Religion: Retailing Optimism

The cameras are in place. So is the Pan-Cake makeup. Cue the lights. Ready on the fountains. Action. "This is the day God has made," beams the Rev. Robert Schuller as he bounds toward the pulpit. A glass panel separating the walk-in sanctuary from the drive-in sanctuary lumbers open. As a dozen fountains spurt skyward, a collective sigh from 1,700 worshipers at Garden Grove Community Church in Southern California announces the start of another Hour of Power.

Aired in 45 major cities to an audience of 2.5 million, the Hour is rare among TV...

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