On the web and in the magazine we have Annie Nocenti’s interview with directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, filmmakers currently receiving a second burst of publicity due to some fortuitous casting. Massage-loving, meth-indulging evangelist Ted Haggard, whose recent troubles may have depressed the Christian Right vote in yesterday’s election, is prominently featured in the duo’s Jesus Camp, still in national release. If you’ve been watching the cable news you’ve probably seen clips like this one in which Haggard’s comments in the film are quite at odds with his recently revealed private life.
Here on the Huffington Post is a piece written by Grady and Ewing before the election.
Haggard’s oft-publicized ties with the White House leave born-again voters with a bad taste in their mouth for both him and his party affiliation. While this may delight Democratic voters this time around, liberals should also be concerned with this problematic pattern. As Hillary Clinton has begun to cultivate strong ties with conservative Evangelicals, further empowering the religious right by tacitly acknowledging that she cannot win the presidency without them, the cycle continues.
Haven’t the prophecies of the Jesus Camp radio host come to pass before our eyes?
Hypocrisy and outrage over Haggard’s double life aside, the goings on here speak to a bigger trend relevant to all of us: allowing religion and politics to manipulate each other to their own ends taints both the political process and the credibility of religious groups–a lose-lose scenario for everyone.