No, not the Nun's Story, but this is about the Nones' Story and like the nun in the movie who left the nunnery at the end of the story, we can only pray that the nones will leave the nonery at the end of this story too!
My comments first: You can read the full report by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life by pressing this sentence. I give excerpts of this just released survey below my comments.
I think we have to understand the data through the lens of 1960's anarchy and antipathy toward authority, even God's authority, not just political authorities, or law enforcement, or the armed forces. We have people today formed by this anarchy but who are oblivious to the foundation of their religious or non-religious practices. The same is true of Catholics. Today's Catholics are oblivious to the pre-Vatican II antecedents of the religious practice, but more importantly the wholesale jettison of pre-Vatican II practices in favor of vapid "spirit of Vatican II" practices. At the same time, we have to acknowledge that very rigid but sincere pre-Vatican II Catholics lost their faith in the aftermath of Vatican II reforms that shook them to the foundation to the point of ceasing to go to Mass so disgusted were they with some of the reforms to not identifying themselves as Catholics anymore. I heard many Catholics who once were very devout, during this period of upheaval in the Church say that the Catholic Church had left them, not so much that they had left the Catholic Church. Children of once staunch Catholics in the 1950's were affected by their parent's malaise and this was handed on to their children's children and so on. That is where we are today. But what happened to the Catholic Church in the 1960's in particular, especially it deleterious effect on authentic Catholic identity cannot be underestimated.
Coupled with this, we cannot underestimate the deleterious effects of scandal in the Catholic Church due in large part from the anarchy created in the 1960's which led to the loss of Catholic identity, especially priestly identity, and the sexual revolution that taught everyone to rely upon feelings and emotions and sexual urges and let it all hang out no matter how perverted or taboo.
To a certain extent similar things happen in Protestantism and the decline of liberal Protestantism and its near death today.
From the Pew Forum:
The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.
In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).
This large and growing group of Americans is less religious than the public at large on many conventional measures, including frequency of attendance at religious services and the degree of importance they attach to religion in their lives.
However, a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted jointly with the PBS television program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, finds that many of the country’s 46 million unaffiliated adults are religious or spiritual in some way. Two-thirds of them say they believe in God (68%). More than half say they often feel a deep connection with nature and the earth (58%), while more than a third classify themselves as “spiritual” but not “religious” (37%), and one-in-five (21%) say they pray every day. In addition, most religiously unaffiliated Americans think that churches and other religious institutions benefit society by strengthening community bonds and aiding the poor.
With few exceptions, though, the unaffiliated say they are not looking for a religion that would be right for them. Overwhelmingly, they think that religious organizations are too concerned with money and power, too focused on rules and too involved in politics.
In 2007 Pew Research Center surveys, 15.3% of U.S. adults answered a question about their current religion by saying they were atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular.” The number of religiously unaffiliated respondents has ticked up each year since, and now stands at 19.6%.