Evangelical Leader Ted Haggard Steps Down After Gay Escort Claims They Had a Sexual Relationship for Three Years

>> UPDATED <<

Prominent anti-gay evangelical Pastor Ted Haggard, the head of a “megachurch” with ties to the White House, stepped down today as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after gay escort Mike Jones claimed he had a three-year “sexual business” relationship with Haggard. Jones also told a radio show host that he has recorded voicemails and a letter from the pastor, and claims that the Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions.

HaggardHaggard is the founder of the 14,000-member New Life Church based in Colorado Springs. He is married with five children.

Think Progress notes: “Haggard is president of the National Association of Evangelicals, representing more than 30 million conservative Christians. Time Magazine ranked him as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals and Harper’s contributing editor Jeff Sharlet noted, ‘No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted.'”

Haggard also has ties to the White House and claims he has “direct access” to George Bush, and can get the President to return his phone calls within 24 hours.

Here’s a video of Haggard preaching against homosexuality from the recent documentary Jesus Camp:

I guess now we may know what pastor Ted did last night too.

Haggard responded to Jones’ claims: “I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver. I am steady with my wife. I’m faithful to my wife. I don’t know if this is election year politics or if this has to do with the marriage amendment or what it is, but I’m not even the guy who will investigate it or question it. I don’t know what the dynamics are, but this independent group will come in and do that.”

Jones said he felt he had to come forward and expose the hypocrisy: “People may look at me and think what I’ve done is immoral, but I think I had to do the moral thing in my mind and that is expose someone who is preaching one thing and doing the opposite behind everybody’s back.”

Man claims 3-year sexual relationship with pastor [9news]

Jones interview [wmv – 9news]
Haggard interview [wmv – 9news]

(thanks joemygod)

Comments

  1. Anon says

    I am skeptical of the claim made, particularly this close to the election, but Haggard’s denial phrasing “in Denver” is very Clintonesque. Unlikely to become a national headline. The escort should be able to back up his claim with facts only an intimate would know.

  2. LiamOg says

    Can Jones prove this? A sexual business relationship–does he have receipts? It should be proven beyond a shred of doubt.

    I love the sub-context of the rebuttal from the good pastor: “I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver (but don’t ask me about Boulder!)”.

  3. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Ok, I’m confused… Jones is the hustler and Haggard’s the preacher..or Haggard’s the hustler and Jones is the preacher? Oh, that’s right…he’s a evangelical preacher…so they’re both hustlers.

    Looks and sounds more like a Sugar-Daddy boyfriend than a John to me. What?, he’ll swallow but not kiss? Must be more to this story than’s been revealed….

  4. Greg says

    I love to see a hypocrite exposed, especially a virulent anti-gay one…

    Just curious… can Mike Jones be prosecuted now that he has admitted to prostitution?

  5. ggreen says

    Denver escort Mike Jones may not be very pretty but he has a big big talent. Pastor Ted was probably excellent at worshipping it and lifting his knees to Jesus while getting a sermon on the Serta.

  6. Marco says

    Oh, I can’t wait to hear the phone messages!!!! Jones will be doing a polygraph live on the radio tomorrow morning (weird, I know).

    Lord, I haven’t gone to church in years since I really don’t believe in you, but if this is true, I swear I’ll think of you next time a pass one of your houses of worship in my neighborhood.

    Lord hear my prayer.

  7. JR says

    how likely is it that if this is true it can be proven? I’d love for it to be so, but very often in cases like this no hard evidence (excuse the pun) ever surfaces and the story just fades away.

  8. Zeke says

    Check out this video clip if you have any doubts that Haggard is a delusional kook and a closeted homo (notice how the boys at his church look like they are worshiping him rather than worshiping with him):

  9. Zeke says

    For my fellow classic country music fans, it’s hard to miss the obvious “Haggard and Jones together again” angle.

    Merle (RIP) and George would be so proud!

  10. RB says

    Should this turn out to be true, I hope he is exposed on a level that would make Foley blush!!! I am not a fan of “outing” anyone as it is the most personal thing anyone can do. However, if you are a public figure with influence like Haggard has, then out you go! NOTHING ANGERS ME MORE THAN SOMEONE PREACHING AGAINST THE VERY THING THEY ARE IN AN EFFORT TO HURT THE REST OF US! I am trying to maitain that he is innocent until proven guilty, but I know too many married men that play on the side so it is not a stretch to believe the allegations. If you want to live your life in the closet, and I have, that is perfectly fine with me. Try to drive me back into the closet with your “hate preaching” all the while you are playing on the side and it is on! Sorry Zeke for losing my religeon on this one but it sickens me that men get away with butchering us in public and playing with us in private! Grow some balls and come out!!!! If this is true then to hell with Haggard!

