Sex and Drugs and Jesus, too!

By Nagognog2 · Nov 4, 2006 · ·
  1. Nagognog2
    Evangelical Leader Says He Bought Meth


    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Rev. Ted Haggard admitted Friday he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a male prostitute. But the influential Christian evangelist insisted he threw the drugs away and never had sex with the man.
    Haggard, who as president of the National Association of Evangelicals wielded influence on Capitol Hill and condemned both gay marriage and homosexuality, resigned on Thursday after a Denver man named Mike Jones claimed that he had many drug-fueled trysts with Haggard.

    On Friday, Haggard said he that received a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel, and that he bought meth for himself from the man.

    But Haggard said he never had sex with Jones. And as for the drugs, "I was tempted, but I never used it," the 50-year-old Haggard told reporters from his vehicle while leaving his home with his wife and three of his five children.

    Jones, 49, denied selling meth to Haggard. "Never," he told MSNBC. Haggard "met someone else that I had hooked him up with to buy it."

    Jones also scoffed at the idea that a hotel would have sent Haggard to him.

    "No concierge in Denver would have referred me," he said. He said he had advertised himself as an escort only in gay publications or on gay Web sites.

    Jones did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press on Friday.

    In addition to resigning his post at the NAE, which claims 30 million members, Haggard stepped aside as leader of his 14,000-member New Life Church pending a church investigation. In a TV interview earlier this week, he said: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."

    In Denver, where Jones said his encounters with Haggard took place, police Detective Virginia Quinones said she was checking into whether the alleged drug deal was under investigation.

    Jones claims Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month for three years until August. He said Haggard identified himself as "Art." Jones said that he learned who Haggard really was when he saw the evangelical leader on television.

    Jones said he went public with the allegations because Haggard has supported a measure on Tuesday's ballot that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. Jones said he was also angry that Haggard in public condemned gay sex.

    Haggard, who had been president since 2003 of the NAE, has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

    Corwin Smidt, a political scientist at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and director of the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics there, said Haggard's role with the association gave him some political clout, but the group's focus is more on religion than political activism.

    "It isn't necessarily that all evangelicals are paying close attention to what he's saying and doing, but he is an important leader," Smidt said.

    James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, an influential conservative Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs, said he was "heartsick" over the allegations. He described Haggard as his close friend and colleague.

    Jones took a polygraph test Friday, and his answers to questions about whether he had sexual contact with Haggard "indicated deception," said John Kresnick, who administered the test free at the request of a Denver radio station.

    Jones told reporters afterward: "I am confused why I failed that, other than the fact that I'm totally exhausted."

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Comments

  1. Riconoen {UGC}
    Pfft, I could have told you religious wackos aren't as pious as they put on.
  2. Nagognog2
    Part II of Jesus Loves Assholes...

    Scandal Forces Evangelical Out of Church


    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Rev. Ted Haggard was forced out Saturday as leader of the megachurch he founded after a board determined the influential evangelist had committed "sexually immoral conduct," the church said Saturday.
    Haggard had resigned two days earlier as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, where he held sway in Washington and condemned homosexuality, after a Denver man named Mike Jones claimed to have had drug-fueled trysts with him.

    "Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct," the New Life Church's Overseer Board said in a statement.

    Haggard was "informed of this decision," the statement said, and he "agreed as well that he should be dismissed."

    Haggard on Friday acknowledged paying Jones for a massage and for methamphetamine, but said he did not have sex with him and did not take the drug.

    The statement from the 14,000-member church the investigation would continue, to determine how extensive Haggard's misconduct was.

    Haggard did not answer his home or mobile phones Saturday, and neither phone was accepting messages. Jones did not return a phone message seeking comment.

    The Rev. Ross Parsley will lead the church until a permanent replacement for Haggard is chosen by the end of the year, the statement said. A letter explaining Haggard's removal and an apology from him will be read at Sunday services.

    Haggard's situation is a disappointment to Christian conservatives, whom President Bush and other Republicans are courting heavily in the run-up to Tuesday's election.

    Many of them were already disheartened with the president and the Republican-controlled Congress over their failure to deliver big gains on social issues even before the sex scandal broke involving former GOP Rep. Mark Foley.

    Haggard, who had been president of the evangelical association since 2003, has participated in conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied Congress last year on Supreme Court nominees.

    Haggard visited the White House once or twice, Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said Friday.

    James Groesbeck, a church elder, said he was glad the investigative board acted quickly.

    "I'm saddened by what came out, but I think they've done their job," Groesbeck said by telephone. Church members are drawing strength from one another and are caught up in the activity, but that likely will change, he said.

    "I think it's going to be really difficult in a week or two," Groesbeck said.

    Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered who Haggard was and found out that the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage - a key issue in Colorado, with a pair of issues on Tuesday's ballot.

    "It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex," Jones said.

    Jones also said Haggard snorted methamphetamine before their sexual encounters to heighten his experience.

    Haggard told reporters he bought meth but never used it; he said he received a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel. Jones said that no hotel referred Haggard and that he advertises only in gay publications.

    In a TV interview this week, Haggard said: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."

    Church member Christine Rayes, 47, said the congregation had hoped the allegations "were all lies."

    "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."
  3. bewilderment
    From Boing-Boing:
    "Thursday, November 2, 2006
    Leader of mega-church resigns after being accused of affair
    Pastor Ted Haggard, the leader of the gigantic evangelical Christian New Life Church in Colorado Springs and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, resigned after being accused of having an affair with another man. Haggard is the guy who kicked famous atheist Richard Dawkins out of his church in the documentary The Root of All Evil (http://www.timboucher.com/journal/2006/03/05/richard-dawkins-vs-ted-haggard/).

    Mike Jones, 49, of Denver told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage.

    'It made me angry that here's someone preaching about gay marriage and going behind the scenes having gay sex,' said Jones, who added that he isn't working for any political group.

    ...

    Jones said he has voice mail messages from Haggard, as well as an envelope he said Haggard used to mail him cash, though he declined to make any of it available to the AP.

    'There's some stuff on there (the voice mails) that's pretty damning,' he said."

    Link: http://www.boingboing.net/2006/11/02/leader_of_megachurch.html

    And, as a side note, Dawkin's documentary is really worth the watch and can be found on a bunch of torrent sites.
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