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November 03, 2006



What a dreadful thing for his wife and children to have to go through this.


This is very sad indeed.

Courage Man

I'm sorry, but no. The guy is lying ... or to be more precise, trimming his story a la Clinton to minimally conform to what he knows can be proven.

I mean ... buy meth out of curiosity and then not use it?

It's the massage thing that clinches it. If you want or need a legitimate massage, there are professional and reputable masseurs and masseuses you can do business with, openly and without shame. And a hotel will refer you to them. You don't hire a gay escort (i.e., a prostitute) from whom you've also bought the gay party-drug of choice. Also ... (and I will be vague) ... the kind of "massage" you get from a gay escort involves a bit more than what you'll get at the gym sauna. Indeed, many gay prostitutes ... and this is experience talking ... advertise themselves as offering "massage services," with the term either standing alone or sometimes with winking terms like "massage and other services."

Old Zhou

Sad, but not a surprise. This sort of "personal indiscretion" is all too common among successful evangelists (and Congressmen, too).

Maybe he can eventual write a book, "I Was Wrong, Too."

I hope his marriage can survive this. If you ever felt like you might want to pray for some evangelical Christians, this is probably a good time.

Eric the Read

As much as I would like to feel some schadenfreude here-- having seen some of the stunts Rev. Haggard has pulled in the past 20 years, including holding a "day camp" where some Jewish kids were baptized after their mothers dropped them off to do some shopping, it's hard NOT to feel it-- this is just plain sad, and I find myself surprised to feel sorry for the man, and especially his family.

Nobody will come out of this looking good, and I fear his children will bear the brunt of the pain caused here. For better or worse, Rev. Haggard chose his fate, but his wife and children did not choose theirs. And don't forget his congregation in your prayers, either-- New Life, for all that it looks more like a convention center than a church, is the spiritual home for tens of thousands of Christians who may be moved to discard their faith.

What a horrible turn of events. Even in my most bitter days, I would never have hoped something like this would happen to Haggard.


Well, his accuser failed his lie detector test this morning, so I wouldn't say it's a sure thing that Haggard is lying. The circumstances don't look good, but there's plenty of uncertainty still.

Eric the Read

Eh. I have never been a fan of lie dectector tests, regardless of who's taking them or why. That's not to say I have any even slight degree of sympathy with Mike Jones; just that his failing it could have meant any number of things, of which only one would be that he was lying. Frankly, polygraphs are terrible at detecting lies; what they can detect is stress, and it's easy to see how appearing in major interviews with well-known radio and TV personalities could be stressful, even if you're telling nothing but the truth.

c matt

IIRC, "lie detectors" measure your physiological responses to questions - pulse rate, etc. They are supposed to take a baseline readings and then compare. I really don't see how they can be very good measures of veracity.


Unlike the hotel-room massage, I don't think they'll be a happy ending for Haggy this time.


Let's see what the rest of the weekend news cycle brings: rumors for weeks that the WHite House has a weekend surprise in store ........ timing on this Haggard story does look suspicious, but politics seems to have no rules these days.


Lie detectors aren't perfect by any means. Haggard's accuser, if he'd passed, wouldn't have proven the truth of his story. Failing doesn't prove that he's lying. But it certainly is a factor we can consider.

Mostly, I pointed it out to caution those who are rushing to assume the worst of Haggard.

Maclin Horton

I feel very, very sorry for the guy's family, and to a lesser extent for him. But--bought meth out of curiosity? Come on.

I remember once when I was little snitching a forbidden cookie. I was caught by one of my brothers, cookie in hand but not yet bitten. In a panic, I claimed I just wanted to look at it. My brother found this very funny.

Tim J.

"Unlike the hotel-room massage, I don't think they'll be a happy ending for Haggy this time."

Ooooh, ajesquire... I just about choked on the corn muffin I was eating.

"You want Special Special"?

How sad. The effect this can have on people's faith is not small, and it accumulates over time. Teachers, priests, scout leaders, pastors... it could make a guy pretty cynical.

Catholic in MN

Making what may or may not be a big leap, let us presume that Mr. Haggard is guilty of succumbing to the temptation to sin in this instance (and I'm talking about the sins involved in the sex, drugs, etc., not the potential subsequent lie). The accuser has indicated as his motive, at least in part, to point out the hypocrisy of Mr. Haggard's stance against same-sex marriage (and presumably the stance that the very sexual sins he is now accused of committing are immoral).

