Idol Chatter

On January 25th, HBO will air the documentary “Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi,” which follows key people among the Christian evangelical right in America. Yes, Alexandra Pelosi, the filmmaker in question, is one of those Pelosis–her mother is none other than Nancy–and yes, one of those kep people she happened to follow is none other than Ted Haggard.

All of this documenting occurred before Ted Haggard’s very public sex scandal and very public fall from grace as a leader of the evangelical movement in the U.S. It also happened before Ms. Pelosi’s mom became the first woman Speaker of the House.

In her N.Y Times article “God, Mom and Country: A Filmmaker’s Odyssey,” Felicia R. Lee reports on Alexandra Pelosi’s uncertainty and dismay that Haggard happened to be the focus of her film, and her worry that a large part of her target audience–evangelicals–won’t tune in now that her mother has risen to such a prominent position in Congress on behalf of the Democrats:

People might love it or hate because of her mother or because of its association with Mr. Haggard, she said. But what she really wanted, Ms. Pelosi said, was to further the conversation about religion and culture… In the film Mr. Haggard explains the allure of evangelical Christianity and extols the primacy of sex among evangelicals. “I unfortunately chose the wrong leading man,” Ms. Pelosi said of Mr. Haggard, whom she picked for his credibility. She liked him, she said, and they spent a great deal of time together… After his fall, Ms. Pelosi scurried back to the editing room, saddened. “We had to take some stuff out,” she said. “But you can’t do an entire movie without the failed guy.”

Apart from the above worries, Ms. Pelosi said she “tried hard to make [evangelicals] look their best” and believes her film is sympathetic to this growing group of Americans who identify as evangelical. The jury is out, of course, until HBO airs the documentary.

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