by Bob Smietana
Christmas is a time for family, faith and a little bit of controversy.
This year, it’s a set of atheist billboards featuring a fictional letter from a little girl who has lost her religion and says she’s too old for fairy tales.
“Dear Santa,” the billboard reads, “All I want for Christmas is to skip church.”
No thanks, say most Americans, according to a new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
Most Americans believe Christmas goes better with a visit to church, religious Christmas songs in public school concerts, and more focus on Jesus.
And while there’s much banter on cable TV talk shows about a “War on Christmas,” most Americans are fine when people wish them “Happy Holidays.”
All these findings are included in a new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, which asked 1,000 Americans about their views on Christmas in a phone survey Sept. 26 to Oct. 5, 2014.
“Christmas traditions that have nothing to do with the Christian faith continue to multiply,” says Scott McConnell, vice-president of LifeWay Research. “Still, most Americans want more of Jesus in their Christmas rather than less.”
Some of the findings include:
- 63 percent of Americans agree Christmas should include a trip to church.
- 79 percent agree with the statement: “Christmas should be more about Jesus.”
- 70 percent believe “Christmas would be a better experience if it had a more Christian focus.”
- 86 percent say children in public schools should be allowed to sing religious Christmas songs in school-sponsored musicals.
- 39 percent believe using “X-mas” is offensive.
- 29 percent agree it is offensive when people say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas.
- 56 percent said God’s son existed before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
For the complete story and survey methodology, visit LifeWay Research.
Bob Smietana (@BobSmietana) is senior writer for Facts & Trends.
Featured image: “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622