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In contradiction to a Newsweek proclamation regarding “The End of Christian America,” a new poll reveals that nearly two in three Americans plan to be in church this Sunday, on Easter.
According to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll, of all Americans, 63 percent plan to observe the day by attending church services, and among Catholics, the percentage rose to 74 percent.
The poll also revealed 70 percent of Americans identified the day as the most important, or one of the most important religious holidays, on the calendar.
The poll also found 86 percent of Americans and 88 percent of Catholic Americans correctly identified Easter as the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
“This data shows very clearly that Americans and American Catholics have a very deep-rooted faith,” said Carl Anderson, chief of the Knights organization. “In the celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter, Americans reconnect to the faith that has been handed down to them over thousands of years, and continues today to be a source of great hope.”
The poll also showed many Americans prepare for Easter by observing the solemn season of Lent, the traditional 40 days of penance and reflection leading up to Easter Sunday.
More than one-third of Americans and two in three Catholic Americans said they observe the special time.
The survey of 2,087 Americans and 521 Catholics was done by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion from March 24-31, and has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.
The organization posted full results at KOFC.org.
The recent Newsweek report trumpeted editor Jon Meacham’s thrill that the country “is maturing beyond uptight Christian orthodoxy and beyond any Christian claim to insist on social conservatism.”
Meacham argues on behalf of the “serious” nature of “liberal Christianity,” the same position he took several weeks earlier when his magazine launched its “religious case” for homosexual marriage.
Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Media Research Center, disagreed with Meacham.
“Newsweek clearly see traditional Christianity as a pestilent obstacle to the kind of libertine America they want to create. How nice to pick the week of Easter to tell Americans that Jesus is on the wane,” he wrote.
Meacham had cited the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey, which said the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation rose from 8 percent in 1990 to 15 percent today.
He also said the percentage of self-identified Christians fell from 86 to 76 percent.
Then he wrote, “While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and arguments of an explicitly Christian character than they were even five years ago. I think this is a good thing…”
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