Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Tangled Web We Weave

Everyone wants to hop on the Ted Haggard story, it seems. Jay Leno's cracking jokes. James Dobson's doing radio programs. And several Web sites are posting whatever they can muster. Here are three sites worth taking a look at:

First, Harper's Magazine reposted its story on Haggard and New Life Church, called "Soldiers of Christ." Author Jeff Sharlet called New Life the nation's most powerful megachurch, which helped bring scads of attention to the church. This isn't what you'd call a down-the-middle piece: Sharlet definitely draws some conclusions about Haggard, the church and Colorado Springs within the article, and it'd be fair to say that New Lifers thought the story was unfair. But it's worth reading.

Second, Beliefnet posted a first-person account of the scandal through the eyes of New Lifer (and Beliefnet contributor) Patton Dodd. Dodd, who wrote a critical-yet-faithful account of charismatic Christianity in his book "My Faith So Far," takes readers through the roller-coaster: From disbelief and anger to shock and sadness.

Finally, the satirical Web site Ship of Fools ran a review of New Life Church from a local mystery worshipper known only as "Harriet M. Welsch," whom The Gazette profiled a couple of months ago.


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