Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bart Simpson and the Bill of Rights

Now this is truly sad...

A random telephone survey of 1,000 adults by the McCormick Freedom Museum revealed that only 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, more than half of Americans can name at least two members of “The Simpsons.” Twenty-two percent of respondents could name all five Simpson family members, but just 1 in 1,000 could identify all five First Amendment rights. In addition, while only 1 percent could name the right to petition for a redress of grievances, about 1 in 5 people thought the right to own a pet is protected by the First Amendment.

No wonder we’re in this mess.

To read more about the survey, visit


Anonymous Mike Picconatto said...

You know better than to think you really have first ammendment rights. :)

An interesting study would be to find how much education has changed in the past (pick a number) years to "better engage the student," and then compare test results in similar areas.

I think that many education instituations have switched to trying to keep kids plugged in by entertaining them and fail to teach.

Something's got to give.

July 13, 2006 3:02 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks for posting, Mike. And yes, I did know better than to entertain such a wild delusion! :)

The thing that I found most disturbing about the study was that these were adults, not kids.

And you're right about schools trying to entertain rather than teach. I used to teach at a college, and I encountered one incoming freshman who had never read a book in her life. When I asked what she had done in her English classes, she said she watched videos.

July 14, 2006 1:23 PM  
Blogger CrimsonLine said...

Hi there! This story shocked me, too - but for a different reason. Obviously, you have no way to verify this, but I was one of the 1,000 people called for that survey, and I *did* know all five First-Amendment rights. It was a few months ago, when I was at Seminary. The results of the survey were publicized a month later, and some of my friends (whom I had told about the survey call when it came) pointed it out to me.

My wife says I'm one in a million, but it turns out I'm just one in a thousand... :)

July 17, 2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger CrimsonLine said...

BTW, I saw your blogfeed on the C&MA website.

July 17, 2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Welcome, crimsonline, and congratulaitons on knowing your First-Amendment rights! I was especially encouraged to learn that someone studying for ministry understands the Bill of Rights so well. I can't stress enough how important it is for Christians to know and defend their liberties. Even the apostle Paul understood his rights as a Roman citizen, and he asserted them to the end.

July 17, 2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

How cool is that? out of a thousand people in America, Crimson Line gets picked for survey and someone in C&MA writes about same survey.

I too, am excited that hey, we may fail our World Ignorance Quotient test and Bill of Rights exam, but I'm happy SOMEBODY knows the answers ;-)

July 17, 2006 10:10 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

That is pretty amazing!

July 18, 2006 4:47 PM  

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