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Survey: Less than Half Link Easter to the Resurrection

posted by mconsoli

(RNS) While most Americans describe Easter as a religious holiday, less than half of U.S. adults surveyed link it specifically to the Resurrection of Jesus, a Barna Group study shows.
Seven in 10 respondents mentioned religion or spirituality in their response to an open-ended question about how they describe what Easter means to them personally. But just 42 percent tied Easter to the Resurrection.
At 73 percent, baby boomers (ages 45 to 63) were the most likely to describe Easter as a religious holiday, compared to two-thirds of those ages 26 to 44 and Americans 64 and older. The youngest group of adults (ages 18 to 25) were least likely, at 58 percent, to use that kind of description.
Other than the day Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead, respondents described Easter as “a Christian holiday, a celebration of God or Jesus, a celebration of Passover, a holy day” or a special day to go to church, Barna researchers said.
“The Easter holiday in particular still has a distinctly religious connection for people but … the specifics of it are really fading in a lot of people’s minds,” said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, which is based in Ventura, Calif.
The findings are based on phone interviews of a random sample of
1,005 U.S. adults from February 7-10 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
– Adelle M. Banks
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.



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pagansister

posted March 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm


The spring celebration was celebrated centuries before Jesus was born. The original was a celebration of fertility of the earth, renewed each spring. Eggs, chicks, rabbits, flowers, May poles are all fertiliy symbols, which are older than Jesus’s birth. The word “Easter” was said by the Venerable Bede (672-735 CE)to have been named after Eostre who was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. There are other names that contributed to “Easter”. Some of them were Ostara and Ostern. Those were Teutonic Goddesses of fertility. Christians took the Pagan symbols (and the name of the Goddess, Eostre) and made this a Christian celebration related to Jesus and the cross. Glad Pagans contributed the name to their auspicious celebration. Always glad to help.
Interesting survey.



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hurene

posted March 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm


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nnmns

posted March 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm


Excellent points ps.



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Brett in Oregon

posted March 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm


I wonder which catagory Barna would put my response: Christian groundhog’s day. “Jesus didn’t see his shadow – spring is here!”



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cknuck

posted March 15, 2010 at 8:46 pm


Christians also took the hated cross with a horrible history, the worst death and turned it into a symbol of everlasting life, victory over sin, death and the grave. Jesus also took the disciple to Caesarea where the pagans worshiped the god Pan from the underworld with Hades Caesarea Philippi was the most pagan place in all of Palestine. Most devout Jews would probably avoid it altogether, but Jesus went there deliberately. In a rocky part of the city on a bluff were two temples.. That alone would be considered blasphemy to the Jews, but nearby there was a temple built to worship the Greek god Pan. In fact, it was the worldwide center for Pan worship. As part of their devotion the followers of Pan would perform acts so lewd that I cannot mention them but Jesus used even this place as an illustration of His power, as He said even the gates of Hades will not prevail against His church. So yeah He used a lot of pagan symbols to make His point.



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pagansister

posted March 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm


cknuck, No one’s religion has things they are proud of….and we all know about Crusades, witch burnings etc. Pagans aren’t and weren’t all like Pan that you mentioned. I’m sure there were some non-Pagans that went to the “red light district” too. If it weren’t for some religions adapting Pagan ideas, they wouldn’t have gotten any converts. The converts used much of their native religion while doing some parts of the religion they either voluntarily went to or were forced to join to make up their ultimate beliefs. The Catholics even made a Saint out of a Goddess so they could convert the Irish. JC was on a mission and tried to make things like he thought they should be. He didn’t totally succeed, as there are fortunately still Pagans about, as well as many other non-Christian religions. So enjoy your bunnies, eggs, chicks because without Pagans you wouldn’t have them…or even the name of your Easter. (or Christmas trees or Yule logs). :o)



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pagansister

posted March 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm


cknuck…large correction…First line above…Should be: Everyone’s religion has things they are not proud of…and we know about the Crusades, witch burnings etc.
I got distracted (obviously) and didn’t reread. Sorry about that!



