So much to say. Yes, there is much to say about Ted Haggard, the Colorado Springs mega-church pastor who has been accused of drug use and a covert homosexual relationship with a gay escort. More than enough for one column space. Almost enough to fill a book, you might say. And if one were to write a book about Ted Haggard, it might go a little bit like this:
Chapter One: Ted Haggard – father, pastor, homophobe.
In this chapter, you’ll get to know a bit about our main character, Ted, a right-wing pastor at New Life Church with a devoted flock of worshipers, a bazillion holiness points and what Stephen Dawkins calls “a direct hotline to God” in his documentary “The Root of All Evil?” Ted is well known for his belief that homosexuality and gay marriage are sins, and perhaps lesser known for his quiet insistence that marabou mules do go with anything. Perhaps the latter should have been a sign.
Chapter Two: He did not have a sexual relationship with that man.
In chapter two, our protagonist will deny that he ever had relations outside his marriage, let alone relations with another man, just like he denied it to The Denver Post last week. Yes, Pastor Haggard will deny the pants off his accuser, Mike Jones, which leads us to chapter three.
Chapter Three: Indeed, his pants were off.
But only for a massage! After realizing that denial won’t clear his pure and holy name, Ted Haggard will admit that the pants came off, but only because he went to see Jones for a massage. I know many religious zealots who visit gay escorts for massages, don’t you?
Chapter Four: That whole meth thing.
By chapter four, dear Ted will realize that he is quickly losing control of his slimy deception. Because he has lost so many holiness points already, he will have to admit to something, so he admits to buying meth. Just out of curiosity. A lot of 48-year-old men get the urge to try methamphetamines out of the blue. It’s that whole mid-life crisis thing.
Chapter Five: So, so sorry.
By chapter five, the d/nouement, the whole sorry mess has come tumbling out. Ted is sorry and says so profusely in a letter addressed to his congregation in which he admits to “sexual immorality” and being “a deceiver and a liar,” although he did not comment on the mules.
Ted’s wife, Gayle, is also very sorry. Sorry for him, sorry for herself and sorry that she must now take a new stance on gay marriage because she’s in one. Yes, a sorry mess indeed.
But what I believe Ted Haggard should be most sorry about is the poor name he has given Christians nationwide because of his actions. Not because Christians are all homophobic, sanctimonious hypocrites like Haggard, but because most of them are not.
Brother Ted’s style of Christianity peddles its own trademarked brand of extremist whack-jobism, tenets of which include hypocrisy as the third sacrament. In promoting this type of Christianity, Haggard does an enormous disservice to normal Christians – the kind who try to live life lovingly, peacefully and without judgment for those who do wear marabou mules from time to time.
Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major who rarely wears marabou mules, but respects others rights to do so. Her column appears in the Collegian on Fridays. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org