I generally believe that people’s sex lives should be their own private business, as long as they don’t involve any quid-pro-quo (you know, sex with someone as a bribe to get a job or a contract). But who can ignore the hypocrisy of crusaders getting tripped up with their moral peccadillos down around their ankles?
Even so, the new allegations coming out about disgraced pastor Ted Haggard are truly stunning, and are made even more amazing by the fact that Haggard seems to be asking, if not begging, for them to come out.
First (and to refresh your memory), in 2006 male escort Mike Jones went public about his long time cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard, who was not only pastor of the New Life (mega)church, but also president of the National Association of Evangelicals (a network of 45,000 churches). Jones went public mainly because he got fed up with Haggard’s completely hypocritical anti-gay crusades. We probably would never have heard anything about it if Haggard hadn’t felt the need to publically denounce the lifestyle he himself practiced (not to mention the lifestyle of his sex partner).
Did Haggard learn his lesson?
It turns out that Haggard was having at least one other inappropriate affair at the same time, with Grant Haas, a young male church volunteer and ex-seminary student. The church signed an agreement with Haas to pay him $179,000 dollars (for counseling and college tuition) as long as Haas did not speak publicly about it. Haas says that the church broke its word and stopped making the payments, but even so Haas did not go public.
Finally, this week he did, with local TV station KRDO-TV:
What’s special about this week? According to current New Life pastor Brady Boyd, Haas decided to go public because of the HBO special “The Trials of Ted Haggard”, which is being shown this Thursday. Advance reviews describe it as a self-pitying account of the fallen pastor’s post-scandal life. Not only that, but Haggard and his wife are appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show on Wednesday (the day before) and on Larry King Live on Thursday immediately following the movie.
I’ve heard of being a media whore, but this is just ridiculous.