One of the things that has come up repeatedly in discussions of Christmas here and on other atheist blogs I read is that the holiday is now thoroughly secular. Most people, it is claimed, no longer regard Christmas as a religious holiday at all. However a recent Gallup poll calls this claim into question.
According to Gallup, 51% of Americans surveyed consider Christmas a "strongly religious" holiday, over 60% attend religious services, and 78% say that they take time to reflect on the alleged birth of Jesus. In fact, their results suggest a slight increase in the proportion of those who celebrate Christmas who feel that it is a "strongly religious" holiday.
To be fair, their results also indicate that Americans who celebrate Christmas are more likely to participate in various secular traditions than religious ones. However, the Gallup data do not come close to supporting the commonly heard claim that Christmas is not a religious holiday for most Americans.
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