Ted Haggard

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Ted Arthur Haggard, known as "Pastor Ted," is one of the nation's most well-known Evangelical ministers and the founder and senior leader of the New Life megachurch in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which has 14,000 members.

On November 2, 2006, Haggard "stepped aside" as senior pastor at New Life "after Michael Forest Jones, a self-described former gay prostitute, accused him of having a sexual affair for three years and using the drug, commonly known as crystal meth, during those encounters." Haggard also resigned his position as President of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents 30 million members.[1]

White House Evangelical
"Haggard has advised the White House on issues ranging from judicial appointments to steel tariffs, but he also sought to widen the agenda of Christian evangelicals into areas the Bush administration—and many of his Christian brethren—would rather avoid," Lee Bowman wrote November 4, 2006, for Scripps Howard News Service.

"Although he had been active in lobbying for conservative Christian causes before, Haggard's profile rose after he became head of the NAE early in 2003. He made frequent visits to the White House and was included in a select group of religious leaders briefed on the administration's agenda during a weekly teleconference with White House staff, to 'feel the evangelical pulse,' he's said," Bowman wrote. "'We have direct access (to the White House,)' Haggard told a Wall Street Journal reporter shortly before the last presidential election, adding he could take a concern to the president through staff and get a response within 24 hours."


Controversy

Sexual Relationship with a Gay Hooker

Mike Jones, a "gay man and admitted male escort claims he has had an ongoing sexual relationship" for the past three years with Haggard, Colorado Springs' 9NEWS reported November 1, 2006. Haggard "denied the claims and told 9NEWS he is prepared for his own church to investigate them."

"Jones started talking to '9 Wants to Know two months ago'. He claims Haggard has been paying him for sex over the past three years, even though Haggard preaches that homosexuality is a sin," 9NEWS reported. "Jones also claims Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions."

During a November 2, 2006, appearance on Peter Boyles' KHOW 630 AM radio show, Jones said "that he was paid money by Haggard, who made frequent trips to Denver for sexual liaisons, that he has recorded voicemails and a letter from Haggard, and that he had also witnessed Haggard use methamphetamine," the Rocky Mountain News reported. "Jones offered to take a polygraph examination concerning his claim, and Boyles said that will occur Friday [November 3rd] during his morning radio show."

James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, said in a November 2, 2006, news release: "It is unconscionable that the legitimate news media would report a rumor like this based on nothing but one man's accusation. Ted Haggard is a friend of mine and it appears someone is trying to damage his reputation as a way of influencing the outcome of Tuesday's midterm election — especially the vote on Colorado's marriage-protection amendment— which Ted strongly supports."

"Jesus Camp"

Haggard, who is "[o]ne of the subjects of the film", has "made claims of manipulation in the way he and his church were represented" in the documentary "Jesus Camp", Jessica Barnes wrote October 31, 2006, in Cinematical.

"In the film 'Jesus Camp,' Pastor Ted Haggard, the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, says this: 'If the evangelicals vote, they determine the election'," the Pensacola News Journal reported.

Profiles

In 2005, "Haggard was also listed by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America." [2]

Contact Information

Website: http://www.tedhaggard.com/
Website: http://www.nae.net/
Website: http://www.newlifechurch.org/

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

Profiles

Articles & Commentary