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Ted Haggard Letter: "I am Guilty...a Deceiver and a Liar"

TedhaggardTed Haggard was fired as pastor of the Colorado Springs-based New Life Church over the weekend by an independent overseer board that determined him unfit to retain his position. Said the board, which was made up of clergy from other churches: "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct."

Haggard also sent a letter to his congregation which was read aloud to them on Saturday apologizing for the "disappointment, betrayal, and hurt" that he had caused.

"I alone am responsible for the confusion caused by my inconsistent statements. The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem," Haggard told them.

He added: "I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life."

The full text of Haggard's letter can be read here. His wife Gayle wrote a letter as well.

Haggard says he will submit to the oversight of Dr. James Dobson, Pastor Jack Hayford, and Pastor Tommy Barnett (after which I'm sure we will have anointed a flaming new leader for the "ex-gay" movement).

The video above is a clip of Richard Dawkins, a leader in evolutionary biology, questioning Pastor Ted.

You may have missed...
Ted Haggard: Bought Meth, Didn't Use It; Received Massage, No Sex [tr]
Mike Jones Fails Lie Detector Test on Ted Haggard But Test Administrator Doubts Test's Accuracy [tr]
Ted Haggard Voicemails Analyzed; Pastor Admits to Indiscretions [tr]
Evangelical Leader Ted Haggard Steps Down After Gay Escort Claims They Had a Sexual Relationship for Three Years [tr]

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Comments

  1. The really sad thing about all of this is that Haggard is still blaming and loathing himself instead of embracing who he is as his God made him. Having spent most of my adult life doing exactly what he did, in the climate of fear that he helped to create, is a wretched way to live. It is hard to comprehend how much damage it does until the closet doors are opened and all of the pressures that twist your psyche into a pretzel are gone.

    Posted by: John | Nov 6, 2006 7:50:03 AM


  2. Are we allowed to hate on this guy? I mean, I feel bad for people trapped in the closet but this guy turned his own fear into pure Hate. Haggard needs the help of some caring gay individuals, or bisexual. I doubt he'll be seeking their counsel however.

    Posted by: Rob (lrdarystar) | Nov 6, 2006 8:11:38 AM


  3. The SouthPark boys are going to have a blast with this guy..

    Posted by: Greg | Nov 6, 2006 8:14:14 AM


  4. Sad. Sad. Sad. It is probably a vain wish to hope that the general public, and Evangelicals in particular, will learn anything from this disclosure. Particularly that whenever a man decries homosexuality he has, at the least, homosexual leanings.

    Posted by: Ken | Nov 6, 2006 8:16:06 AM


  5. I am an evangelical Christian brought to this site by Google news. I read the article, and your comments. I am truly moved by your kindness. I would expect anyone to have a hay day with this type of tragedy, instead you are all identifying with Haggard in mercy and compassion. All people, not just evangelicals, should learn something here.

    Posted by: Mare | Nov 6, 2006 8:34:25 AM


  6. Ah remember the good old days when people did take the drugs and shag rent boys silly? Ted isn't very good at being bad, is he? Sad case indeed.

    Posted by: Sean R | Nov 6, 2006 8:35:21 AM


  7. I don't think anyone hates Ted Haggard, except maybe those "false" Christians in his congregation. The wider public and fair minded folk are disappointed in his blatant hypocrisy and disregard for the well being of his family in this matter. He is trying to salvage a marriage that clearly is a sham and now having 5 children, is risking the well-being of them also. He is a gay man. Until he embraces that fact, he will never be the man he needs to be in his marriage; in his family. He would be a better friend to Gayle and a better father if he were honest. He is still lying and deceiving. The saddest part is...he's deceiving himself...still.

    Posted by: Erica | Nov 6, 2006 8:36:33 AM


  8. If Ted Haggard and Mike Jones died Sat Nov 5th which one would go to Heaven?

    Ted is the leader of National Association of Evangelicals, which includes 30 million American members who have ruthlessly gone after gay people, pointing the finger at them and calling them sinners. Rather than forgiving them and welcoming them in to their church and ignoring the fact that it is their job only to get these supposed sinners to God and he will change their hearts they chose to condemn them, cast dispersions against them and pass laws against them.

    Galatians 6:1 sayes “ Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” ( Please look up this passage in your version of your Bible)

    The bible thumpers did not restore the gay people in the spirit of meekness and there for God himself let their leader be tempted.

