The Meaning of "American Idiot"

Okay, it's not quite a deconstruction of Green Day's megahit song/album, but it does trigger the song in my head: From USA Today:
Most Americans believe the nation's founders wrote Christianity into the Constitution, and people are less likely to say freedom to worship covers religious groups they consider extreme, a poll out today finds.

The survey measuring attitudes toward freedom of religion, speech and the press found that 55% believe erroneously that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. In the survey, which is conducted annually by the First Amendment Center, a non-partisan educational group, three out of four people who identify themselves as evangelical or Republican believe that the Constitution establishes a Christian nation. About half of Democrats and independents do.

I actually got wind of this from Shakesville, where guest poster Petulant is rightfully angry about it. How stupid do you have to be to believe this garbage? My high school history teacher would knock the stupid out of these people. It's incredible to think that in this day and age there are people who still think with this kind of medieval mindset.

Oh, wait, no it isn't, not with "Jesus Day" Bush in the White House.

And now, more horribly scary numbers:
Most respondents, 58%, say teachers in public schools should be allowed to lead prayers. That is an increase from 2005, when 52% supported teacher-led prayer in public schools.

More people, 43%, say public schools should be allowed to put on Nativity re-enactments with Christian music than in 2005, when 36% did.

Half say teachers should be allowed to use the Bible as a factual text in history class. That's down from 56% in 2000.
This is nauseating, really. Though, if you want some truly stomach-emptying results, you go to the source: the First Amendment Center's page giving the results of the poll.

* Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000.
* 58% of Americans would prevent protests during a funeral procession, even on public streets and sidewalks; and 74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others.
* 34% (lowest since the survey first was done in 1997) think the press “has too much freedom,” but 60% of Americans disagree with the statement that the press tries to report the news without bias, and 62% believe the making up of stories is a widespread problem in the news media — down only slightly from 2006.
* 25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees,” well below the 49% recorded in the 2002 survey that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but up from 18% in 2006.
The fact that some of those numbers are moving in the right direction is promising, but the fact that they have a right direction to actually move IN is frightening. We should know what our rights are, but in a culture where people are told every day that an entire religion is out to get them and they have to sacrifice their freedoms to stay safe, that's a far-off hope.

The absolute peak of my fury comes at this single paragraph, though:
The right to practice one’s own religion was deemed “essential” or “important” by nearly all Americans (97%); as was the right to “speak freely about whatever you want” (98%) and to “assemble, march, protest or petition the government (94%),” Policinski said. “Still, Americans are hard pressed to name the five freedoms included in the First Amendment,” he said. Speech is the only one named by a majority of respondents (64%), followed by religion (19%), press and assembly (each 16%) and petition (3%).
My feelings on this travesty
The sad part is, I can tell you why they think this way. People are told every day that people like Coultergeist have "freedom of speech" to say horrible, untrue, often criminal things about people. Religion, they're told, is a freedom only to worship as the churches of the majority see fit, and the government can say nothing about anything any religious figure says in the name of their god, no matter how hateful or untrue, because otherwise it's "taking their freedom". The rest they don't even really have under this administration, so they forget about them.

Well, on the plus side, not everyone seems to think this way.

I have to go lie down now. My head hurts.