the ungrateful

Did Ted Haggard’s Old Church Oust A Lesbian Security Guard Who Saved Parishioners From Gunman?

In 2007 Jeanne Assam, then a voluntary security guard at New Life Church in Colorado Springs (yes, the church Ted Haggard founded), saved an untold number of lives when she successfully wounded and detained a gunman who had shot dead two parishioners already and murdered another two the night before at a Christian training camp. Assam is a lesbian, and last year she came out to church leaders — whom asked her to leave, she claims. Not so, says the church. WHO IS LYING BEFORE GOD?!

It was Assam that shot back at 24-year-old Matthew Murray the morning of Dec. 9, 2007, hitting him and detaining him before he pointed the gun at himself and claimed his own life. He had enough ammunition, and clearly the will, to slay so many others. Unquestionably, Assam saved lives that day. The city’s police department honored her. President George W. Bush applauded her. So did New Life Pastor Brady Boyd.

But it was Boyd and his ilk, says Assam, who is now working in law enforcement, whom told her to leave her security post last year.

Ultimately things quieted down, but as Assam told a public gathering of the Colorado Springs gay community Saturday night, her longstanding personal identity struggle became more pronounced and she accepted her sexual orientation. When she informed church officials, she said, they told her she was no longer welcome.

[…] On Saturday, Assam gave a speech at the Pride Center’s annual masquerade ball, a fundraiser for the gay community. She spoke of the pressures society places on gay people. It’s not unusual that some gays take a long time to come to terms with their sexual orientation. “I don’t own a dress,” she said at one point. And she encouraged those in the audience to make sure they’re never ashamed of who they are. Her speech, and her decision to give it, revealed a different sort of courage than what she displayed on the day of the shooting. Assam declined requests for a timely interview this week, saying she was working with another news medium. She has completed a self-published book, “God, the Gunman and Me,” and her Facebook page says she is working in law enforcement again.

What does Boyd have to say about her allegations? “Absolutely untrue. We welcome everyone at New Life. We would never tell someone to leave because of their sexual orientation. Jeanne will always be a hero at New Life.”

Well, Mr. Ted Haggard was told to leave, but apparently not because of his sexual orientation (Ted claims to be straight and still very much attracted to his wife Gayle), but because he was a drug-using prostitute-abusing public relations nightmare. Is it impossible to think, then, that New Life would push out an openly gay staffer? Not at all.