Ted Haggard: Christian Conservative, Hypocrite [Update]

This last year, it’s become increasingly clear to just how much religion permeates the fabric of society. In my experience, for the worse. Ethical issues that require us to rise above our animal instincts of vendetta and fear have become religious and political questions of “moral values”. In the words of Karl Marx:

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

Well, more so in 2006 than ever before. Abortion, gay marriage, even education has become woven into questions of faith, when church and state should be separate.

Enter Ted Haggard, Christian conservative pastor and founder of the New Life Church of Colorado. The church takes the bible literally and interprets it to condemn homosexuality as a sin and preach young earth and creationism. Haggard is a strong supporter of George W. Bush and apparently wields quite the political power ((Time has named him one of the 25 most influential evangelicals)). In the news:

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 with it all of my adult life.

Source

One guess is that he is homosexual and was brought up being taught homosexuality was “repulsive and dark”. So what could’ve been a fine young man became a shell of himself, trying to suppress his nature, preaching his own self-hatred to others. One has to wonder how much damage could be undone, had he just embraced who he was, decades ago. Instead, things got ugly.

What are your thoughts on this? What will happen to the New Life Church? Will this affect tomorrows mid-term elections? If so, which way?

[Update]: James Dobson wants to “cure” Ted Haggard of being gay. Sigh, where to begin…

17 thoughts on “Ted Haggard: Christian Conservative, Hypocrite [Update]”

  1. Bramick says:

    I don’t have any personal knowledge of his specific stance on homosexuality. Maybe he was outspokenly against it or maybe he just followed what he had been taught growing up.

    There is not doubt that homosexuality will always be around. Sin or not it’s going to stay. The church has a duty to realize if they think it is bad then it’s not their job to judge. No one is so called “Perfect”. And if they think they can somehow change people then they are taking a bit of a naive approach.

    There has been a lot of sexual issues about churches coming out lately, molestation, homosexuality and etc. To some degree it’s probably always been there, but the information is now becoming more available because of modern communication.

    I’m sure Bush will have to distance himself of any involvement with Ted. The New Life Church will go on, but it will do so without Ted. It’s not the first scandal in a church and won’t be the last. In regards to this having any political impacts, I don’t think this will effect the polls at all. People in the US are more interested in what Democrats can do to change the current state of the Union. A move my Democrats to point fingers and try to associate Ted specifically with Republicans won’t have much of a benefit. Afterall, it was Ted who did this, not a Republican or Democrat. I don’t think people are going to say, “We’lll he’s a hypocrit so I’m going to vote the other side.” The people who have followed Ted still believe in his views, even if he can’t follow what he preaches. In all honesty, how many politicians can follow what they preach? That’s easier said then done.

  2. Bramick says:

    Quick question. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve notice over the years/months that a majority of your political/social issues posts involve the US. Maybe I’m just being overly sensative because I’m in the US. You haven’t commented much on issues involving Europe or your local country of Denmark, which I would expect since it is in your own backyard.

    Any specific reason why?

  3. paul haine says:

    Ted Haggard is a nasty piece of work, so I find all of this hilarious. Glad to see the back of him.

  4. Joen says:

    I don?t have any personal knowledge of his specific stance on homosexuality. Maybe he was outspokenly against it or maybe he just followed what he had been taught growing up.

    I’m referring to what I read on Wikipedia

    The people who have followed Ted still believe in his views, even if he can?t follow what he preaches. In all honesty, how many politicians can follow what they preach? That?s easier said then done.

    Good point.

    Quick question. Correct me if I?m wrong, I?ve notice over the years/months that a majority of your political/social issues posts involve the US. Maybe I?m just being overly sensative because I?m in the US. You haven?t commented much on issues involving Europe or your local country of Denmark, which I would expect since it is in your own backyard.

    Any specific reason why?

    Well, I’m glad you asked, because you are right, I’ve commented more on US politics than Danish / European. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.

    First and probably most importantly, I love a good discussion. Most of my audience, my stats tell me, are from the US. In my experience that means the best of discussions spawn from global issues we can all talk about. Considering the fact that US politics often have global impact, that pretty much spells it out for me.

    Secondly, for me to write about political issues, it has to be something i sincerely care about, or something that pisses me off enough that I will sit down and write about it. Such issues are human rights, capital punishment, extremist religion and other such sensitive issues. These stories just do not appear as often in the EU as they do elsewhere in the world, but when they do, I do write about them. For instance, when a Danish newspaper printed drawings of the Islamic prophet Muhammed, I wrote about it.

    Generally though, if things have to do with the Iraq war, I’m critical of both the US and Denmark although that’s not always clear, since Denmark is officially supporting the war.

  5. Bramick says:

    Wow, you can find info on any topic from Wikipedia. How long until Google buys it. πŸ™‚

  6. Shade51 says:

    These revelations about Haggard will make no difference to the rubes who have supported him all these years. Already you can hear them bleating, “Poor Ted, well, he’s just a sinner after all, just like the rest of us. He knows he’s sinned against the Lord in committing those dark and filthy acts, and he will get straight with Jesus, get straight in his sexuality, and God and the rest of us will forgive his transgressions.”

    These people…well, they are just sickening, and I’ll leave it at that.

  7. Joen you rock and I love your site!

    That’s all

    Keep up the good work!!!

