Homer Simpson, Yes--1st Amendment "Doh," Survey Finds

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In a contest between Americans’ knowledge of “The Simpsons” and what they know about the First Amendment — Bart and Homer win hands down.

About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.) But more than half of Americans can name at least two members of the fictional cartoon family, according to a survey.

The study by the new McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum found that 22 percent of Americans could name all five Simpson family members, compared with just 1 in 1,000 people who could name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Joe Madeira, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he was surprised by the results.

“Part of the survey really shows there are misconceptions, and part of our mission is to clear up these misconceptions,” said Madeira, whose museum will be dedicated to helping visitors understand the First Amendment when it opens in April. “It means we have our job cut out for us.”

The survey found that while 69 percent of people could name freedom of speech as a First Amendment right, just under one out of four people could name freedom of religion. Only 11 percent knew freedom of the press, one in ten could name freedom of assembly and 1 percent named freedom to petition for redress of grievances, the survey found.

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