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Ted Haggard and the Sparkling Gem of Hypocrisy

Ted HaggardI just finished watching the Alexandra Pelosi documentary The Trials Of Ted Haggard. Before watching this documentary, I had always felt that Ted Haggard had gotten what was coming to him. I had an empathetic feeling of sorrow for his wife and five children, but thought that he deserved the public scorn and humiliation that was assailing him. After watching this documentary, my opinion changed a little bit.

Now make no mistake, Ted Haggard did lead a life of double standards to be sure. There is video example after example of his preaching that homosexuals are sinners who need help, and all the while he was using methamphetamines and partaking in the massage skills of Mr. Mike Jones, a known homosexual prostitute.

Believe it or not, this obvious breach of pastoral etiquette is not the hypocrisy to which the title of this story refers.

No. I am, in fact, referring to the hypocritical treatment that the Haggard family et al, received from their New Life Ministry “leaders.” Once again, allow me to be crystal clear that I am not defending Ted Haggard. He got what was coming. I just found it over-the-top crazy that these religious leaders felt the best way to shepherd their lost sheep (Haggard) back into the fold was to publicly humiliate him and force his family into a settlement requiring exile from the state of Colorado.

I am not a Christian but I do believe this is not what Jesus would have done (I also believe that rising from the dead was something that Jesus would not have done…but I digress). These leaders are men who preach forgiveness, loving the sinner but hating the sin, and the power of redemption. The best they could come up with was exile? Now we’re getting biblical.

Did Haggard wander around a desert after his exodus? Yes… although it wasn’t Egypt and it didn’t take 40 years. Haggard explains how he enjoyed going to the desert in Arizona, reading scripture, and praying to God for guidance.

Here is what I believe was the bottom line. Reverend Ted’s actions could undermine the faith of New Life Ministry’s parishioners (customers) and the leaders (religious business men) of New Life Ministries didn’t want their church (business) to be tainted (drop in revenue) because of  Reverend Ted’s behavior.

If I were a parishioner of the New Life Ministry I would be just as ashamed of its leaders as I was of Reverend Ted.

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