  11. GBM says

    Interesting that the five or six times Haggard mentions being investigated by the independent “Board of Overseers,” he always mentions being fired/dismissed or disciplined by his church first, and then mentions the possibility of being exonerated of the charges. Haggard even entertains the idea that the Board might find the Jones story credible. The decision may be out of his hands now, but wouldn’t you be stressing your inevitable exoneration if you knew that the charges were completely erroneous? Pretty suspect, creepy Ted.

  12. Anon says

    The question is: what is it going to take to make this a national story? How much evidence does the press need to run with it and where should we look first? The main political blogs, like the Wire, Daily Kos, Andrew Sullivan and Huffintonpost would be the leads I suspect if it is going to go further.

  13. Zeke says

    RB, lose your religion away my friend. I’m right there with ya brother!!

    These guys really are the scum of the earth.

    For the record, hypocrites made Jesus Himself lose his religion!!!

  14. Becks07 says

    Man, that YouTube bit proves one thing at least — Rev. Haggard has COCKSUCKING LIPS!!! LOL

    Oh god, I love this kind of shit. Creepy, creepy wingnuts and moonbats getting their cum-uppance.

    Now, though, to the topic of hookers…I guess this reminds me that one must be VERY careful about who they hire and where. I would personally NEVER open up to an escort with whom I am having a transaction (ahem) nor would I bring them to my house, nor would I give them anything but a one-off e-mail address or cell #. These folks who think they are in a “relationship” with a hooker and spout off about personal stuff to them are deluded — and risk getting ratted out like the good Rev’ren’ here…

  15. baboomaerienow says

    Boo-yah…

    Pastor….you’re out. Auf wiedersehen.

    COLORADO SPRINGS – A pastor from Colorado resigned from a national organization and put himself on leave from his church Thursday, according to 9NEWS’ partners at The Denver Post.

    The resignation came a day after a male escort claimed he has been having a sexual relationship with the pastor for the past three years.

  16. Jersey says

    I want to hear all the gory details. How depraved was the guy? I want it spilled all over the nation so his wife and kids have to hear it everywhere. I’m so sick of these closeted assholes.

  17. mark m says

    Jersey, I was enjoying all of the giddy speculation until the comment about his wife and kids.. especially his kids. Made me pause.

    As much as I would revel in the fact that another anti-gay bigot turned out to be a self loathing hypocrite, I DO NOT wish the pain and suffering of such a revelation on his children.

    Let’s not lose sight of the fact that if he is guilty of this, his family are unwitting victims.

  18. Jersey says

    Mark M, Maybe he should have thought about that before he started spouting off all the invective against us gays. You are right though, and I do feel for his children and wife, but I hate him (and all of those hate spewing evangelicals) with a passion.

  19. RB says

    Self-hatred literally refers to an extreme dislike of oneself, or being angry at oneself. The term is also used to designate a dislike or hatred of a group to which ONE BELONGS! Haggard falls deeply into this category. May his life be a living hell for some time because of his own making!!!

    I fell sorry for his wife and kids. Their life as they know it just ended. Peace be with them…but for Haggard, go to hell!

  20. Zeke says

    Jersey, I understand your anger, but you should have no beef with the wife and you should certainly not wish pain and suffering on the kids.

    Don’t forget, these kids have been indoctrinated by this man their whole lives to fear gay people. They will look at this through the anti-gay lense that he has pushed upon them. That’s very sad.

    I feel for his kids and, to a lesser degree, his wife. The kids are totally innocent in this. The wife, as his partner in crime, and an adult, is receiving a bit of the Karma that comes with portraying oneself as the epitome of family values while supporting homophobia and the oppression of gays and their families.

    The absolute foundations of the religious fundamentalist right is being destroyed by the aftershocks of scandal and hypocrisy.

    I personally won’t shed one tear.

  21. Zeke says

    Damn Kyle, I was trying to bury Merle before his time. I don’t know who I was thinking of. Thanks for the correction.

    He and George Jones must be really creeped out by all of this talk about Haggard and Jones doing the nasty.

  22. rudy says

    And another one down and another one down, another one bites the dust. I have yet to see it fail. As I have posted previously, those that spew hate the loudest are usually the most self-loathing. He will burn in Hell eventually. In the mean time we can give him hell here. Congrats gay brethren. The haters and the bigots lose another round.

  23. Marco says

    I also feel bad for his wife and kids is this is true, but they’re all better off in the long run. I wonder if Haggard will be entering into a reducation camp instead of rehab?

  24. Mc Frank says

    Mike Jones, male escort, is the key witness and we feel the case is closed, not quite.

    Where is the victory here? It’s not like society is going to condemn this man for speaking out against homosexuality when he’s screwing the male whore. They will condemn his sexual behavior not his prior protests. Ten more people will step to the front to take his place and use him as an example of our “promiscuous”, “deviant” “lifestyle”.

  25. JR says

    WOW!!! Well, this answers my question about whether this can be proven. I think his “temporary” resignation says it all. Hopefully what will come out of this as well as with the Mark Foley deal is that a man that has to keep his sexuality hidden or repressed is bound to act out at some point. Usually that repression results in actions that are less than noble or even remotely rational. But this is what happens when a society makes people believe that who they are is wrong and are forced to hide it.

  26. GBM says

    The end of that video is odd…isn’t that a gay couple in the audience at the very end, arm round each other and laughing, or is that just a man and his really butch reformed lesbian wife? I didn’t see Jesus Camp so I don’t know the context of the scene.

  27. bamboomaroonie says

    Carolyn Haggard, spokeswoman for the New Life Church, said a four-member church panel will investigate the allegations. She did not identify the board members.

    “This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we’re prepared,” she said.

    PREPARED???? ROUTINE????

    How many times has this happened already? How many years have Dobson and Bush known and enabled this man’s addictions so they could use his church as a political base?

    Calling Tony Snow!!!

  28. bamboom says

    so, here’s who he hangs with…all of these people obviously knew, just like Foley, and protected him because he delivered money and votes.

    Just google and you find this…Falwell already denies knowing Haggard..Ha!

    E-mail from Pastor Ted Haggard

    This is the Nov. 7 e-mail that New Life Church Pastor Ted Haggard sent out describing his trip to Washington DC to witness President Bush as he signed the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003 and then hang out with him in the Oval Office.

    From: Pastor Ted Haggard ted.haggard@newlifechurch.org>

    Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2003 15:24:45 -0700

    Subject: FYI

    Dear New Lifers and Friends of New Life Church,

    I just wanted to send you a quick note telling about this week. Some of you might remember that several years ago I published on the back of our newsletter a sketch of the process a baby goes through when a partial birth abortion is performed on it. I received a lot of criticism for publishing that sketch, but thought it was worth the pressure because of the horrific nature of this procedure being conducted throughout our nation.

    Well, on Monday I was in the World Prayer Center and my cell phone rang. It was one of the special assistants to President Bush calling from the White House. It turns out that when the President was reviewing the list of those attending the signing of the partial birth abortion ban, he asked why I wasn’t attending and asked that they call me. So the White House staff got onto the phones and were calling the NAE Washington office, our church office and my cell phone at the same time trying to see if I could come to the signing.

    Of course I could. So I rearranged my schedule (thank you to those of you whose appointments got changed) and flew to Washington on Tuesday to be at the signing on Wednesday. I sat with those from the Senate and House who voted for the bill, and afterward was escorted to the President’s motorcade and taken to the White House. I and seven others were able to spend 55 minutes with the President in the Oval office discussing any issue we liked. It was incredible. I’ll tell you about the discussion in church.

    Attending the private meeting with the President were Rev. Jerry Falwell from Liberty University, Janet Parshall, author and host of the nationally syndicated radio broadcast “Janet Parshall’s America,” Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Dr. Jack Graham, former SBC President Dr. Adrian Rogers, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, National Religious Broadcasters President Frank Wright, and President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Dr. Richard Land.

    Today I’m in Indianapolis. Most of you know that Pastor Scott Baur, the son-in-law of Dr. Jack Hayford and the the pastor of Church on the Way, unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord a few days ago. Because of that, Pastor Jack had to cancel some engagements, so I’m covering for him by speaking to a group of ministers at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis today.

    So my whole week is responding to last minute situations. I wonder what Sunday will be like . . .

    Thank you for praying for me. I love being your pastor.

    Pastor Ted

  29. RB says

    “Thank you for praying for me. I love being your pastor.”

    What an arrogant, self righteous, hypocritical bastard! ROT IN HELL for what you have done to the rest of us from the pulpit. Haggard’s “preaching” and prayers have helped millions of Americans view us as the enemy! Everytime I read this I grow more angry. How dare he do this.

    And yes, the ones that “protest the most” are usually guilty! They are preaching to cover themselves and to keep people from looking at them. This is a true self-hater!!!

