Evangelist Prez Steps Down Because ... Gay? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Evangelist Prez Steps Down Because ... Gay?

Oh. My. Word. When I was editor of the Colorado Springs Independent, this right-wing preacher was one of the most outspoken in the city's Religious Industrial Complex (with Focus on the Family at the center) against homosexuality—and preached right-wing politics from the pulpit. Now, this gay prostitute says Haggard has been paying himf or sex. What other October surprise is in store for the "family values" posers!?! Associated Press is reporting:

A leading evangelist and outspoken opponent of gay marriage has given up his post as president of the National Association of Evangelicals while a church panel investigates allegations he paid a man for sex. The Rev. Ted Haggard resigned as head of the 30 million-member association Thursday and also gave up leadership of his New Life Church pending the investigation into allegations he had monthly trysts with a gay prostitute over the past three years.

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. [...]

Jones, who said he is gay, said he was also upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.
"It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," he said.
Jones claimed Haggard paid him to have sex nearly every month over three years. He said he advertised himself as an escort on the Internet and was contacted by a man who called himself Art, who snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.
Jones said he later saw the man on television identified as Haggard and that the two last had sex in August.
He said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash. He declined to make the voice mails available to the AP, but KUSA-TV reported what it said were excerpts late Thursday that referred to methamphetamine.

(AP) The Rev. Ted Haggard, speaks at the World Prayer Center on the New Life campus in Colorado Springs,...
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"Hi Mike, this is Art," one call began, according to the station. "Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply."

All I can say is: Wow.

Previous Comments

ID
108245
Comment

It's funny. I can't get the two words "casting" and "stones" out of my head. Curious.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T11:28:31-06:00
ID
108246
Comment

Well, he could always go to the Methodists according the the commercials on TV. Because churches need national commercials on TV! God intended on being in your iPod! He should just fess-up and move on....

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-11-03T11:32:35-06:00
ID
108247
Comment

How do you move on from this? Call it the wrath of the gay prostitute. I just love it that the Jones was fine with Haggard when he assumed he was a married guy on the DL, but when he discovered that Haggard was a mega-evangelist who fulminated against homosexuality and gay marriage, that was too much. Conscience demanded that he act.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-11-03T11:49:49-06:00
ID
108248
Comment

Should take Trent Lott's advice for John Kerry.. "apologize and go home". In my life time, will I ever see the day when "gay" isn't a scandal, but norm? blah He's married.. thank him for busting wide open his own clan's "protect the sanctity of marriage" rebuttal.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2006-11-03T11:50:26-06:00
ID
108249
Comment

I say good for Jones, well intentioned or not. Our own worst enemies are our own family. They deserve whatever they get.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2006-11-03T11:51:54-06:00
ID
108250
Comment

What is it with these wankers and freaky relationships with prostitutes, teenagers, etc.? Can't they ever just have consensual adultery like everybody else? I mean, not even a normal lover on the down-low--a prostitute who didn't even know his real name? My word, man, if you're going to bet your marriage, reputation, and career on getting blown, then please at least get blown by somebody you love. *shaking head* Barry White SO didn't write a song about this. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-11-03T11:55:25-06:00
ID
108251
Comment

Jody, I think prostitution and adultery are the scandal as far as I'm concerned, though with the NAE "gay" probably is in fact the primary scandal. But if he were single, and banging his boyfriend, I think we'd all be backing him up and wishing he didn't resign. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-11-03T11:56:51-06:00
ID
108252
Comment

OK... Tom was really funny with his Barry White post! Good one Tom!

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-11-03T12:04:02-06:00
ID
108253
Comment

Right about Barry White not writing a song about this... Pansy Division wrote that song. ;]

Author
Jo-D
Date
2006-11-03T13:08:23-06:00
ID
108254
Comment

I was thinking more along the lines of... "Meee and... Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones, Mr. Jones.. We got a thaaang going oooon..." I love it when the most outspoken protesters turn out to be the biggest hypocrites. Haggard had it coming.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-11-03T13:09:41-06:00
ID
108255
Comment

Re hypocrisy: You almost get the sense that the Great Authority has gotten real sick of all the hypocrites in our midst, eh? Truth is raining down. It's about frackin' time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T13:11:13-06:00
ID
108256
Comment

