Sadly, it’s perhaps not surpising to learn that people know more about the Simpsons and the judges of American Idol than the First Amendment.
According to a survey conducted by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum, more than half of those surveyed could name at least two characters on the Simpsons while only 28 percent could name two or more of the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Similarly, 24 percent could correctly name all three judges on American Idol and 41 percent could name at least two of the three.
Other findings included:
- While 70 percent recognized freedom of speech as one of the amendment’s guarantees, only 23 percent identified freedom of religion.
- Twenty-one percent agreed that the First Amendment guarantees the right to own and raise pets.
- Seventeen percent believe the right to drive a car is guaranteed by the First Amendment.
- Only 11 percent identified freedom of the press being protected by the amendment.
A report on the survey results is available here (PDF file).
Every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain.
Homer Simpson, Secrets of a Successful Marriage