Hit & Run

Poll: 47.6% of Americans Are Going to Hell


Protestants now constitute just 52.4% of the American population, down from 63.1% a decade ago. "As early as this year," pollster Tom W. Smith tells the Houston Chronicle, "and certainly, if the projections hold, within the next two years, the majority of American adults will not be Protestants for the first time since the founding of colonial Jamestown." (Yes, yes: not counting the Indians.)

While that represents a remarkable shift, it isn't simply a matter of worshippers abandoning their faiths (though the percentage of Americans claiming no religion has crept up from 9% to 13.8% since 1993). Most megachurches are nondenominational, the Chronicle notes; furthermore, "the boundaries separating Protestant denominations have become blurred, and many people see no reason to affiliate with one particular 'brand.'" That is, of course, a radical change in itself.