Americans change religions approximately as often as they change long distance plans.
A recent article in the New York Times highlighted a study that finds more than a quarter of Americans have left their faiths in order to join a new religion at some point in their life -- a number that jumps to over 40% if we count all those wishy-washy Protestant faiths. In terms of levels of commitment, this puts religion at roughly the same level as claiming that your favorite ice cream is chocolate, or that "you'll only drive a Ford." The report goes on to outline how this trend has been growing in the past few decades, with all religions gaining and losing adherents at roughly equal rates, with the notable exception of those who claim no affiliated religion, a group that has been steadily growing in numbers since the early 1990's. As a side note, can it be a coincidence that this rise in faithlessness began at almost the same time television's Murphy Brown bore a child out of wedlock? The answer: yes, probably. So what is the reason for this growing trend towards people changing faiths? Rather than talking to a bunch of people who have changed religions, or even reading the rest of the article I linked above, I'm simply going to make up a few reasonable sounding answers below. Reasons cited for changing religion Convenience, e.g. nearer place of worship, better parking, etc More fashionable clothes/accessories, e.g. red string bracelets, ceremonial daggers, enormous hats Prior to a marriage, e.g. prospective Father in Law insisted upon it. After a divorce, e.g. ex-Father in Law insisted upon it. After a divine message appeared in my Alphagetti. Just a super-big Cat Stevens fan, and this was the only way to get on his mailing list. New Pope has shifty eyes. (ex-Catholics only) Old religion considered many things I do a sin; changing religions easier than giving those up. Following conversation with Burning Bush. Following conversation with Tom Cruise. ___ Chris Bucholz is a writer and a robot. His personal blog, robotmantheblog.com contains a great deal of other humor articles, all of dubious quality and taste.