Ted Haggard Leaves De-Gayification Program

The last time we heard from “ex-gay” pastor Ted Haggard, he needed money.

He’s indirectly back in the news.

The man who took over Haggard’s role as senior pastor at New Life Church, Brady Boyd, sent out this press release to friends of the church (emphasis mine):

Brady Boyd
Senior Pastor
New Life Church
Colorado Springs, CO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ted Haggard’s leadership of New Life Church for many years was extraordinary and the depth of spiritual maturity that is found today in the church is in large part attributed to his leadership as the founding senior pastor.

In January 2007, Ted Haggard voluntarily agreed to enter a process of spiritual restoration. He has selected Phoenix First Assembly and Pastor Tommy Barnett as his local church fellowship and is maintaining an accountability relationship there. He has recently requested to end his official relationship with the New Life Church Restoration Team and this has been accepted by them.

New Life Church recognizes the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry. However, we wish him and his family only success in the future.

Because spiritual restoration is a necessarily confidential process, the church does not anticipate that it, or its Overseers or Restorers will make further comment about it.

To recap, Haggard hasn’t been “fully restored.”

In other words, he’s still kinda gay.

Shocking.

Joe. My. God. says this:

Could it be that Haggard has been unable to give up the menz? Should we be alarmed by the prospect of Haggard finally coming out, however unlikely? Would you welcome him to the family? It would certainly prove an interesting experiment to see the wingnut reaction, not to mention the spin gay activists might put on such an outcome.

Andrew Sullivan adds to that:

I hope Haggard will at some point reflect on all this, and perhaps emerge as a figure able to talk about sexual orientation with evangelicals and persuade some that it truly is an integral part of someone’s psyche and soul. The issue of homosexuality is tearing churches apart and alienating the next generation from the core message of the Gospels. I see no reason why Haggard could not turn his life around and help heal this wound. I’m probably being way too naive. But maybe it is his mission. God works in mysterious ways.

But more realistically, Haggard will keep trying to convince everyone he’s straight, that being gay is a sin which he succumbed to in the past, and that he has been “cured.”

How pathetic.

(via Pam’s House Blend)


[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, gay, homosexual[/tags]

  • http://flowerdust.net anne jackson

    um…maybe it’s just me, but i think he’s ending it because he has another place to go, another team of people to work with to help him through whatever it is he’s going through. when i moved to OKC, i broke off ties with my therapist in dallas and have intent to find one here.

  • Richard Wade

    Ted Haggard’s leadership of New Life Church for many years was extraordinary and the depth of spiritual maturity that is found today in the church is in large part attributed to his leadership as the founding senior pastor.

    What does “depth of spiritual maturity” mean?

    He has selected Phoenix First Assembly and Pastor Tommy Barnett as his local church fellowship and is maintaining an accountability relationship there.

    What is an “accountability relationship?”

    New Life Church recognizes the process of restoring Ted Haggard is incomplete and maintains its original stance that he should not return to vocational ministry. However, we wish him and his family only success in the future.

    Unspoken part: “… and if we never see or hear from him again, it will be too soon.”

    Where is Fred Phelps when we need him? Why isn’t he screaming into his bullhorn outside this hypocrite’s home rather than picking on the families of dead soldiers and actors?

  • Darryl

    Weird, Andrew Sullivan’s comments. He’s more of an anomaly that Ted Haggard.

  • Pingback: Jared Lee » Blog Archive » Friendly Atheist on Ted Haggard

  • Mriana

    Why is it they think homosexuality is a sin? Esp when there is a potential genetic component? Native Americans have believed for a long time that people were born that way and have never taken issue with it and now we find they might be right. Why is it they believe that someone can be deprogrammed of homosexuality? Why is it they are so against two people being happy together in a civil union, thereby potentially lowering the divorce rate? Why is they have to pass judgement themselves and impose shame and guilt on two people not harming anyone? They say, ” My friend, Hemant and the people he cites on his blog believe the church has a special hatred toward homosexuals because – well – we do. Jesus doesn’t, but we do.”? If they believe a fictional man doesn’t hate, why do they hate? If man was made in God’s image, and man hates, what does that say about their deity?

    Have they ever though humans wrote the Bible? Have they ever thought they are following archiac human ideas in the 21st century? Have they even questioned the story of Jesus’s death even? Have they ever noticed the plathura of contradictions and in accurate reporting of history in the Bible? Have they even researched and questioned it honestly for the sake of ethics and morality in age the of modern knowledge?

  • Jen

    Interestingly enough, I was just reading Bart Ehrman’s Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene this evening, and he specifically addressed why 1st century Jews would hate gay relationships. It had to do with a Gnostic quote about how Jesus said women would have to become men to enter the kindgom of Heaven. This was because Romans back then viewed women as a different species from men, and this other species of “woman” were incomplete men, basically, because their vaginas are inverted peni. Anyway, the idea is that a gay relationship inverts the natural order of things because one person in that relationship is going to have to be submissive when both men in the relationship should be dominating over their lady friends and young men. The scorn was always pointed at the submissive man, because the other guy was just doing what guys do.

