The Commonwealth Comment

Friday, November 03, 2006

Evangelical Leader Resigns

The reverend Ted Haggard, President of the National Association of Evangelicals resigned on Thursday after accusations of paying a male prostitute for sex for 3 years and using Meth. He has also temporarily stepped down as pastor of the 14,000 member New Life Church in Colorado.

The allegations were made by former prostitute Mike Jones on a Denver radio talk show on Tuesday and Wednesday. The story surfaced after Jones discovered who Haggard was by watching TV and that he was in favor of a same-sex marriage ban in Colorado. Colorado and 7 other states will vote on constitutional amendments banning gay marriage on November 7th.

Jones claims that about 3 years ago a man came to him seeking his services and identifying himself as a married man named "Art". The two got together about once a month for no more than an hour each time costing $200 each time. "It was not emotional. It was physical, just strictly physical," said Jones. He is offering up as evidence to support his claims saved voicemails from Haggard as well as two $100 bills given to Jones from Haggard.

Rev. Ted Haggard has denied the accusations. "I've never had a gay relationship with anybody. I'm steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife," he told a local TV station. In regards to his resignation and stepping aside from his church Haggard explained "I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity. 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."

After his initial denial Haggard made a partial admission to the allegations. "There has been some admission of indiscretion, not an admission to all of the material that has been discussed, but there is an admission of some guilt," said Rev. Ross Parsley, the New Life Church associate senior pastor

Mike Jones voluntarily took a polygraph test, which he failed. Jones said that he was disappointed in the results, but that he refuses to back down from his statements. He said that he cannot let someone "...preach one thing and do another."

My Opinion: I haven't made up my mind on this story. It really could go either way. It could be Mike Jones is trying to poke a hole in the reasoning for a gay marriage ban less than a week before the vote on the amendment. On the other hand, Haggard has partially admitted to the some of the allegations and has stepped down from his positions as pastor and President of the NAE. Overall I don't think Haggard or Jones are completely reliable. I think one has a motive and the other has something to hide, but neither are entirely truthful.


  • Let it be noted that Jones failed the polygraph test.

    Don't you love the weeks leading up to elections and all the dirty laundry that gets aired?

    By Blogger Lynette, At 10:33 AM  

  • Polygraph tests are hard to pass as evidence in court because they've been known to be unreliable.

    By Blogger James O'Leary, At 10:35 AM  

  • Why was Jones so reluctant to provide the evidence. Maybe he is bluffing?

    By Blogger Lynette, At 10:37 AM  

  • I would just like to say that Haggard sorta looks like Jim Cunningham (played by Patrick Swayze) from Donnie Darko, who was a child molesting scum bag despite his highly religious and self help background...creepy!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 2:19 PM  

  • Yes, the resemblance to Jim Cunningham/Patrick Swayze is pretty keen.

    Polygraphs are nearly impossible to get admitted in court because they're fairly flawed.

    By Blogger Mike, At 4:22 PM  

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