UPDATE: Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary, Friends of God, premieres tonight, Thursday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., MST. Click here for a complete schedule of future showings.
“You know all the surveys say that evangelicals have the best sex life of any other group,” Pastor Ted Haggard says on camera, grinning from ear to ear.
The fallen preacher then asks a church guy next to him how often he has sex with his wife. The man replies, “Every day.” Pastor Ted goes on to note that evangelicals have a lot of love. “You don’t think these babies come out of nowhere?”
After that snippet was shown during an ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, Pelosi reported that she was “heartbroken” when she learned of Haggard’s fall amid claims that the decidedly political leader of the largest mega-church in Colorado snorted meth and had a two-year relationship with a male prostitute. When it came to understanding evangelicals, Pelosi explained, Haggard had been her “tour guide” and she had come away from the project with the very healthy realization that, when it comes to say, Paris Hilton or Jesus, she would pick Jesus every time.
The “best sex life” comment, of course has since taken on a new meaning, but Haggard is certainly not the first evangelical to speak freely about the joys of Christian sex. A year ago, Pastor Ted’s friend and fellow Colorado Springs preacher, Pastor Steve Holt, weighed in with his own good humor on his solid marriage and seven kids.
“They just keep coming,” Pastor Steve said in an interview with the Colorado Springs Independent.
“I’ve got a good-looking wife, and the fires start burning, and before you know it, another one is on the way… It’s easier to make ’em than to parent ’em.”
Specifically Holt, the founder of 3,500-member Mountain Springs Church in northeast Colorado Springs, was talking about his efforts to help other married couples have great sex lives, in a manner of speaking – and go to church.
That’s right. Despite Colorado Springs having the widespread reputation as Scripture Central, only 21 percent of its residents report regularly going to church. And, Pastor Steve’s jaw just about dropped to the ground when he learned that the divorce rate in El Paso County is as high as 70 percent. That’s more than anywhere in Colorado, which has the fifth-highest divorce rate in the nation.
“I could not believe it,” he said. “It was just shocking. The notion that Colorado Springs is a religious city is a mega-misnomer. We have a ton of religious organizations, but we do not have a very spiritual city.”
Ultimately, Pastor Steve joined forces with other preachers and city leaders, including Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera, to introduce a countywide “Marriage Covenant” designed to inspire church leaders to incorporate couples’ mentoring and marriage counseling programs into their places of worship.
Has it worked? Well, the jury’s still out on Pastor Ted.
Cara DeGette is a longtime editor and columnist at the Colorado Springs Independent.