    Meth is a drug used by gay men to enhance the stimulation they feel in their rectums when they are having anal sex. Ted bought and used meth to enhance the feeling he got when Mike Jones penetrated him anally. If this were not the case there would have been no need for Ted to buy this specific drug, he could have gotten pot, X, coke or GHB if all he wanted to do was get high.

    Ted, as a direct result of not restoring supposed gay sinners in the spirit of meekness was himself tempted and became gay plain and simple, see Galations 6:1 again. Ted did not have an affair with Mike as Mike is a male prostitute. Ted paid Mike to have sex with him, this is very different than having an affair. This is prostitution and it went on for 3 years.

    Mike is not the gay accuser. Mike is a male prostitute who was paid for his services.
    Had Mike wanted to he could have told Ted that if he did not pay him off that he would come forward with these allegations, this is what you would expect a prostitute to do, black mail him for the money, but that did not happen. Mike came forward out of his own sin and he recognized Ted’s hypocrisy . Not only was Ted having sex with a man , he was paying a prostitute, buying and doing illegal drugs that are well known for the anal stimulation they provide during gay sex, all the while leading a congregation and heading a huge national organization that doesn’t forgive and deal with gays meekly but out right condemns gay men.

    If then you believe that being gay is a sin and you persecute and do not forgive them with a spirit of meekness you risk being tempted to homosexuality yourself.

    Don’t believe it ? Read Galatians 6:1 in your own Bible and look at what Ted has done “You will know them by their works”

    Ted, who is clearly to be held to a higher standard did all of these things and lied about it and continues to lie about it. Mike the low life gay prostitute was honest and truth full and admitted every thing openly and said he was a sinner and that he did not use drugs or prostitute himself any more.

    If they both died right this minute which of these two men do you think Jesus will welcome into the Kingdom of Heaven?

    If Christ were there and crucified with the two of them, one on either side , I can assure you he would look at Mike and say to him “ today you will be with me in Paradise” ( no mention of judgement day). Ted would die and go not straight but “gaily forward” to hell, no stop at judgement day either.

    I hope you holier than thou Bible thumpers have learned something here. You damn well better change the way you treat sinners and stop condemning people or you damn sure will get tempted yourself by the same sin and go to hell! After all it is written “ he who lives by the sword dies by the sword” You point the finger at the gays , do not for give them with a meek spirit and condemn them therefore you will fall into the same sin and not be forgiven but condemned and judged even more so harshly. This being the case and judging by the rules you Bible thumpers play by and now knowing that Ted is a closeted gay man, he is married , has children, ran a mega church and was the head of a 30 million member Evangelical Association all of whom condemn gays he should be severly punished. He is a hypocrite of the worst kind and his church and Association should deal with him 1000 times more harshly than they have all the other gay persons they have not forgiven and persecuted. He should be stripped of all the privileges that being married affords him and have to suffer even worse consequences than the other gay men he condemned and have to suffer the lack of rights that he and his people take from gay men. His marriage should be annulled, he should be labeled an adulterer and a liar, his children should be labeled bastards and he should be stone to death! He should turn to the gay community, of which he has been a closeted member for at least 3 years, and submit to these punishments willingly and immediately. His wife should be denied any pension, or IRA or SS benefits, should be shunned and ostracized from society and not allowed to be remarried and never again be allowed to see her children.

    Bible thumpers quit telling the gays to turn from their ways, instead turn from your ways. Bring the gays to God just as they are and let him deal with them and forget about judging them or passing laws against them.

    Bible thumpers you belong to a cult, what you do and what you say is not directed by a Holy Spirit residing in you , you do and say your elders will not Gods will as the Holy Spirit directs you. The Holy Spirit knows you not and does not reside in you. If you are not directed by the Holy Spirit do not offer to share your faith or your beliefs with others unless specifically asked by them. Other wise you run the risk of becoming like Ted.

    http://www.christianissues.com/hogan.html

    Kevin

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 6, 2006 8:40:43 AM


  9. Uh, Kevin, you might want to re-read your diatribe. There's only one holier than thou Bible thumper here... and it's you.

    Posted by: chrisb | Nov 6, 2006 8:49:22 AM


  10. "....Meth is a drug used by gay men to enhance the stimulation they feel in their rectums when they are having anal sex. Ted bought and used meth to enhance the feeling he got when Mike Jones penetrated him anally..."

    Oh, for fucks sake...