The connect-the-dots logic we are supposed to take away from that is that he is no longer a credible spokesman with respect to the issue of same-sex marriage or other homosexual sins. But isn't the opposite true? Isn't a man who is forced to struggle against these sins each day (and there is more than one presumption in those words I realize--was it really these sins? or did he really struggle?), really the best spokesman here? Doesn't his personal experience count for something? If Mr. Haggard is truly repentent here, I would think his experience speaks volumes.

More and more what is labeled as "hypocrisy" is actually the aftermath of original sin. Hypocrisy is to believe one thing yet say another. Original sin (as Paul recognized) is to believe one thing yet do another. It would be hypocritical for Mr. Haggard to preach against same-sex marriage or homosexual acts if he believed that they were morally licit but enjoyed the perks that came with his oratory. But he is a victim of original sin (and his cooperation with it) if his sin consisted solely of the acts with which he is charged.

Our society seems to have last this distinction, in part, because it spends so much time and energy trying to justify the actions that each person takes, painting it as one choice among many with no moral weight--except the act of trying to attach moral weight to another's acts--for that is the real sin against today's society.

Mom of 22B

Very, very sad. Unfortunately a lot of ammo for anti-Christian groups that fail to realize sinners exist in all walks of life...

Courage Man

Catholic in MN:

Actually, my confessor once made a near-identical point about homosexual persons and our public stances when I sent him a rather despairing note about what was happening in the news at the time happening to me at some future date -- the mayor of Spokane, I think.


Reminds me of a guy that was in politics a few years back.....I think he had smoked pot, but never inhaled....


Let's remember how many catholic priests were wrongly accussed, before we jump on this band wagoon,,nobody knows what really happened for sure but that this is causing alot of pain and sadness especially for Hagard's family and the members of his church, and the evangelical community at large, let's not follow the lead of some anti-catholic evangelicals who lambasted the entire catholic church after the priests scandals, but truly to what Jesus would do.


I don't know why it's thought hypocritical that people who are against gay marriage turn out to be gay. Does being gay REQUIRE a person to support gay marriage? How simplistic.

Ferde Rombola

And add this: who would know better the down side of homosexual marriage than a homosexual?


This sad case speaks volumes about the pathology of the closet.


It would be so much better if he'd just tell the truth. First Ted said he didn't know the guy, then he admitted that was indeed him on the guy's taped messages. The only reason he's copping to the meth is because of the tapes. There is no proof of the sex, so it's his word against the prostitute's. He won't cop to that.
But, come on. As someone else said, if you want a massage and you have his kind of money, you go to a spa or something. You don't hire some guy off the Internet.
I guarantee you he'll go through some kind of "counseling" for his "near" drug use (what a crock -- who buys meth to try drugs?) and be back in the pulpit in less than a year, having never told the truth.
If he were honest about having same-sex attraction, he could get some help and heal. But that would involve humility, and a lot of these big-time preachers don't know humility. They are put on such pedestals that they forget who they are.
So sad for his family, especially his wife. How humiliating. I'd like to slap him for all of us Christians -- not because he sinned, but because he let it become public before he sought help. Or maybe letting it become public by being so brazen was a cry for help?


I must be awfully out of the loop - never heard of this guy before. I do feel bad for his family, though - what a rotten thing to go through, even without the headlines. The meth part is weird, though; I'd have thought he had enough cash at hand to go a little more upscale. (I realize this is totally irrelevant, but couldn't help wondering anyway).

Donald R.McClarey

"I must be awfully out of the loop - never heard of this guy before."

Neither had I. I hope his organization will check their books to make certain that no money was paid to his accuser in an attempt to buy his silence. It is always astonishing to me to see how powerful the urge to self-destruction is in some individuals. Haggard had to know before he embarked on his interaction with his accuser that if even a peep got out his life would be ruined and cause deep and lasting wounds to his wife and children. For what? Drugs and sex with a male whore. Sin isn't only always evil, it is also, usually, so utterly, utterly stupid.

thomas tucker

Here's my pet peeve: Andrew SUllivan is saying that his guy is gay and has been in the closet. Yet, Sullivan and others in the gay lobby always say that reparative therapy doesn't work and "gay" men who decide to become heterosexually involved are fooling themselves and others. In other words, if you dabble in gay sex, you're gay and if you dabble in straight sex, you're gay. They want it both ways.


