Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas less Christian, says survey

Gus Van Horn spotted some more interesting polling data coming out of the States, summarised by him as "Half of Americans Have Ceased Injecting Faith into Christmas":

[O]nly a little more than half [of Americans] actually regard the [Christmas] holiday primarily as a religious celebration.
More than one-third say it's more a cultural holiday, a new poll from Pew Research's Religion & Public Life Policy found.

This is great news from undeniably the most religious western country, and hopefully a growing cultural trend. As Gus says

This calls to mind Leonard Peikoff's classic essay, "Why Christmas Should Be More Commercial", which concludes:

America's tragedy is that its intellectual leaders have typically tried to replace happiness with guilt by insisting that the spiritual meaning of Christmas is religion and self-sacrifice for Tiny Tim or his equivalent. But the spiritual must start with recognizing reality. Life requires reason, selfishness, capitalism; that is what Christmas should celebrate -- and really, underneath all the pretence, that is what it does celebrate. It is time to take the Christ out of Christmas, and turn the holiday into a guiltlessly egoistic, pro-reason, this-worldly, commercial celebration.
Earlier in the piece, Peikoff reminds us that Christmas actually originated as a celebration of the winter solstice, with Christians reluctantly taking it over when it proved impossible to kill off.

That’s been the point of my #ChristmasMyths series, really. Pointing out the origins, allowing non-religious types to bask shamelessly in the celebration bequeathed to us by our pagan heritage.

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