NH divided on ten commandments monument - 342 participants, 678 responses

Sep 06, 2016

On Tuesday, September 6, the Somersworth City Council voted to reinstall a monument to the Ten Commandments that was vandalized in August. The monument was a gift from the fraternal Order of the Eagles in 1958. It sits in a traffic island outside City Hall. On September 8, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you support Somersworth reinstalling the Ten Commandments monument next to City Hall?”

“Do you support Somersworth reinstalling the Ten Commandments monument next to City Hall?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 79% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 21% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this question received 678 responses from 342 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

Yes: A majority, at 53% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were in favor of allowing Somersworth to reinstall the Ten Commandments monument next to City Hall.

  • “This country needs some morality—and it is freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”
  • “[The Ten Commandments] transcend religion and outline what we are to be and do as civilized persons. Maybe they are a good outline for what to be as a human being. It may change someone’s life.”
  • “Yes, if everyone lived by it life would be peaceful.”

No: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 47%, opposed allowing Somersworth to reinstall the Ten Commandments monument next to City Hall.

  • “No, not if the funds to restore it came from taxpayer pockets.”
  • “We are a secular nation—one of the things that makes this country great... Keep religious ideology out of our government. I can't believe this is still a debate.”
  • “It's in clear violation of the establishment clause.”

Other: As noted above, 21% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Order and society: “So much of society is uncivilized. How does a society keep order short of becoming a military state?”
  • Religious diversity: “[I’m] pretty sure there's more than just Christianity and Judaism in the US and in NH.”
  • The intentions of the founding fathers: “The founding fathers were deists as it was the age of enlightenment… Deism [up]holds human experience and reasoning over any religious dogma.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you support Somersworth reinstalling the Ten Commandments monument next to City Hall? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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