oh jesus

Ted Haggard Welcomed 160 Sinners to His First Church Sermon. How Many Were Gay?

How easy is it to start a church? No, really: Is it that difficult a process? I’ve been thinking about it since Ted Haggard and his wife Gayle announced they’re launching St. James Church, which started (and will remain in?) their Colorado Springs home. Everyone (including me, in an earlier post) has been focusing on how Haggard, a same-gender-loving man, won’t be letting any gay marriages go down in his new haunt, but can we take a step back and consider that Haggard starting a new church really isn’t — logistically — that big a deal?

On HLN’s gayest program, the Haggards tell Joy Behar they’re “waiting to see who wants to join with us” at the church. Indeed, before yesterday’s first sermon, they had no idea how many people would show up. (Approximately 160 did.) That is not an insignificant number. Haggard grew his New Life Church, founded 25 years ago, from zero persons into a 125,000-member entity. And while he has some scarlet letters to wear now, it isn’t unreasonable to think he could generate a new flock of believers in the tens of thousands.

(Ted also told Behar about healthy vs. unhealthy sexuality, and it’s clear which category he places queers in.)

So how laborious is this endeavor? Not very. In the beginning Haggard must only pay a small fee to register St. James Church as a non-profit so any funds it collects aren’t taxed. He took care of that last month. And the overhead is low; the sermons are taking place in his basement, until space constraints force them elsewhere. Moreover, the media (including Queerty) are doing all the marketing for Haggard; he’s receiving probably millions of dollars in free media impressions from the coverage of his new project.

And Haggard’s humility is his biggest selling point. His willingness to address, with Gayle by his side, his past mistakes make him the ultimate underdog. Whom everyone cheers for. Including, I’m finding, even me. Go get ’em, Teddy!

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    Haggard was exposed as a complete and utter fraud. All that he preached was a mouthfull of lies. He rallied against the Gays, drug use, immorality all the while hiring hustlers,getting high on crystal meth, and getting fcuked while composing his next hatefull sermon. These rightwing lunatics funded his extravagant lifestyle all the while he was living a lifestyle he dammed. And yet they are ready to re-embrace him??? His only “regret” is that he no longer can afford said extravagant lifestyle. “I’m cured of my fagginess, now please full up my collection basket once again”………..Incredible

  • JamesStone

    If he was smart he would not only welcome gay people but also perform gay marriages. There are a lot of gay people out there that have a lot of money and have felt abandoned by their own religions. Business wise..this makes sense…

  • Revemupman

    lol well you can fool anyone but now everyone so I don’t care about his new Church. Although I will say leave that man alone. Stop giving him interviews. He’s useless for now, unless he says something bad about gays agian

  • Revemupman

    lol well you can fool anyone but not everyone so I don’t care about his new Church. Although I will say leave that man alone. Stop giving him interviews. He’s useless for now, unless he says something bad about gays agian

  • The Artist

    People are stupid enough to join.

  • B

    No. 5 · The Artist wrote, “People are stupid enough to join.”

    Listen to the video – after the “launch” church service, there’s a barbecue. Maybe Ted’s wife is a good cook or 160 people thought, “free food.”

  • dvlaries

    When Swaggart got caught with the second hooker, there was no “I have sinned against you my Lord”- crying contrition, but “It’s none of your business.” And even after that, people still gave him money.

    Like Swaggart, Haggard knows there’s always a quotient of folks out there that all but plead to be used and fooled. While there is, Haggard may never ascend to quite the heights he knew, but neither will he ever be on a street corner with a tin cup.

  • FlopsyMopsyCT

    I fully join in the comments disparaging this guy. One thing I would add (this may not be the most appropriate place for this discussion) is that the new millennium brought about a number of homosexual scandals involving men in heterosexual marriages and each passing year continues to expose more and more. I think these public scandals expose a major social problem the institution of marriage is having. The problem is we have homosexual men and women in monogamous, heterosexual relationships that aren’t upholding their end of the bargain. What on Earth is this guy doing married to this poor woman? Further, why is this woman staying married to this man? It really makes me sick that we have these “celebrity” couples (like Haggard and Craig) telling society that their marriage is something of worth when it is most certainly not. I may be alone here, but I don’t think it’s a good idea for gay men and women to be in heterosexual relationships, much less heterosexual marriages. These are the problems it creates and, even worse, we have people like Haggard going on TV telling people he was in a bad place, or he was sick, but he’s figured it out and now he is fine. No, the problem is, he’s a homosexual in a heterosexual marriage, and he shouldn’t be. I don’t think any member of our society should be telling sexually conflicted men and women that it’s appropriate to make important, long-term commitments with unsuspecting people when they are incapable of keeping those commitments.