  30. Zeke says

    Does anyone know if this story has made it onto ANY of the national MSM news programs?

    I don’t watch MSM television news so I wouldn’t know.

    If not it needs to be picked up.

  31. Antaeus says

    All right, all right! Will you stone-casters please remember that once Mel White was also married and writing for Jerry Falwell? If anything, he looks strangely elated – as if he knows that he will be liberated.

  32. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    The real question for the Board is going to be if Haggard was using church money to retain Jones’ services. Odds are he was, since that’s a typical pattern; which would make Haggard a thief and/or an embezzler as well. And while I certainly disagree with what appears to be his church’s world-view; it’s unfortunate that monies given to the church in good-faith by the parishioners for the Lord’s Work might have been sidetracked for the pastor’s extra-martial activities.

  33. Timothy says

    Calling someone a fagg*t is soooooo gay!!! Ted’s super creepy, his lips gross me out. Reminds me of one of Jamie Fox’s characters on “In Living Color”

  34. Zeke says

    Antaeus, what is your point? Is it that you don’t feel that we should be happy about this because he may turn out to be a crusader for gay rights and a challenger of the anti-gay religious right in the future? I sincerely hope he follows the example of White but I don’t see what that has to do with being happy that a powerful homophobe has been taken out of play.

    I don’t see the elation of liberation that you seem to have discerned at this point. How can he feel liberated when he’s still denying it. I think your confusing the look of a panicky trapped stake oil salesman with the look of elation and liberation.

    And, for the record, “stone-casters” refers to people who are guilty of doing the same thing that they are chastizing another for doing. Are you claiming that anyone here has been the head of a 30 million strong organization that is almost exclusively dedicated to attacking gay people and their families?

    If so, you need to name names.

    I honestly don’t understand what point you were trying to make.

  35. Jersey says

    I heard a small segment on this on the BBC on my way home. The problem with stories like this and Foley is the insidiousness of the closet and its detrimental effects on lives and families is lost on the american people. The concept is much too subtle for most of them to understand, they need an anvil to fall on thier heads to get anything. This will just be seen as another evil gay guy messing up his family and society. Ugh.

  36. Zeke says

    Oh my god Timothy I thought the same thing about the lips. I took one look at him and all I could think was WANDA in her Victoria Secretions. “I got chu!”

    Billy Bob:

    That line is SO damned clever punkin. I’m almost certain that it was the same line that Haggart used when he went on rentboy.com looking for dick. I doubt you’ll find a suitable date here. You should try your sweet talk over at selfhatingclosetqueers.com where your charms will be fully appreciated.

  37. Jersey says

    Oh and to the idiot with the faggot question- yes we are you dumbf*ck and I’m going to marry my boyfreind in New Jersey in less than 180 days so shove that up your a$$!

  38. Zeke says

    Ted B., I agree with your comment.

    However, I don’t know which I find more offensive; that this man MIGHT HAVE spent church money to rent a prostitute or that he DEFINITELY used church money to demonize and oppress innocent, tax paying, law abiding gay people and marginalize their families.

  39. Marco says

    A. Jersey – congrats on your upcoming nuptials.

    B. This story is number 2 on CNN.com, following the lead story regarding Tom Cruise becoming head of a major movie studio.

    Consider the irony.

  40. Anon says

    Well, it made CNN at 7:30 EST for a short time and then on MS-NBC at 8:45. Nothing on FNC. He’s out and it’s out. I guess he won’t be in that conference call with the WH this weekend.

  41. Zeke says

    Jersey, congratulations! I hope you will be as happily married as I have been.

    You also make a very valid point. Sadly the anti-gay religious fundamentalist are incapable of understanding what all of these scandalous stories actually reflect. They don’t see these men as gay men who were closeted and desperately trying to cover their sexuality because of societal, religious and familial pressures.

    They see these men as good Christian heterosexual, family men who fell victim to the temptations of Satan. They see them as examples of how Satan can destroy even the most righteous Christians by tempting him with alcohol, sex, drugs, promiscuity, and WORST of all, homosexuality. Is there any wonder why they equate homosexuality with vices like alcoholism, drug abuse, promiscuity, lying, cheating and shame? How could they not when every person that they admire who comes out, or is outed, or is caught, uses the occasion to list all of the vices and perversions that they have also been involved in.

    This will not cause them to feel more sympathetic to gay people or toward the gay issues. They will see this as a wake up call to redouble their efforts to fight the “homosexual agenda” and the Satanic forces that are behind it.

