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The New Christians

My friend, Patton Dodd, has a piece up on Slate in advance of Alexandra Pelosi’s HBO documentary, The Trials of Ted Haggard, premiering tonight.  Patton used to work for Haggard and New Life Church, primarily as a writer and editor, so he writes about Haggard with some authority.  Money Quote from Patton:

090128_FB_HaggardTN.jpg

Two years have gone by with little more than occasional peeps from Haggard, and now he’s back in The Trials of Ted Haggard, an HBO film directed by Alexandra Pelosi, a sort of sequel to her Friends of God,
that documents Haggard’s dreary life in exile–no job, no home, no
friends, no ministry. Earlier this week, when CNN’s Anderson Cooper
interviewed Pelosi, he tried to open with a question about the fallen
minister’s “spiritual restoration.” Pelosi interrupted Cooper before he
could finish the question, saying she couldn’t speak to Haggard’s
mental or spiritual condition. Fair enough. But Cooper’s question is
the right one–for journalists, for Haggard, for his former church, and
for countless other congregations that have suffered similar betrayals.

I spoke to Patton on the phone last night, and one of the more vexing questions in my mind is this: Why is Ted Haggard promoting a documentary about himself?  It seems odd, doesn’t it?  Would Roger Smith promote Roger & Me?  Definitely not. 

I’d like a journalist to ask Pelosi and/or Haggard what is the financial arrangement between them, and that might color how we all view this “documentary.”

Regardless, I’ll be watching it tonight.  And I’ll be interested to read all of your comments here.

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