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted March 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm


The history of a religious holiday is academically interesting but hardly relevant to the issue at hand. Though I am not Christian, it is appalling to think that a sizable portion of people, many of whom call themselves Christian, are so oblivious to the most basic facts of their own faith. However, I don’t see this as a failure of religious education so much as a general failure of education in America. Have we not all seen the evidence for years and years? Surveys have shown that great numbers of Americans cannot locate the nation on an unlabeled map of the world, cannot say anything about the reasons for the Civil War or World War II, cannot identify the three branches of government, cannot explain where the Bill of RIghts fits into the Constitution, and so on. Great numbers of Americans never read books and think Fox News is a reliable source of information.
There is a huge disconnect here, because more people go to college today than when I was a young man — but the sad fact is that Americans today are not only ignorant but sometimes seemingly proud of it. Ignorance about basic tenets of Christianity is just one more example.



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nnmns

posted March 15, 2010 at 10:08 pm


I won’t argue about the ignorance, especially among those who think Fox news is news. But it’s only up to Christian parents and Christian churches to educate the kids about Easter, if they think it’s important enough to bother. Happily, apparently a lot of Christian parents don’t think the myth is worth the bother.



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cknuck

posted March 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm


So nnmns and H4C are going to educate Christians who are ignorant bumbling fools.



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nnmns

posted March 16, 2010 at 4:30 am


Ignorant of their own religion, yes some of them. You’ve said that yourself often enough. But stop trying to put ugly words in our mouths.



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nnmns

posted March 16, 2010 at 4:36 am


You sound bitter again, cknuck. I hope a good night’s sleep helped.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted March 16, 2010 at 6:03 am


cknuck,
Take a deep breath, count to 10, and re-read what I wrote. I did NOT single out Christians — quite the contrary, I said that ignorance about some basic tenets of Christianity among Americans is symptomatic of a general level of ignorance on a wide range of topics. It is not because most Americans are Christians, but because education in America is lousy. It takes a hair-trigger kind of defensiveness to interpret that as an attack on Christian parents.
And lest the point be clouded by your wild reaction, the article here documents this ignorance of basic Christian tenets — it is not an anti-Christian lie made up by liberal-humanist-atheist-communist-elitist terrorists carrying out their war against the true faith.



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jestrfyl

posted March 16, 2010 at 1:49 pm


Long long ago a kid new to our church school (who later became a friend) asked his church school teacher (my mom), “So what is the connection between the baby in the box and the guy on the cross?” Since then I have taken it as a mission to make sure kids understand they are the same guy, and the significance of it all.
In our secular culture – though it pretends to be a “Christian Culture” – we have lost sight of the origins or the intent of our holy days. We seem content to leave them as holidays, with a melange of mythology and a gumbo of symbols. Of course, Christians don’t know a lot either (for example, the equation for determining the date for Easter each year – the first Sunday AFTER the first full moon AFTER the vernal equinox. – which is why Easter is so early this year and so late next year). And we have lost the roots of our holidays – as in the Celtic origins of Easter celebration and mythology (bunnies with eggs?). But we have also lost our connection to the night sky and the world around us. So the agricultural as well as the lunar and solar connection is simply – - gone.
I hope we never actually become a actual “Christian Culture”. But this pretense is aggravating for just this reason – we think we are mostly Christian but we know so little about that which we profess.
And then ask anyone what “resurrection” means and you will get a wide range of answers, most of them actually about reincarnation.



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nnmns

posted March 16, 2010 at 5:28 pm


I find it strange to think I know more about Christianity than a lot of Christians.



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cknuck

posted March 16, 2010 at 5:44 pm


nnmns quote, ‘I find it strange to think I know more about Christianity than a lot of Christians.”
My apologies to H4C and nnmns for my 3/15 11:43pm quote but when I think of the above quote and how people who have a disdain and disregard for Christianity making such assertions it upsets me. First place even if you do know facts about historical stuff you would have no sense of Jesus or His spirit. A person with no knowledge of the historical Jesus can have a relationship with Jesus that supersedes your knowledge of historical dates and facts. My passion goes to the one who have the relationship not the one who weights knowledge and thinks that is what Christianity is about. Boasting is so far from God and although the boaster may have the capability to put people down, Jesus does not honor the boaster.



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nnmns

posted March 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm


“Jesus does not honor the boaster.”
Neither does the Easter Bunny!
But my knowledge of Christianity isn’t something I’d boast about; that was more a statement about some Christians.



