For some time now I've been intrigued by the growing presence and power of the evangelical Christian movement inAmerican politics, particularly in presidential election years. I concluded there was an acute shortage of reporting onWHY so many Americans were getting involved in the evangelical church and how they were treated by the political establishment.
We chose the New Life church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the primary site for our report because its pastor, Ted Haggard, is president of the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals, and because it is emblematic of the expanding place of so called mega-churches in America.
Also, New Life is close to the U.S. Air Force Academy which has been embroiled in controversy over the place ofevangelical Christianity in the ranks and faculty at the academy.
During the course of our hour-long report, "In God They Trust",viewers will meet parishoners ranging from a suburban couple trying to find a common church for their marriage to an Air Force Academy cadet to Pastor Ted, as Mr. Haggard is widely known. They'll see and hear for themselves the fundamental religious philosophy and the strong personal values of those involved in New Life.
I hope by the conclusion everyone will have a better understanding of the lure of the evangelical movement, the political ramifications and theenormous influence it has economically as well as politically.
“Tom Brokaw Reports: In God They Trust,” airs on NBC on Friday, Oct. 28 (8 PM/ET).