Americans Seen as Valuing Service to God, Country

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, JAN. 21, 2011 ( The Knights of Columbus have found that a large majority of Americans still find relevance in John F. Kennedy’s references to God in his 1961 inaugural speech.

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A Knights poll found that Americans believe key themes from the Jan. 20, 1961, address are still relevant to the United States 50 years later.

The following are the percentages by which Americans say each quote surveyed is still either very or somewhat important:

— 96% for “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

— 95% for “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

— 86% for “Here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

— 85% for “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.”

“Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy stirred a nation with these important words, Americans continue to recognize the importance of what he said, of his definition of what it means to be an American,” observed Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus. “President Kennedy reminded us then that we must be at the service of God and country and that message — as Americans clearly understand — is still very important to our nation today.”

The Jan. 6-10 survey of 1,018 adults has a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

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