Since more than three in four Americans identify themselves as Christian, it might seem natural that the upcoming Christmas holiday will be filled with worship and praise during the celebration of Jesus’s birth. A recent study conducted by Pew Research, however, indicates only one-half of the U.S. currently observes the holiday as religiously significant.
Despite the unquestionable religious root – “Christ’s Mass” – of the holiday’s name, about one in two people in the U.S. do not assign any spiritual significance to the most anticipated day of the year.
The trend toward secularizing Christmas is most pronounced among the younger generation, pollsters found. These young adults are also more inclined to doubt the biblical account of Christ’s virgin birth.
While the vast majority of everyone polled expressed plans to join with family and friends in celebration, about one in three said they will do so only as a cultural event.
Furthermore, a solid 70 percent of respondents confirmed they attended church services during the Christmas holiday as children while just over half plan to do the same as adults.
Secularization has crept into the Christmas season throughout several generations; however, our nation’s cultural shift to the left in recent years has exacerbated that trend. More Americans than ever before now view the holiday as merely an opportunity to take a few days off from work and accumulate unnecessary debt.
The life-changing message of Christ’s birth has been so watered down that, in many situations, the mere mention of the word “Christmas” is prohibited. This absurd whitewash has led to the proliferation of “holiday tree” farms and “winter vacations” for school children.
Though few see anything inherently wrong with including figures such as Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman into Christmas folklore, these superfluous figures have now become more identifiable with the holiday than the object of its creation.
Our deeply troubled culture has all but relegated Christianity to the confines of church buildings and private homes. Without the firm moral compass provided by Jesus’s 33 years on earth, our society will continue to devolve into a perverse caricature of our founders’ vision.
This is the perfect time of year for the one in two Americans who still see Christ in Christmas to intercede on the behalf of those who do not.
–B. Christopher Agee
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