Haggard's big announcement amounts to little

Ted Haggard
Ted Haggard

Disgraced evangelist Ted Haggard hired a Hollywood publicist to announce that today, he would make an announcement.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the announcement Haggard made today was that he would start a new church. That’s similar to an announcement that we reported in November.

Before he was caught using crystal meth with a prostitute in Oklahoma City in 2006, Haggard was the head of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of a Colorado megachurch.

He resigned from those positions the next day.

After three whole weeks of intense therapy, he was declared cured. James Dobson of Focus on the Family was on his “restoration team.”

One of those declaring him cured, discredited reparative therapist Tim Ralph, later said that Haggard now had the tools “to help to embrace his heterosexual side.”

Haggard’s former church was so forgiving of his indiscretions that as part of his severance package, they insisted he leave town. He was living in Phoenix until he returned to Colorado last fall and began the new church in his house.

UPDATE: In his announcement, Haggard said that St. James Church in Colorado Springs will welcome everyone. That includes gays, lesbians, Democrats and addicts. He said the church, however, won’t perform same-sex marriages. He didn’t say whether he’ll be doing meth.

—  David Taffet

What's Brewing: 5/14/10

1. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., suggested Wednesday that if gays are allowed to serve openly in the military, straight soldiers would simply let them die on the battlefield instead of fighting to protect them (the clip is above). In an interview with the American Family Association’s radio program, Inhofe said gays in the military would create “a third group to deal with,” in addition to men and women. He then said of why soldiers fight: “We’re not doing it for the flag or the country, we’re doing it for the guy in the next foxhole, and that [repealing DADT] would dramatically change that.” Needless to say, this isn’t the first time Inhofe has bashed gays. His remarks on the Senate floor about the 2006 Federal Marriage Amendment were particularly amusing, and he’s even been linked to the kill-gays legislation in Uganda. But here’s my thing, and stay with me on this one. First you have to go here, then go here, then come back for the punchline … Is it me, or does Inhofe not bear some resemblance to George Rekers, except without the mustache?

2. Speaking of Oklahoma and closeted homosexuals, Ted Haggard has opened a new church.

3. Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway , one-time promoter for rapper Dooney Da Priest and his homophobic rhymes, has been caught with his pants down. The Dallas Morning News reveals that Caraway has been inappropriately interfering with police business in an effort to protect his poker buddies. But Caraway’s defense is somewhat ironic given his much-publicized anti-sagging-pants campaign. Caraway says simply that police have better things to do: “Look at the crack houses. … People will be hanging out [in the night] doing all kinds of things we ought to be focused on.” Hey Dwaine, Pull Yo Pants Up!

—  John Wright

You can now follow Ted Haggard on Twitter

Ted Haggard
Ted Haggard

In case you missed it, disgraced pastor Ted Haggard was in town over the weekend, appearing at Calvary Church of Irving on Sunday and, according to his Twitter feed, spending the weekend with “good friends” in Southlake. Sherry Jacobson of The Dallas Morning News was also at Calvary Church, and she picked Haggard apart in this story from Monday’s edition. Jacobson wrote that while Haggard apologized Sunday for the scandal that ended his ministry in Colorado three years ago, he “didn’t really want to get into the ugly details” about gay prostitutes and methamphetamine use in front of the hundreds in attendance.

During a break between the two talk-show-style programs, Haggard said the half-hour-long discussions weren’t long enough to let him list his various wrongdoings.

“It’s just so available out there on the Internet,” he said. “If someone had asked me, ‘How many times have you used crystal meth?’ I would have answered.”

Asked what he would have answered, Haggard stopped short.

“I have covered every detail of that with my wife and with my counselor,” he replied.

Jacobson also apparently asked Haggard if he’s gay. In January, Haggard told Oprah that he’s “a heterosexual with issues,” but on Sunday he  told Jacobson he’s moved past that stage.

“I used to say that I’m a heterosexual with issues,” he said. “Now I say I’m a heterosexual with very few issues.”

This morning, I stumbled across Haggard’s Twitter feed, where it looks as though he’s taken to responding to his many critics. In response to “diegoblue,” who said simply, “Fuck you,” Haggard writes, “Uhhhhh, No thanks. I don’t do that. You’ll have to find someone else.”

“so you’re a bottom? yuck. now i know why you had to pay for it. i mean, i’d rather die than let you touch me,” diegoblue replied. “he doesn’t fuck men this week? i truly find him utterly disgusting in every way.”

—  John Wright