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He Smoked Meth, But He Didn't Inhale
Well, he didn't actually take the meth. But, then, yes he did. But, he didn't have gay sex. But, then, yes he did.

"I think I know what you did last night!" (Because I was doing it, too!)

My favorite funny comment from the Steve Gilliard link above:

So, if Pastor Ted was meeting with the President.....Is this what Bush was referring to in 2004 when he stated that the country had given him a mandate?

Man date, heh heh...

But, not to worry, whatever "Pastor Ted" is admitting to or denying at the moment, they're busy, busy, busy over there at National Review Online, twisting themselves into leetle intellectual pretzels trying to stand behind him.

The church is equally twisty in Pastor Ted's defense. (The Jones in the link is Mike Jones, the gay escort Haggart sought out; Brendle is Rev. Rob Brendle, an associate pastor at Haggard's House Of Hypocrisy, uh, mega-church.)

Jones says he found out Haggard's identity several months ago and decided to come forward to "expose the hypocrisy" of Haggard's public support for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which is on Tuesday's ballot in Colorado.

"I think that he seems to be doing what his conscience dictates and my hope is that people's response to him will be one of love and kindness rather than anger and hatred," said Brendle.

He added that the church has openly gay members.

Awww, how sweet! Kind of like being a Jewish storm trooper in 1940.

Brendle said he sees no hypocrisy in Haggard's actions. "To my knowledge, Mike Jones has not alleged that Ted asked him to marry him... No, I do not see this instance as hypocrisy. I do see it as indiscretion, and I am grateful that Ted is repentant and humble."

Honey, what Ted is is caught with his tighty-whities around his ankles, and a meth pipe in his chubby little hand.

Who is (or, rather, was) Pastor Ted? Let's turn to Harpers for a little bio by contributing ed Jeff Sharlet:

Pastor Ted, who talks to President George W. Bush or his advisers every Monday, is a handsome forty-eight-year-old Indianan, most comfortable in denim.

Or, rather, "Most comfortable while bent over in denim." The story continues:

When Bush invited him to the Oval Office to discuss policy with seven other chieftains of the Christian right in late 2003, Pastor Ted regaled his whole congregation with the story via email. “Well, on Monday I was in the World Prayer Center”—New Life's high-tech, twenty-four-hour-a-day prayer chapel —“and my cell phone rang.” It was a presidential aide; “the President,” says Pastor Ted, wanted him on hand for the signing of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Pastor Ted was on a plane the next morning and in the President's office the following afternoon. “It was incredible,” wrote Pastor Ted. He left it to the press to note that Dobson wasn't there.

Why, he's a regular Jack Abramoff! Sharlet continues:

...No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted, and no church more than New Life.

Well, there's a lot of money and power in promoting homophobia -- until you get caught with your pants down, smoking both meth and a bone.

...Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church...

I bet he did. Kind of like church-approved carryout. Sweet!

The atrium is a soaring foyer adorned with the flags of the nations and guarded by another bronze warrior angel, a scowling, bearded type with massive biceps and, again, a sword. The angel's pedestal stands at the center of a great, eight-pointed compass laid out in muted red, white, and blue-black stone. Each point directs the eye to a contemporary painting, most depicting gorgeous, muscular men—one is a blacksmith, another is bound, fetish-style, in chains—in various states of undress. My favorite is The Vessel, by Thomas Blackshear, a major figure in the evangelical-art world.[2] Here in the World Prayer Center is a print of The Vessel, a tall, vertical panel of two nude, ample-breasted, white female angels team-pouring an urn of honey onto the shaved head of a naked, olive-skinned man below. The honey drips down over his slab-like pecs and his six-pack abs into the eponymous vessel, which he holds in front of his crotch. But the vessel can't handle that much honey, so the sweetness oozes over the edges and spills down yet another level, presumably onto our heads, drenching us in golden, godly love. Part of what makes Blackshear's work so compelling is precisely its unabashed eroticism; it aims to turn you on, and then to turn that passion toward Jesus.


...It is not so much the large populations, with their uneasy mix of sinner and saved, that make Christian conservatives leery of urban areas. Even downtown Colorado Springs, presumably as godly as any big town in America, struck the New Lifers I met as unclean. Whenever I asked where to eat, they would warn me away from downtown's neat little grid of cafés and ethnic joints. Stick to Academy, they'd tell me, referring to the vein of superstores and prepackaged eateries—P. F. Chang's, California Pizza Kitchen, et al.—that bypasses the city. Downtown, they said, is “confusing.”

Yeah, like Haggard's sexuality. Perhaps that's part of the big attraction of religion, and why people are so determined to believe, without an iota of proof, in this utterly unbelievable stuff. People like to have stuff figured out for them. They'll ignore the parts that seem wildly implausible, just so they don't have to do any thinking for themselves.

For example: "Gay sex is wrong!"

Really? Why? If the participants are consenting adults, what's the problem? If you don't want to have gay sex, guess what? We won't force you to have it. We won't even take away your right to marry because you're heterosexual.

