Ted Haggard

President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)… head Pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs… One of the most influential Evangelicals in the country according to Time magazine… the guy who supposedly has a weekly telephone conversation with President Bush.

And now, Ted Haggard is accused of having a three-year affair with a gay male escort.

Never thought I’d be writing those words…

Let’s not jump to conclusions about this. As of now, the accuser hasn’t produced any evidence (which he says he will do). And even Ted Haggard deserves a fair hearing on this.

It was surprising to see Haggard’s reaction to this, though. He stepped aside from his positions of power, from his own church as well as the NAE.

When I was writing the book, I went to Ted Haggard’s church. That Sunday morning, he spent a lot of time sermonizing about how when he or his church or his family gets “attacked,” he feels like he must act on the defensive. He said he’d do whatever it takes to defend his name. Without going into more specifics right now, it seems like he’s doing the opposite by stepping aside amid these allegations.

So let’s wait to hear the full story and hear the evidence before thinking of the ramifications.

But I’ll be damned if this story is true…


[tags]Ted Haggard, New Life Church, gay, National Association of Evangelicals, Time magazine, Colorado Springs, [/tags]

  • Logos

    But I’ll be damned if this story is true…

    and just what do you mean by that?

  • Andy
  • http://www.friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Logos– I just mean it would be shocking to see someone who is so adamant against certain lifestyles (homosexuality, drugs) partake in those same things. It wouldn’t be the first time it has happened, but shocking nonetheless.

    – Hemant

  • Logos

    True , true. It make me wonder about some of the other comments posted here of late.

  • txatheist

    It make me wonder about some of the other comments posted here of late.

    Such as?

  • Logos

    Well, not you. Thats for sure

  • txatheist

    Logos,
    You are making a statement that I wish to either clear up or discuss. What comments in general come to mind and are in question?

  • Logos

    Well, you know the people who object to homosexuality are sometimes found to “KNOW” (in the biblical sense ) alot about it.

  • Karen

    Well, you know the people who object to homosexuality are sometimes found to “KNOW” (in the biblical sense ) alot about it.

    LOL. Man, what is up with that? I’d like to make a modest proposal. Let’s declare one massive “coming out” day for all the closeted conservative Christian Republicans. Just let them all stand up, on one day, and get it over with!

    It sure would be a lot easier for everyone, no?

  • Siamang

    Sadly I think this phenomenon will continue.

    Republicans and conservatives in general, if they are in insular communities, are still back in 1990 when it comes to gay rights, acceptance and out-ness.

    While half of the country is saying “what, no big deal, a dude’s gay. Get over it.” The rest of the country is 15 years behind. They’re still in the era when you could somehow remain in denial that Liberace was gay!

  • http://www.friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    If this turns out to be true, I am curious what would be the bigger scandal in the Evangelical community:

    That Ted Haggard had an affair with a man?

    or

    That Ted Haggard had an affair?

    – Hemant

  • Logos

    Hemant, need you even ask!

  • Siamang

    Hemant,

    There is no scandal. According to evangelicals, Satan targetted Haggard and took him out.

  • JustHis

    So far left liberals are perfect? Seems to me that the left has no problem calling out the right, but when the right calls out the left….OH MY GOODNESS, the world has ended and again blame the right anyway.

    “There is no scandal. According to evangelicals, Satan targetted Haggard and took him out.”

    Not so! Haggard had a choice, just like all of us do. Satan didn’t bend his arm backwards and force him to do anything, that is if he actually did do anything besides receive a massage and buy meth. For those things even, he chose to do it when faced with tempting choices. Each person has a weakness and are capable of making choices that aren’t good for them. THOSE evangelicals that claim it was Satan’s fault are fooling themselves.

  • txatheist

    So far left liberals are perfect?

    Yes, all liberals are perfect. Kerry didn’t make a faux paux last week when he insulted the troops. It was only the right that was unable to correctly understand his message. I’ve yet to meet a liberal that states Clinton was absolutely doing the right thing by fooling around with Monica Lewinsky. The difference is Clinton didn’t give weekly Sunday morning speeches condemning infidelity unlike Haggard condemning homosexuals. Do you understand the difference where the left generally says adults can do what they want if they aren’t intentionally hurting someone and the right condemns things like recreational drug use, premarital sex and homosexuality though it has no effect on your life. (Yes, if someone came into your house drunk and had sex in front of your family that would be completely different.)