    Fun book.

  • Mriana

    It had to do with a Gnostic quote about how Jesus said women would have to become men to enter the kindgom of Heaven.

    I’ve read the Gospel of Mary and remember that verse, but I don’t think it had anything to do with homosexuality. Then again, I didn’t live in the 1st century and words change meanings over the years. Also, and I realize different scholar date the books differently, but I thought it was a 2nd century book. Well regardless of the date and meaning words, what you said does make sense.

  • Tko

    To me this seems like an issue of power. Boyd just doesn’t want Ted back as Boyd so likes being in control of so many people. It’s never easy to give away power.

  • Maria

    But more realistically, Haggard will keep trying to convince everyone he’s straight, that being gay is a sin which he succumbed to in the past, and that he has been “cured.”

    How pathetic.

    very true

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    Anne,

    That’s great that you are giving him the benefit of the doubt. However, giving his track record I find it hard to believe he is not continuing to lie to himself and trying to run away from who he really is.

  • Jen

    Yes, Mriana, the quote was not about sexuality per se, and it was from the second century, but Erhman was explaining why that quote made sense in context, and part of that context is believing that two fully-grown men having sex inverts the natural order of things. Basically, women were looked down on for being less than men, and as a side note, men who acted the part of women in bed were also looked down on.

  • Karen

    What does “depth of spiritual maturity” mean?

    Ummm … that’s one of those Christian catchphrases whose meaning is rather hard to pin down. I would imagine that he’s touting the stability of the religious commitment of the majority of the congregation, and would probably point to how most/many people stayed with the church through their recent troubles (weren’t they recently the target of a gunman?) rather than leaving to go elsewhere or renouncing Christianity entirely.

    What is an “accountability relationship?”

    This is a relationship where you are supposed to be completely honest with the other person and give them the right to “hold you accountable” if you backslide on your issues – whether it’s not praying enough, drinking too much, or whatever. The person who has accountability over you can ask you how you’re doing and you’re supposed to tell them if you fall short and listen to their counsel about how you can improve. Many times, small groups of Christians give each other mutual accountability over their lives.

    I actually agree with Andrew Sullivan on this one; minus the “god works in mysterious ways” part, of course.

  • Mriana

    Jen said,

    February 7, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Yes, Mriana, the quote was not about sexuality per se, and it was from the second century, but Erhman was explaining why that quote made sense in context, and part of that context is believing that two fully-grown men having sex inverts the natural order of things. Basically, women were looked down on for being less than men, and as a side note, men who acted the part of women in bed were also looked down on.

    Oh ok. I get it now.

  • Robin

    I’ve known a few ex-ex-gays, and they all told me pretty much the same thing: it’s fine to be an ex-gay in the fundamentalist community and all, but when one starts getting too close to a member of the opposite sex, they slam the door in his (or her) face, because they fear backsliding into the gay lifestyle.

    So, ultimately, this whole “de-gayifying” this is so full of bullshit, even fundamentalists don’t buy it.

  • grazatt

    The majority of Christians like to wail and gnash their teeth about homosexuality. Even when they claim they don’t, and say they have no problems with gay people. If you scratch the surface you will usually get a response like Hemant’s friend Jared Lee gave in his blog.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com/ Siamang

    You know the old saying “which head is this guy thinking with, his big head or his little head?”

    Ted Haggard is one dude who’s little head knows who he is, and his big head is absolutely clueless. Can anything other than fundamentalism or drugs make you that dumb?

  • http://liberalfaith.blogspot.com/ Steve Caldwell

    Susie Bright (author who writes about sexuality) had a betting pool for when Ted Haggard would “de-convert” from heterosexuality:

    Ted Haggard Betting Pool

    The period for the betting pool was from 6 February 2007 to 6 February 2008 (the one year anniversary of his announced his “cure”). The betting pool was a fundraiser for a bi, gay, lesbian, and transgender youth called LYRIC (the “young, loud, and proud” San Francisco youth group dedicated building LGBTQQ community and inspiring social change).

    I don’t know if anyone won the pool or if the entire pot of money went to LYRIC (which would also be a good outcome for this story).

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    I knew a guy named Mike Williams who was, I think, the very first “de-gayed” Christian. He used to have his story on his website but took it down, but someone else has it here:

    http://www.christiankeys.ca/BeliefNotes8.html

    Mike is still a Christian but not still “straight.” His website is here:

    http://www.gospelrevolution.com/

    I find Haggard’s story to be quite sad.

  • grazatt

    I think it is pretty funny!

  • MadMax

    anne jackson said: i broke off ties with my therapist in dallas

    Umm, maybe that should be a signal, you are a serious “God-Chick” (and rather hot too btw) and need the help of a Therapist,

    I think there may be a hint in all of that.


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