Oh, and I'm also tickled that a gay prostitute was outraged that the preacher is helping lead the anti-gay-marriage movement. There's something delicious about that fact. There's got to be a Happy Hooker movie in this somewhere—starring Richard Gere, perhaps?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T13:13:02-06:00
ID
108257
Comment

Absolutely, Donna. The truth is coming out: no matter how much they try to hide their "sinful" ways. And Richard Gere? Nah. Antonio Banderas. :)

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-11-03T13:20:29-06:00
ID
108258
Comment

I was thinking Gere could play Haggard. A fitting follow-up to Pretty Woman and all that. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T13:27:12-06:00
ID
108259
Comment

I kinda figured that: Antonio Banderas as Jones. Now that would be a movie worth seeing!

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2006-11-03T13:38:30-06:00
ID
108260
Comment

I realize it's a big story that a prominent leader in the evangelical community, who routinely denounces homosexuality is found to have been engaging in the very behavior he denounces, but I'm still saddened as a Christian to see how my faith is being bastardized by these hypocrites who are using the Word to advance unholy political agendas, all while hiding behind the cloak of self righteousness to cover the hypocrisy in their own lives. This is why I've never placed trust in *man* as the key my salvation, because humans always fall short.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-11-03T13:40:09-06:00
ID
108261
Comment

Including maybe the very humans than have written and/or transcribed the Bible over the history of its existence ?

Author
Jo-D
Date
2006-11-03T13:45:57-06:00
ID
108262
Comment

'm still saddened as a Christian to see how my faith is being bastardized by these hypocrites who are using the Word to advance unholy political agendas, all while hiding behind the cloak of self righteousness to cover the hypocrisy in their own lives. Amen, brother. Fortunately, I think much of the country is catching on. It could well be that next week's election is, more than anything, a Referendum on Hypocrisy.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T13:45:59-06:00
ID
108263
Comment

I have to say Amen too, Ejeff. Sometimes I'm so saddened by what's happening that I don't even want to hear what many of the preachers have to say. Too many have sold their souls and soles to the devil. I know y'all think I'm crazy but sometime a mere look at these people speaks volumes about them. I know you can't judge a book by its cover but the cover is often a first look of what's contained therein.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-11-03T13:54:47-06:00
ID
108264
Comment

Haggard spoke out more on the issue today.. he said yes, he bought meth and went for a massage but he never had sex with Jones.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2006-11-03T16:03:13-06:00
ID
108265
Comment

He said he never used the meth too. Bought it but never used it. Yeah, I believe that. Why can't these people come up with originals lies? As much as they reportedly hated Clinton, why when in trouble they resort to copying him. After all, that style of lying did Clinton a lot of good. Clinton lives on.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-11-03T16:08:40-06:00
ID
108266
Comment

This situation with fallen preachers is a topsy turvy thing. It's funny and sad to me at the same time. Often they're conflicted and can't even remember their own preachings, teachings, or the texts of the bible. It's hard out here trying to be a christian. Maybe the good revern did buy the drugs but didn't use them. Maybe he even paid for sex and didn't get it. Maybe he just wanted to look at or see some sex organs. Didn't Jimmy Swaggart pay a woman just to watch her walk around naked or nekkid (in my neighborhood). Perhaps they think if you just see it and dont get it somehow that's not a sin or is a smaller sin. However, I believe the good book says if you think it in your mind you've sinned already. This is why I tried to walk around blind at the Essence Festival one year. I conjecture that committing the act itself is a further sin though. But one of my old bosses said be that the case, having already paid for the sex and having to possibly pay again later by burning in hell, what's the incentive for not getting the sex. I don't know the answer to this question. Yet I suspect most men don't have this particular dilemma.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-11-03T17:08:44-06:00
ID
108267
Comment

Here's Nuclia Waste's take: http://www.nucliawaste.com/freedatingservice.html Gotta love him.