Hmmm...imagine, for a minute, if the world were mainly filled with gay men and lesbians, and heteros were the minority, and gays and lesbians were all religious nutters determined to keep heteros who love each other from marrying and thus protecting their children, and getting all the rights and privileges married people do. That wouldn't be right or fair, now would it? Any more than denying blondes, redheads, or Latinos the right to marry or adopt children.

How about you all do what works for you, and let everybody else do what works for them, and stop trying to stop them because you believe there's a big man in the sky who really, really cares about you -- like whether you managed to have a bowel movement today or whether you'll be late on your credit card bill again?

Sorry, but there's no evidence there is a god, benevolent, angry, or otherwise, and if there were, do you think god would really be all in your petty little shit? Come on. People say atheism is the height of arrogance -- when really, for me, it's simply saying, "I see no evidence there is a god, so I'd be an idiot to believe in god." Isn't the height of arrogance something else entirely -- namely, stamping your foot and saying there is a god and you know exactly what god wants?

One more thing: If you're a private citizen, or a public citizen who's, say, an architect or a mystery novelist, your sexuality is, as far as I'm concerned, nobody's business but your own. In fact, we'll probably thank you for keeping your big trap shut about it. But, I feel differently about hypocrites in positions of power. Since there are very few, if any, homosexuals who are really closeted heterosexuals, yes, I'm talking about closeted gay men and women who preach or politic homophobia. If you know any, please out them ASAP -- for the public good. So the public can see what a load of religious and political horseshit they're all starry-eyed for.

Here's a comment on this that explains a little further, again, from the Steve Gilliard link, from a guy who gives his name as Kent:

On a serious note folks, regardless of what you think personally about homosexuality or gay marriage or any of those right wing wedge issues, when you think about what the Haggard and Christian right have been doing is insane.

I'm straight and I have 3 young daughters. Like most parents, I want them to grow up with happy rewarding lives. Just out of sheer self-interest and logic I want a world in which gays are completely free to live their own lives as they wish without shame or repression or anything else.

Because what happens when you demonize homosexuality? You generate all these repressed self-loathing closeted wackos like Haggard. And you greatly increase the chance that one of my daughters will get caught up with someone like that. Guys who lives a repressed life according to the strictures of a narrow-minded repressive society until everything finally explodes in a whirlwhind of gay hookers, meth, Republicanism and God knows what else.

And if any of my daughters turn out to be gay? Then I certainly want a world in which they are free to follow their own hearts.

The sheer stupidity and evil behind this sort of Christian-right gay baiting is really beyond belief.

Posted by aalkon at November 6, 2006 11:34 AM

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So, if we're not supposed to care about John Kerry because he's not running for office...

Posted by: Jim Treacher at November 6, 2006 1:19 AM

Amy, I don't think you can say there is no evidence for the existence of God. Many people point to the entire universe as evidence. (Of course, that same universe is evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster.)

Posted by: Norman at November 6, 2006 2:07 AM

In my book, John Kerry had only one thing going for him -- he wasn't the fundamentalist, anti-science George W. Bush. The fact that the bonehead Dems nominated him is one more piece of evidence that we need a third party.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 6, 2006 4:53 AM

Saw a comment on another blog yesterday to the effect that if you're a closeted homosexual, then of course you will see gays as threatening to marriage...YOUR marriage.

Have to say I'm never surprised anymore when one of these anti-gay bigots get caught with a dick in his mouth. "Doth protest too much" indeed.

Posted by: deja pseu at November 6, 2006 5:33 AM

Or, "Mmmmmpphhmmmmphsshth," as the case may be!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 6, 2006 6:18 AM

Three p's, Amy: Mmmmmppphhmmmmphsshth.

Seriously, how was this hypocrit in a position of power? He had no power over me, he had no power over you.

Posted by: Crid at November 6, 2006 7:08 AM

Last time I looked, Crid, there were more than 2 people on this planet.

Posted by: Lena at November 6, 2006 7:21 AM

I'm sickened by all this. The heteros are getting more guy-on-guy action than I am!

Posted by: Darry at November 6, 2006 8:05 AM

So, Lena, he had power over you?

Posted by: Crid at November 6, 2006 8:28 AM

Are you proposing to make me the third, Crid? I'm flattered.

Posted by: Lena at November 6, 2006 9:09 AM

Well, he had regular meeting with Bush, which meant that he had some degree of power, or at least influence, over the whole country. And the evangelical group he formerly headed has 30 million members. That's a lot of votes.

Posted by: deja pseu at November 6, 2006 9:13 AM

Deja is right. Also, as a leader of a "flock," and oh, is that sheep metaphor ever apt, he's preaching hatred of homos while taking it up the ass.

Think about how he got to be the homosexuality denying husband and father of five he is -- probably by having some sicko just like himself preaching the evils of homosexuality rather than the view of the father whose comment I quoted at the end: just wanting his kids to be who they are, whatever their sexuality, and have happy rewarding lives.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 6, 2006 9:34 AM

Great post Amy- why I come back everyday!

As I said, New Life is all over the landscape here in Idaho. Their reach is enormous. Need an abortion in North Idaho? Gotta drive to Yakima Washingtoon about 3 hours away. (This happened to a friend of mine two years ago, whose contraception failed. Her medical insurance would not reimburse her for the procedure since it was out of state.)

