Big event in Colorado Springs!

Brian Flemming points out that Ted Haggard insists the biblical word on homosexuality is simple, and that the Bible says “They must be put to death.”

I’m not really into throwing rocks at people, but maybe I’d be willing to run the fried foods onna stick concession.

Slacktivist offers a rather more realistic prediction of what to expect.

All that language — forgiveness, deliverance, confession, repentance — really means here only that Haggard needs to go back to living a lie. If he agrees to live that lie, and with clenched teeth to continue proclaiming that others must join in living that lie, then Haggard will be “accepted” back “into fellowship.”

Well, heck. We won’t be able to sell tickets to that.


  1. says

    I’m not really into throwing rocks at people, but maybe I’d be willing to run the fried foods onna stick concession.

    . Hey, some people are drinking coke here!!

  2. MAJeff says

    Hey, some people are drinking coke here!!

    I’m jealous. My dentist cut me off on Tuesday.

  3. says

    Pastor Bob Enyart is right there in Teddy Boy’s neck of the woods and he’s always up for a good old-fashioned- really old fashioned- stoning. I, on the other hand, would like to stone Ted Haggard simply because he just looks like he needs a little blunt force trauma in his life. And PZ, pencil me in for one of those Belgian Waffles, will ya?

  4. Stogoe says

    I would like to ‘stone’ Ted Haggard because seriously, that guy needs to toke up and relax.

  5. oldhippie says

    Earlier, when he had just admitted “some indiscretions”, but he had not said what, I predicted: He would admit to buying meth, he would not admit to homosexuality, he would go into rehab, mumble about having to deal with the devil, come back saved thanks to god and be taken back by his flock.

    First part has happened. Though he is saying he never took the meth, which might enable him to bypass the rehab. There will be in any case considerable mea culpa at some point and then he is back in business. has a link to a good video of Dawkins and Haggard

  6. Stwriley says

    I’ve been following this story since it broke, and there is an aspect that has been seriously overlooked in all the hullabaloo about Haggard’s connection with possible gay sex and drugs; his connection to the core of the dominionist movement. Haggard is a scary individual, not your run-of-the-mill evangelical at all. He’s tied to the radical right-wing evangelical sub-set that promotes “Joel’s Army” spiritual warfare and a theocratic take-over of all world governments (this is a stated goal of the “Joel’s Army” movement and their dominionist associates.) The link above is to a story by an escapee from one of these dominionist churches, but Jeff Sharlett at Harper’s has also written about Haggard’s connection to this movement in his Soldiers of Christ article. Both accounts will scare the pants off anyone who doesn’t long for a radical Christian theocracy (and we’ll see if that includes LvLiberty or not, though I’m betting TK and Todd won’t be in favor of what Haggard really stands for.) The press need to publicize what this man is really about and why his hypocrisy is not so much that he has opposed gay rights but that he is tied to a movement that literally calls for anyone violating biblical law (as they interpret it) to be stoned to death. Prehaps he’s rethinking that position now…but I doubt it.

  7. Molly, NYC says

    Stwriley – That’s interesting. It’s reasonable to suppose that the senior minister at a megachurch would expect to become a Gauleiter or Pontiff or Homecoming King or some such under a theocracy.

    So from what you say, he’s not only blown his job and his marriage–he’s likely also blown his most meglomaniacal dreams.

  8. Lance says

    Oh, I’m going to heck for this one, but my sick mind insists…

    So from what you say, he’s not only blown his job and his marriage–he’s likely also blown his most meglomaniacal dreams.

    And those aren’t the only things that have been blown… ~grin~

  9. says

    Well, everyone, grab a beer and settle in for another upcoming public cryfest like the one Jimmy Swaggart had. “I have sinned!” Geez. If I blubbered like that, the little girls down the block would beat me up.

    I’m sure George W. Bush would forgive Haggard after his little cry. But I’m not sure that our Hugger-in-Chief would want to stand so close again. And he’s blown his, er, chance for a mint julep on Trent Lott’s new porch.

    (Lance, can you imagine Lott asking Haggard, “Boy, do you pray with that mouth?”)

  10. mndean says

    C’mon, Trent Lott would never refer to a white man as “boy”. Remember, he’s an admirer of the thankfully late Strom Thurmond.

  11. says

    Is this just more evidence that the forces gathering against civil rights for gay couples are stridently homophobic because they want to be protected from their own desire? Or is it just too anecdotal at this point?

    Whenever someone tells me that homosexuality is just a “Lifestyle choice” I ask them if that is what they would choose if there were no inhibitions against it. There response is usually a defensive “NO.” I think maybe they protest too much.

    The thing that will eventually bring down Dominionism is the Dominionists themselves, they are all crooks and liars.