    I think, if we should learn anything from these scandals, we should learn that homosexuality is a much deeper-seeded trait than what religious and other conservative institutions insist. Getting married to a woman does not, or most likely doesn’t, change a gay man straight. I think progressive society tends to forget that there are still men and women who have huge problems when it comes to homosexuality, that there are still closeted people who dupe straight men and women into long-term commitments that they, unfortunately, are just not able to keep. This simply shouldn’t be happening. It freaks me out to think that this guy who lived the way he did and (most likely) hid it from his wife is now out in the media preaching about marriage and fidelity and helping people. It sends such a bad message and it makes people who are prone to these situations think it’s ok to do these kinds of things. I am sure his wife is a nice, good woman who loves her husband very much, but she’s in a bad situation. I am sure there are other reasons why she is staying with Haggard, media attention and money, but this is simply setting a bad example, and to mix religion into it makes it even worse. I know that last statement really undercuts the struggle she dealt with and probably still deals with. But there situation is a prime example of what we, as a society, should not be condoning.

    Sorry about the rant. Anyone agree? Diagree?

  • schlukitz


    I agree, 100%.

  • DavidSaint

    Flopsy, I partially agree though he may be bisexual.

    @QUEERTY —– To support and say — “go get em Ted” — makes no sense. This guy is not going to “bless” or approve of gay sex and will preach the “act” is a burn in hell sin. He also will not perform gay marriages. How in the world can any staffer or editor at Queerty support that?! He may not say homosexuality is a sin, but what about the rest that will send people underground deeper into the closet, into gay bashings and many directly to suicide?

    What — Are — You –> THINKING!?!

    Queerty, with all this Ted zeal you seem to be fostering , , , I would like you to respond here as your message seems sternly misguided and pardon the pun, fully haggard with dust mites.

  • JamesStone

    @FlopsyMopsyCT: Great comment! I hear you about gay people marrying straight people! YAK!! I don’t think I could do it.
    I once talked to a gay guy who lived that lie for awhile. They are divorced now. One time I asked him..”How in the world were you able to perform in bed..? He said that they did not have sex often but when they did alcohol was usually involved. He admitted to watching gay porn prior in order to get aroused. How sad is that?? I know sex is just one facet of marriage but I think it is a pretty important one. Can you imagine being a straight married woman and making love with your spouse-your supposed soul mate and they are fantasizing about another guy??? This sham is so unfair for both parties!! Sadly though..I think this happens much more than we can even imagine….

  • dvlaries

    One more thing, queerty.

    It’s fine if you want to report on every latest farting out of new platitudes and current plans of Haggard. But I’d like to know also that Mike Jones has one of your inside phone lines when things -good or bad- are happening in his life.

    He seems to have disappeared and it’s a measure of what a poor job we do as citizenry, not rallying around whistle-blowers like he who bravely pull down hypocrites like Haggard. Few of us could summon the lonely bravery to topple a fraudulent megawatt televangelist with weekly phone access to Bush. In any fair sense, it’s Jones, not Haggard, who deserves continued and positive media exposure, if he seeks it.

    See if you can find out what’s going on with him lately, and let’s hope he’s landed happily on his feet. He did us an enormous favor -especially coming before the 2006 midterm elections- and shouldn’t be forgotten.

  • Revemupman

    The guy he got fucked by is hot. But he’s a hooker, he might have all kinds of shit in em.

  • Jesse Helms

    @REVEMUPMAN, do you mean like the AIDS virus? Many hustlers are HIV positive. You would have AIDS too if you sleep with hundreds of men within a month.

  • BillySaint

    I’d really like to see strong gays and gay couples who do not bow to ignorance based religio-sexual teachings, go to his church to mingle and change perceptions, and help Ted overcome his “homosexual attachments” problems and misinformation. Gays could surely give him a helping hand.

  • Robert, NYC

    His wife appeared on “The View” several months ago. She gushed about the wonderful sex life she was enjoying with her husband. Hmmmmm…now I wonder if there’s any truth in that or is it just fantasy? Gay is written all over him as soon as he opens his mouth. He’s delusional and so is she and the stupid public buys it.

  • Joey O'H

    Haggard is a fraud. Unfortuantely, he still gay and plays for our side no matter how satisfied his wife Gayle is, who probably knows nothing about sex. His days of a strong church leader are over.
    His “church” will grow no more than it already has.

  • counterpoll

    Haggard knows that he will get more dollars in the basket if he preaches against the gays than if he preaches on our behalf.

    Don’t forget: he FAILED to complete the “required anti-gay therapy” demanded by the megachurch that he founded and was kicked out of.

    Such a SWEET sweet example of how it pays more to be ex-gay than pro-gay.
    That thought makes me sick to my stomach!

  • Jason

    I went to New Life Church at the invitation of a friend’s mother when I was at a cadet at USAFA in 2002. I met Ted Haggard and I kind of knew he was a mo then.

    Four years later when I heard that he was outed, my jaw dropped off.

    I still can’t get the filth off that hand, and believe me, I have tried!

  • Taylor Siluwé

    I disagree No. 18,

    Way too many deluded and lost souls believe in the oh-so-Christian do-over theory of redemption. They WANT to believe Haggard has gotten over his ‘little problem’ and is now happily and heterosexually humping his wife into delirium.

    We know better.

    They want to believe so they can wipe away there baggage too, and for that reason I believe his church will grow very quickly.

    Remember what P.T. Barnum said about suckers.

  • Lisa

    He still obviously considers homosexuality, if not evil, at least unhealthy. It’s still a step backwards. Not something I could support in any sense. Shame, because I like the premise of accepting your sins and just trying to be a better person.

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