What would Jesus do?

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"I bought it for myself but never used it," he said. "I was tempted, but I never used it." - Ex-National Association of Evangelicals prez (and George W. Bush bud) Ted Haggard to reporters regarding his alleged meth use, 11/03/06

That's kind of like saying he smoked pot but didn't inhale -- except way more hilarious, ain't it??

If you're following the absolutely delightful Ted Haggard kerflaffle (sfgate.com has the latest AP story here), have a look at my interview with one of the directors of Jesus Camp, which features jabs at a pre-scandal Haggard (weirdly hammy on-camera, he's the only featured subject to publicly denounce the film).

The doc's website features an articulate response to Haggard's criticisms of the film:

"As a religious leader, why wouldn’t Pastor Haggard take this film as an opportunity to discuss differences and similarities amongst Evangelicals and the various styles of worship and communication? Why not embrace the film as a tool for discussion about raising children with deep faith and keeping them in the church as young adults? Why miss an opportunity to address any misunderstandings secular Americans may have about the aims of the more politically involved arm of the Evangelical movement, of which Pastor Haggard is very active?"

Keep an eye out and maybe they'll respond to this latest turn of events. Personally, I'm pulling out my dog-eared copy of The Edge of Disaster: The Story of Jim and Tammy Bakker for another read. I'm more than a little misty-eyed for the era when sleazy big-name preachers just ripped off their congregations and wore too much make-up -- instead of actually influencing national politics like they do today.

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