Channel 19

Todd Dills

Who’s your copilot?

| October 07, 2008

Either the producers of Bill Maher’s satirical documentary Religulous have memory/note-taking problems or a GPS unit in their production van led them three hours due southwest of their intended target, a purported “>Truckers Chapel” referenced in their production notes and in the film’s PR as being in Raleigh, N.C. However, Raleigh News-Observer reporter Matt Ehlers says it’s actually in Charlotte. Blogging at the News-Observer site, Ehler writes that “>Maher’s travels brought him to Charlotte, where he met the Rev. Joe Copeland, who helps run a truck stop chapel near the intersection of Interstates 77 and 85. / Copeland says he agreed to the interview after receiving a phone call asking for his help with a documentary. No one told him a famous pop culture skeptic would be asking the questions. ‘I didn’t know who he was until after the interview,’ Copeland says. / Maher’s questions seemed designed to cause friction, Copeland remembers. One example: ‘If God is so good, why are people dying?’ / The preacher says he kept his cool …”>

At the New York Times site, meanwhile, reporters write in “The Caucus” political blog of their visit to the Truckers Chapel in Laramie, Wyo., where they spoke to fill-in minister Mike Regan about politics and religion on the road, both of which, said Regan, are taking a backseat these days to a different pressing issue. I bet you can guess what that is. Here’s a quick sample from the Qamp;A: “>Q: Do people talk politics in here? / Mr. Regan: A little bit. One says Obama’s great and the other says McCain’s great and I can’t quite get a balance on it one way or another. I guess the only consensus I’ve heard is that one is as bad as the other. / Q: What is the main issue for truckers in the campaign? / Mr. Regan: The main one we hear about is fuel prices. I don’t think that’s something that is local. We hear it all the time …”>

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