It all started with the seemingly innocent e-mail about his plans to move to Missouri or Iowa that the former Pastor Ted sent to a “friend,” who sent it on to the media.
And now the former Pastor Ted is back on the front page, declaring, through one of his overseers, that after three weeks of intensive “restoration,” that he has “discovered” he is “completely heterosexual.”
“It was the acting-out situations where things took place. It wasn’t a constant thing,” overseer Rev. Tim Ralph was quoted saying in the Colorado Springs Gazette.
But who to believe? Here now is a portion of the letter that Haggard wrote, which was read aloud to the New Life Church congregation the Sunday after he was fired in November.
“I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.”
Meanwhile, as reporters are continuing to milk the latest claim, of total and absolute hetero-ness, readers in Haggard’s soon-to-be-departed hometown have been responding with contempt:
“Yea right, if he is Hetero then I am the queen of England. Once gay always gay,” someone named “G” wrote.
And from “Jason”: “Wow, anti-gay reprogramming complete in just 3 weeks. If you read his e-mail, he said he went through intensive therapy and did three years of work in just three weeks. (Probably because he was on meth and could cram in more therapy time than others in the program).”
And “Dave”: “I for one am sick and tired of hearing about Mr. Haggard. I am surprised we don’t hear how many times a day he goes to the bathroom – what kind and when and where he eats. What color are his clothes??? Are they expensive or cheap?? THIS KIND OF REPORTING IN MY OPINION IS STUPIDITY!! If I were a reporter and could find nothing better to report on, I would quit my job!!!!!”
Cara DeGette is a longtime Colorado journalist and a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.