This commentary was originally published in The Wall Street Journal.
In an interview with Esquire that is generating a surprising amount of buzz—and not just because she appears on the magazine’s cover in her underwear—TV and film star Megan Fox talks about her Pentecostal upbringing and her experience of “getting the Holy Ghost.” Ms. Fox’s account of speaking in tongues is proving particularly buzz-worthy, prompting comment in Christian media as well as mainstream news outlets in the U.S. and abroad.
Why the kerfuffle? Didn’t we get our fill of this a couple of years ago with similar descriptions by the Pentecostally raised singer Katy Perry? And what does it mean to speak in tongues?
Most of the contemporary expressions of the Pentecostal movement trace their roots, in one way or another, to a religious revival that began in Los Angeles well before it became the world’s entertainment capital. The L.A. of 1906 was very different from the relatively stable, suburbanized metropolis of today.”
Nick Street is a senior writer with the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.