President-elect Donald Trump has received rousing applause from supporters for pledging to abandon political correctness this holiday season and proclaim, “Merry Christmas” to all — but where do Americans stand on the contentious issue?
Thanks to a new poll released Monday morning from PRRI, we now know exactly what citizens think about the annual debate over holiday greetings. And, like everything else, the results show a starkly-divided nation.
While 47 percent say it’s more appropriate for stores and businesses to say “Seasons Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” to respect people of other religious traditions, 46 percent disagree; these proportions have remained relatively consistent over the past six years, according to the polling firm.
Not surprisingly, there are deep differences between Democrats and Republicans. While 66 percent of Democrats opt for “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings,” 67 percent of Republicans are more in favor of “Merry Christmas.”
There are also divides along religious lines, with 58 percent of Catholics and 65 percent of white evangelical Protestants opting for “Merry Christmas” — and with a much lower proportion of mainline white Protestants (48 percent) saying the same. Religious unaffiliated (58 percent) and non-white Protestants (56 percent) like “Happy Holidays.”
The survey also assessed just how religious Christmas really is in the eyes of those celebrating the holiday.
While 89 percent said they plan to partake in celebrating Christmas, different degrees of religiosity were expressed for this year’s celebration. In sum, 72 percent of celebrants said Christmas is at least somewhat religious for them (43 percent said they observe it as a strongly religious holiday).
Meanwhile, 27 percent said their celebration of the holiday isn’t too religious — an increase from 19 percent back in 2005, showing that more people are seeing a secular purpose behind the holiday. Here, too, there are some stark divides, with some curious differences emerging even among Christians.
While 74 percent of white evangelical Protestants who celebrate said the holiday is strongly religious for them, 51 percent of Catholics, 49 percent of non-white Protestants and 39 percent of white mainline Protestants said the same.
Read all of the survey results here.
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