Law & Order: Season 17, Episode 14

Church (9 Feb. 2007)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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The death of a gay male actor exposes a scandal that threatens to bring down the powerful pastor of a large New York church who preaches intolerance toward homosexuals.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Reverend James Sterling
Madeline Meyers
Judge Kirk Landsberg (as Lee Sellers)
Scott Jepson
Patty the Secretary
Nick Bridge
Vincent Gerrard ...
Steve Franklin


The death of a gay male actor exposes a scandal that threatens to bring down the powerful pastor of a large New York church who preaches intolerance toward homosexuals.

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Release Date:

9 February 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The rule that McCoy and Rubirosa mention about churches losing their tax-exempt status if they become political organizations is section 501(c) of the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)), specifically, 501(c)(3). See more »


Dawn Sterling: My husband is a minister! A man of God! I mean, do you really think he'd be involved in the murder of a homosexual prostitute? Look, why do you hate us so much? Well is it because we have the courage to worship the lord? Because we believe in the sanctity of marriage? Because we renounce homosexuality?
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User Reviews

Beliefs That Your Body Denies
3 June 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This particular Law and Order episode involves the story of a bible beating fundamentalist preacher who actually goes out of his way to offer 'cures' for homosexuality at the same time while leading a secret life as a gay man. The obvious inspiration for this was the Ted Haggard scandal out in Colorado.

Anson Mount as the closeted gay reverend is accused of killing a young actor Dan Leonard who he had been dating and who was sick of both the hypocrisy of the reverend and the guilt trip that he had been taken on by the reverend. This is the best part of this particular episode, the horrible and stifling effects of the closet. I've been there and I know what it's like to have beliefs instilled in you that your body denies.

Mount is married to Julie Benz who is like the perfect pastor's wife and supports him in any and every way in running the church. When we talk church we are talking about a multimillion dollar business and Julie is the queen bee in this particular hive.

In the end though Mount surprisingly shows himself to be a man of some character. What he does and how it impacts on Sam Waterston's case is something for you to see.

This is one of the better Law and Order episodes of recent years. Hopefully one day people like the reverend that Anson Mount plays will diminish as gay folks exit the closet with dignity and pride.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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