  12. Tom Foss says

    …with clenched teeth to continue proclaiming that others must join in living that lie…

    Given that I’ve never seen Haggard without that painted-on smile, this shouldn’t be too difficult.

    There’s a less tasteful joke in there someplace, but I don’t have the heart to say it.

    Wasn’t Haggard on an episode of Penn & Teller’s show? I’ve been trying to figure out where I’ve seen him besides the Root of All Evil.

  13. anon says

    No he won’t be allowed back. Even if he says sorry. Even if he ONLY bought meth, and ONLY phoned Mike Jones.

    Because that is how much they HATE the taint of homosexuality. His wife will most likely divorce him and everyone will distance themselves— Falwell already has—- and he will be looking for another gig that pays well. Who knows what that is, but talk shows and all will probably start him back on the road again. And SOME stupid people somewhere will buy his schtick again…..

    As long as he doesn’t use this to “prove” those gay debriefing places….

  14. shyster says

    Yet another shill for christian family values crashes and burns. With people like Swaggart, Jim Baker, Haggard (and the list goes on and on) you have to wonder exactly what kind of family did those guys grow up in and what were those values?
    All I know is that we all have to have those special christian family values or we’re going to hell.
    I can’t deal with meth; it is seriously dangerous stuff. Will a little grass do instead?
    If I don’t want a male prostitute is a female stripper (and lap dances) an acceptable substitute to ensure my salvation? I know that a good lap dance will make me yell “Hallelujah!!!”

  15. says

    Is this just more evidence that the forces gathering against civil rights for gay couples are stridently homophobic because they want to be protected from their own desire? Or is it just too anecdotal at this point?
    Too anecdotal, I’d say.

    But on the other hand….

  16. says

    The first I heard of Haggard was day before y’day. I have very little sympathy for evangelical Christians. Nevertheless the truth is important.
    The LA Times had this about Haggard:

    “”Though Haggard has spoken out on abortion and same-sex marriage from time to time, he is less fiery on those topics than many of his colleagues are. He has pushed, instead, for a broader concept of biblical values: He wants evangelicals to be more involved in protecting the environment and helping the poor.

    Haggard has not joined other evangelicals in campaigning against a Colorado initiative to provide domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples. He also stood out among conservative preachers for publicly praising a 2003 Supreme Court decision that struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law.”,0,6888588.story?coll=la-home-headlines

    Thus either the LA Times is wrong or Brian Flemming is wrong. PZ Myers, your call!

  17. says

    Here is more:

    Here’s Haggard in the Colorado Springs Independent:

    “If the state wants to provide people who are in a different type of relationship the same benefits as marriage, that’s up to the community,” he says. “As a Christian, I would be hesitant to do anything that would deny people medical insurance or the ability to visit their partner in a hospital.”


    “We believe within the church that sexuality should be only between a married man and a woman,” Haggard says. “But there are many things that I teach in the church that I would never want integrated into civil law.”

    So, PZ Myers, which is to be be? Never turn down a chance to bash a Christian or respect the truth?

  18. says

    Here is another Haggard quote from the Huffington Post:

    “”It’s the responsibility of the legislature to decide what they want to do with anyone who wants legal recognition of the way they live, whether it’s old spinsters living together, monks in a monastery or gay and lesbian couples. We have a deliberative body elected to answer that question. But marriage is not that.”

  19. says

    ` I have heard that the bible does not forbid homosexuality at all: It forbids the readers of the bible from becoming ‘bottoms’. They should not lie with a man the way a WOMAN lies with a man.
    ` Yet they were apparently allowed to lie with MEN the way men lie with women to humiliate them – such was typical treatment of prisoners, slaves, etc. But if a lower-down should do it back to the high class (the class reading the bible), that was an abomination!

  20. Chaoswes says

    I live in Colorado and due to the recent bills and whatnot this has received quite a lot of press. It is true that he was not as outspoken as many of his fellow cretinists. However, it seems that even that raging asshole Dobson is avoiding the issue. He claims to be his friend and never knew about Haggard’s “problems”. Even his fellow YECs don’t believe his Meth and Massage defense. One of my fellow workers, a YEC pastor himself, feels that Haggard should seek Gawds advice for his “issues”. When I asked him for which issues, he said all of them. Colorado Springs, for those of you out of the state, is a cesspool of creationist idiots and the center for their propaganda.

  21. says

    is of interest too.

    Pastor Haggard goes further, claiming that it is his close study of the book of Galatians that has brought him to these conclusions:

    This book reflects the crisis that America is in right now. Right now it’s trying to decide what to do about the law, and how to use the law to encourage people to be more moral or whether the law should ever be used to encourage people to be more moral–or example, the Lawrence decision that outlawed anti-sodomy laws across the country.