    Posted by: Greg | Nov 6, 2006 8:57:28 AM


  11. Argh. I'm cheanging my username. Fucks sake.

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 6, 2006 9:04:12 AM


  12. Uh, changing.

    Posted by: Kevin | Nov 6, 2006 9:04:49 AM


  13. Kevin,

    I can appreciate your commentary and perspective. If I were not so totally turned against organized religeon; if I could hold a Chritian Jesus or God in my heart, your philosophical outlook would probably mirror my own.

    I pity Ted Haggard, but I also have no trust in the man to extent that; he needs to come completely clean, and not just beg forgivness with the hope of disappearing into the background or showing up on some Equus website as their new leader. His hypocrisy will haunt him for a long time.

    Rad

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 6, 2006 9:11:09 AM


  14. Yeah is there such a thing as a judgmental diatribe against judgment? If so Kevin just wrote it.

    Since there may be Evangelical Christians reading this blog, Let me speak as a Gay man raised as an Evangelical. One of the problems of Haggard's admission is that it paints a picture that all homosexual men engage in shameful behavior - using prostitutues, drugs, lying. In my own family, I have older cousins who are homosexual and who have struggled with substance abuse, died of AIDS and some have admitted to some sexual abuse as children.

    No wonder my Mom was upset when I confessed to being Gay, even though I have never been molested, I don't drink or do drugs and I am HIV negative.

    And today she still has a problem with it, in spite of my having a good career, a committed relationship going on 10 years, living a life of integrity, happiness and fulfillment AND my Christian faith remains strong.

    When an Evangelical is convinced that a certain lifestyle is evil, there is no reasoning with them. They see what they want to see. They don't see the gay men and women who have rich, happy fulfilling lives. They only notice the ones who are struggling with addiction and self loathing because that reinforces their dogmatic viewpoint.

    My challenge to all Evangelicals is this: What if you lived in a Communist country that told you your Faith in Jesus was a sham -- a threat to society. What if this atheist government refused to give you certain protections by law and civil rights afforded to non Christians. Would you turn away from Jesus or would you fight for your belief? Would an atheist be able to convince you that your faith was misplaced and that you believed in a myth even though in your heart you knew the Truth?

    That's how it feels to be a gay man who is happy to be gay but faces people (sometimes in his own family) who know very little about what it is to be gay, but feel they know enough to pass judgment.

    Posted by: mark m | Nov 6, 2006 9:17:17 AM


  15. What's been so amazing is that people haven't jumped too hard on him -- neither his own congregation and the gay rights movement. I think this is because this is a perfect example of what gay people have dealt with in our society forever. I think we all feel a bit sad for him because we know what it's like not being able to change something that we're born with, and we sympatize with his struggle, especuially being forever embedded in a cruel environment that condemns being gay.

    The problem, however, is how he calls it a "sexual problem", "immoral sexual behaviour", and "repulsive." He's got a long way to go, and with the environment he's in, he'll likely be sent along the wrong path and continue to struggle against it forever. Ironically, he is probably now the only person in the evangelical movement that has the power to shift the winds on the topic of homosexuality. Bloody unlikely, though.

    How this plays out dictates how hard this experience will be on him. Right now he's got a LOT of compassion from both sides which is taking precedence over his past drives of hate and his misinterpretation of Christianity. If Haggard continues to believe it's repulsive and wrong, THAT'S when we're all going to come down on him, because deep down...he knows. He knows.

    Posted by: MAL | Nov 6, 2006 9:22:33 AM


  16. Chris and Greg,

    I have listened to distant family members speak as Kevin did in his outline. It is how a person is wired into a community, society or belif system. They mean well, they are trying to say the right things based in those foundations. I wish more Fundamentalist Christians in power would embrace and teach Kevin's philosophical mind set. I think if more did, this country would certainly be a better place for everyone.

    Unfortunate that when I hear "Fundamentalist Christian", I think "American Terrorist"... promoting hate in the name of God. Bombing aborition clinics. Picketing funerals. Swaying politics and corporations by thrusting their ilk to high levels to force their... perverted mind set on the rest of society.

    Anyhow. Happy thoughts for the Monday before Elections...

    Rad

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 6, 2006 9:35:23 AM


  17. Rad,
    I'm confused. Are you defending that moron?

    Did you actually read his entire comment? I realize it was agonizingly long and self-important. But I just want to make sure you read the part that said Haggard should be stoned to death and his wife should be ostracized from society and never allowed to see her children.

