Friday, February 15, 2008

Ted Arthur Haggard

Ted Arthur Haggard (June 27, 1956) is a former American evangelical preacher. Known as Pastor Ted to the congregations he has served, he is the founder and former pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado; a founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches; and was leader of the National Association of Evangelicals from 2003 until November 2006. In November 2006, he resigned or was removed from all of his leadership positions after allegations of homosexual sex and drug abuse were made by Mike Jones, a former prostitute. Initially Haggard denied even knowing Mike Jones, but as a media investigation proceeded he acknowledged that some allegations, such as his purchase of methamphetamine, were true. He later added "sexual immorality" to his list of confessions. After the scandal was publicized, Haggard entered three weeks of intensive counseling, overseen by four ministers. On February 6, 2007 one of those ministers, Tim Ralph, stated that Haggard "is completely heterosexual." Ralph later said he meant to say that therapy "gave Ted the tools to help to embrace his heterosexual side." Despite having homosexual relations with masseur Mike Jones, Haggard has condemned "homosexual activity.” In the documentary Jesus Camp, one scene shows a sermon where he preaches, "we don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It’s written in the Bible." Although Haggard opposes same-sex marriage, he has suggested that there should be civil unions for homosexual couples.

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