It has become an American tradition this time of year: Aggressive atheists roll out holiday campaigns calling for a God-free Christmas; strident secularists go to war against manger scenes and "Merry Christmas" greetings; and Christians wring their hands about the "Christmas Wars" that threaten to obscure the religious reason for the season.Read the rest of the article here. What do you think?
Comforting as it may be to blame the grinches among us for the secularization of the holiday, atheism and anti-Christmas zeal are not the main culprits. A new Pew poll suggests that theological confusion and consumerism among Christians pose far greater threats to the Christian character of Christmas than anything the ACLU or American Humanist Association could cook up.
The survey, released last week, painted a picture of Americans as overwhelmingly Christian in their declared religious affiliation but increasingly likely to mix and match contradictory beliefs to suit their personal tastes and current fashions. New Age and Eastern beliefs are particularly in vogue right now: The poll found that 22 percent of Christians believe in reincarnation, 23 percent believe in astrology, 23 percent believe that spiritual energy resides in such objects as trees and crystals, 17 percent believe in the casting of curses, 17 percent say they have seen or been in the presence of ghosts and 14 percent consult fortune tellers or psychics.
That such practices and beliefs run counter to traditional Christian doctrine -- and to the biblical Christmas story of a God-made-man who came to earth to liberate mankind from seeking salvation in inanimate objects or favorable planetary alignments -- seems unimportant to many American Christians. These spiritual freelancers are not willing to reject Christianity and embrace another religious tradition. They prefer instead to take a syncretistic and consumeristic approach to faith, to shop among the various religions and houses of worship to create an individualistic blend of often conflicting beliefs...
December 21, 2009
Here is an interesting article by Colleen Carroll Campbell in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch