Roll Over, Martin Luther

Long the dominant faith affiliation in the U.S., Protestantism may no longer boast a majority

Benchmark statistical moments are almost always anticlimactic. When the U.S. population shifted from rural to urban areas in 1920, there was no annunciatory thunderclap. And in about 2060, the year by which census figures suggest that non-Hispanic whites will become less than 50% of the population, the switch will have long been old news. Still, such dates have historical cachet, and 2004 soon may too. The University of Chicago's respected National Opinion Research Center (NORC) has reported that the proportion of adult Americans calling themselves Protestants, a steady 63% for decades, fell suddenly to 52% from 1993 to 2002. Not only...

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