Wednesday, November 2, 2016

10 years ago: Ted Haggard resigns as President of the National Association of Evangelicals amid allegations of homosexual behaviour and drug use

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money...
...He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
I Timothy 3:2-3, 7 (NIV)

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

On November 2, 2006, Ted Haggard, founder and senior pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, announced his resignation as President of the National Association of Evangelicals as the result of accusations from homosexual prostitute and drug dealer Mike Jones that Mr. Haggard had paid Mr. Jones for sex for three years and that Mr. Haggard had purchased crystal methamphetamine from his and used it. Mr. Haggard's resignation was accepted on November 3.

In a bit of interesting timing, November 2006 was the date of the issue of Harper's Magazine that contained the article Soldiers of Christ: Insider America's Most Powerful Megachurch by Jeff Sharlet. The article included this passage:

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, eightpointed 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. 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.

A day or two after the scandal broke, Mr. Sharlet returned to New Life Church, and noticed that the artwork that he had noticed and commented on had all been hastily covered up or removed--which this blogger finds very suspicious.

Check the Infogalactic entry for more information on the duplicitous Mr. Haggard and his scandals. For my views on Mr. Haggard, I refer the reader to my post Ted Haggard refuses to stay out of the limelight (January 6, 2012).

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