Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Friends of God

Nancy Pelosi's daughter has produced a film for HBO about "red-state evangelicals."

I can't speak for the documentary, but this report by Reuter's Hollywood correspondent Barry Garron reveals more about prevaiing attitudes in Hollywood than it does about Evangelicals.

Here's a quotation:
The parts of the film that were most troubling were not about abortion or gay marriage or even the incredibly pathetic attacks on evolution. Rather, it was the willingness of evangelicals, young and old, to accept as figurative and literal gospel anything and everything fed to them by authority figures. They appear as automatons, unable or unwilling to question the pronouncements of their leaders.

Mr. Garron gleefully announces that Pelosi's guide for much of the film was Ted Haggard. (The film was completed a week or so before the scandal broke.)

He continues:
Also difficult to watch were those who, despite having elected a born-again president and established giant radio and TV networks and a political power base second to none, still feel they are a persecuted minority. If Pelosi's intent is to show that evangelical faith suffocates reason, the point is well-made.

I think that the commentary on this article writes itself. However, his distorted views are not only the result of his own naiveté (read ignorance). They are also generated by the naiveté (ignorance) of many who call themselves after the name of Christ.

I'd be interested in your reaction to this article.

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"


daniel the smith said...

"They appear as automatons, unable or unwilling to question the pronouncements of their leaders. ... If Pelosi's intent is to show that evangelical faith suffocates reason, the point is well-made."

Depending on who exactly made it into the documentary, that might actually be the case...

I'm playing the devil's advocate a little bit, but how much can we really fault him for not attempting to understand the different strands/levels of oddness that exist in evangelical-ism? I mean if there's a lot in contemporary christianity that I object to (and I am one), isn't it entirely reasonable that a non-christian would find it pretty freaky?

That said, it wasn't a very useful review as it didn't give any indication of the accuracy or quality of the documentary.

Maria said...

I cringe a bit, too, at the idea of being portrayed this way -- though my willingness to self-identify as an evangelical is waning rapidly. I suppose it just goes to show you that when civil discourse breaks down, distorted perceptions of the other are inevitable.

It's easy for us on one side of the cultural divide to complain that they have it so wrong. But I find myself wondering: First, is the portrait really wrong (and is their some weirdness that we could let go of for the sake of the gospel)? Second, what's wrong with my picture of the left, democrats, non-Christians, etc.? Maybe after we've wrestled with those questions we'll be in a place where a real conversation could begin.

Pastor Rod said...


You're absolutely correct that there is much to object to in contemporary Christianity. This is one reason why it is important for the Church to be "self-policing." We need to make a sharp distinction between faith and mindless assent. And we need to be clear about the difference between obedience and slavish commitment to the status quo.

Of course, I'm not implying that the cause of Christ is in jeopordy unless we come to its rescue. But it seems that we have an obligation as followers of Christ to make clear the scandal of the cross so that "outsiders" don't confuse it with ignorance, passivity or gullibility.


Pastor Rod said...


Thanks for taking the time to voice your thoughts. I agree that we should seek to engage in dialogue. But we must also not waste our time trying to convince those who have no interest in real dialogue.

God Bless,


daniel the smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daniel the smith said...

Someone referenced another review of the documentary at the BHT, which may be of interest: