Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-04-16
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

CHM declares 'One Love' with wedding expo CHM declares 'One Love' with wedding expo
On the evening of April 10, visitors to the Chicago History Museum's ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Hypocrisy Humbles Haggard
by Bob Roehr
2006-11-08

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


He wants you: Clips from interviews with fallen Pastor Ted Haggard were all over YouTube.com last week.

___________

Pastor Ted Haggard—the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the founder of a Colorado Springs mega-church and confidant of the Bush White House—has fallen from grace in a gay sex scandal.

Early in November in a series of interviews with the Denver media, Michael Forest Jones alleged that Haggard had hired him for sexual services on a regular basis for more than three years. He said that Haggard also used methamphetamine during many of their later encounters.

Jones, 49, is a powerfully built bodybuilder who has advertised his massage services 'with the pleasure of the man in mind' in the local gay newspaper and online. He said Haggard first contacted him for sex in 2003, identifying himself as 'Art,' a businessman from Kansas who frequently traveled to Denver.

Only earlier this year, when he saw 'Art' interviewed on television, did Jones come to realize that his client was Haggard. The preacher has taken a prominent role in pushing Colorado's constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and he can be seen in the current documentary Jesus Camp.

Jones saved phone messages that 'Art' left on his answering machine in August as well as envelopes that 'Art' had mailed containing cash. Forensics experts have said the voice on that machine likely is Haggard.

Jones began to approach the media about two months ago. The story went public when he was interviewed on talk radio Nov. 1.

'Art' is no two-bit preacher. Pastor Ted Haggard, 50, is a married father of five. He founded the New Life Church in his basement in 1985 and grew it to 14,000 members, the largest church in Colorado. He became head of the 30-million-member evangelical association about the same time he started using Jones' services.

THE FALL

When the story broke, Haggard tried to cop a plea and cut his losses. The next day he resigned his position as president of the association and took a leave of absence from the church. He said he once bought meth and was tempted to use it, but quickly threw it away.

He also acknowledged hiring Jones, but only for massage services. 'I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver,' he said. He claimed they never had sex.

Perhaps, as Bill Clinton considered what Monica did to him not to be sex, Haggard did not consider what he did with Jones to be sex; but Jones did. Jones said they had sex, but at least on his side, there was no emotional involvement.

The New Life Church convened the independent Overseer Board, composed of outside clergymen, to review the situation. It needed little time to permanently remove Haggard from the church. The Board said in a statement, 'Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.'

In a letter read to the New Life Church congregation on Nov. 5, Haggard confessed, 'The fact is, I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. That's part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life.'

'The accusations made against me are not all true, but enough of them are that I was appropriately removed from my church leadership position.' Haggard apologized to them for having 'caused shame and embarrassment for all of you,' and confessed to having lied to reporters about the incidents.

'I didn't want to ruin his life or his family's life,' Jones said. 'I had to take a look at myself and how this affected my community, and I believe I did the right thing. You just can't have it both ways when you have so much influence ... . He should have been a better role model.'

THE MORAL

'What's interesting to me is that having adulterous gay sex is apparently, in Haggard's mind, a worse sin than buying crystal meth. He copped to the meth before the sex,' wrote gay pundit Andrew Sullivan on his blog. 'The drugs-worse-than-sex may be a story that works in the mainstream; but, among some Christians, drug abuse is nowhere near as bad as being gay.'

Wayne Besen has written extensively on the ex-gay movement. He says, 'Haggard is correct that there is a dark and repulsive part of his life, but it is not his homosexuality; it is his closet and the lies he used to maintain it. He built his empire on the backs of gay people and now he faces an awful comeuppance for his anti-gay sins.'

'Even after the downfall of James McGreevey, Mark Foley and now Ted Haggard, the right wing continues to promote the lie that homosexuality is just a temptation that can be changed. But if Haggard couldn't pray away the gay, who can? It is time Evangelical Christians exchange their anti-gay rhetoric for reality,' says Besen.

Amy Sullivan, one of four bloggers on Beliefnet, feels 'the story will reverberate further and longer than any of the scandals of the 1980s ( Swaggart, Bakker, etc. ) because it involves not just personal behavior, but an issue that conservative evangelicals have made extremely clear is one of their two top priorities.'

