THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS TO AMERICANS
The Barna Research Group poll, conducted for the Lutheran Hour Ministries found that:
37% of adults in the national survey (88% of whom identified themselves as Christian) said the birth of Jesus is the most important aspect of Christmas.
More than 75% of evangelical Christians placed Jesusí birth as of first importance on Christmas.
Only 32% of those who identified themselves as fundamentalists gave that answer.
Only 29% of Catholics placed Jesusí birth first.
Only 24% of theological liberals said the birth of Christ made Christmas important for them.
44% of the respondents said family time is the most important part of one of the three most sacred days (along with Good Friday and Easter) on the calendar.
26% of respondents ages 18 to 34 said the birth of Jesus was the most important aspect of Christmas.
39% among respondents 65 and older said the same thing.
Only 3% said presents or parties were the most important part of Christmas. The same percentage that said the best thing about Christmas was getting a paid holiday.
"I guess it demonstrates what preachers have been wringing their hands over for some time: Christ has been evacuated from Christmas," said the Rev. William Willimon, a theologian and Duke University chaplain. "Itís good to know where we are. Christmas has been a co-opted holiday."
"Americans are more likely to correctly recall the significance of April 15 than they are to connect Christmas with the birth of ...
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