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« Skeptics' Circle #46 The RantsGo Vote* »

Sweet, Sweet Schadenfreude
2006.11.03 (Fri) 23:42

It's been a busy week, but before it slipped away from us, we wanted to point out a developing story that we're sure you've read about. In fact, not only have you likely read about it this week, you've likely read stories just like it many times in the last year or two. Allow us to set the stage — stop us if you've heard this one: a fundie asshat, whose public stance is frothingly anti-homosexual, has just been outed as being gay. This time, it's pastor Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and "spiritual leader" of the New Life Church in Colorado. According to an AP article:

The leader of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, resigned Thursday after being accused of paying for sex with a man in monthly trysts over the past three years.

The Rev. Ted Haggard, a married father of five who has been called one of the most influential evangelical Christians in the nation, denied the allegations. His accuser refused to share voice mails that he said backed up his claim.


[Mike Jones, 49], whose allegations were first aired on KHOW-AM radio in Denver, claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

Of course, the flock isn't buying the accusations of a dirty sinner like Jones:

"One would hope and pray that this matter would be resolved expeditiously and quickly and he can be restored back to being the pastor of the church and the leader of the NAE," said Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative Washington think tank.

New Life Church member Brooks DeMio, 44, said he thinks Jones is a liar and can't believe Haggard would engage in sex with a man.

"He loves the Lord, homosexuality is a sin and that's not Ted," DeMio said. "His desire is to serve other people and uphold the word of God. ... I don't know him well enough to give a complete character description, but I know him enough to know it's not true."


"It's political, right before the elections," said Brian Boals, a New Life member for 17 years.

Political? Elections? But we thought churches weren't supposed to be involved in...oh, skip it.

Church member E.J. Cox, 25, called the claims "ridiculous."

"People are always saying stuff about Pastor Ted," she said. "You just sort of blow it off. He's just like anyone else in the public eye."

He's innocent, we tell you! Innocent! Oh, wait:

Haggard, a married father of five, denied the allegations, but the acting pastor of his church later said that Haggard had acknowledged some of the accusations were true.

"I just know that there has been some admission of indiscretion, not admission to all of the material that has been discussed, but there is an admission of some guilt," Ross Parsley told KKTV-TV of Colorado Springs.

Parlsey did not elaborate, but in an e-mail addressed to congregants, he wrote that the church's four-member board of overseers had since met with Haggard.

"It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true. He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation," the e-mail stated. A copy was obtained by KMGH-TV in Denver.

Yeah, we admit it...when hypocritcal asshats — like Haggard — who have made a career out of pushing intolerance and bigotry are then outed as belonging to the same group of "sinners" that they have taught their flocks to hate, we find much humor in their misery. Sure, we're assholes, but think about it — we aren't judging Haggard's supposed indiscretions. As far as we're concerned, prostitution and recreational drug use shouldn't even be illegal (to say nothing of the ridiculous stigma of homosexuality). What's making milk come out of our noses is this asshat's harsh anti-gay agenda...despite the fact that he himself is apparently gay. Yes, it's tragic, but it's also damned funny to watch him get his ass caught in a bear trap he himself set.

And to those of you who don't find that funny, we understand your point of view. So, in the interests of equal enjoyment, how about this little nugget of humor:

Carolyn Haggard, spokeswoman for the New Life Church and the pastor's niece, said a four-member church panel will investigate the allegations. The board has the authority to discipline Haggard, including removing him from ministry work.

"This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we're prepared," Carolyn Haggard said.

[Our emphasis]

Yep, Carolyn — it sure is.

— • —
[  Filed under: % Civil Liberties  % Religion  ]

Comments (6)

ed, 2006.11.04 (Sat) 03:34 [Link] »

The latest: Pastor Ted admits buying Crystal Meth for his own use, but says he changed his mind afterwards, and never used it. Either time he bought it. Of course.

And he got a massage from the manwhore (and who doesn't from time to time) but apparently no happy ending.

So, to put it in Clinton-speak, 'I got rubbed, but I did not get tugged. I bought the meth, but I did not tweak.'

Oh, man, first Cocktober and now Blowvember. Best elections ever.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.11.04 (Sat) 14:17 [Link] »

A massage, eh? Yeah, that's what all the people caught banging escorts say. Usually they're shocked (shocked!) to discover that their masseuse also offers "alternative" services.

And now he's saying that the same Denver hotel that referred him to Jones to buy meth also referred him to Jones for hot man-on-man action? So how did that visit to the concierge work?

— • —

INT. Hotel Lobby. Day.

Good evening, sir. How may I help you?

Pastor Ted:
Hi, the name's "Art." I'm just in town for a day and I need some local recommendations.

Of course. I can recommend any number of restaurants in the area.

Pastor Ted:
Actually, what I'm in the market for is some crystal meth. Any idea who I can buy from?

Well, sir, Mike Jones is by far the best meth dealer in the area. He's cute, too. I can give you his number.

[Concierge scribbles down number and hands it to Pastor Ted.]

Pastor Ted:
Thanks. Thanks. Um, also...


Pastor Ted:
Any recommendations for male escorts in the area?

Actually, it's funny you should ask, sir....

— • —

We can get Steven Soderbergh to direct, Seann William Scott as Pastor Ted, and Rush Limbaugh as the lovable town drunk turned drug-savvy concierge. Any backers?

Akusai, 2006.11.04 (Sat) 21:34 [Link] »

See, me, I like to call it "Haggardfreude". There's some "Hovindfreude" there as well.

Agent X, 2006.11.04 (Sat) 21:51 [Link] »

Hot of the press in Australia is this - Colorado Springs' New Life Church just announced that it has fired Pastor Ted Haggard for his "sexually immoral conduct."
Apparently he is blaming his wife for this. As Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle's Mars Hills mega-church wannabe writes:-
"Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this. It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either."
Or as the inimitable sex columnist Dan Savage so aptly put it:-
"I'm sure Ted Haggard is saying something along these lines to his wife right now: 'Oh, honey... I wouldn't have been having those meth-fueled ass-banging sessions with that gay hooker if you hadn't have let yourself go like that!' "

Jason Spicer, 2006.11.05 (Sun) 01:42 [Link] »

If it isn't the best election ever, it's right up there. I would find the spectacular meltdown of the hypocritical right-wing clown contingent much more hilarious if it weren't so predictable. The weird thing is that anybody ever bought their crap in the first place.

Though perhaps even weirder is the way people like Foley, Haggard, Bush, et al, brandish their hypocrisy so openly. (OK, not so openly in Haggard's case, but if you're on TV campaigning against gays, it's not the brainiest move to entrust your big bad secret to one of those whom you are campaigning publicly against.) There appears to be a powerful tendency in people to simply disbelieve their own eyes and ears if the hypocrisy is profound enough.

Bush and Co are transparently plutocratic and autocratic, but of course the President couldn't possibly be unAmerican. How Foley got away with it for so many years is incredible. LOTS of people knew about it. I'm starting to wonder if that silly conspiracy movie Capricorn One wasn't on to something...

Fan-man, 2006.11.05 (Sun) 10:42 [Link] »

I'm surprised it took this long to come out. This man, who goes to such extremes to crusade against something so insignificant to his own life has to be hiding something. He's the adult version of the second grade boy teasing the girl he's smitten with because admission of his true feelings is embarrassing.

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