Facing shocking allegations that he paid a gay prostitute for sex, prominent Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard placed himself on administrative leave Thursday from his church position and resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a platform that made him a rising star in conservative politics.Boy, once these pastors go bad, they don't hold back. Some question the timing of the revelations:
In interviews over the past two days with KHOW talk radio, 9News and The Denver Post, Michael Forest Jones, 49, of Denver alleges he had sex on a monthly basis with Haggard over three years. Jones claimed Haggard used the name "Art," admitted he was married and used meth before the two had sex.
The timing of the disclosure has stirred controversy, coming days before Colorado voters will decide on two measures related to gay rights and marriage. Haggard is a chief supporter of Amendment 43, which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman, and he has taken no position on Referendum I, which would grant domestic-partnership rights to same-sex couples.The News removes all doubt:
Jones said he had thought about revealing his alleged affair with Haggard months ago but was advised by his attorney that he needed to gather more evidence. He said he decided to come out with his story before the election to influence voters.Good ol' democracy. What's really weird is how Jones allegedly discovered Haggard's true identity:
"There are two important initiatives," he said, referring to a measure that would grant same-sex couples legal protections afforded to married couples, and another that would define marriage in Colorado as a union between a man and a woman.
"Friends have suffered because of our laws. I felt obligated to get the information out about the hypocrisy of people who make these laws and those who support them."
"The Da Vinci Code was out, and the History Channel was showing all these shows about it. There was one show about the Antichrist. And (Haggard) appeared as an expert. It flashed his name for a moment. I didn't catch it. But I knew right away it was him. I thought, 'Oh my God, there he is. Oh my God, that's Art.'"Antichrist, indeed. The History Channel isn't all nazis and World War II anymore.
Update: Might help if I included links. Fixed.
Update II: Bye-bye, Ted.
Update III: I am a deceiver and a liar.
Update IV: That should read, "Disgraced Haggard: I am a 'deceiver and a liar.'"