Ted Haggard’s Secret Sex Life

… will be told in detail in Mike Jones’ new book I Had To Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard’s Fall.

Jones

(Did anyone else catch the double meaning in the subtitle?)

For the past few months (a very quick turnaround time), Jones has been working on this book which includes a section on his visit to New Life Church, what exactly happened when he met with Haggard all those times, and the anguish he went through when deciding whether or not to expose Haggard:

Jones said he took four months to decide whether to expose Haggard. A self-described loner, he said he consulted no one, only once telling a friend that an issue involving someone in the clergy was weighing heavily on him.

“It just isn’t my nature to go seek help,” he said.

He said he wrote a list of his options: Do I go to the church? Do I call his wife? Do I call police? Do I blackmail him?

“The last thing I wrote is ‘Do I say nothing?’

So where does Jones’ book tour take him? Denver. Los Angeles. Portland. San Francisco. Minneapolis. Atlanta… basically, everywhere except Colorado Springs, where Haggard’s old church is located.

Why is that? The Colorado Springs Gazette says this:

The major bookstore chains here — Borders and Barnes & Noble — declined to schedule signings, although each made offers to host Jones elsewhere in the nation.

Jones is not surprised.

“I believe it’s because of the church being down here,” he said. “The part I’m dumbfounded on is when I think of bookstores, they’re supposed to be impartial.

“Listen, that is where it happened. Don’t tell me there’s not community interest down there. Please.”

But that is the explanation given by one of the chains.

“Although the (Colorado Springs) stores will be selling the book, they did not feel that there was enough community interest to support holding a book signing,” said Carolyn Brown, director of corporate communications for Barnes & Noble.

I find that hard to believe…

A slightly better explanation was given by the Borders’ spokesperson:

A Borders spokeswoman said bringing Jones to Colorado Springs “would have opened up a wound just healing. This would have not created a comfortable environment for the author, our customers who live in this community or our staff who also live in the community.”

Then again, it might also help bring closure to a lot of people affected by this scandal.

Maybe it didn’t even have to happen. According to Jones, this book would not have been written had two things occurred:

“If Ted Haggard would have called me and said, ‘Mike, I am so sorry I put you in this very difficult position.’ And the second thing is if he would have apologized to the gay community and said, ‘I am a hypocrite, how dare I actually campaign against you guys when I can’t even abide by my own marriage vows.’ If he would have done those two things, I wouldn’t have written the book.”

The Gazette article also gives us some excerpts from the book. Some disturbing, damn-my-imagination-for-these-images-now-in-my-head, Haggard-esque excerpts. (Emphasis mine.)

“My eyes blinked with disbelief. There was Art on the screen again, less than twelve hours after I last saw him on television. It couldn’t be, I thought. I had to stop and think. This was Daystar, not NBC or another big network. This was religious programming, and apparently Art is an expert on something religious.”

“It was all too much for me to process in one sitting. . . . I thought of my last encounter with Art at my apartment, when he wanted to try out some new sex toys he had just purchased — and do meth. It also occurred to me that he knew my mother had just died and he had not offered to minister to me.”

“My heart started pounding faster. All this time, this man had been coming to me every month to get naked and explore his homosexuality, and now I found out that he was one of the most powerful evangelicals in the world and that he wanted to keep people like me — and people like ‘Art’ — from being treated fairly.”

While we’re thinking disturbing Ted Haggard sex thoughts, here are some excerpts from an interview Jones gave to the Gazette:

Q: Did you omit anything from the books — leave out any anecdotes — in consideration of Ted’s family?

A: Listen, I refuse to feel guilty about that. Ted Haggard is the one that called me to begin with. Some people have already kind of commented: ‘Why did you have to write the sex part? Why did you have to be so explicit — because of hurting his family.’ This is my analogy: It would be like me talking about World War II and not talking about the bombs and people dying. I’m sorry, I just can’t say we had sex and leave it at that. People needed to know what kind of sex we were having. It’s just part of the story.”

Q: What do you think Ted will think if he reads the book?

A: “If he reads the book, he’ll be angry. Because I’m explicit. I tell people what went on. When you come down to it, it was him and me in the room. So there was no witness. He can say I’m a liar and I can say he’s a liar, so it’s going to be ‘he said-he said.’ What do people think we did in three years?”

Did Jones just compare the Ted Haggard scandal to World War II?! He couldn’t think of a more apt metaphor? In the words of Sarah Vowell, this is a guy who can’t “tell the difference between a paper cut and a decapitation.”

