Ted Haggard had it all: prosperity, a doting wife, five kids and a ministry that reached more than 30 million followers who hung on his every word. But in 2006, it all fell apart in a sea ...
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Bernard L. Schwartz
Intent on escaping her coastal bubble, Alexandra Pelosi sets out on a cross-country trip to engage in conversations with fellow Americans in an effort to gain an unfiltered understanding of other perspectives.
The FBI targets a Muslim community in Newburgh, New York and arrests four men in 2009 during a sting operation, claiming they tried to help a Pakistani business man, who was working with the FBI, with terrorist attacks.
Ted Haggard had it all: prosperity, a doting wife, five kids and a ministry that reached more than 30 million followers who hung on his every word. But in 2006, it all fell apart in a sea of scandal. Journalist/filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi returns to talk with 'Pastor Ted'--whom she met while filming 'Friends of God' for HBO--who was exiled from the church he built and the state where he lived after admitting to 'sexual immorality' and to buying methamphetamines. Following Haggard and his family as they move from house to house and motel to motel, Pelosi interviews the sullied ex-minister as he works as a traveling insurance salesman...and maps out a strategy for redeeming himself and supporting his family.
The film was a refreshing look at Ted Haggard. Living in Europe, I'm not that deep into the whole evangelical thing, but I knew him first from The Root of All Evil, that was made by Richard Dawkins. And I knew the scandal of course. But I didn't know that the aftermath would be like this. I had sort of expected that the church would somehow gloss over it, and that he only had to keep a low profile. (On the other hand they let him back to Colorado after a year and a half.) I could certainly sympathize with him.
Anyway, what I thought was a problem with the documentary was that while on the one side, he was confessing, confessing and confessing. Plus, he was giving a couple of kicks to the church for being very unforgiving. All very well, but what if there was something wrong with the ideals of the church, religion and bible in the first place? Maybe he didn't betray the church so much as he betrayed himself? I would have liked to see some probing into whether or not he had given this some thought, rather than very predictable Christian masochistic repentance. Maybe it's too early for real soul searching, but I couldn't help feeling that he just wanted back in to continue as he had done before.
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