"Hear ye, sinners. Love is the inspiration of poets and philosophers. Love is the voice of music. I'm talkin' about divine love - not carnal love." Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry
It looks like 30 million Christians can be wrong. Again. They already proved it by supporting George W. Bush in two elections. Now it seems they overestimated the Christian values of another Born-Again leader and sometime Bush religious advisor, Evangelist Ted Haggard.
If you've been on a desert island, Haggard resigned this week as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of his own megaministry in Colorado amidst allegations of drug use and gay assignations with a prostitute.
Haggard denied having sex, but admitted he received massages and bought methamphetamine from a male prostitute in a Denver hotel.
Can't you just feel the love?
Let's be clear. I don't care if a minister is gay, as long as he (or she) practices safe sex with another consenting adult. But a married man, father of five, spiritual leader to millions consorting with a prostitute and buying illegal drugs? Hooboy, that's off the chart.
The devil in this story, Internet-based gay prostitute Mike Jones says he went public about his sex- and-drugs relationship with Haggard in protest over Haggard's opposition to gay marriage.
Some background on Pastor Ted from the AP:
Haggard was appointed president of the evangelicals association in March 2003. He has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court appointees after Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement.Can't you just feel the devotion?
After Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, Haggard and others began organizing state-by-state opposition. Last year, Haggard and officials from the nearby Christian ministry Focus on the Family announced plans to push Colorado's gay marriage ban for the 2006 ballot.
At the time, Haggard said that he believed marriage is a union between a man and woman rooted in centuries of tradition, and that research shows it's the best family unit for children.
Let's be clear again. I'm not opposed to gay marriage. Two adults in a committed homosexual relationship deserve the same legal protections as the rest of us, including the right to raise children.
There are far too many self-avowed "good Christians" who lie, cheat, divorce and abuse each other and their children to make a case for heterosexuality as the gold standard of decent, honorable behavior.
Just look at Pastor Ted. This self-righteous man of God betrayed the sanctity of his church and his position in it--not to mention his congregants--when he started believing in his own power and glory over the tenets of his religion and the laws of the land.
And here's the best part, in his own words: "I bought it [meth] for myself but never used it. I was tempted, but I never used it."
Can't you just feel the lies?
And, as my pal Beth wants to know, Is this the same as not inhaling???
I can't wait to see how Bush and the Bushettes spin this one. Their dedication to Christian Values and their use of same to justify anti-Christian, possibly criminal acts would hoist them on their own petard if they came to Pastor Ted's defense. So they won't. They'll avoid him like the plague while they pray for Republican victories on November 7.
Which is their loss, since according to Reuters, Haggard recently told the president that if the Evangelicals get out and vote they will determine all elections in America. Haggard also expressed his disdain for homosexuals and homosexual marriage to the president.
Can't you just feel the hypocrisy?
You don't have to be a Christian to know right from wrong. I'm Jewish but I treat all houses of worship and the religions they represent--not to mention my own marriage and family--with respect. Too bad Ted Haggard was unable to do the same.
Ted Haggard, Evangelical Born-Again standard bearer for millions of Christians seems to have felt a little too much love for his, um, fellow man.
Can't you just feel the ... well ... Blech.