Haggard Outed, Christians Convert To Islam
It's hard to judge the ultimate impact of Pastor Ted Haggart being outed as having a long homosexual relationship, but one suspects this is going to get huge at least in the short term.
Colorado is same sex politics central, with two proposals on the ballot tuesday - an amendment banning gay marriage and a measure that would give same sex couples the same civil rights accorded to straight marriages. Colorado's politics seems to be so important at this late date that Cheny is going there for photo ops tomorrow.
Haggard is no small potatos among the rabid christian crowd. He presided over the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), with 45,000 churches and 30 million believers making up the nation's most powerful religious lobbying group. He was in contact with Bush or his minions every week. His New Life Church has 11,000 members and is in Colorado Springs, the Evangelical Center of the Universe. There are hundreds of churches and groups there with more moving in and metastasizing all the time. The heavyweight among those is James Dobson's Focus on the Family who reach 200 million people around the world.
It's going to be shouted from the usual neocon megaphones that this is a political smeer timed to coincide with the elections and especially the same sex amendments in Colorado. That actually holds some water as the accuser, Mike Jones, "told The Associated Press he decided to go public with his allegations because of the political fight. Jones, who said he is gay, said he was upset when he discovered Haggard and the New Life Church had publicly opposed same-sex marriage."
However if this is skullduggery it's not aimed at the most lucrative of targets. Pastor Ted would actually be considered a moderate among the evangelicals concerning gays. While Dobson would call down fire and brimstone and work to defeat opponents, Haggard would act as a conciliator. He was in support of the 2003 Supreme Court decision to overturn the sodomy laws. He's stated that although his beliefs are opposed to homosexual lifestyles he wouldn't want those beliefs turned into laws. If this was just a hatchet attack why not just make shit up about more high profile gay bashers like Dobson or Rick Santorum? It doesn't look good for Haggard as Jones claims he has solid evidence. That Pastor Ted resigned as well as his church cancelling a rally for him shows that this means a permanent plunge from grace.
There's no doubt that this is going to hit the christians in the solar plexus, hard. I wouldn't begin to speculate on how people will vote in relation to this because it remains to be seen that ANY voting on Nov. 7 will be counted correctly. But with smarmy revelation after scandal after disclosure coming in rapid fire succession, it must be hard counting oneself among the loudly proclaimed family values crowd.
Information about how this entered the media can be gleaned here.