Ted Haggard’s back in the news. This time, it’s been revealed that his megachurch New Life knew full well of Haggard’s homosexual proclivities, and that, in addition to the gay drug-dealing male prostitute situation, they paid a 20-year-old church volunteer a bunch of hush money to keep him from telling anyone about his own assignations with Haggard. Of course, the church wants you to think it wasn’t hush money.
“This was compassionate assistance. It was to help him move forward, not a settlement to keep him quiet,” said [Brady] Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Uh huh. Just some “compassionate assistance” to a young guy who happened to be in a position to embarrass the church publicly with news about some pillow biting with the pastor. Unless Boyd is implying that all of the church’s young members get “compassionate assistance” to pay their college tuition, moving expenses, and, uh, counseling, as a matter of course, and that this guy was no different than any other church member in that regard.
But wait, no, that can’t be the case, can it? Because the article also reveals that this “compassionate assistance” came as the result of a settlement between the church and the young man’s attorney.
So we have a pastor abusing his position of power for sexual favors, a church lying about the incident as well as their reasons for settling with the young man in question…gosh, it all just seems so wrong…somehow!
But wait, I forgot. I’m an atheist, and so I don’t have any valid “objective standards” for determining right or wrong. So I guess all this is okay, then. I guess it’ll just be easier if I remember the mantra: if Christians do it, it’s moral. Hey, that rationale worked for Nixon: “If the president does it, it’s not illegal.” Right? Right. And let’s not forget the second mantra either: Do as we preach, not as we do. Life is suddenly so much easier, isn’t it?