After this ghastly revival of literalist, self-help fundamentalism, there's a shift in American religion:

The rise of the Nones is usually decried by religious leaders as a sign of secularization or atheism's ascent but get this: 51% say they believe in God.

Now some of those folks might just be religious people in between churches. So the Trinity folks asked them to describe what kind of God they believed in.

24% say they believe in "a higher power but no personal God." That would mean about 3.6% of Americans could be considered Deists, making them more common than Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, or Mormons.

Barry Kosmin, one of the authors of the study, points out that an earlier study that looked at Nones as well as those who did "affiliate" with a religion found that 12% were Deistic. That would make Deists bigger than all of the aforementioned groups combined, and one of the largest spiritual groupings in America.

Somewhere Jefferson is smiling.

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