    We MUST find a way to use these opportunities to educate people about the truth. I don’t know how to go about it, but I believe voices like that of Mel White, who have been on both sides of this struggle, are the most effective spokesmen to get this message out. They can speak the language that fundamentalists understand and they can speak from experience.

    Haggart could also be a powerful and effective voice, but not until he faces reality and lets go of the empire of ego that he has built upon a foundation of lies, deception and homophobia.

  42. mark m says

    This won’t convert the truly hateful. No doubt about that. Of course this will be spun around to illustrate how the evil gay lifestyle is all about cheating and meth use.

    But let’s not underestimate what impact this has on the more moderate Americans, who likely are paying attention. Young people especially are coming of age at a time when lying and hyporcrisy is being called out.

    I choose to see this as glass half full.

    And on the subject of Haggard being like Mel White… when he has redeemed himself by campaigning tirelessly for the gay community as Mel has done, then we’ll consider his redemption.

  43. GBM says

    Note to Evangelical Republican leaders: Need a male hustler? Looking for some discreet and friendly man-on-man action and a puff piece in the Talon Daily News to boot? Try out Jeff Gannon for all your hustling needs. Guaranteed to keep all your pervy hypocritical skeletons in the closet come next election season.
    Visit http://www.jeffgannon.com today!

  44. Zeke says

    Check out:

    http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2006/11/ive_never_said.html

    It’s really funny to hear Haggart comparing his situation to Kerry being misunderstood bungling a joke in a speech. I wonder if he was defending Kerry a few days ago and if he chastised his good buddy George for misrepresenting Kerry’s misstatement and using those known misrepresentations to score cheap political points.

    Don’t worry about Kerry Mr. Haggart. You just knocked him and everything else off of the front page!

  45. Zeke Admirer says

    Zeke,
    Once again the voice of reason. Many but not all of the followers are completely brain-dead sheeple and will only see this as a reason to redouble their efforts. There’s really little hope for them…maybe the gradual lowering of trans fats in the American diet will stem the neurological damage that causes people to identify as fundamentalist “Christians”. Let’s hope so. But this will probably steer some undecideds who are looking for a spiritual life away from megachurch fundamentalism. It’s the people who are yet to be sucked in to the madness who are really at stake.

  46. mark m says

    You’re right about one thing Preacher.

    “We” aren’t going to shut up. The flood gates are opened and there’s no way your side is ever going to close them again.

    Here’s some advice. Get a paddle.

  47. Antaeus says

    Hey Zeke,

    Am I guilty of sounding a sour note or something? I’m glad a religious rightist was neutralized by his own human and humane need for companionship (such as it was!), but I also want to counsel the kind of love we find missing among the judgmental. He’ll be isolated and stressed out quite badly. We should rejoice over a sinner redeemed and welcome the prodigal son.

  48. moyan says

    I wonder if the sinning turned him on, some Christians are like that. I give this story a week before it drops into oblivion.

    ps, in the CNN pic he definitely looks like a sketchy crystal freak.

  49. bjorn says

    Most gays think the Democrats are the party that embraces them but it’s becoming more and more clear that gays are more at home in the Republican party/Conservative movement where they’re given leadership positions. By comparison, the Dems and Liberals are dominated by straights with a token Barney Frank thrown in here or there.

    Nov. 7, will you vote gay or Democrat?

  50. Zeke says

    Antaeus, I truly admire your Christ-like compassion. I agree with you in theory but I think it’s reasonable to expect a person to admit fault and ask forgiveness BEFORE people should be expected to forgive and offer redemption.

    Even Christ Himself showed anger toward hypocrites and those who misused their religious status to judge and oppress others.

    I will be the first to forgive Haggart and support his redemption once he asks for forgiveness from me, my family and my community for all the pain he’s caused US. He can work this request in some time during his forthcoming Jimmy Swaggart crying jag confession where he will undoubtedly ask forgiveness from God, his family, his church and his community for all of the pain he’s caused THEM.

    I’m just not quite ready to put the forgiveness cart before the confession horse.

    I will eat every word of this if Haggart is found innocent of these allegations but somehow I don’t think that’s gonna happen.

  51. Becks07 says

    HE’S GUILTY — IT’S EXPLODING (ahem) ALL OVER DENVER TV TONIGHT — HE’S ADMITTED “INDISCRETIONS” AND ONE TV STATION HAS THE TAPES BEING VERIFIED BY AN INDEPENDENT VOICE EXPERT!!!

    HALLE-FUCKING-LUJIA!!!

    Jesus “Camp” indeed!!!

    I hereby declare Gayface Friday!!!

    WOOT!!!

