Twenty years ago the churches in Latin America were viewed as playing a major role in resisting military dictatorships and in developing new revolutionary social models. Recently, attention has shifted to the remarkable growth of Latin American Pentecostal churches. In Brazil, Chile, Guatemala and elsewhere, as many Protestants as Catholics may be in church on any given weekend.
Armed with data from surveys and interviews, Smith skewers the notion that all conservative evangelicals are deeply uncomfortable with American pluralism and eager to impose a fundamentalist Christian worldview.
When Vice President Al Gore picked Joseph Lieberman as his running mate, it was the first-ever selection for a national ticket of a Jewish nominee—and a practicing Orthodox Jew at that. Though in decades past the decision might have been viewed as highly risky, choosing Lieberman was seen quickly as a “plus” for the Democrats.
General Mills recently tucked a CD-ROM containing the Bible into 12 million cereal boxes and then had to issue profuse apologies for having done so as it withdrew the offensive inclusions. GM pleaded not guilty: “we didn’t know it was loaded” with scriptures, they said.
Republican contenders for president met in Iowa recently to talk about politics and a testimonial broke out. When asked to identify his favorite philosopher-thinker, George W. Bush responded, “Christ, because he changed my heart.” Gary Bauer concurred. Senator Orrin Hatch covered the more obvious political bases by naming Lincoln and Reagan, but took care to cite Christ as well.
From the time that George W. Bush declared Jesus his favorite political philosopher to the day Joseph Lieberman joined the Democratic ticket quoting the Book of Chronicles, religion was in the limelight during the 2000 presidential campaign. And when it was all over, Bush entered office amidst a flurry of worship services, clerical blessings and religious consultations.