It’s that time of year again – time to talk about the “War on Christmas.”
A new survey from Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americans believe that the emphasis on the religious aspects of Christmas has diminished. Perhaps surprisingly, however, not that many people are bothered by it.
Eighteen percent of the adults surveyed from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4 say that the decreased emphasis on the religious parts of Christmas bothers them “a lot.” Fourteen percent say they are bothered some by this change.
Two months after President Donald Trump promised the Values Voter Summit, “We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas,’ again,” Pew has found that more Americans say it “doesn’t matter” how they’re greeted in stores for the holidays. Fifty-two percent of survey respondents didn’t care about the specific season’s greetings, up from 45 percent in 2005. The percentage of shoppers who prefer to hear “Merry Christmas” shrank from 43 percent in 2005 to 32 percent in 2017.
“I actually prefer they say, ‘Happy Holidays,’” Dena Anderson said in Sacramento on Wednesday. “I feel it’s more all-encompassing.”
Nearby, however, John Kelly – who was at the California State Capitol to sing carols – said he feels Christians who opt for “Happy Holidays” are hiding their faith out of cowardice.
“Are you a person who’s worried about what other people think?” he asked.
While many agreed with Kelly that they preferred to hear “Merry Christmas,” their feelings were not quite as strong.
“It’s the reason for the season,” John McNulty said, explaining why he preferred “Merry Christmas.” At the same time, however, he said he’s never taken offense by someone wishing him “Happy Holidays.”