  52. CLIFF says

    I truly feel bad for him, his wife and kids, and the people that have been following him (probably following him and idolizing him more than Jesus he preached about)…he let down a lot of people (including himself), and it’s going to be hard for him to forgive himself for what he’s done…I have no problem forgiving him…I can use forgiveness any day of the week…we all could…

  53. rudy says

    Zeke, once again you are the voice of reason and compassion. I argued on the McCreepy thread that forgiveness should only be given those who acknowledge their failings, repent, ask for forgiveness, and demonstrate by their actions that they are contrite but I was drowned out by a chorus clamoring for the gay community to welcome those who have acted against us before they complete the prodigal process. During the interim it is all too human to delight in the unmasking of bigots and hypocrits. You have a generous heart. The rest of us are still playing catch-up.

  54. Lukey says

    I was made to see a religious psychiatrist when I was younger and was forced to undergo aversion therapy. I completely dedicacted myself to “prayer” and “change”. When God didn’t “deliver me from sin,” I tried to commit suicide at age 12, because I COULD NOT change. Yes, I feel sympathy for the man’s children and wife, but what about all of the GAY CHILDREN whose families tortured their children because of what this man was preaching? What he did was evil.

  55. CLIFF says

    Lukey, I feel for you…I too underwent ‘therapy’ with a group in the Baltimore area called Regeneration, as well as, seeing a therapist with a Christian Counseling Group…obviously, it didn’t work…while I was undergoing both, I was a mess: filled with guilt, totally confused, and wanted to commit suicide (I attempted and failed thank God, with drugs and alcohol)…I feel for all those that have undergone ‘therapy’ to correct their malady…sadly, I didn’t accept who and what I was until I was 29 years of age…I missed out on a lot…but, I’m grateful that I’m alive and well, and embrace who and what I am, with gusto and, gratefulness for each new day…what he did was wrong, painfully wrong and, he will be held accountable for it, as I will be held accountable for what I have done in my lifetime…I cannot heap more guilt upon him, on top of what he already has to endure — it wouldn’t be right or compassionate…forgiveness is a choice, as well as, a gift.

  56. jessejames says

    ….and if I’m found guilty I will be spanked, I mean punished, they have a special paddle for this, not that I’m looking forward to my spanking, I mean punishment….

    If this story is true his kids are far better off to know the truth than live with the lies that might drive them to suicide if they are gay, or gay-bashing if they are straight. Either way it is all for the best.

  57. Mike says

    Something particularly interesting… is when, during Haggard’s interview, he says “Our church has a system for when something like this happens where a group of…… (awkward pause)…. men come in”

    Guilty as sin!!

  58. Zeke says

    The more I listen to Haggard’s statements and the more closely I listen, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that this is not the first time his church has dealt with this, or a similar, situation.

    Someone needs to check the books of this church to see if there were any large, non-budgeted payouts from the church coffers. When Haggard’s church has a group of men who are ALREADY set up to deal with these sorts of things, a reasonable person has to wonder and ask; WHY?

  59. soulbrotha says

    Again I say, go see Jesus Camp.
    I feel sorry for his kids (and when you see the movie you’ll understand why), but I will reserve comment about his wife because I don’t know where her priorities lie. She could be a freaking Bible-thumping kook like her husband. As an adult you have the responsibility to protect your children. And as Jesus Camp clearly shows, that wasn’t happenin’ under his watch!
    No I do NOT feel sorry for him. You reap what you sow. THIS MAN WAS A PERSONAL ADVISOR TO BUSH FOR GOD’S SAKE! Can you imagine what heretical “advice” he has given THAT loon? I can hear him now: “You are fighting God’s war in Iraq! A cleansing of all evil! You must stay the course! Victory will be yours!” Shudder.

  60. CruzDenver says

    GREETINGS FROM DENVER!
    Hardly anyone remembers Amendment 2 in Colorado, which passed and was eventually overturned in the Supreme Court. That’s when Haggard first started his mega-church climb and when Focus on the Family set up in Colorado. It’s a hotbed of gay hatred in religious ranks, and it’s good to see Haggard brought to the music. I’ve only met Mike Jones a few times, but he is cheerful and well-liked. I’m really concerned for Mike, because the religious right are a bunch of gun-huggin’ cross-clutchers who can be very violent… especially the closet cases. I met Matt Shepard a couple of times and knew Romaine Patterson, his best friend. There has been a history of violence against gays and lesbians in Denver, and I am one of those rallying around Mike to protect him from the predictable smear job by Christians. Mike has given up his life as he knew it to come forward. Haggard expresses no anger or offense — his smiling “game face” proves it’s all true.

