Religion in America: taking stock, finding common bonds

November 29, 2003

By Tom Schaefer at The Wichita Eagle

And you thought you were up to speed about religion in America...

Psst. Want a tip on the stock market?

If you're paying attention, you know the stock market has steadily moved upward in the past year. So, where should you invest some of your dollars?

A new study by Opinion Research Corp. has found that Americans who are religious have specific business ethics concerns when it comes to their investments.

The top five are: use of sweatshops, product safety record, high CEO pay, environmental record and adult entertainment. Notice that only one "sin" issue (the last one) made the list.

And how many investors are religious? The survey of 2,096 people found that 57 percent are investors, and 80 percent of that group consider themselves religious.

The survey, conducted in September, had an error margin of 3 percent.

Never knew you had so much potential clout in the corporate world, did you?

Here's another survey, but a more troubling one. First, see if you can answer the following question put to college undergraduates: What does the First Amendment guarantee?

If you answered "freedom of speech," you're only half right.

According to a survey by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 25 percent of undergraduates were unable to list any freedoms protected by the First Amendment, and only 30 percent knew that freedom of religion is guaranteed by the First Amendment...