Michael Lindsay has, through extensive interviewing, tapped into a feature of American evangelicalism that's both fascinating and frustrating: two distinct social tiers. He identified these as the "populist" and "cosmopolitan" groups, which he wrote about in Faith in the Halls of Power. But there's another way of looking at evangelicals that divides them - much along the same lines - into elite and non-elite Christians.
The separation is fairly deep, it seems. So deep that they don't really go to church together. In fact, Lindsay writes in Monday's USA Today, many of the evangelical elite (including George W. Bush) hardly go to church at all:
I spent the past five years interviewing some of the country's top leaders - two U.S. presidents (George H.W. Bush and Carter), 100 CEOs and senior business executives, Hollywood icons, celebrated artists and world-class athletes. All were chosen because of their widely known faith. Yet I was shocked to find that more than half - 60% - had ...1