Tommorrow I get to vote against the most restrictive marriage amendment in the nation, which even our conservative newspapers refer to as "mean spirited". This law would prevent the recognition of any civil union except marriage, meaning that lifelong partners would have no say over their loved ones wishes and would be denied fundamental access during medical emergencies. No property rights either.

These same people are trying to force prayer back into public schools and the whack teachings of (Christian only) creationism. I would be all for teaching creationism if you also taught Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, American Indian, etc stories of creation, since then Adam and Eve would be placed in the same context as Brahma and The Great Raven. We were taught Greek and Roman creationism, but nobody took it seriously. Great coloring projects though!

Posted by: eric at November 6, 2006 10:54 AM

A regularly-scheduled piss party, where everyone gets to be as snotty as they want 'cause it's the end of the world! Or not.

Nothin' to see here, move along.

Posted by: Crid at November 6, 2006 11:19 AM

(From one of my favorite songs)

"And so with gods and men, the sheep remain inside their pen
Though many times they've seen the way to leave..."

Posted by: deja pseu at November 6, 2006 11:33 AM

I have a brother who is gay. The self-loathing stuff is very, very real.

Posted by: moe99 at November 6, 2006 11:41 AM

That self-loathing has to be a product of religion and social learning (for the non-religious). Bonobos, as far as I know, don't look down on other bonobos for homosexual activity.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 6, 2006 12:37 PM

"In my book, John Kerry had only one thing going for him -- he wasn't the fundamentalist, anti-science George W. Bush. The fact that the bonehead Dems nominated him is one more piece of evidence that we need a third party."

Not really my point, but I can see what you're saying.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at November 6, 2006 12:46 PM

"The self-loathing stuff is very, very real."

It's also very, very hot. Gay Shame makes for a lot more interesting sexplay than Gay Pride.

Posted by: Lena at November 6, 2006 3:42 PM

When you guys have this much fun and ride this high in the saddle, I know something's wrong. By Deja's measure, the guy brings bagels to the White House interns for their Saturday morning meetings is more powerful than the secretary of the interior.

Posted by: Crid at November 6, 2006 5:28 PM

"the guy brings bagels to the White House interns for their Saturday morning meetings"

I shudder to think what he does with the bagels before serving them to those hot young White House pages.

Posted by: Lena at November 6, 2006 5:39 PM

Lena, I'm going to have to eat my lox a la carte from now on after having that image implanted in my brain. But it does bring back a certain jr. high joke about how donuts are made and how the cream ones are filled....

Posted by: deja pseu at November 6, 2006 6:47 PM

I always eat the cream first.

Posted by: Lena at November 6, 2006 8:18 PM

“By Deja's measure, the guy brings bagels to the White House interns for their Saturday morning meetings is more powerful than the secretary of the interior.” No, he doesn’t, and I’m typing this real s-l-o-w, so follow along –
1. Secretary of Department of Interior - Dirk Kempthorne - responsible for managing 507 million acres of federal land (roughly one-fifth of the land area of the United States). Big federal job. Meets with president.
2. Ted Haggard – Head of 30-million strong evangelical group. Spoke with President on phone weekly, presumably at the President’s request.
3. White House bagel guy – Intern. Little if any access to president. No influence on president. None.
When you guys have this much fun and ride this high in the saddle, I know something's wrong.
Now, this I’d like you to explain to me. What exactly is your problem here? You think we’re unfairly picking on the guy? We’re having too much fun seeing a hypocrite (don’t forget that ‘e’ next time) who has the very real power to make a lot of people’s lives miserable by shoddily referencing the mythology of Bronze Age desert nomads, shown up for what he is?
Back in the gay marriage thread, you commented that you LOVED this subject. So what is it about the gays that gets you so riled up? Hmmm, loving the subject of denying marriage to gays, where have I seen that before….

Posted by: Cat brother at November 7, 2006 11:20 AM

"3. White House bagel guy – Intern. Little if any access to president. No influence on president. None."

Unless he's giving the president blow jobs in the oval office, in which case, he has special access. Not that that would ever happen.

Posted by: Michelle at November 7, 2006 3:23 PM

True, that's the famed BJ Exemption. But nobody pretends that Monica influenced domestic policy, as Haggard most likely (doubt we'll know for sure or how much) did, which is how that train of thought got started.

Posted by: Cat brother at November 7, 2006 3:55 PM

Pastor Ted, in his letter of confession, said that he was a "liar and a deceiver." I guess that admission doesn't include the lying and deceiving he's been doing all these years regarding his promotion of Christinsanity. I wonder if Ted really believes in talking snakes, donkeys, Noah's ark, and a god-man who allegedly rose into the sky to save the world from sin. This dangerous nonsense has caused the world catastrophic damage over the years; much more so than his admitted sexual/drug transgressions.

Posted by: Bill Henry at November 7, 2006 4:10 PM

Today was a loss. I just don't have anything to say. Not that it matters.

Posted by: Insurance Lingo at May 12, 2007 4:33 AM

I love this shit!


Posted by: louise at July 11, 2007 2:48 AM

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