Survey: Religious values ‘under attack’


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A majority of Americans believe religious values are "under attack," according to a survey.

A national poll of 1,000 Americans commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League also found that those who believe Jews control Hollywood has decreased.

"American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood," which was conducted in October 2008, found that 61 percent of Americans believe that "religious values are under attack in this country," while 36 percent disagree with the statement.

The survey showed that 63 percent disagreed with the notion that "the movie and television industries are pretty much run by Jews," while only 22 percent agreed. In ADL’s first survey on anti-Semitic attitudes in 1964, nearly half of those Americans polled believed that the television and film industries were run by Jews.

In the new poll, 59 percent of Americans agreed that the "people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans." Also, 43 percent believed that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to "weaken the influence of religious values in this country."

Nearly 40 percent of Americans supported the notion that "dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries," and nearly the same number disagreed with the statement that "censoring books is an old-fashioned idea." In addition, 49 percent believed that the United States is becoming "too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles," while 47 percent disagreed.

"It is troubling that so many Americans feel as if the output of Hollywood is part of an organized campaign to undermine religious values in this country and believe that censorship is acceptable," said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director. "It shows that in this age of pervasive media and the widening availability of the Internet, many Americans still maintain a very parochial view toward the information age, and even believe in censorship to ‘protect morality.’ "

The poll was released Nov. 14 during the organization’s national conference in Los Angeles. It has a margin of error of 3 percent.




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