Today, Real Clear Religion features a startling headline: “Nones Now Majority in Alabama.” This is really shocking. Is it possible that people of no religious faith are really now a majority in Alabama? Did Christianity shrink to just a fraction of its former self in a region of the country in which it has traditionally been very popular?
No, as it turns out. If you actually read the article to which this headline links, you find out that it is not in fact the case that “nones” are a majority in Alabama. This is not even the error that a careless person might fall into in calling the largest single group the majority, because the article also makes clear that “nones” are not even the largest single group.
Read the article, and you discover that “nones” are the third largest group at 14%, ahead of mainline Protestant, but way behind white evangelicals and black evangelicals. Adding up the numbers, you find that Alabama is about 80% Christian and about 73% Protestant–just as one would have expected.
There is nothing in the article to justify the title Real Clear Religion chose to give it.