  8. Joen says:

    Shade51,

    I think you’re right. The allegations might not make a huge difference for his gathering. I think it will make some difference, but I think the most of the New Life Church followers are willing to forgive quite a bit from their spiritual leader.

    Elden Louis Steele III,

    Joen you rock and I love your site!

    Thank you, I appreciate it πŸ™‚

    In other news I just stumbled upon this:

    Gallagher: Allegations raise political, timing questions

    Apparently some people do think the timing of this is politically related.

  9. Hypocricy was what immediately came to my mind too. I wonder when people will get that homophobia is just as bad as racism.

    Just the day before this all came out, I watched a video about Ted Haggart versus Richard Dawkins. Ted scared the hell out of me. He reminds me of Jim Carrey when he?s playing some repressed psycopath.

  10. Joen says:

    I saw that video of Haggard vs. Dawkins! Dawkins is my hero, and indeed Haggard scared me as well.

    The God Delusion and The Virus of Faith — a great Dawkins documentary in two parts.

  11. Julian Batchelor says:

    Jesus said “let him who has not sinned cast the first stone.” What Ted Haggard has done is wrong and he has admitted it. It our lives were scanned in minute detaill, and then put up on TV for all to see, I wonder if we would be so quick to throw stones at Haggard?

  12. Joen says:

    Jesus said ?let him who has not sinned cast the first stone.? What Ted Haggard has done is wrong and he has admitted it.

    What Haggard has done wrong is do drugs, cheat on his wife and called homosexuality a sin. If I’m throwing a stone at Haggard, it’s for those reasons only.

    But I do not believe mere criticism of a persons actions is to “throw stones”. Shakespeare said: “This above all: to thine own self be true”. When I encounter wrongs like homophobia I won’t be silenced. I sincerely believe that being homophobic is as bad as being racist, and I’m convinced in a number of years we’ll all accept that. Openly discussing Ted Haggards story from a “respect homosexuality” point of view, I hope, will only help the cause, not detract from it.

  13. When I encounter wrongs like homophobia I won?t be silenced. I sincerely believe that being homophobic is as bad as being racist, and I?m convinced in a number of years we?ll all accept that.

    My sentiments exactly.

  14. Dave Child says:

    This last year, it’s become increasingly clear to just how much religion permeates the fabric of society. In my experience, for the worse.

    Hear hear.

  15. mikhail says:

    why are christians so obsessed with other peoples sexuality..so obsessed with sex, gender and genitals…really, don’t they worry about real stuff , like poverty, famine, environmental degradation, war and pestilence, the rich gettting richer and the poor getting more destitute.

    Why do they get so obessed with homosexuals, claiming it is a threat to the family ..HOW? if your husband runs off with the hussy next door, how can it be the fault of gays/lesbians? How can gays/lesbians be responsible for 505 divorce rate ( incidentally highest divorce are in the bible belt ha ha ).

    If your son does drug and your daughter gets laid while on booze – how is that the fault of gays/lesbians. Christians historically sought out scape-goats..they used to blame Jews, then blacks, then gypsies , then women and now since it is no longer fashionable to blame jews or blacks etc, they have to pick on vulnerable minorities like gays and lesbians.

    Hitler did not kill 6 million jews in a vacuum. Centuries of marginalization and denigration and demonizing of jews as Jesus killer enable common german citizens to exercise false moral authority in killing jews. In like fashion centuries of demonizing and denigration of homosexuals embolden wicked and otherwise morally bankrupt ‘straight’ bigots to descrimiaate and do violence to gay and lesbian and other sexual minorities .

    Furthermore picking on a scape-goat makes christians feel superior and ‘saved’. Denigrating others is easier than exercising love,charity and compassion which is actually the most basic teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Sadly Christians hardly practise the most important commandemt of Jesus ie. Love God then immediately love your neighbour as yourself ( be he/she gay or staight).

    It is AMAZING HOW MANY PEOPLE CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS WHEN THEY IN FACT DO NOT PRACTISE THE MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT OF JESUS !!! THEY WOULD RATHER BE HYPOCRITES AND BE LIKE THE PHARASEES OF OLD DUUUH !

    mikhail – a child of the Universe

  16. lm says:

    To child of the universe,

    i wonder if you would dare to say something in the same Way about the other religions. And where you will be afterwards?

  17. mikhail says:

    Im asked if ” …i would dare say something in the same way about other religions…..”….the statement/question is somewhat of a non-sequitur! i’m not sure what IM is infering….of course other religions have their strength and weaknesses. At this time however we are discussing Rev. Ted Haggard and his ilk which concerns Christianity.

    Perhaps i should add that many revealed religions in particular christianity, Islam and Judaism seems to be overly obsessed with sex, gender and genitals….what with all that taboo about menstruating women, circumcision etc etc….. Islam carries it even to the extreme of relegating the female sex to 2nd class citizenship adhering to patriarchal values of women being a property of men .

    Literalists who adhere to barbaric ideas from ancient times certainly would have no qalms about burning females at the stake, executing sexual minorities, or cutting their daughter’s throat for marrying out of wedlock and stoning their wife to death for adultery. This kind of people would probably consider a heterosexual CEO of a tobacco company that engages in the sale of ‘poison’ to millions morally fit to become bishop of their church when compared to a homosexual philanthropist who is a vegetarian and an advocate of non violence LOL.

    Mikhail – child of the Cosmos

Comments are closed.