Author
emilyb
Date
2006-11-03T17:22:21-06:00
ID
108268
Comment

Most people have no idea the level of temptation that ministers and other religious leaders are subjected to. My uncle is pastor of a church in Detroit, and he has told my Mom stories of how many women tried to get with him in his younger days while he was newly married. Many of them church going women themselves. There are a couple of local churches that I won't name that have rumors swirling around the bedroom activities of their church leaders as well. I don't know what the attraction is for ministers, but even my good friend who is married to a minister told me once that her husband received a call from a young single lady at 2 in the morning begging him to come minister to her. She had been having problems with the loss of her parents, and had been diagnosed with an illness and wanted my friend's husband to counsel her. My friend allowed her husband to visit with the young lady of course, since that is part of his job. When the pastor arrived, the young lady (who I can attest is very attractive) was overjoyed to see him, but was just as equally surprised to see my friend accompanying her husband to perform a "joint-counsel" on the woman. My friend said she went with her husband "not because she didn't trust her husband to be alone with the young woman, but because she didn't trust the young b$#%h to be alone with her husband."

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-11-03T17:24:37-06:00
ID
108269
Comment

Emily is wrong for that! smile. Michael Eric Dyson tells a similar story. I think some women want to sleep with allegedly powerful men. This is the reason some men want to be powerful. As a youg boy I wanted to be a good vocalist for that reason. I hear if you can sing well enough they'll come right off on their own without you having to stop singing. I know of personal cases where some women have tried to get married preachers and lawyers to do some after hours counseling and lawyering. The right ones can often command these types of special services. I even know of one lawyer who was so eager to do some overtime work that he forgot to lock all the doors and put a desk behind each one. Consequently, the wife walked in and gave him some high heel shoe counseling and a separation. Where is all the forgiveness gone? By the way, it wasn't me.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-11-03T17:39:20-06:00
ID
108270
Comment

Ray and Jo-D are right. Here's the update. Honorable little Ted bought the drugs and didn't do them, and hired the prostitute but only got a massage. That is, he didn't inhate, and it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is. He has just entered the Wanker Hall of Fall. Evangelist Ted Haggard admitted Friday that he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute who claims he was paid for drug-fueled trysts by the outspoken gay marriage opponent. Haggard resigned Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and stepped down as leader of his Colorado megachurch while the two groups investigate the allegations. Talking to reporters outside his house Friday, Haggard denied the sex allegations but said that he did buy meth from the man because he was curious. "I bought it for myself but never used it," he said. "I was tempted, but I never used it." Haggard, a married father of five, said he never had sex with Mike Jones, a 49-year-old male prostitute who sparked the scandal when he told a radio station he had had a three-year sexual relationship with the minister. He said he did get a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T17:42:13-06:00
ID
108271
Comment

BTW, get all the poop on Wingnut-Gate over at Colorado Confidential. My old friend (and reporter when I was at the Indy) Cara DeGette was instrumental in getting this story out there, I've just learned. And check out these quotes about Haggard's anti-gayness as quoted at CC: Pastor Ted on a gay pride parade: "I don't understand it. It would be like having a murderer's pride day." - New Republic July 8, 1996 "He [Haggard] staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church." - Harper's May, 2005. "During services at the New Life church, which has 3,300 members and is not affiliated with a denomination, Pastor Ted Haggard warns against the evils of homosexuality and adultery. His followers respond with exuberant clapping and shouts of 'Amen!' and 'That's right!'" - New York Times Feb. 14, 1993 Pastor Ted "was a leader in the fight for Amendment 2." - New York Times May 28, 1996 "People know that a homosexual couple or people of different ethnic backgrounds can go to an evangelical church and receive ministry and help." -Kansas City Star December 2, 2004 More interesting comments on the flip side ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T17:45:13-06:00
ID
108272
Comment

And what a massage it was! I bet all muscles were relieved.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-11-03T17:47:02-06:00
ID
108273
Comment

"I experimented with homosexuality in my youth, but I didn't ej-" Alllrighty, then! Extra points for chutzpah if he expects people to actually believe that. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-11-03T17:50:51-06:00
ID
108274
Comment

How long before the Republicons accuse the Demorats and their willing accomplices in the mainstream media of trying to pull another October/Nov. surprise 5 days out of an election?

