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Sun

02

Sep

2007

He’s Back… and asking for money, again
Sunday, 02 September 2007 23:58
by Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D.

Ted Haggard was the founder and pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs. He was also head of the National Association of Evangelicals. In both capacities he railed against gays, their relationships and rights, especially their civil right to a civil marriage:

"Our concern as the Evangelical church is to preserve the sanctity of marriage. We’re going to try to keep the state from tampering with it. Our position is that it’s sacred and needs to be protected…"

“Pastor Ted” didn’t do so well protecting and preserving the “sanctity” of his own marriage and, at last check, couples went to the state for a marriage license, not to a church. So one could argue that churches and phony, self-righteous preachers like Haggard are the ones “tampering with” the civil institution of marriage.

But Ted’s profitable, public anti-gay career ended when Mike Jones exposed the truth: for some time Ted Haggard had been paying him for gay sex. Haggard fell from grace gracelessly and in disgrace. But after just a few weeks of “ex-gay” counseling, Ted pronounced himself cured and “completely heterosexual.”

Call me naïve, but it’s hard to believe that someone who craved – and enjoyed – gay sex so much that he was willing to repeatedly pay for it is or ever will be “completely heterosexual.”

What’s easy to believe is that Haggard, like so many of his brethren in the evangelical Christianist Right, will say anything to deceive the sheeple and bilk them out of more money, which is exactly what Haggard is again doing:

Pastor In Gay Sex Scandal Pleads For Cash

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) The Rev. Ted Haggard, who left the megachurch he founded after admitting to “sexual immorality,” has asked supporters for financial assistance while he and his wife pursue their studies.

The former New Life Church pastor plans to seek a master’s degree in counseling at the University of Phoenix while his wife studies psychology, he said in an e-mail sent this week to KRDO-TV in Colorado Springs. …

“It looks as though it will take two years for us to have adequate earning power again, so we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years,” the e-mail said. “During that time we will continue as full-time students, and then, when I graduate, we won’t need outside support any longer.” …

Haggard received a salary of $115,000 for the 10 months he worked in 2006 and an $85,000 anniversary bonus before the scandal broke, The Gazette reported. Haggard’s severance package included a year’s salary of $138,000, and he collects royalties on his book titles, the newspaper reported.

El Paso County records show Haggard’s home, which has been up for sale, has a market value of $715,051.

In thirty year as a university professor I’ve never met a student – traditional or otherwise – with the resources and assets Haggard has who asked strangers to send donations to support his/her studies.

The vast majority of today’s college students take out loans and work in order to fund their education. Many (if not most) of them hold two part-time jobs. Haggard’s greed is more than despicable, more than disgusting. It’s an insult to every college student and working American. But it is in keeping with his previous – and current – deceptions and schemes.

In his plea-for-cash e-mail Haggard claimed he’d be living and working at the Phoenix Dream Center, the mission of which is “to reach in and mine the incredible potential we believe lies within the lives of at-risk youth, the homeless, and the needy families of our community by restoring hope and allowing them to dream again.”

A worthy purpose to be sure. But are the Haggards “at-risk” or as “needy” as the destitute family served by the Dream Centers? Or was Haggard just scamming for free housing?

Be that as it may, on August 27, 2007, an associate pastor of the 15,000-member Phoenix First Assembly of God, Leo Godzich, said Haggard would not be working or living at the Dream Center: “‘That was something that was totally unbeknownst to us when he sent it,’ Godzich said about the announcement. ‘It was just something that he thought of in a conceptual stage, and nothing had been decided.’”

And Mr. Godzich should know since Tommy Barnett is the senior pastor of Phoenix First Assembly of God, as well as one of the pastors assigned to help with Haggard’s “spiritual restoration” and the man who runs the Dream Centers. Mr. Barnett would have been well aware of the “arrangements” New Life Church had made with Haggard.

Oops. There are more “oops” in this latest chapter of the Haggard saga.
COLORADO SPRINGS - Former Pastor Ted Haggard’s exclusive e-mail to NEWSCHANNEL 13 has raised questions about the non-profit chosen to receive his donations. …

[Haggard] suggests those wanting to donate, but need a tax write-off, should send it to Families with a Mission and lists a P.O. Box in Colorado Springs. According to the Colorado Secretary of State, Families with a Mission moved from Hawaii to Colorado in 2003, but then was dissolved for being delinquent in 2007.

Families with a Mission sent NEWSCHANNEL 13 an e-mail wanting to clarify information about its non-profit status. The unsigned e-mail says, "Families With a Mission is a legal 501(c)(3) corporate entity in the State of Hawaii, and is current and in good standing with the State of Hawaii." …

When we e-mailed back asking why Haggard gave a Colorado address instead of a Hawaii address, we didn't receive a response back. …

Questions about Families with a Mission Director Paul Huberty have also surfaced. According to thestranger.com he is a sex offender, which NEWSCHANNEL 13 was able to verify.  According to court records obtained by NEWSCHANNEL 13 Huberty was found guilty of having sex with a 17-year old in his care and for touching himself inappropriately in front of two Dutch women. …

I [reporter Tak Landrock] spoke with Pastor Ted Haggard and he told me he couldn’t comment any further about the e-mail. [thestranger.com link added]

“Couldn’t” or “wouldn’t”? Specifically, Lieutenant Colonel Paul G. Huberty “was convicted by officer members of consensual sodomy, fondling his genitals in a public area, indecent acts, and adultery, in violation of Articles 125, 133, and 134, Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 USC §§ 925, 933, and 934. On February 11, 1997, the convening authority approved the sentence of dismissal, confinement for 6 months, and a reprimand.”

Huberty was – he left the state – a registered sex offender “against minors” in Hawaii, as this “last updated on 7/31/2007” record attests:

 

Apparently Haggard felt who ran the organization was less important than the amount of money it would channel to him. Greed has no morals or ethics:

When news of [Haggard’s plea for funds] email became public the overseers of the New Life Church arranged a meeting with Haggard on Wednesday [August 29, 2007].

New Life Church overseer Mike Ware in a statement following the meting in Denver said that Haggard was told “his plan and his communications about it were unacceptable.”

The statement said that the overseers warned Haggard he had violated the terms of his departure as minister of the church. Specifically the agreement said that in return for a year’s salary and continued support from the church he would leave the ministry and refrain from publicly speaking about the hustler scandal.

The overseers’ statement also disputed Haggard’s claim he would provide counseling at the Dream Center.

It was never the intention of the Dream Center that Mr. Haggard would provide any counsel or other ministry,” the statement said. [italics added]

But that was well known by the time the “overseers” issued their statement, and known to Haggard long before he sent the plea-for-cash e-mail.

Ted Haggard’s only talents seem to be Machiavellian scheming, deception and fraud. They, in turn, lead to obvious questions. Does Haggard want to study psychology to learn how to further repress and deny his homosexuality? To deal with his pathological lying? To deal with his myriad other more-than-obvious problems? Or is he planning to join “ex-gay” therapists and teach others how to become a like him and do further harm to others?

Perhaps while he’s studying psychology, experienced clinical psychologists will tell him the truth: “Be who you are, Mr. Haggard, a gay man. Authenticity is far better than what you’re pretending to be, and making an ass of yourself in the process of trying to be it.”
 
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jerri mccain said:

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i want to give rev. ted some money but i do not know how.smilies/tongue.gif
 
December 02, 2009
Votes: +0

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