The attitude of Americans to Christmas appears to be changing even as many tend to believe that Christmas is beleaguered.
A study by the Pew Research Center, conducted through aa survey of 1,503 American adults, claims that most of the respondents found Christmas to have less emphasis on it religious aspect now compared to the past even though most of them do celebrate the festival. There are just a handful who would devote accord any attention to the change.
The study further showed a clear political divide as the Democrat respondent emphasized secularism while the Republicans seemingly placed greater importance on the religious aspect.
There has been a debate in modern times in the U.S. about the manner in which Christmas is celebrated – whether it respects Christianity or whether liberalism has taken over, and the study claimed to reflect that debate about the validity of the festival.
The study said that ever since it began such a survey in 2013, there has been no change in the fact that about ninety percent of Americans celebrate Christmas in one way of another.
The study also finds that the belief that the religious aspects of Christmas are focused much less now compared to the past was expressed by 56% of the respondents, and within this group, only about 32 percent of Americans said that the new trends troubles them either “a lot” or “some.”
While Christmas would be celebrated as a religious holiday by 55% of the respondents in 2017, there were 46 percent who viewed it mainly as a religious holiday while 9% viewed it as being both a religious as well as a cultural occasion. The study also noted that Christmas is celebrated as a cultural holiday by about 39% of the respondents.
There was a noted decline in the survey about the belief that the biblical story of Christmas sowed precise reflection of historical events. This was one of the theological aspect that saw a seismic change in the survey.
The survey questioned the respondent about their belief in the four parts of the story of Christmas as depicted in the Bible.
Among the respondents, there were just 57 percent who expressed complete belief in all of the four parts which was 8% less compared to answers to the same question in a similar survey in 2014. Researchers identified two factors contributing to this change in attitudes. Belief in the story of Jesus’ birth is more likely to be denounced by more atheists and the religiously unaffiliated compared to the past. The second trend was “a small but significant decline” of roughly 5 percent “in the share of Christians who believe in the Christmas narrative contained in the Bible.”
(Adapted from Nyt.com)