Americans, especially Republicans, value First Amendment protections for Christians far above those of other religions, or of none.
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82 percent of Americans say protecting the religious liberty of Christians is important. When Republicans were asked, that number jumped to 88 percent. But overall, when asked about protecting or supporting the rights and beliefs of Jews, only about seven out of ten Americans felt it important. Mormons? Only 67 percent of Americans said yes, it's important.
Protecting the rights and beliefs of Muslims, atheists, or people of no particular faith? Only 61 percent of Americans say it's important, according to a new poll from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Democrats and Republicans alike see protecting the rights and beliefs of Muslims as less important, although the parties differ somewhat. Only 60 percent of Republicans, and 67 percent of Democrats value the rights and beliefs of Muslims.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the group that is defending Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman and fired Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, and last year created a false brouhaha in the Hitching Post anti-gay wedding chapel story, thinks protecting the rights of Christians is paramount.
The ADF's Greg Scott told the AP focusing on protecting Christians "makes sense in that Christians today are facing mounting threats to their religious liberty by acts of state officials and bureaucrats."