12.18.2009 9:58 am
By David Lancaster
22% of Christians surveyed by the Pew poll believe in astrology.
Yesterday’s Colleen Carroll Campbell column shifts the blame for the secularization of Christmas away from atheists and other no-good-niks and puts it squarely on the shoulders of confused Christians, citing a fascinating Pew poll that reveals an un-biblical stew of religious concepts—including reincarnation, astrology and tree spirits—infiltrating the beliefs of American Christians.
"Theological confusion and consumerism among Christians," writes Campbell, "pose far greater threats to the Christian character of Christmas than anything the ACLU or American Humanist Association could cook up."
I agree that Christmas has evolved into the current orgy of consumption almost exclusively at the hands of Christians. I disagree that a belief in astrology has anything to do with it.
The consumerist nature of Christmas has grown alongside (and abetted) the American economy and parents’ increasing ability to get their kids anything they want. The very basic human desire to provide for the health and happiness of one’s child sees its ultimate expression in the whoops of joy on Christmas morning. There is scarcely a parent on earth of any faith who wouldn’t shower his or her offspring with the equivalent of American Christmas if they had the resources to do so. Our genetically programmed parental instincts armed with greater buying power have de-Christianized Christmas, not theological confusion.
But back to the poll. The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found that "large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, mixing elements of diverse traditions."
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