The Politics Of Piety

The most unsettling moment of the Republican National Convention for me came not during Zell Miller'

The most unsettling moment of the Republican National Convention for me came not during Zell Miller’s keynote address or Dick Cheney’s appearance or even George W. Bush’s acceptance speech, but when the other "W." - Michael W. Smith - took the stage to address the crowd.

Sitting in Madison Square Garden in the midst of thousands of cheering Republican delegates - a disturbing number of whom had chosen to accessorize with giant elephants on their heads - I felt distinctly like a member of the away team, sitting on my hands while those around me whooped at attacks on "Paris" or "The New York Times" or "Massachusetts." When I heard the arena announcer introduce Michael W. Smith, I thought I could at least blend in for a few minutes. After all, I spent much of high school listening to the contemporary Christian singer’s music, attending his concerts, and playing his songs at church; as recently as just a few months ago, my neighbors gathered around my piano as we channeled our teenage selves and belted out a rendition of "Friends."

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Sojourners Magazine November 2004
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