"It seems to me the mainline churches are set up institutionally not to
generate celebrity-status people, whereas evangelical churches, which
are likely to be independent and have an entrepreneurial minister,
almost breed celebrity status."
When he became president of Russia last year, Vladimir Putin disclosed that “when I was serving in the KGB in Germany, I always wore a cross under my shirt.” Whether or not one believes this astonishing claim, there is no doubt that Putin embraces the Russian Orthodox Church as a partner in his blueprint for a strong new Russia.
Last fall, mainline denomination lobbyists scored big in the game of Washington politics when Congress passed legislation to provide $435 million in debt relief for developing countries—part of the international Jubilee campaign endorsed by the pope, evangelical celebrities and rock stars, plus lawmakers right and left.
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.