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Pastor Ted admits to some of the escort's allegations

So much for the wingers hoping that conservative hypocrisy on the gay issue stays out of the mainstream media, thanks to anti-gay Pastor Ted Haggard’s alleged rent-boy/meth adventures. I woke up this AM and Miles O’Brien had all the video of Haggard up there giving his very parsed denial as the top story.

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“I’ve never had a gay relationship with anybody. … I am steady with my wife. I’m faithful to my wife. I don’t know if this is election-year politics or if this has to do with the marriage amendment or what it is,” Haggard said.

The latest bombshell is that Acting Senior Pastor Ross Parsley says Haggard, former head of the 14,000-member New Life Church and the National Association of Evangelicals actually admitted to some of the allegations when meeting with his church board to step down. CNN also played the tape of Parsley’s statement. (News Channel 13):

Pastor Ted Haggard is now admitting that some of the allegations by former gay escort, Mike Jones are true.

In an e-mail obtained by NEWSCHANNEL 13, Acting Senior Pastor Ross Parsley says Haggard confessed to the board of overseers. Parsley told members of New Life Church; ” He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation.”

The e-mail goes on to say the leadership team is strong and untied. We remain resolute in our commitment to serving New Life Church and the people of our community. It also asks members to continue to keep Ted and Gayle and their family in your prayers.

Parsley said that Pastor Ted admitted to “indiscretions” of an unnamed nature. Maybe this is some of what he’s talking about, as Mike Jones, the 49-year-old male escort, has recordings of the evangelical moral leader soliciting meth. Ted Haggard’s middle name is Arthur, and the caller refers to himself as “Art.” (9News):

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Jones provided two voice messages to the local news channel, 9News, claiming they include the voice of Haggard calling him.  A voice expert told 9NEWS that the messages left for the male escort matched the voice of Pastor Haggard.  Jones claims Art is really Haggard and is referring to methamphetamines in the messages.

August 4, 2006 2:18 pm
“Hi Mike, this is Art. Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply. And I could pick it up really anytime I could get it tomorrow or we could wait till next week sometime and so I also wanted to get your address. I could send you some money for inventory but that’s probably not working, so if you have it then go ahead and get what you can and I may buzz up there later today, but I doubt your schedule would allow that unless you have some in the house. Okay, I’ll check in with you later. Thanks a lot, bye.”

August 4, 2006 5:10 pm
“Hi Mike this is Art, I am here in Denver and sorry that I missed you.  But as I said, if you want to go ahead and get the stuff, then that would be great.  And I’ll get it sometime next week or the week after or whenever. I will call, though, you early next week to uh, see what’s most convenient for you.  Okay?  Thanks a lot.  Bye.” [Here’s the audio.]

Mike Jones said he met Haggard after he advertised on the internet as a male escort and Haggard replied calling himsel Art.  Arthur is Haggard’s middle name.  Jones said he has more recordings and more will be played on a Denver radio station tomorrow.

News 9 had nationally known voice recognition expert, Richard Sanders, who worked on such the Oklahoma City bombing trial, the Columbine High School shootings, the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation, and the Kobe Bryant case, listen to the voice mails and he found that of nine of 12 single words on the recordings were perfect matches to Haggard.

Video from 9News:
* A voice expert tells 9NEWS messages left for a male escort match the voice of Pastor Ted Haggard — from 11/2 10PM newscast

* Reactions from members of New Life Church from 11/2 10PM newscast

***

Here is a man who has made a career pontificating the sanctity of marriage and condemning homosexuality. I haven’t heard whether he’s preached an anti-drug message as well, but it’s probably safe to say that he’s performed a hat trick on this bible-beating front. And it’s all come crashing down, in charges as depraved for a person of his public persona as Mark Foley heading up a committee to protect children on the internet.

I feel sorry for Haggard’s immediate family — he has a wife and five children. What must be going on in that marriage right now? What about the children?

Pastor Ted has been working hard to define marriage with an amendment in Colorado as between a man and a woman — not a man, a woman and a rent boy toting meth. How’s he supposed to square that in his mind? Just like the rest of the religious leaders like Haggard who get caught in hypocritical messes like this. They, along with the GOP professional closet cases running wild on the Hill and in the White House, are in the same moral boat. They therapize by hiding their kinks in the closet and work out their own demons by trying to hurt out and proud law-abiding, taxpaying gay citizens.

Have voters had enough of this crap yet?

In this Denver Post article, it’s hard to say what the impact will be in Colorado.

The allegations regarding Haggard, a key member of the coalition that drafted Amendment 43, raise what Smith called “the H-question: hypocrisy.”

“I’m not sure how that plays out in ballot issues, but as one of the proponents and drafters, it’s the scarlet letter H that can affect that campaign,” said Smith, who tracks ballot issues nationwide.

“The story will have legs carrying it through the election and, whether the allegations are born out or not, it will have the effect of moving attention away from that ballot issue,” he added.

Focus on the Family, which has pushed and helped finance the campaign for the marriage amendment, had no comment on how the Haggard situation might affect the outcome of the gay-marriage ban on Election Day, said Gary Schneeberger, the group’s public policy media director.

“The situation appears to be very fluid, so we’re going to keep our eyes open, and if we have anything to say in the days to come, we’l
l say it,” he said.

I thought I’d post something from ex-gay advocate and minister Stephen Bennett, who has a unique take on the matter. He’s obviously primed to help Pastor Ted out with advice on praying away the gay in his time of need — if he so chooses — but Bennett offers a sobering assessment of the hypocrisy coursing through the Republican party that should worry Uncle Karl about The Base.


“I WAS gay for over 11 years, dated two male prostitutes from New York City and was a cocaine dealer in Connecticut back in the 1980’s — until Jesus changed my life,” said Stephen. “Today, my life is totally different. I am no longer gay. I’m happily married for over 13 years to my beautiful wife Irene, and I’m the father of two little children – a boy and a girl.

…”If these allegations are true about Rev. Haggard – America’s Top Evangelical Christian – I am completely disgusted and dismayed. After being in major Christian circles for many years, the hypocrisy that I have found and personally seen in main stream Christianity is unfortunate and heartbreaking.

…”Will this affect the elections next Tuesday? Are Republicans disenfranchised with the hypocrisy within their own party – especially the hypocrisy within the driving force – the Christian Conservative base? You better believe it.

“The more and more hypocrisy I see each day, the more I realize next Tuesday we are going to get EXACTLY what we deserve. Yet I must NEVER forget where I came from and always remember ‘But for the grace of God, there go I.'”

Between this and the choked mistress pre-election payoff by Rep. Don Sherwood (R-PA) — the other top story — it’s a conservative hypocrisy meltdown of epic proportions that cannot be ignored.

As I mentioned yesterday, the WaPo article containing a laundry list of GOP scandals is basically a rap sheet of instructions to toss the bums out.

Related:
* That was fast — Haggard resigns (w/Freeper commentary)
* Daddy D’s simply outraged that Ted Haggard is being accused of homosex
* Mega-church leader denies ‘sexual business relationship’ with male escort

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding