“Yes," replied nearly eight out of 10 Protestant clergy to a survey about their views on the separation of church and state. "It has gone too far, or in ways it was never intended to go," said 78 percent of the 700 pastors polled by Ellison Research, Phoenix (www.ellisonresearch.com).
But only two-thirds (66 percent) of the Lutherans — least of all the denominations, including Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal and others — agreed. More Lutherans than any others, 15 percent, said, "It has not gone far enough; more is needed." And 19 percent of Lutherans, also the most, said, "It is right about where it should be."
The Lutherans' views on specific issues consistently showed less agreement than those of the other pastors surveyed:
• Including "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency — Lutherans, 83 percent and all pastors, 96 percent.
• Including "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance — Lutherans, 84 percent and all pastors, 95 percent.
• Displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse — Lutherans, 66 percent and all pastors, 86 percent.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers