Christmas is more a cultural than religious event for one-third of Americans, new survey finds

  • Article by: RACHEL ZOLL , Associated Press
  • Updated: December 18, 2013 - 10:30 AM

NEW YORK — For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

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web4freeDec. 18, 13 9:51 AM

Groundbreaking stuff. They didn't mention a year. Was this poll done in 2013 or 1973?

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okaybruceerDec. 18, 1310:25 AM

Pathetic. Everyone seems to think they will live forever. Death is right around the corner - maybe in the next hour for some of you and you don't even know it. Most are unprepared.

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okaybruceerDec. 18, 1310:26 AM

Pathetic. No one lives forever, and many out there will die in the next hour. Very few are ready. Do you believe in the truth or not?

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orpheus90Dec. 18, 1311:35 AM

From the article: Only half of people who responded to a Pew Research Center poll said they considered Christmas a religious holiday, even though nearly three-quarters said they believed Jesus was born to a virgin ... Actually, I wonder, for the sake of clarity, whether respondents actually believed he was born of a virgin, or were merely acknowledging that they recognized such as a feature ascribed to the Christ story. In any case, to be born of a virgin was a rather common meme in deity myths of that time.

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MongooseBDec. 18, 1312:03 PM

Jesus as a meme. love it.

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Douglind33Dec. 18, 1312:06 PM

As sure as there's an X in Xmas, Commerce shall reign supreme.

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davehougDec. 18, 1312:08 PM

Shouldn't we actually celebrate the birth of our Creator with desert themes of sand and sun and long hot dusty trips riding on a donkey???? Just saying a Christmas tree or Easter egg is a great symbol......just not very religious in itself :)

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pinky1933Dec. 18, 1312:13 PM

Yup, that's me. For me Xmas is joyous American/cultural event. And while I understand/accept it was born out of Christianity (no problem with that...great story, etc), I think it has become a tradition that is shared by folks from many different faiths/background and will increasingly be. That's why I find the "happy holidays" routine ironically I'll-conceived. My Jewish brother-in-law says "merry Xmas" all the time. I think as mine and younger generations grow older, this sentiment will be the standard. The important thing is that it be a time of charity, family/friends, merriment and high kitsch! Merry Xmas, Bruce and all!

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xjritterDec. 18, 13 2:40 PM

The Christ was out of Christmas from the very start. Since its inception, Christmas has borrowed heavily from non-Christian traditions centered on the winter solstice. Jesus wasn't even born on December 25, as no Palestinian-area shepherds would be out tending their flocks at that time of the year. Things of pagan origin like the Christmas tree, the mistletoe, the gift-giving around solstice time were added later, as was Coca-Cola's rendition of Santa Claus about a century ago. No matter about all of this, this season is a good time to show a spirit of generosity toward all and love towards friends and family. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

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morbthrmsnowDec. 18, 13 3:18 PM

but are people answering for themselves, or what they perceive about everyone else? I would have a hard time answering for that reason. Of course it's based on Jesus's birth, but the time we spend on gifts and decorating and get togethers is at least 10 to 1 vs. religious time. 1 hour of church on Christmas Day or Eve is about it. more like 100 to 1 ratio. It really comes down to how religious you are in general. So maybe the survey is accurate.

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