(via ExChristian.net)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Mike Jones, I Had To Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard’s Fall, New Life Church, Ted Haggard, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Gazette, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Carolyn Brown, Daystar, NBC, sex toys, homosexuality, gay, World War II, Sarah Vowell[/tags]

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    MMMMMMM…..Hot Wet Gay Christian Meth Toy Prostitute Minister Sex Porn!

    Yes, Hemant, I just totally boosted your Google rankings. You can thank me later.

  • http://blog.dmcleish.id.au Shishberg

    Did Jones just compare the Ted Haggard scandal to World War II?! He couldn’t think of a more apt metaphor? In the words of Sarah Vowell, this is a guy who can’t “tell the difference between a paper cut and a decapitation.”

    Meh. It’s just an analogy. The only thing he was comparing about them is that you can’t tell a story about either and leave out the material facts. I don’t see anything that suggests he was trying to compare them by scale.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    I hope the gay porn is in pink letters so I can just scan past it when I read.

    Because straight guys don’t want to accidentally be turned on by gay sex.

    Unless it’s lady gay sex.

    Hemant, I’m totally messing with your site! I’ll stop now.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    Meh. It’s just an analogy. The only thing he was comparing about them is that you can’t tell a story about either and leave out the material facts. I don’t see anything that suggests he was trying to compare them by scale.

    Yes, I get he was trying to make that point… but if you’re hungry and want something to eat, you don’t compare yourself to a starving Somalian child. I thought a good metaphor was supposed to be similar (in all ways) to whatever you’re comparing it to!

  • http://blog.dmcleish.id.au Shishberg

    Yes, I get he was trying to make that point… but if you’re hungry and want something to eat, you don’t compare yourself to a starving Somalian child. I thought a good metaphor was supposed to be similar (in all ways) to whatever you’re comparing it to!

    Disclaimer: none of this really matters. I’m just in a slightly argumentative mood. :)

    My understanding is that an analogy/simile (not, strictly speaking, a metaphor) needs to be close to the thing you’re comparing to only in regard to the aspect on which you’re making the comparison. The two things have to be different in some way, that’s why it’s an analogy; the key is to make sure they’re only different in ways that aren’t relevant to the point you’re trying to make.

    If his point had been that Haggardgate was as significant as WWII, or had caused as much suffering, or deserved as much attention, then he’d be overstating it (ever so slightly). But the only point of comparison he was making was that you can’t tell the story of either without talking about the actual events, which to my mind is valid. (The analogy, that is. I’m undecided on the point itself.)

    *breathes*

    Okay, rant over.

  • Richard Wade

    Did anyone else catch the double meaning in the subtitle?

    Do you mean the word “Art” as in Haggard’s pseudonim, or perhaps another way to say “fall”…….?

    I feel so guilty for finding this whole thing so funny. Excuse me while I roll around on the floor some more, having convulsive guilt feelings…

    Whew. I’m okay now.

    “I believe it’s because of the church being down here,” he said. “The part I’m dumbfounded on is when I think of bookstores, they’re supposed to be impartial.”

    Duh, Jones. That’s libraries that are supposed to be impartial. Bookstores are about making money. You know, like the money you’re taking to the bank? They just don’t want picket signs outside the stores or boycotts cutting into the profits from the other books they sell.

    As far as I’m concerned, Haggard has this and worse coming. He sold hate along with salvation, and got rich doing it.

  • Richard Wade

    No, I’m not gay. Jones is so handsome it’s disgusting. No, I’m not gay. Why can’t a straight guy like me look that good? No, I’m not gay. I wonder if this will launch him a career in the movies. No, I’m not gay. Donna Rice had a brief modeling (ahem) and movie (ahem) career after bringing “down” Jim Bakker. No, I’m not gay. Jessica Hahn briefly sold a line of jeans after bringing “down” Gary Hart. No, I’m not gay. Monica Lewinsky got a book deal, a host for a reality show and a position as spokeswoman for Jenny Craig after bringing “down” Bill Clinton. No, I’m not gay. Things seem to be getting better for paramours who bring “down” the high and mighty. No, I’m not gay. I wonder if after Jones’ book Haggard will still be insisting that he’s not gay. No, I’m not gay. He’ll probably write his own book titled, “No, I’m not gay.” No, I’m not gay. It’s so frikkin’ idiotic that guys have to constantly make sure that nobody thinks they’re gay. No, I’m not gay. Eventually every male professor giving a lecture, every male television announcer making an announcement and every male politician making a speech will be saying in every other sentence, “No, I’m not gay.” No I’m not gay.