I feel bad for Ted Haggard's kids, his wife to a somewhat lesser extent. I like and respect a lot of the Evangelicals/Pentecostals, and they get more of my money than the Catholic Church does at this point, but Ted Haggard wasn't someone I was particularly drawn to. He always struck me as sort of bizarre.

I can't help feeling though that the truth is a good thing, no matter how upsetting or disillusioning it is (having had an extremely disappointing personal experience with hypocrisy myself that's taken about two years to even begin to get over). I guess I have to wonder about his wife - I'm not married, but I find it unbelievable that someone could enter into a marriage that is a total lie. There *must* have been signs that Ted Haggard wasn't what he claimed to be.

Jimmy Mac

T. Tucker: 3 years' experience with a male hustler is NOT "dabbling" in gay sex!

Michael is absolutely correct about the "pathology of the closet." Anyone who has spent any time hiding like that knows how self-destructive it can be. There have been way too many men and women who thought getting married and sublimating their desires would solve their problems. Well, it didn't and their spouses and children (as in Haggard's case) are the ones who suffer almost as much as the one doing the hiding. Now maybe Haggard will be able to deal with whatever demons have come to reside in his soul because of his pathalogical behavior.

That said, I firmly endorse "outing" men like him who cause so much harm to others in order to possibly deflect attention from their own inability to deal with themselves in a truthful and open way.

Julianne Wiley

Jimmy Mac, you firmly endorse "outing"?

Privacy is no longer a value?

Detraction is no longer a sin?

Courage Man

Not if they get in the way of Great Glorious Good of sodomy.

Jimmy Mac

Is privacy a value for pedophile priests?
Is privacy a value for abusive spouses?

About detraction, the Catholic encyclopedia says: " ... even when the sin is in no sense public, it may still be divulged without contravening the virtues of justice or charity whenever such a course is for the common weal or is esteemed to make for the good of the narrator, of his listeners, or even of the culprit. The right which the latter has to an assumed good name is extinguished in the presence of the benefit which may be conferred in this way."

I endorse outing ONLY in those cases where the person being outed is causing untold harm and damage to those people like him/her in order to deflect attention from him/herself.

A la Haggard.

I doubt very seriously that he is an innocent. As I said above: "3 years' experience with a male hustler is NOT "dabbling" in gay sex!"

Patrick Rothwell

Jimmy Mac's endorsement of outing Rev. Haggard is morally bankrupt - a sentiment of vindictiveness masquerading as high-minded civic concern. One can support or oppose same-sex marriage without outing the sex lives of one's political opponents. Same-sex marriage is not made any less good, nor less bad, by pointing out the sex lives of others, including Haggard.

Outing is also seriously evil when done by people like Stephen Brady or the conservative Catholic press, by the way. In fact, Jimmy Mac's logic might also be employed by "pro-family" fanatics who might be inclined to expose the sex lives of gay marriage advocates' when they could not withstand searching public scrutiny. I doubt he'd approve of that.

Jimmy Mac

Not only is Haggard a self-hating hypocrite, but he is a STUPID self-hating hypocrite.



The bad thing about staying in the closet is that it undercuts your credibility when you hold forth....
Now I suppose someone who is an "out" gay man or woman, and comes out against "gay marriage," would have much more impact in the whole discussion. It would certainly resonate more among my gay friends. As it is now, the more aggressive someone is as a foe, the more you wonder what on earth is going on in their life.

In dealing with being gay and accepting it, I always go back to something I read that St. Catherine of Siena wrote...to the effect that "sanctity is built upon self-knowledge." At least by acknowledging my concrete situation, I can look at hot topics with much more peace and rationality (and perhaps even openness to Mother Church and the Spirit!).
BTW...self knowledge doesn't equal sanctity, but at least it's a foundation!


"I bought meth, but didn't use it. I got a massage, but didn't have sex."


In a just world, this would reset the "didn't inhale" standard for b.s., but then, we don't live in a just world.

thomas tucker

Jimmy Mac- you either missed or ignored my point which is that the gay lobby wants to have it both ways. Why call this guy "gay" when it would appear that his penchant for gay sex was less than full time? Plus, then they want to call men who cross over to the straight life as still really gay and just self-hating, deluded, etc. Is all this stuff really so black-and-white, and is it helpful to label people such as this guy "gay"? The answer of course is no, but he and people like him are used for political purposes. As for Catholic belief, we are what and who we are and we know from Scripture and Tradition what God expects of our behavior, regardless of the political aspects of it.

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