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2006-11-03T18:02:32-06:00
ID
108275
Comment

In this case, I think the dude leaked the information with a specific eye for knocking the gay marriage referendums down a notch--and God bless him for it. I completely endorse the timing of this. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-11-03T18:12:10-06:00
ID
108276
Comment

So he bought meth, and then he just stared at it. Damn, I'm tempted to smoke that meth, he thought. Fortunately, he found the unprecedent strength to have meth but not actually smoke or snort any of it. Similarly, he sought out a gay prostitute from a no-doubt reputable hotel in Denver, but he turned out to be the only man who believed in the prostitute's cover, that it was all about massage. When things turned frisky, I'm sure he stammered, Wait, stop! Don't put your mouth there. I'm not one of you people. I'm not going to hell! I think he would be much better off admitting that he did meth and had sex with Jones, but he didn't actually enjoy any of it. Of all the desperate attempts to "clarify" a wrong I've read over the years, Haggard's has to be the most half-assed.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-11-03T18:33:40-06:00
ID
108277
Comment

Will this glaring hypocrisy affect the elections? Associated Press: With the Mark Foley scandal still troubling Republicans, one of the nation's top evangelical leaders is now accused of paying for gay sex. Heading into Tuesday's election, when voters in eight states will decide on gay marriage bans, liberals and some conservatives are saying the party that prides itself on family values has a hypocrisy problem. Ted Haggard, a staunch foe of gay marriage and occasional participant in White House conference calls, resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and head of his Colorado church following allegations he met monthly with a gay prostitute for three years. Haggard denies having sex with the man, but admits receiving a massage and buying methamphetamine. Five weeks ago, Foley - a vocal advocate for exploited children - resigned from Congress because of sexually tinged messages to male pages. Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Pa., a married father of three, has been burdened by revelations about his five-year affair with a mistress who says he physically abused her. "The attention focused on these cases will inescapably lead people to think about these people's hypocrisy," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "They make a career out of defaming gay people and preaching family values, when it's clear that it's just a veneer." Stephen Bennett, a conservative activist who describes himself as a former homosexual, also suggested the Haggard case would have political consequences. "Will this affect the elections next Tuesday? ... You better believe it," he said in a statement from the Huntington, Conn., base of Stephen Bennett Ministries. "The more and more hypocrisy I see each day, the more I realize next Tuesday we are going to get exactly what we deserve."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-03T21:53:50-06:00
ID
108278
Comment

The whole thing is just sad. I'm worried about this dude's congregation who looked to him for spiritual guidance. Some of these poor folks may hate God forever because of this, and God's not the one who bought the meth, etc. I hope the members can recover from this.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-11-03T23:25:44-06:00
ID
108279
Comment

Having attended one of these churches in high school, I know that fundamentalist Christianity can be a very deep closet with a heavy lock. Which is why repressed, self-loathing gay men are attracted to it. That and the Sandi Patty albums.

Author
Brent Cox
Date
2006-11-04T00:06:04-06:00
ID
108280
Comment

While it would be sad if this turns out to be true (not the part of possibly being gay, but doing so under wraps), it's not necessarily shocking anymore. Maybe Ted has denied the idea that he could be gay so much that he chose to fight it by living a "normal" Christian lifestyle and lash out against the very lifestyle he may be a part of through his ministry. While I said that this episode isn't necessarily shocking anymore, the shock value to it is that you have a man who has displayed himself as a upstanding, moral leader to his congregation and to millions of others who tune in to his messages. It's often easy to think of them as being invincible to sin and temptation. But as the many high-profile ministers who've been caught up in scandal have taught us, they're no less different than you and I and could be subjected like the rest of to go straight to Hell (if there really is one).

Author
golden eagle
Date
2006-11-04T01:02:20-06:00
ID
108281
Comment

It's often easy to think of them as being invincible to sin and temptation. But as the many high-profile ministers who've been caught up in scandal have taught us, they're no less different than you and I and could be subjected like the rest of to go straight to Hell (if there really is one). This is why I don't see how anyone would want to be a minister when it is not his or her calling. The stress, the scrutiny...yikes. People who are against you are just waiting for you to slip up so they can tell the world about it. If God ever told me, "I want you to preach," I think I'd say, "Umm, are you sure? Can we discuss this further?" We're talking about people's souls here. That's not anything to play with, and when you mess around with other people's lives, the victims could care less how human you are.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-11-04T23:53:05-06:00
ID
108282
Comment

Y'know, this might sound churlish, but I thought Haggard was a much bigger sinner before I found out about the $200/hour massages and the meth. C.S. Lewis once famously said that he'd rather be a prostitute than a self-righteous old prig on judgment day, and by that standard, Hot Lips Haggard might finally be getting back on the straight and narrow after all. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-11-05T03:39:22-06:00
ID
108283
Comment

And what a massage it was! I bet all muscles were relieved. I'll bet it was better than the sex in the men's room at a "Promise Keepers Convention"........

