Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christians Most Likely to Jettison Jesus at Christmas

Guess who's winning the War on Religious Christmas? Christians, but only because they're apparently the ones waging it.

A new study by LifeWay Research reveals that nine in 10 Americans (91 percent) personally celebrate Christmas and those aren’t all self-identified Christians. A majority of agnostics or those claiming no preference (89 percent), individuals claiming other religions (62 percent), and even atheists (55 percent) celebrate Christmas along with 97 percent of Christians.

So, practically everyone celebrates Christmas in the United States, whether Christian or not.

In fact, 81 percent [of Christians] put family first at Christmas, agreeing, strongly or somewhat, with the statement, “Family traditions are the most important part of Christmas to me.”

Hardly shocking. Christmas in the US is family and family traditions. That's why nonchristians of every stripe celebrate- we either have fond memories of childhood Christmases past, we're mollifying family members, or seeking to provide our children with fond memories of our own. (Of course, only a fundamentalist Christian would find such devotion to family troubling. Family values and all that, I guess.)

Among a list of 14 things people do at Christmas, giving gifts to family members is the most common activity at 89 percent. Additionally, more than three out of four households report they gather with family or friends for a Christmas meal (86 percent), put up a Christmas tree (80 percent), listen to Christmas music(79 percent), and decorate their homes (77 percent).

Attend church or otherwise acknowledge Jesus rates lower than those activities, and it's Christians who drive this.

Christians are actually among the most likely to enjoy elements of the Christmas season not related to Jesus’ birth, with 66 percent saying they watch fictional Christmas movies, as compared to half of agnostics or those with no preference, and less than half of atheists and Americans of other religions.

So . . . who's waging a war on what now?

Christians are also more likely to encourage a belief in Santa Claus than nonchristians:

Gift giving is also most popular among Christians, 94 percent of whom say they give gifts to family members. This affinity for giving gifts perhaps points to why Christians are also most likely to encourage belief in Santa Claus. Overall, a little more than one-third of households (38 percent) encourage belief in Santa, compared to 42 percent of Christian households. Just 27 percent of agnostics or those without a religious preference, 22 percent of those claiming other religions, and 18 percent of atheists encourage belief in Santa Claus.

You know guys, I don't think it's atheists and pagans that's your problem. It's you.

That's not to say Christians don't pay any attention to Jesus, but it's not their primary focus.

Though a majority encourage belief in Christ at Christmastime, 67 percent of Americans say that, “Many of the things I enjoy during the Christmas season have nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.”
“Americans give Jesus a head nod at Christmas but spend most of the season pleasing their eyes, ears and taste buds with decorations, music and meals,” McConnell said. “Many celebrate Christmas the way most have celebrated Halloween – the fun traditions without sharing the religious significance.”

Which only makes sense, because the Bible makes it pretty clear Jesus wasn't born in December. Seriously, when are lambs born? Not in December. What we're celebrating is the winter solstice. Axial tilt is the reason for this particular season. Apparently, even the Christians know that one.


  1. Most of the Christians who are going on and on about the war on Christmas actually forget about Jesus most of the year. Otherwise they'd be more focused on helping poor people rather than worrying about whether gay people are having sex.

  2. Jason wins one slightly used fruit cake!

  3. how very strange - to meet a Jason who's not a total clueless ass.
    yaay! i knew the name couldn't be TOTALLY screwed up. the internet gave me a great Giftmas present there :)

    my favorite thing to annoy Christians with, about Christmas, is how they celebrate WHEN they do because of pagans. when Rome instituted it's "everyone is now Christian" program, the only way to get "rid" of Yule and similar holidays was to replace with a different, but similar holiday.

    that's why Christmas in December, instead of August or September.

    [i do know a Christian family who Celebrate Christmas on Augst 23rd. i always thought that was REALLY cool, ya know?]


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