'And I wonder how or if this will affect the condemnation of homosexuality in general within conservative evangelical circles. After all, we know that people's attitudes change once they learn that someone they know is gay. A lot of evangelicals know ( or at least know of ) Haggard. If he indeed has been involved with a gay man, that could blow a lot of evangelical minds.'

Social conservatives initially tried to spin the allegations against Haggard as a politically motivated move just before the elections. Maybe the timing was, says Besen, 'but having played the sexual-orientation card as an election year ploy for decades, they are in no position to complain about this November ballot box boomerang.'

Will the Haggard scandal have any impact on the elections? Ted Trimpa is of two minds and nervous. He has difficulty believing it will translate into a vote against the amendment to ban gay marriage that is on the ballot in Colorado. 'Whether or not evangelical voters will be less likely to vote is yet to be seen.'

What worries the political consultant to the pro-gay Gill Action Fund, based in Denver, is that both the Foley and now the Haggard scandals 'have shifted the public conversation from equality and basic legal rights to gay sex ... . Whenever 'gay sex' is the story, or at least part of it, no amount of 'hypocrisy' can drown it out.'

Trimpa says Colorado Referendum I, which would establish civil unions, had been leading and building support. But those scandals 'have unaffiliated women wondering whether their husbands are pulling a Haggard on them.' That has 'jeopardized our lead and now we're in a dead heat at best' on the referendum. Turnout will be key to the outcome in this and other votes across the country.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

Prop 8 opponents set wedding date; trans teacher's return 2014-04-15
HRC backs Brad Schneider in IL 10th District 2014-04-15
Obama pushing voting rights at Texas event 2014-04-11
Conversion therapy bill falls in state House 2014-04-11
Transgender veteran cop to run for OK state house 2014-04-09
Political Science Panel considers LGBT public policy 2014-04-09
Tom Daley is gay, not bi; fun. joins LGBT-equality campaign 2014-04-09
Harvey Milk stamp; political writer compares gays, Star Trek 2014-04-09
Wis. has first trans elected official 2014-04-09
Remarks by the President on equal pay for equal work 2014-04-08
Band fun. UN Free & Equal Campaign Equality Champion 2014-04-08
Executive Orders on workplace leave out LGBTs 2014-04-07
MPSA forums address LGBT global, media issues 2014-04-07
Amnesty discussion focuses on LGBT rights 2014-04-07
UN Development Commission: Don't trade away LGBT rights 2014-04-03
ABA honors Quigley's work to enhance justice system 2014-04-02
Anti-gay church vandalized; Scouts remove gay leader 2014-04-02
World Vision reverses course on employment policies 2014-03-27
Dominican LGBTs back ambassador; Tokyo billboard 2014-03-26
Graham called "ambiguously gay"; controversial Mozilla CEO 2014-03-26
President Obama names director, Office of Nat'l AIDS Policy 2014-03-24
Ferrand sues law firm over botched election filing 2014-03-24
Rhode Island gay Speaker of the House resigns following raid 2014-03-23
VP Biden: LGBT rights integral part of U.S. foreign policy 2014-03-23
Republicans voting yes to marriage survive challenges 2014-03-20
Groups prepare for Advocacy Day 2014-03-19
Gov. Jerry Brown gets LGBT award; AVER co-founder dies 2014-03-19
Few surprises dot Illinois primary elections 2014-03-19
Stonewall drops Guinness beer over St. Patrick's sponsorship 2014-03-17
Equality IL PAC $150K candidate contribution 2014-03-13
Pro-marriage equality GOP rep. taking heat in bitter primary 2014-03-13
Groups say taxi outing threat no laughing matter 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Early voting through Saturday 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Windy City Times Guide to the Gays 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Gov. Pat Quinn: 'Nobody left out' 2014-03-12
Jimmy Carter coming to Andersonville on March 27 2014-03-12
Dalai Lama backs marriage; U.S. resident dead in Mexico 2014-03-12
Arizona lawmaker comes out; mag gets HIV/AIDS patient lists 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Printable Charts 2014-03-12
ELECTIONS 2014 Will Guzzardi: Campaigning for the long win 2014-03-11





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

Gay-owned B&B offers warmth in Rogers Park
 
'This Is What It Feels Like' to be Armin van Buuren
 
Pam Grier talks 'Dining Out For Life,' comic conventions
 
BENT NIGHTS Sharon Corr; Dum Dum Girls; Landmarks
 
Boy George on St. Patrick's Day, Easter Lady Bunny
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.