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Christmas in America: belief in the virgin birth and visits from Santa

Nearly one in three Americans, including many with no little children at home and those with no religious identity, say they pretend Santa will visit their house on Christmas Eve.

Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults play up the Santa role in their holiday season, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Jesus, however, is still the star of Christmas.

The survey finds that 73 percent of adults believe Jesus was born of a virgin -- the act of God at the theological heart of the Christmas story, the birth of the Christ child.

Students, alumni rally around fired gay teacher at Catholic school

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Gay and lesbian Catholic students in Pennsylvania are joining alumni and others in pushing a Catholic high school near Philadelphia to reinstate a teacher who was fired after he applied for a marriage license with his partner.

The effort is one of several in support of Michael Griffin, who was dismissed by Holy Ghost Preparatory School, and they include a petition at Change.org that had drawn more than 7,500 signatures as of Monday.

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July 18-31, 2014

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