Have you ever visited a veterans memorial?
For those of us who’ve had the privilege of seeing one up close, we can share with you that it is without a doubt an awe-inspiring and humbling experience.
Whether you’ve visited Arlington National Cemetery or have stopped at one of the thousands of memorials scattered throughout our great nation, visiting a veterans memorial really does evoke a sense of respect for our men and women in uniform.
After all, it is their service and sacrifice that secures our freedoms – including the freedom to live out our faith.
But this isn’t just an anecdote or a story you’ll hear from us.
There’s evidence showing that this is a widespread sentiment in our country.
In fact, a recent study conducted by pollster George Barna and Metaformation, Inc. found that an overwhelming majority of Americans regard memorials as part of our history and consider them important so that we do not forget the price of the freedoms we enjoy.
In this special edition, we’re giving you insider access to the various findings of that study – and we’ll give you an exclusive break down of what the data reveals about Americans like you, your understanding of religious liberty, and why millions of people want veterans memorials to remain standing.
Keep our veterans memorials standing.
When asked whether the government should remove from public places all military memorials that had some kind of religious imagery, Americans responded with a resounding: Keep them standing!
To put it in perspective, 4 out of 5 Americans state that they support military-related memorials containing religious symbols or expressions – and they are determined in their views about keeping these memorials standing.
On the other hand, only 6% of Americans want all memorials with religious insignia removed, regardless of the circumstances.
Memorials are part of our history and they honor the sacrifice of our veterans.
There is consensus among a great majority of Americans when it comes to honoring our nation’s veterans.
In fact, 4 out of 5 adults said that people of any faith – or even those with no faith – should support preserving American history, as well as the memory of our service-members.
What’re more, two-thirds of adults see the destruction of veterans memorials as a direct affront to our service members’ service and sacrifice. Additionally, about three-fourths of the American public expressed disagreement with the removal of memorials that have been in place for more than a half-century – essentially recognizing that these structures are indeed a part of America’s history.
Destroying memorials with religious symbols is government hostility.
A large majority of Americans do not view tearing down religious symbols or memorials with religious imagery as the government being neutral or promoting inclusion.
Consider, for example, that more than three-fourths of Americans recognize that there is a difference between government displaying religious symbols and government using those symbols to establish or promote a state religion.
Also, it’s particularly interesting that a majority of Americans see the removal of religious symbols from the public view as government supporting secularism.
In the end, what does all of the data above mean? And why does it matter?
For one, it clearly shows us that Americans do not see veterans memorials with religious imagery as the government trying to coerce or impose a religion on people.
On the contrary, the numbers from this recent poll reveal that Americans have a profound respect for military memorials like the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial, and that they want these structures to remain standing because they represent a part of our history and honor the sacrifice of America’s service members.
And of course, the results also show that Americans know what the Constitution says – and that it indeed allows veterans memorials with religious imagery to be built and displayed in public.