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-11-05T09:42:00-06:00
ID
108284
Comment

Hots Lips Haggard confesses, of a fashion: Less than 24 hours after he was fired from the pulpit of the evangelical megachurch he founded, the Rev. Ted Haggard confessed to his followers Sunday that he was guilty of sexual immorality. In a letter that was read to the congregation of the New Life Church by another clergyman, Haggard apologized for his acts and requested forgiveness. "I am so sorry for the circumstances that have caused shame and embarrassment for all of you," he said, adding that he had confused the situation by giving inconsistent remarks to reporters denying the scandal. "The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life," he said. Haggard resigned last week as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, where he held sway in Washington and condemned homosexuality, after a man claimed to have had drug-fueled homosexual trysts with him. Haggard also placed himself on administrative leave from the New Life Church, which has 14,000 members, but its independent Overseer Board fired him on Saturday. In his letter, Haggard said "the accusations made against me are not all true but enough of them are that I was appropriately removed from his church leadership position." He did not give details on which accusations were true. Guess he figured out that his paramour's evidence was solid, eh?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-05T15:57:23-06:00
ID
108285
Comment

Here's a photo of Hot Lips with Bush, his partner in the crusade again all things gay. Also, read up on the White House's feeble attempts to distance themselves from the leader of the Evangelical Free World. Karma exists, folks. Believe it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-05T16:01:21-06:00
ID
108286
Comment

Love the pic... Nothing like good ol' boys! Seriously, I hope this crap manages to get the apathetic (but informed) voters to the polls. There's absolutely no reason we should let these chums bully our political system any longer. Hypocrisy like this should spark people to action! Geuss we'll see Tuesday if it has. By the way, did he say if the massage had a "happy ending"? ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-11-05T16:06:38-06:00
ID
108287
Comment

It might also keep some frustrated evangelicals home.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-11-05T16:11:20-06:00
ID
108288
Comment

You know, the Bush administration had its own prostitution scandal not long ago. Makes me wonder if there might have been some rolodex exchanges going on there... "Oh, no, goodness, you should try this one--ask for Steve, and be sure to tell him I sent you so you'll get the discount!" And agreed with both of y'all. I think Tuesday will be the most important midterm election since 1994. And remember: A disproportionate number of the Senate seats up for grabs this year are Democratic. In 2008, there will be 21 Republican seats up for reelection--about two-thirds--and a greater proportion of those Republicans are blue-state and purple-state candidate--so if Democrats take a Senate majority this year, they stand an excellent chance of keeping it until at least 2010. And even if Republicans somehow manage to keep control of both houses of Congress, it'll still be a happy year for me if they boot Rick Santorum. After Jesse Helms retired, ol' Ricky Boy became my least favorite senator. I look forward to the day when he has completely faded from national politics, and "santorum" becomes nothing more than an obscure sexual term. Yeah, if Santorum loses and the abortion ban fails in South Dakota, that will be enough for me to call Tuesday a success. But I predict much more than that will happen. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-11-05T16:58:52-06:00
ID
108289
Comment

Check this out, Haggard is going to be saved from homosexuality! O RLY? I have to give credit to the FARK headline for this story: Ted Haggard to undergo "spiritual restoration", a process in which "godly men who are clean themselves insert themselves in the life of the one who is struggling... laying their hands on Pastor Haggard while calling on God" RRRiigghhtt.... Now, from the story: There will be prayer, and perhaps the laying on of hands. There will be counseling and a confession. And there will be advice, confrontation and rebuke from "godly men" appointed to oversee the spiritual "restoration" of the Rev. Ted Haggard. After tumbling from the pinnacle of the American evangelical movement amid allegations he snorted meth and cavorted with a male prostitute, Haggard has agreed to a rehabilitation process that could last three to five years. Three to five years! Man that is some funny sh!t there! Lordy! OK, now for the part that will piss you off: "I see success approximately 50 percent of the time," said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian ministry in Colorado Springs. "Guys just wear out and they can no longer subject themselves to the process." Those who fail "end up selling cars or shoes or something, and being miserable and angry the rest of their lives," London said. Emphasis mine. Is this not just a load a malarkey? Why do people want to bastardize religion like this?

Author
pikersam
Date
2006-11-09T20:32:41-06:00

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