When George W. Bush became president in 2000, he brought with him a kind of “hey, guy” Christianity that had been quietly booming in megachurches throughout the land. It was neither the formal Episcopal worship of his youth nor the groovy pan-spirituality of lefty dabblers. Bush’s faith was rooted in a Christian-conversion experience—and in the vernacular and ethos of the 12-step movement. It was nurtured in “small groups,” Bible-based social clubs that allowed men (or moms, or singles, or seniors) to speak up about their experiences. The Christianity that the younger Bush brought to the White House was casual and personal; it often resembled—if you didn’t look too closely—self-help as much as religion.
About The Author
Lisa Miller is a contributing editor at New York magazine. She is the former religion columnist for the Washington Post, former senior editor of Newsweek magazine, and author of “Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife.” She is a multi-year winner of the New York Newswomen’s Club prize for feature writing and has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award.