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cknuck

posted March 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm


your sickness against Christians runs so deep nnmns.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted March 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm


cknuck,
Apology accepted, with much appreciation!
I agree that it is perfectly possible for a sincere Christian to have little factual knowledge about historical events, yet have a reverence for the teachings of Jesus and an immediate sense of a living Christ in his or her life. And conversely, that a non-Christian can be quite familiar with whatever is known about the historical person of Jesus, yet have no sense of Jesus as anything other than an itinerant Jewish preacher who ended up as one of the countless victims of Roman execution by crucifixion.
That said, we are left with this question: among the great number of people who apparently have little sense of the history of the church, how many even know (much less revere) the teachings of Jesus, and how many have that sense of a living Christ in their lives?



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nnmns

posted March 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm


And another question: If you have a Christ in your head what separates you from someone with a Buddha in his head or in fact a voice telling him to jump off a bridge?
There’s nothing objective about it. Which is fine if you want to run your life that way but you, cknuck, want to run other people’s lives by your fantasies.



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pagansister

posted March 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm


jestrfyl, Great Post!



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jestrfyl

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:18 am


p.s.
Thanks



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cknuck

posted March 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm


nnmns you really make it hard to be reasonable with you when you make irrational statements like accusing me of “want to run other people’s lives with my fantasies.” What about your fantasy of your rule over this site? Or that you have so much knowledge of the universe that you can force people to believe that there is no God? You’re limited nnmns and crazy too but you won’t let that stop you from doing nothing but inject poison into cyberspace. Get a life!



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nnmns

posted March 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm


cknuck your fantasized version of a Christian god doesn’t want homosexuals marrying so you oppose it (if course the reasoning is actually the opposite) and your fantasized version of a Christian god doesn’t want (some?) women having abortions so you oppose abortions. And you don’t just oppose these things for you or even for your family, you oppose them on here where you may influence some number (I hope very small) of other people. So yes, you clearly want to run other people’s lives with your fantasies.
And you fantasize that I think I rule over this site. That’s nonsense. Likewise that I can force people to believe there is no god. I can demonstrate the lack of evidence for a god, they can read that and engage it or not and make whatever choice they choose. You are just being silly.
And it’s not poison. It’s my intention that it be truth and most or all of it is.
You have a problem engaging with my reasoning because you are arguing from a platform of sand. I’m sure that must be frustrating, but rather than flinging silly charges at me you really should do the hard work of looking at the foundations of your faith and realizing how weak they really are.



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cknuck

posted March 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm


nnmns you ninny, you research, I know God from many personal encounters in my life and the lives of many friends. Regardless to what you spout it takes much more fantasy to pretend that you know without a shadow of a doubt that there is no God when you don’t know what is around the corner. I do oppose two persons (a mommy and a daddy) destroying the very life that they created you have no problem (cold heart/evidence of no God in your life). For you there is no God so abortion murders are an acceptable act as well as homosexuality, the thing that both have in common is neither is life giving.



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nnmns

posted March 18, 2010 at 1:18 am


cknuck it’s astonishing how you manage to overlook that lots of Christians think abortion and/or homosexual marriage are ok. Opposing them both is not a Christian position, it’s your position.
And whatever happens in that fevered head of yours, it’s no proof there’s a god.
I don’t pretend to know without a shadow of a doubt there’s no god. I know there’s no known convincing physical evidence of a god but I’ve suggested various ways a god as powerful as yours is purported to be could make itself evident and gain a lot of believers, easily. If your god exists either it’s not nearly as strong as most Christians claim or it’s just not interested in letting us know about it.
And of course the choice is not a Christian god or no god; there are all those other gods that have been and are being worshipped, with no doubt more to come. You are the one claiming this particular incredible supernatural being exists; it’s your problem to present proof and all you can come up with is things happening in people’s heads. Well all sorts of things happen in people’s heads.



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Heretic_for_Christ

posted March 18, 2010 at 6:02 am


Might be worth mentioning that I know a few hard-core atheists who are absolutely opposed to abortion.



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Your Name

posted March 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm


“Christians also took the hated cross with a horrible history, the worst death and turned it into a symbol of everlasting life, victory over sin, death and the grave. “
And then, some other Christians made it a symbol of hate by burning it on the lawns of God’s black children.
Haters the lot of them.



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pagansister

posted March 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm


cknuck, crosses are great for getting rid of Vampires!



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