In the second episode of Main Street USA Dave Marash takes us to Midland, Texas, in the heart of Bush country.
Midland, is the city where George Bush, the US president, grew up and where he went back to start his not so successful oil career. But most of all it is the city where he converted. "If you want to understand me better go to Midland", President Bush often says … and so we went.
Main Street USA examines his personal journey, discovering the religious communities he sampled and the people he lived among.
|Midland, Texas is Bush country|
There are more then 150 churches in Midland where people find shelter from their risky oil enterprises. Al Jazeera was unwelcome at several of Midland's largest and most-established churches, but two congregations did open their doors to us. One, the orthodox, some would say fundamentalist, Christ Church of Midland and the other, True-Lite Christian Church, whose followers are unusually diverse and whose services are untraditional and unrestrained.
We meet with Rev. Jonathan Hartzer, the associate rector of the Christ Church of Midland, a newly broken branch of the Episcopal church. He organises a Bible Study like the one George Bush used to attend. Attorney Bob Bledsoe is one of the leaders of the Church and one of the president's first Bible teachers.
We meet Richard Spencer of the Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a primitive church that organises a prayer for the president every Monday. This is a religious group that, like many others in Midland, regularly performs faith-healing rituals and speaking in tongues.
|Main Street USA takes a journey through|
Roy Smith of the True-Lite Church and his followers explain to us how they believe that the United States is a nation blessed by God and how the 'war on terror' is a godly mission.
The Christian faith in Midland is reflected in its citizens' political choices, but even more strongly in the ordinary activities of everyday life. For an expert view on both of those subjects, we talked to the former three-time mayor of Midland, Bobby Burns.
This is a journey through Christian America, its relationship with other religions and the issue of the interconnections of Church and State, an area in which this Administration has been controversial and historic.
This episode of Main Street USA will be aired from Monday 03 September 2007 at the following times GMT:
Monday 03 September (0530)
Tuesday 04 September (1430)
Wednesday 05 September (0130, 1130)
Thursday 06 September (0730, 1930)
Friday 07 September (1630)
Saturday 08 September (1330)
Sunday 09 September (0300, 2030)
Watch Part One here:
Watch Part Two here:
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