  • JustHis

    Really?! ALL liberals are perfect. So, it’s ok when the liberals in this world have affairs, molest their children, look at kiddie porn, abuse their wives, lie, cheat, steal? If they were perfect, they wouldn’t do these things. They just don’t stir the pot as far as to the incorrectness of the acts, so they aren’t publicly harrassed when they participate. I’m not condoning anything Haggard did, or didn’t do. I’m talking about the left in general, doesn’t have to be a homosexuality issue. It has to be an ANYTHING issue. (not yelling, just emphasizing). Is infidelity wrong regardless of who you are? Yes, why? Because it hurts someone, the person you are supposed to be committed to.

    So, from now on, instead of apologizing, we should say “I’m sorry you interpreted it wrong.” How is it an interpretaton issue when he said “if you work hard and educate yourself you’ll do fine, if not, you’ll end up in Iraq.” How else should one interpret this other than, “you are stupid if you are in Iraq.” So, if I told you that you were uneducated because you were an atheist (which I’m not saying, I’m just using an analogy) then you would take that as “you are dumb because you are an atheist,” right? So, then instead of saying I’m sorry I said something that hurt you, I should say “I’m sorry you don’t know how to interpret, which again indicates you are stupid.”

    What I’m saying whether you are left or right is ALL of us are human. All of us are perfectly capable of making mistakes but the left doesn’t want the finger in their face when they do something wrong. If you take a leftie who is a child molester and a rightie that is a child molestor, you will always get more criticism facing the right side. Only because they verbalize what is right and wrong? So, then what you are saying is the left are cowards because they aren’t willing to stand up for right and wrong even if it isn’t by a religious standard? Rape is wrong regardless, infidelity is wrong regardless, cheating and lying are wrong regardless of religious orientation.

  • txatheist

    I was kidding about liberals being perfect. However, I wasn’t kidding about liberals saying it’s ok to be gay. When I hear Barry Lynn as representative for the separation of church and state or Ellen Johnson of American atheists say homosexuals are immoral and then find out they are gay then I’ll wonder about them but they aren’t judging people like that as Haggard did. No one is saying infidelity is right. The left didn’t celebrate when Clinton got caught. I was kidding about Kerry. I don’t know what he meant to say so I won’t speak for him. However, on that point on being atheist and stupid and in the military…I joined and served because I wasn’t ready for college. I wouldn’t say dumb but I really don’t think I had the committment to go to college and pass. I did after I served because I didn’t want to be enlisted for 20+ years.

    I agree we are all human and make mistakes. But I don’t think Haggard made a mistake this week, I think he made the mistake prior to that by telling us that two consenting adults are immoral for being gay. If I do something wrong I hope I do have the cogniscience to realize my error and if I don’t my wife will be happy to remind me of the error of my ways :) I am going to have to disagree with you. Clinton was bashed and still is for having sex with a legal adult. Foley and the entire Catholic church is hardly having a finger wagged in their face. I don’t know of any lefties that approve of NAMBLA other than members of NAMBLA. I’m clearly verbalizing that I don’t agree with adults and children getting together sexually. The left are more cowardice when it comes to NAMBLA but they definitely more silent when it comes to interfering with the lives of other adults like gays. Rape is wrong, I don’t know anyone on the left that thinks it’s ok. Infidelity is wrong to you. If two adults are swingers and they agree to it that’s their business not mine and not yours. Cheating is wrong. There are so many grey areas that I don’t know where to begin. If I tell a cop I thought I was doing 55 when I was really doing 56 is that really lying and cheating and worthy of a big deal? It may be wrong but just marginally and happens everyday without consequence. Lying is wrong? If a large woman or man(to be fair) asked me if they looked fat in an outfit and they were overweight I have to decide to lie and I will. It’s more wrong for me to try and presume they don’t have a genetic disorder than to judge them. If they are fat I’m sure they know it and don’t need me to degrade them. I could very well consider it a lie to say God is real and I do but you probably don’t right? Is is a lie to say god isn’t real? Depends on who you ask.

  • JustHis

    txatheist, thanks for serving your country. Truly. You know it takes more mentally even if you weren’t ready for college. I think the military helps many mature and gives many the opportunity for college that may normally never find the money for. I’m grateful to everyone who has chosen to serve their country.

