Sister Christian

Friday, December 28, 2007


Nearly a century ago, Aimee Semple McPherson became the model of the modern, self-made media sensation. In a biography, Matthew Avery Sutton argues that ‘Sister’ Aimee’s savvy brand of religion brought Christian evangelicalism into the mainstream.

Comments [3]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Having many times heard the name Aimee Semple McPherson, frequently from my now-91 year old mother, I am grateful to learn about her.

I thought Sutton's use of the qualifier "seemingly" more than allowed Bob a pass on challenging him on the matter.

Moreover, while a largely skeptical agnostic believer in the scientific method, I have had enough unusual experiences to realize that Shakespeare was speaking for himself, as well as Hamlet, when he had him say that "there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Forgive me if the quote is inexact.)

Just tonight I read on a news round up about legitimate scientists who give credence to hypotheses about parallel universes and remind us that once there appeared to be no credible evidence to support the idea that the world is round.

Dec. 31 2007 02:57 AM
Mark Jeffries from Chicago, IL

"The Story" is not an NPR program. It is a program of WUNC distributed by American Public Media, which is not NPR--just as PRI is not NPR.

Dec. 29 2007 04:38 PM
steve welch from kalamazoo MI

First, let me say I'm a regular listener and a great admirer of OTM, its hosts, and many of it's contributors. However, I feel I must comment on this week's show. During your discussion of Aimee Semple McPherson, your guest, author Matthew Sutton, said that Ms McPherson had a "remarkable ability" to lay her hands on sick people, many of whom "were seemingly healed." A month or so ago, I heard Dick Gordon, host of The Story, refer to homeopathy as "alternative medicine." (This was during a show that contrasted healthcare in the USA with healthcare in the Netherlands.) When members of the popular media refer to nonsense practices such as faith healing and homeopathy in neutral or, unbelievably, positive language, I shrug my shoulders and grumble to myself. But when the hosts of NPR-aired programs make or fail to challenge such references, I despair. Perhaps OTM could do a show on how the media--including NPR and OTM--tacitly or explicitly endorse beliefs in things for which there is no credible evidence: faith healing, homeopathy, god, the placebo effect, prayer, psychic powers, life after death, ghosts, an Iraq-9/11 connection, 9/11 conspiracy theories, and so forth. I, for one, am convinced that unchallenged belief in such nonsense is a destructive force in this country. Thanks for all your good work.

S Welch
Kalamazoo, MI

Dec. 29 2007 03:09 PM

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