As I mentioned yesterday, slowly but surely, the war on Christmas is making more incursions in the United States.
Pew Research findings prove it.
A December 18, 2017 Pew Research Fact Tank article, ‘5 facts about Christmas in America’, shows that little by little, year after year, secularist thought is turning the tide.
A summary with excerpts follows. Bold emphases in the original, those in purple mine.
The first fact states that, although 90% of Americans and 95% of Christians celebrate Christmas — holding steady over recent years:
the role of religion in Christmas celebrations appears to be declining. Today, 46% of Americans say they celebrate Christmas as primarily a religious (rather than cultural) holiday, down from 51% who said this in 2013, with Millennials less likely than other adults to say they celebrate Christmas in a religious way. A majority of U.S. adults (56%) also say religious aspects of Christmas are emphasized less in American society today than in the past, though relatively few are bothered by this trend.
Wow! So now, only 46% of Americans celebrate Christmas as primarily a religious holiday.
And over half don’t care if the religious aspect is de-emphasised, which, as Americans told Pew, is happening.
The second fact concerns the greetings ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Happy Holidays’:
About half of Americans (52%) now say it doesn’t matter how stores greet their customers over the holidays, up from 46% in 2012. About a third (32%) choose “merry Christmas” – down considerably from the 42% who said this five years ago. Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say they prefer “merry Christmas.”
The preference for ‘Merry Christmas’ dropped by ten per cent in only five years’ time! It’s now under one third.
Also, why is it not surprising that more Republicans than Democrats prefer ‘Merry Christmas’?
The third fact concerns public Nativity displays on government property:
A growing share says religious displays should not be allowed on government property under any circumstances (26%, up from 20% three years ago). At the same time, a declining share say Christian symbols should be allowed on government property even if they are unaccompanied by symbols from other religions (37% today, down from 44% in 2014). Roughly three-in-ten (29%) say these displays should be allowed only if they are accompanied by other religious symbols like Hanukkah candles, a share that has held relatively steady in recent years.
In 2014, 20% believed there should be no religious displays on government property. In just three years, that percentage has grown by six points.
Furthermore, the number those who support Christian symbols on government property at Christmas has decreased by seven per cent in the same time period.
That is a lot in such a short space of time.
The fourth fact is not a survey piece as such but relates to Christmas displays on public property and how successful they are in going unchallenged:
In the 1980s, the Supreme Court handed down two landmark rulings that allow for displays of Christmas crèches, Hanukkah menorah and other religious holiday symbols on public property so long as they do not actively endorse or promote a particular religion or religion in general. In practice, religious symbols that are a part of larger secular holiday display (containing, say, Christmas trees, Santa Claus and reindeer) have had a much better chance of surviving a court challenge than those displays that are solely or more overtly religious.
The fifth fact relates to Americans’ belief in the biblical Christmas story between 2014 and 2017:
Two-thirds (66%) say Jesus was born to a virgin, compared with 73% who said this in 2014; 75% believe he was laid in a manger, down from 81%. Similarly, the shares who say they believe that wise men, guided by a star, brought Jesus gifts — and that an angel appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus — also have declined. A slim majority of U.S. adults (57%) believe that all four of these things actually happened, down from 65% three years ago. Belief in these events has declined not only among people with no religious affiliation, but among Christians as well. Overall, about one-in-five Americans (19%) now say none of these things actually happened.
Ding! Ding! Ding! An increasing number of Christians no longer believe the events of Christmas and Epiphany took place.
How sad is that?
Also, in 2014, just under two-thirds of Americans believed all four events took place. That percentage has dropped eight points since then to an anaemic 57%.
Again, this has happened in only three years’ time.
What will the results be in 2020? I shudder to think.
Don’t let anyone tell you there is no war on Christmas. There is, and the anti-Christmas people are winning, bit by bit, year by year.
Another Pew survey follows tomorrow.