug addicts and the homeless. Bush wants to do exactly that, under a new "charitable choice" provision in the 1996 welfare reform law.

The poll also found that 87 percent believe religion motivates volunteering and charity. …

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