Okay, so homophobic Pastor Ted Haggard (pictured) hasn’t technically admitted to having slept with wiley hooker, Mike Jones, but the fact that he’s stepped down as President of the National Association of Evangelicals and run off for “spiritual guidance” doesn’t look good.
For those of you not up to date, this story first broke Tuesday when Jones – who had actually spoken with reporters two months ago – said he had a three-year affair with the politically connected preacher man. Haggard, of course, insisted no such thing ever happened: he’s a good Christian, after all, and spouts homo-hatred left and right in his pursuit of heaven on Earth, a heaven in which gays will never get the chance to marry. Maintaining his heterosexuality, Haggard questions whether or not Jones’ allegations are mere political chicanery:
I don’t know if this is election year politics or if this has to do with the marriage amendment or what it is, but I’m not even the guy who will investigate it or question it. I don’t know what the dynamics are, but this independent group will come in and do that.
That “independent group”, of course, would consist of members from Haggard’s 14,000-strong New Life Church in Colorado Springs.
As the day went on and prominent Evangelicals, such as Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, came out in support of Haggard, Jones dropped another bomb shell: he has evidential voice mails and a letter from Haggard. What’s more, Jones claims to have seen Haggard use meth.
Cue the getaway car.
Of course, Haggard insists he stepped down for the good of his church-run investigation:
I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity,” he said. “I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date. In the interim, I will seek both spiritual advice and guidance.
“Spiritual advice and guidance” means either “harsh defagification” or “pull a Mark Foley and hide until after the election”.
Ahh, yes, the election. As we mentioned, Haggard’s exceedingly well-connected and has been described as one of the most powerful religious leaders in America. How could he not? As of yesterday he commanded 30 million Evangelicals, an organization known for its virulent homophobia and anti-gay marriage politics. It’s also the religious group President Bush calls his own.
As the story developed, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer called on everyone’s favorite homo-journo-politico, Andrew Sullivan to weigh in on the matter. (Not incidentally, Sulivan’s blog comes to us via Time Magazine, which is owned by CNN’s parent company, Time Warner.)
Undoubtedly a bright man, Sullivan brought up the fact that Evangelicals – who once toed the Republican party line as if their lives depended on it – have been turning away from politics. MSNBC concurs:
The number of conservative Christians with a favorable view of the party has plummeted from 74 percent to 54 percent between 2004 and this year, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Evangelicals comprise more than one-third of GOP voters.
Rather than aligning whole-heartedly with the GOP, Sullivan says, many Evangelicals will “pray on it” to determine a new political route. No doubt the fact that their leader sucks cock will confuse their decision-making prayers.
While many think the Evangelicals will vote for the GOP, even if only for lack of options, we can’t help but think that thousands may turn away entirely. As if the string of corruption scandals weren’t enough, they’ve had to deal with the entire Mark Foley mess, and now their leader – the man to whom they turned for religious, political and social guidance – may be a big, fat liar.
This is more than a test of faith. This is a test of personal will – is someone willing to follow a debunked myth or does a new path come calling? Obviously there’s no cut and dry answer to this matter, but it sure as hell’s going to cause some major trouble.
In our opinion, Jones’s probably telling the truth. Of course, the timing’s mighty fishy and we suspect someone paid him to keep the story under wraps until closer to the election. Who that person may be, however, remains a mystery.