    I have family members who are fundamentalist as well, and none of them believe stupid shit like that!

    Kevin is not the solution. He's part of the problem.

    Posted by: chrisb | Nov 6, 2006 9:48:48 AM


  18. The clip is interesting too, even though it deals with science vs. faith. Haggard did make a valid point concerning science: all too often scientists get caught up in an arrogant mindset -- a condescending one: That we have pretty much figured "it" all out.

    What is lost on Haggard, however, is that his ministry was built upon lies and ego. While Haggard may have genuinely believed he was without arrogance, he truly believed that he was "chosen" by God to WOW the flocks with his rock concert.

    That's Ego.

    The English narrator got many things right. Some Evangelicals want to live in a world that is Black and White. Where childish assumptions are truths.

    This is because the real world is too scary otherwise.

    Posted by: mark m | Nov 6, 2006 9:49:57 AM


  19. Mal, you think folks haven't jumped too hard on Haggard? The earlybird commenters on this site seem unusually nice and sedate this morning, but check out the rest of the internet and you'll find comment sections brimming with the cattiest (and side-splittingly funny) smack-downs directed at him, his church and his movement. Especially on AmericaBlog -- there's some mean bitches over there.

    Posted by: John T | Nov 6, 2006 9:53:33 AM


  20. Not defending, I've just heard the same stuff coming from my own family. They mean well, they like my partner, but still vote for W.

    Posted by: Rad | Nov 6, 2006 9:58:10 AM


  21. One would hope that the church would begin to realize the cost of human suffering and living lies. A woman in the church confessed that her life had been broken by affairs. She wanted support...not judgement. As human beings we need to spread a little care and be a little realistic; be more like the man that most Christians claim to worship.

    Posted by: Erica | Nov 6, 2006 10:02:59 AM


  22. Speaking of arrogance, kindly let me reprint my previous post from last night here:

    Here is part of Haggard's amazing "confession":

    "For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom," Haggard wrote. "Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach."

    So, he's a gay man trapped in a religion and marriage for which he was clearly never intended to join. It occurs to me now that we can argue that homosexuality is not a sin, per se, because a str8 man or women would never be tempted by such a "sin". They would never have any desire for gay relations, in contrast to Haggard, who has been "struggling" all his adult life. There is no commonality among all humans with this temptation, unlike greed or lust or sloth, etc. It's sort of like tempting the blind with pictoral pornography. For a preacher to stand up and yell at str8 men to not sleep with other men is almost bizarre since they would never do it anyway. It does however, give everyone the rush of moral rectitude. Str8 men everywhere can say to themselves, "See, I don't sleep with men! Aren't I so wonderful! I've managed to avoid this temptation all my life!" And I think clever preachers are aware of this problem, so the whole issue of demon possession comes up. Why, if you are not possessed, you have nothing to worry about, but watch out if you are!

    Now, the replacement preacher they've got, Ross Parsley, I will confess, does also come across as a bit gay too, so perhaps this story is not over.

    Finally, I think we need to press good ol' Jim McGreevey on this story and get his reaction. Does he have any advice for the Rev. Haggard? Does he think the Rev. should admit his orientation and "go over to the other side" as JMcG finally managed to do under somewhat similar circumstances?

    Posted by: anon | Nov 6, 2006 10:17:03 AM


  23. In response to Kevin's self-righteous message, The question of who would go to heaven or hell suggests that you don't believe in the divinity of God. For if you did, you'd understand him to be all forgiving. That's the big leason in life.

    Posted by: Brian | Nov 6, 2006 10:28:56 AM


  24. I went to the church website www.newlifechurch.org and read Pastor Ted's apology to the congregation. It was totally pathetic, sad, manipulative and poorly written. How does someone repair that kind of damage? The deceit is so rooted in his being, it would be hard to trust his kind.
    I feel sorry for the people who looked up to this man as an example of goodness and faith, they were purely duped. Pastor Ted should look at who he is, re-evaluate his situation, make peace with himself and his family and move on, instead of blame and change. I honestly think there will be some good come out of a terrible situation. God works in mysterious ways indeed!

    Posted by: Kenneth | Nov 6, 2006 10:48:25 AM


  25. The best line the video is how Haggard's "worship service" more akin to the Nuremburg Rally/Reichsparteitag. That says it all to me.

    We need to confront & fight these Christian Fascists (aka Christ-Nazis).

    [email protected]


    Posted by: rob adams | Nov 6, 2006 10:50:06 AM


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