  61. RB says

    Ok, Zeke, I concede that I too will forgive if he comes forward and asks. However, he will not as he is not “gay”. He will fight to the bitter end and declare that he fell from grace and has sinned! He will repent and return to bashing the rest of us. All the while getting the occasional hook up in his local Macy’s restroom.

    He really sickens me! And the whole meth thing, ridiculous!!!!

  62. Jackie says

    Well I just have to ask everyone one question….Are you perfect? I didnt think so! I am not just gonna write aobut how i think that everyone messes up…but i am gonna write about the Mercy and Grace of God! If yall would listen to some of Pastor Ted’s sermons you would hear him talking about it too! Yea he messed and i mess up everyday! But the one thing that makes it all ok is that we have the grace of God…and all of our mistakes and sins have been cancelled out when Jesus Christ died on that cross! You just have to except it and you will live eternally in lasting love! you know what who cares what happens really while we are on this earth? its all gonna end soon enough! the only thing that matters is if you have excepted the love that God is here to give us. Once we die its either Live eternally in Paradise or go to a place where i didnt even wanna know what its like! So i think as long as Pastor Ted has excepted Jesus and has confessed Him his Lord and Deliverer which he HAS!…He has it good! Jesus didnt die on the cross for nothing! He did it because he knew we would mess up and sin! God Bless all of you!

  63. soulbrotha says

    Miss Jackie gurrl,
    There are sooo many things I could respond to in your little “can’t we all just get along in Jesus name” speech, but part of me thinks you are here simply to bait an argument, so I will just say this:

    Look up in the Bible what Jesus said about Pharisees and Saducees and how he condemned them. While you’re there, look up the Scriptures about FALSE PROPHETS and their “reward”. All Haggard has been doing his whole pastoral life has been “accepting & confessing Jesus as his Lord & Deliverer” and yet he still found time to fuck around on his wife. Jesus called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs”. What do you think he would call Haggard?
    Then look up “anger”. Note that it says “in your anger, do not sin”. It does NOT say “don’t get angry”, because even God got angry and we are made in His image are we not? Well, we who have been judged, beaten, raped, molested, ostricized, mocked, thereatened, tortured, brainwashed and abandoned by Haggard and his kind, are fucking angry and glad to see him “reaping what he has sown” (however short lived it may be).
    So since you are so concerned about people judging others, why don’t YOU set an example by showing compassion & empathy for us angry folks WHO’S SHOES YOU HAVE NEVER WALKED IN. Isn’t that what Jesus would do? Or does your bumper sticker read “What would Haggard do?”

  64. RB says

    Jackie, you are absolutely right. “He has it good! Jesus didnt die on the cross for nothing! He did it because he knew we would mess up and sin! God Bless all of you!”

    While I thank you for the “blessing” and respect your right to your opinion, Haggard did not simply “mess up” as you stated. Had he simply been caught having a gay afair I would have been ok.

    Since he is a self loathing, anti-gay preaching, hypocritical back stabber, I believe that he has gone beyond “messing up”! It is not the fact that he has had gay sex, it is his treatment of those of us that are not in the closet. If you want to live in the closet sobeit. You have that right. If you want to proclaim your straightness, preach hate and anti gay rights, as well as God’s word is the light all the while playing with men on the side then he deserves the pain!

    Again, he did not simply mess up. He got caught doing the very thing he wants to stone the rest of us for. HYPOCRITE…look it up!

    And I too agree with Soulbrothra in that you are baiting for an argument. If that is true you will not get one from me. This is it.

  65. ne1butu says

    Maybe it’s because I never really got into Jerry Springer that I’m not completely in awe over this “newsbreaking” announcement by a meth-dealing prostitute about an evangelical nutjob. I don’t think the gay community should be willing absorb all of this garbage. Just because we feel that it reinforces our opinion, we should still be critical of these kinds of accusations. First off, is anyone really surprised these days that a lot of religious leaders are hypocrites? Really??? I’d love to believe it’s all true, but please, I don’t think we should be jumping up and down about it for a few reasons.

    1.We’re supposed to take the word of a 49 year old masseur, prostitute meth-dealer? I don’t think so. Mike Jones, the ho, failed lie detector tests. This could backfire big-time if any piece of it is proven untrue.

    2.This could backfire even more horribly if it’s determined that the accusations are politically motivated. This male ho admitted that he wanted to impact the elections by revealing this. Thanks, but don’t expect mainstream America to take the word of such an upstanding citizen.

    3.Even if it’s 100% true, the right hasn’t been known for supporting dead-weight senators, congressmen, priests and ministers such as Ted Haggard. This type of scandal might actually reinforce the ultra-right.

