A majority of the people in America believes TV and movie executives do not share the religious and moral values of most people in the country, according to a recently released survey.
Released during the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)'s 2008 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, the national poll of 1,000 American adults found that 59 percent of Americans agree that "the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans."
Furthermore, the poll found that 61 percent of Americans continue to believe that religious values in this country are "under attack."
"The belief that religion is under attack underlies the drive to incorporate more religion into American public life," commented ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman in the report's announcement last Friday.
"Disturbingly, 48 percent of Americans believe there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to weaken the influence of religious values in this country," he added, noting another of the survey's findings.
As expected, the percentage of Americans who believe that TV and movie executives do not share the religious and moral values of most American was highest (70 percent) among those who attend religious services at least once a week and declined as service attendance was less frequent. Among those who seldom or never attend church, only 43 percent agreed.
A similar trend was seen when looking at the percentage of those who agree that there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to weaken the influence of religious values in the country.
The latter view was most popular among traditional Catholics, 65 percent of whom agreed with the statement. Conservative Protestants followed with 56 percent agreeing, while only 30 percent of those not affiliated agreed.
Another interesting finding from the survey was the percentage of those who agreed that religious values are under attack in the country. While 83 percent of John McCain voters agreed with the statement, only 44 percent of Barack Obama voters agreed. Similar percentages were found when specifying narrowing religious values to Christian values.
"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," commented Foxman.
Conducted by the Marttila Communications Group, a Boston-based public opinion research firm, the recent survey, titled "American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood," was conducted in October and has a margin of error of +/-3.09 percent.
Other questions asked by the survey included whether "dangerous ideas should be banned from public school libraries" and whether the United States is becoming "too tolerant in its acceptance of different ideas and lifestyles." Thirty-eight percent of respondents agree with the former statement and 59 percent disagree. Meanwhile, 49 percent agree with the latter statement and 47 percent disagree.