A Tale of Two Mavericks: Huey Long, Aimee Semple McPherson, and What Azusa Has To Do With Washington

Paul Harvey

Matt Sutton follows the tale of the two mavericks -- the Senator, and the celebrity Pentecostal woman -- from another era at the Immanent Frame. His conclusion: I've known Aimee Semple McPherson. And Governor, you're no Aimee Semple McPherson. The opening lines, just for a teaser:

Long before field dressing moose and shooting wolves from helicopters became part of American political parlance, a United States senator with White House ambitions sat down in his Washington D.C. office with the most powerful pentecostal woman in the country. The nation was facing an unprecedented economic crisis and tremendous social unrest. The senator probably hoped that the pentecostal maverick might strengthen his ticket by helping him win votes in the west and among women. The senator was not John McCain and the woman was not Sarah Palin.

No, this was a chance meeting between two of the greatest personalities of the twentieth century—Louisiana senator Huey Long and Los Angeles preacher Aimee Semple McPherson.
. . .

Meanwhile, Randall Stephens asks, "What Does Azusa Have to Do With Washington," traces the Pentecostal rise to respectability since World War Two, examines the restorationism behind much conservative Christianity, and concludes that religious identity politics is alive and well.


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