  66. Carlosjii says

    Jackie – Jesus will also forgive you for mixing up accept with except BUT I WON’T. Teddy EXCEPTED the word of God “You just have to except it and you will live eternally in lasting love! you know what who cares what happens really while we are on this earth? its all gonna end soon enough! the only thing that matters is if you have excepted the love that God is here to give us. Once we die its either Live eternally in Paradise or go to a place where i didnt even wanna know what its like! So i think as long as Pastor Ted has excepted Jesus and has confessed Him his Lord and Deliverer which he HAS!…”

  67. GBM says

    The more I watch this YouTube clip from the Jesus Camp movie, which is the clip or quote most often used in blogs or articles citing Haggard’s ‘gay bashing,’ the more I am convinced that this clip was probably taken out of its original context, and most likely by the filmmakers.

    What struck me at first was that at the end of the clip, there’s two men next to each other in the audience, arm around each other and laughing at Haggard’s jokes. So why is there a gay couple laughing at Ted’s sermon against homosexuality? It’s obvious that the clip has been cut-up and edited, but it threw a wrench in the coherence of the clip’s message for me all the same. When Haggard says his infamous lines of “what we should think about homosexual activity,” perhaps he was taken out of context, or was framing someone else’s position…it’s impossible to know, since what we see is the final edit in the film.

    After searching the web a bit, I found that this is actually what Haggard himself had claimed about the Jesus Camp clips. Now I realize this is a bit of a strange research project, and I really find Ted Haggard to be a creepy hypocrite, but I also find it really bothersome when Internet clips become shorthand for someone’s character when the actual clip isnt what it purports to be (think the Dean Scream or Kerry’s failed joke). So this is from an interview with Haggard:

    Question: “What concerns you about your portrayal [in Jesus Camp]? When you tell the camera to “repent,” most people can tell it was in jest. Are you concerned that viewers will take you literally?”

    Haggard Answer: “They taped for hours at New Life and they chose to use the footage where we were playing around with negative stereotypes for the use in the film, which was a major alarm for me. I think the producers want to make the unusual normative.”

    Haggard didn’t directly mention the homosexuality blurb, but he does mention his ‘playing around with negative stereotypes’ and maybe this included his homophobic posturing in the YouTube clip. That would make more sense in relation to the tenor of the rest of the clips shown, and the laughing audience. The Jesus Camp filmmakers responded to Haggard’s criticisms saying that they purposely included the shots of the laughing audience in their final cut of the film as a way of making it obvious that Ted was not always being serious in his sermonizing. But actually, it’s anything but clear in the final cut.

    All this to say, Ted Haggard is a wacko and certainly a hypocrite, but that this video is hardly solid evidence that he HATES gays or even preached against homosexuality. (Perhaps he did, but not on YouTube). Now, I recognize that Haggard is against gay marriage, probably thinks that homosexuality is a sin and that he has even said that people were meant to be in heterosexual couples, so I am not defending him from these positions…he can defend himself if he likes. However, I think the charges of outright hysterical homophobia might be misguided, especially if we are basing it on this clip and this clip alone.

    And those are my two cents.

  68. says

    According to Norwegians papers this morning (and my translation), Haggard says: “.. I’m a cheat and a liar. This is a part of my life that is so disgusting and dark I’ve been fighting it all my adult life..”

    So this means in his youth he was really out there…?
    Obviously it wasn’t too disgusting for him to spend a bit of money on, though…

  69. Jackie says

    ok well….i really do see where all of yall are coming from(those who posted stuff concerning what i said). but i guess what i am trying to get accross…is why dont yall leave it alone! it doenst concern yall….IT DOEsNT EVEN CONCERN ME! but why cant we leave the judgement to the Almighty God…who will one day judge all of us on the ultimate judging day. i am not that naive to think that everyone is going to get into heaven! that day isnot gonna be a pretty day! on that day that he judges us so many christians are gonna get an awakening because they might think that they are goin to heaven but it says in the bible not all who call upon the name of the Lord will be able to enter the kingdom of Heaven…only those who have a RELATIONSHIP with his son Jesus Christ. I know all of this stuff…but i just wanna WHO ARE YOU TO BASH SOMEONE LIKE THIS? Definitly not on the Judgement seat… and thank the lord!

  70. Rob says

    This site speaks of hate-spewing evangelicals. Yet there is so much hatred in this feedback. Yes, the man is despicable, and deserves criticism for his hypocrisy, but if the community is honest, it should admit that the hatred is by no means onesided.

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