  • http://unorthodoxatheism.blogspot.com Reed Braden

    I have to agree with Siamang… the pink letter version (a la red-letter Jesus Bibles) would kick some serious ass.

  • http://unorthodoxatheism.blogspot.com Reed Braden

    And I wonder if Richard is gay…

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    This is a book I so don’t need to read.

    I’m a gay man and I think he’s creepy.

  • Richard Wade

    Reed,

    And I wonder if Richard is gay…

    LOL! I’m glad somebody got it. There were two gay couples in my family, one male and one female who lived together in wonderful life-long relationships. They were as important and as loved a part of the family as anyone else. So I was fortunate to not have been given the hate training that sadly most Americans get. Now when I encounter a gay-hating bigot it’s all I can do to keep from pounding them into the ground because it’s like an assault on members of my family.

    That’s why Haggard’s predicament pulls me between laughter and tears. His sexuality is inborn; it’s part of him. He doesn’t deserve to suffer for that. There’s nothing wrong with it other than having to live in this bigoted society. His bigotry is partly trained into him from childhood, so that’s not entirely his fault either, but then there’s his nurturing of it, his building it into a vehicle for his power and influence. That part is as despicable as it would be in any straight anti-gay bigot. The hypocrisy issue added into the mix by his sexuality just makes the whole thing tragi-comic in excruciatingly perfect balance.

    I agree with olvlzl that there’s something creepy about Jones. His originally denouncing Haggard may have been motivated by a genuine sense of doing the right thing, but I have a hard time believing that this book is about anything other than money. I hope he doesn’t try to pretend it’s for anything else. I’d rather see him honestly profiteering than listen to him being a hypocrite about another hypocrite. If somebody has more insight about his motive for the book let me know.

    Reed, your blog is very interesting and funny, by the way.

  • Darryl

    Hemant, you still missed the point about the comparison. Shishberg had it right about what Jones was trying to say, and how he said it. Jones is no writer or speaker, so what do we expect? He engaged in hyperbole–like most people do when they’re trying to think on their feet and buttress their arguments.

    More power to Jones and anyone else helping to ferret out the hypocrites. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    I’m sorry, I just can’t say we had sex and leave it at that. People needed to know what kind of sex we were having. It’s just part of the story.”

    Might have been more honest if he had just said “I’ll sell more books if I leave the sex in.”

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Or if he said, “If I left out the sex, it’d be twelve pages long.”

  • Richard Wade

    LOL!

  • Jen

    I am excited about this book, and I have to agree with Shishberg about the WWII comment- I doubt Jones thinks its the same on scale or importance, but means that he thinks that its important to discuss details.

    And yes, I agree he is leaving in the sex to make money, but at the same time, I also think its important because… well, I am a terrible person, and I want Haggard’s downfall to be as awful for him as possible, if I am going to be honest. When I think of creepy Ted Haggard- especially the deleted scene from Jesus Camp- I want him to suffer like the hypocrite he is. I think about all the people in his mega church who struggled with their sexuality, and recieved cruel, hypocritical messages from Haggard every Sunday, I want to scream. Its not easy in this world for anyone whose sexuality is anything besides “Straight, Missionary Position Only” and I think it is awful that this man used his Bible to make people feel like shit when was the same way. I think back to the Savage Love column- http://www.avclub.com/content/node/55285- and I make a joyful noise.

    Come to Chicago, Mike Jones! I will ask you to sign my book!

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    But does the metaphor bode well for Mike Jones’ literary abilities?

    Ted Haggard walked into my apartment like a Jew walking into Aushwitz. I said to him, “You look sad, like my grandmother the day she found out that Poland had been invaded and her entire family killed.”

    He said he was there for a massage, but I knew that this would be the beginning of the greatest and most destructive love affair since Hitler met Eva Braun. I asked him his name, and he replied with all the honesty of Benito Mussolini: “Art.”

  • Richard Wade

    Heeheeheeheehee. It’s probably good that he’s explicit about the sex. Otherwise we might be treated to “Like raising the flag at Iwo Jima,” or “Like the Berlin Express going into a Bavarian tunnel.”

  • http://www.agnosticatheism.wordpress.com HeIsSailing

    You gotta love the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, which brings the believer more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. There is power in the Blood!

  • http://www.magersandquinn.com/index.php?main_page=event#event_209 david e

    For anyone in Minneapolis/St Paul, I’d like to remind you that Mike Jones will be at Magers & Quinn Booksellers (3038 Hennepin Ave S) at 7:30 on June 21. Visit our website or call the store (612/822-4611) for more information.


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