A vast majority of Americans still say "Merry Christmas" instead of the more politically correct greeting "Happy Holidays," a recent poll shows.
More than three out of four Americans (77 percent) say they greet with "Merry Christmas," according to a Fox News poll taken Dec. 9-10. And 21 percent say they feel obligated to say "Happy Holidays," a more inclusive greeting that can also apply to Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other celebrations.
"I feel better when someone greets me in a store with 'Merry Christmas' because Christmas is about the birth of our Savior Jesus," said Steve Krotoski, who leads Pray Daily America – a ministry that prays for the country everyday.
"Without Jesus, people have no hope and are dead in sin," he added. "The true meaning of Christmas is important."
Regular churchgoers (82 percent), rural Americans (83 percent), and Republicans (87 percent) are the most likely to say "Merry Christmas," the poll found.
The groups most likely to say they feel pressured to use a generic "Happy Holidays" greeting are Democrats (28 percent), urbanites (28 percent) and Northeasterns (25 percent).
Results from the Fox news poll are comparable to a survey by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in 2005.
In the Pew survey, most Americans (60 percent) said they prefer that stores and businesses greet customers by saying "Merry Christmas." Only one-in-four (23 percent) preferred the use of terms such as "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings," while 17 percent of respondents said they do not care which greeting is used.
The Pew survey also found that a large majority of Americans (83 percent) said displays of Christmas symbols should be allowed in public places. But less than half (44 percent) said they approve of Christmas symbols being displayed alone, without Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other holiday symbols.