General CBF / Podcast

Michael Showalter, Director of The Eyes of Tammy Faye

By Andy Hale

We’ve all seen those hilarious Joel Osteen memes. You and I both know that our eyes rolled when we saw yet another book from Pat Robertson. 

Yet another bewildering tweet from Franklin Graham has caused your blood to boil. And I have scratched my head for years as to why anyone would believe a word out of Benny Hinn’s mouth. We just shake our heads in utter disbelief at the claims of Kenneth Copeland. 

And it is because of all these things and more, we take more satisfaction than we care to admit when one of these televangelists is seen for the crooks that they are or revel when their demise comes. 

We often despise such personalities for what they say, who they condemn, and the socio-political worldviews they represent. 

But does it not spotlight as much as who we are in light of our disdainful disgust of what they represent? Have our theological convictions, in response to their “unfathomable” religious views, also turned us into just a different form of self-righteous Pharisees? 

These were some of the questions I mulled as I pre-screened The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a new biopic on the life of Tammy Faye Bakker, the late televangelist. 

We sat down with the film director, Michael Showalter, to discuss why this was a story he wanted to tell and what her story teaches about our assumptions of such caricatures. Showalter is also the director of the 2017 hit The Big Sick and the creative writing genius behind the comedy Wet Hot American Summer.

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This podcast episode is brought to you by The Center for Congregational Health, Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, and McAfee School of Theology Doctor of Ministry program

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Andy Hale is the creator and host of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Podcast. Hale is the senior pastor of University Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following eight years as the founding pastor of Mosaic Church of Clayton and five years as CBF’s church start specialist. Follow on Twitter @haleandy

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