    That was the discussion of Galatians, whether or not the law can be used to help people be better people. I don’t want to take a purely spiritual argument and try to impose it on civil law, but I do think Christians have to wrestle with it, because the easiest way for us to appease our own conscience is to pass a civil law. That is the argument of the Judaizers when they came from Jerusalem and said to the church at Galatia that they needed to have higher standards. The apostle Paul shot back, and he said, “No, these are Gentiles that have been saved; they don’t live according to the same standards as the Jews that have been saved.”

    So Ted Haggard joins PCA seminary professor, David Jones (see here and here), saying that laws that have been on the books of western nations for millenia have been all wrong. According to Haggard, sodomy is not something the state should outlaw because what “two consenting adults” do in the privacy of “a bedroom is not really the role of the state.”

  22. anon says

    “We all have to move forward now,” she said. “This doesn’t make what Ted accomplished here any less. The farther up you are, the more you are a target for Satan.”

    The thing I hate about this is that by using the imagery of Satan targeting Haggard because of his power, Haggard can deny responsibility- the ultimate Devil Made Me Do It defense. I hated that in my former life and I hate it now. There is no moral culpability when you assign your goodness to God and your evil to Satan.

    I found it interesting in the SOldiers of Christ asticle in Harpers about how Haggard was portrayed as going into gay bars and targeting gay men for Jesus. And how his church at one point was adjacent to a massage parlor. I think he had “proclivities”, tried to hide them as long as possible, and then got caught.

    I love his Clinton defense when it came to using the crack. And by saying he did not have a “gay RELATIONSHIP’ he allowed wriggle room if at a later date incriminating evidence comes up. It was never a relationship– it was a business transaction set up by Satan.

  23. says

    Spooney: Nope, you have it reversed. In fact the Bible forbids being a top, at least the Old Testament does.

    (New International Version)
    22 ” ‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

    22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    English Standard Version
    22You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    22`And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it [is].

    New Life Version (NOT related to the New Life Ministry Haggard founded, but couldn’t resist)
    22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. It is a sinful thing.

    Bible Gateway is a GREAT site. The Ammunition Depot for arguing against Christians. (Wish it included the Douai-Rheims — Catholic — and New World — Jehovah’s Witnesses as well.)

  24. says

    Maybe he can attend this conference in Atlanta:

    Close to 1,000 people are planning to attend a controversial conference this weekend in Atlanta. Organizers for the event are promising they can turn homosexuals straight.

    “I spent thousands of hours on my knees, praying for the Lord to make me straight,” said Daniel Gonzales. “And he never did.”

    After completing the program, he can set up his own lucrative chain of conversion centers for sexual deviants, plus another franchise of Christian drug rehab centers.

  25. says

    Ah! And I wonder if sales of his diet book are on the rise?

    You can also buy Rev. Haggard’s diet book, The Jerusalem Diet, to look fit and lean for your next extramarital tryst.

    “Developed by a busy pastor who loves food and admits to a lack of self-control when it comes to eating [NOTE: and sex and drugs], The Jerusalem Diet is designed to work for anyone who can manage to stay on a diet for just 24 hours. If you want to shed pounds and keep them off-without starvation, deprivation, or frustration — this is the plan you’ve been waiting for.”

  26. AlanW says

    And there seems to be more. So first it was ‘Not I, no way!’ then, ‘Well, some of it’s true, but I didn’t inhale’, now it seems it’s ‘The devil made me do it, help I’m a victim’
    WTF? Do they get a manual for this crap?
    “I am guilty of sexual immorality … I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life,”
    “… from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach,”

    I love the way it’s now being touted that he wasn’t ‘as vocal an opponent of gay rights’ as other evangelical wingnuts. Woohoo!

  27. CCP says

    just wondering what the Bible sez about a reacharound…

    Haggard was just shown on CNN (a clip, I think, from an HBO documentary) being pretty hypocritical, but what made me laff was this:
    “There is a moral plumbline, and Christians need to rise to it.”
    …from which I deduce that, unlike Jesus, Haggard’s no carpenter!

  28. Albatrossity says

    Harper’s has just reposted an article from 2005 which offers an extraordinary look at Haggard, his background, and his followers. Among the scary insights into those beliefs (e.g about demons, the homosexual lifestyle, and capitalism as a biblical imperative), you can also read this quote from one of Pastor Ted’s books

    “I want my finances in order, my kids trained, and my wife to love life. I want good friends who are a delight and who provide protection for my family and me should life become difficult someday . . . I don’t want surprises, scandals, or secrets . . .”

    It’s a long article, so be prepared to spend some time there. And then you will probably never visit Colorado Springs again…

  29. says

    Funny that even Dobson has backed out of Haggard’s “restoration.”

    Sad to see Colorado Springs so ostracized as a result of this hypocritical debacle – one of the most beautiful views and natural history of any American city, plus my personal favorite, Phantom Canyon Brewery, for their rare combination of superb food in an historic microbrewery setting.