The Return of the Nones?

The Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) conducted a panel study querying the same individuals over an extended period of time—specifically 2010, 2012 and 2014. Starting with 9,500 respondents, it is, to be sure, a robust study.

But the article in Christianity Today on its findings was terribly misleading: "Plenty of the 'Nones' Actually Head Back to Church."

Um, no.

The real headline? 18.9 percent of the sample studied reported a different religious affiliation in 2014 than they did in 2010. Translation? Nearly 1 in 5 Americans changed their faith over a 48-month period.

The deeper headline? Americans who self-identify as agnostic or "nothing in particular" are four times more likely to switch their religious affiliation than Protestants or Catholics. As in about 48 percent of agnostics and 42 percent of those who self-identify as "nothing in particular."

But are they actually turning to the Christian faith?

Hardly.

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