    We could go into great details about right and wrong, but it would probably be useless since you and I may not agree on each issue simply because of our religious/non-religious beliefs. I agree with you that it’s wrong regardless of who you are to stand and point a finger about immorality when you are participating in immorality behind closed doors. Leaders, whether Christian or not, whether conservative or not, have to be willing to take the immorality out of their own life if they are going to tell others not to participate in such things. It is sad and there is no excuse for it. I couldn’t tell you that you shouldn’t steal the candy bar from the convenience store, and all the while be stocked up on stolen candy bars at home. Sexual conduct is a huge issue especially for a lot of men. Whether it be infidelity in any way, pornography, or crimes against children. You may think some is not “immoral,” but when we look at what it does to people that is the determining factor regardless of whether or not you believe in God. Swinging takes the true intentions out of a marriage, allowing it to be casual and less meaningful. Infidelity leads to painful divorce and children torn between two parents and often later two families. Pornography gives people a false sense of reality when they think they are looking at it innocently, they don’t realize that the images play in their minds over and over and when they are with someone they love, their idea of the way things should be because of what they’ve seen, affects their loved one. The thing with children is never right in any way shape or form, I don’t care who or what the situation. Sexual relationships outside the parameters of a committed relationship, are damaging whether the people involved realize it at the time or not. They will eventually. I’ve met several people that found out how painful it is after they were done having their fun. Only, it has left some mentally incapable of dealing with reality and never able to find the true escape from the pain.

    My thoughts, sorry for rambling.

  • txatheist

    Sexual conduct is a huge issue especially for a lot of men. Whether it be infidelity in any way, pornography, or crimes against children. You may think some is not “immoral,” but when we look at what it does to people that is the determining factor regardless of whether or not you believe in God. Swinging takes the true intentions out of a marriage, allowing it to be casual and less meaningful. Infidelity leads to painful divorce and children torn between two parents and often later two families. Pornography gives people a false sense of reality when they think they are looking at it innocently, they don’t realize that the images play in their minds over and over and when they are with someone they love, their idea of the way things should be because of what they’ve seen, affects their loved one. The thing with children is never right in any way shape or form, I don’t care who or what the situation. Sexual relationships outside the parameters of a committed relationship, are damaging whether the people involved realize it at the time or not. They will eventually. I’ve met several people that found out how painful it is after they were done having their fun. Only, it has left some mentally incapable of dealing with reality and never able to find the true escape from the pain.

    The crime against child is immoral, the rest are not even if you don’t agree. They are not of sufficient intellect to make sound judgements yet. The idea of marriage is not for you to decide. The bible is clear on polygymy and multiple concubines, it condones it completely. I’m not disagreeing that a stable home with 2 parents(gay or straight) is usually the best environment but there is some positive ideas with “it takes a village” to raise kids. Parents, teachers, extended family and neighbors all mold kids. It’s not up to you to decide how 2 people decide to honor their vows to each other. It’s not less meaninful to them if they agree to orgies and nude clubs, that’s their maritial agreement. Infidelity leads to painful divorce if the problem can’t be rectified. Bill and Hillary are still together, never got divorced. Chelsea is just fine and got a six figure job at some consulting firm. Pornography does not give a false sense of reality. My wife and I are completely happy with our sex life and if memory serves me right we are having sex just like they did in pornos. Nothing wild, just fun. You do know sex runs through a guys mind about 1 time per minute, it’s part of our evolutionary being. It’s natural to think about sex, not something to be condemned. If two people are having sex and they agree to a casual relationship without commitment that’s their choice. If one of them has a kid and the kid sees this then yes it’s not a positive situation but it’s also not positive to have the adult friend come over and get drunk in front of the kid. It’s part of being a role model and being responsible. Any act that isn’t responsible isn’t setting a good example. I had relationships before my wife and I’m grateful to learn from them. Some girls were committed Christians having sex before marriage and I’m glad I didn’t end up with them. I learned from them that I didn’t want a devoted Christian wife. You’ve also met someone who is not hurt and in pain from prior relationships but more more grateful to knowing what he didn’t want in a spouse. I’m sure some of my ex-girlfriends do reflect on what they had and hopefully were able to grow and learn from the experience of having a great guy that wasn’t a Christian. If you continue to put people in negative situations for not adhering to your standards I will eventually get to the Christians who get married and do damage to their children for instilling strict xianity on the kids. That’s damaging as I see it.

  • HappyNat

    JustHis,

    I changed a couple words in your response to reflect how I feel.

    Christianity gives people a false sense of reality when they think they are looking at it innocently, they don’t realize that the images play in their minds over and over and when they are with someone they love, their idea of the way things should be because of what they’ve seen, affects their loved one. The thing (Christianity) with children is never right in any way shape or form, I don’t care who or what the situation. Depening on God is damaging whether the people involved realize it at the time or not. They will eventually. I’ve met several people that found out how painful it is after they were done having their church service. Only, it has left some mentally incapable of dealing with reality and never able to find the true escape from the pain.

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