Ted Haggard’s Back for Your Money

August 23, 2007 at 2:01 pm 25 comments

You remember Ted Haggard, the gay hooker loving, crystal meth buying former minister of New Life Church in Colorado, right? Well, he’s baaaaack! And he wants your money.

From Colorado Confidential:

Haggard, the charismatic former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, was fired last Nov. 4 from the 14,000-member New Life Church that he founded after he admitted buying meth and getting massages from a male escort. After three weeks of intensive “restoration” therapy, Haggard claimed he was “completely heterosexual”; he and his family subsequently moved to Arizona.

In his most recent communiqué with the Colorado Springs TV reporter, Haggard indicates that he and his wife Gayle, along with their two underage younger sons, are planning to move into a one-bedroom apartment in a Phoenix halfway house to minister to the residents. They are both, he wrote, enrolled at the University of Phoenix.

In what is clearly a fundraising letter, Haggard indicated, “we need to raise our own support.” However, he doesn’t mention that when he left the church, New Life Church leaders agreed to pay his salary through 2007 – estimated at about $138,000 annually.

In addition, as Colorado Confidential reported earlier this month, El Paso County Assessor property records show that the Haggard’s still own their 5-bedroom, 3-bath home in Colorado Springs. Sitting on 5.1 acres, its current market value is listed at $715,051

It takes some serious gaul to get busted for buying drugs, cheating on your wife with a male hooker all while preaching family values and anti-gay rhetoric from the pulpit and then come back after a mere three weeks in therapy to claim that you are now “completely heterosexual” and continue to ask others to support you through religious contributions.

Check out this short clip of Haggard from the film Jesus Camp in which he talks about knowing right from wrong and jokes about taking contributions for keeping secrets to get a sense of his smarminess.

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Entry filed under: Conservatives, Hypocrites, LGBT, Religion, Republicans, Video, YouTube.

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25 Comments Add your own

  • 1. PB and J  |  August 23, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    good post…my question is this: why did haggard have a 700K house to begin with???

    peter

    Reply
  • 2. Ted Haggard Wants Your Dough / Queerty  |  August 23, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    […] the way Haggard tells it, the move’s putting a bit of strain on his wallet. And he needs a little help from his friends. In a letter to Colorado ABC affiliate […]

    Reply
  • 3. Bloggernista  |  August 23, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    You don’t expect someone like Haggard to live amongst the sheep of his flock do you?

    Reply
  • 4. jack jett  |  August 23, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    He has an all you can eat vagina buffet right in front of him and I can barely afford a bottle of poppers.

    Maybe he could hook up with Bob Allen, the right winger he offered up 20 bucks to give a blow job.

    IJS………..

    jack jett
    http://www.yabbadabbahubbado.com

    Reply
  • 5. PB and J  |  August 23, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    blogga

    i didnt mean to disparage Ted too much. i feel sincerely bad for him and family. but i dont feel bad for the luxury the lived and live in. i think its actually a pretty sad state of affairs, but unfortunately “christian” leaders have been rich and powerful since Constantine.

    peter

    Reply
  • 6. Bloggernista  |  August 23, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Peter, that’s something I don’t understand either. I don’t have a problem with people having a decent life, but some of the material rewards that religious leaders take/get don’t seem to jive with Jesus’ stated commitment to uplifting the poor and needy.

    Reply
  • 7. Beth  |  August 23, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Shortly after Haggard’s story broke, someone did a little piece on the pastors at that church and the value of the homes they all lived in. If I remember correctly, not a one was under 300k. It’s outrageous the lives that some of these ministers are living, but when you tell the church they have to tithe 10% or they’re not doing what the Lord wants, well…
    Just take a 14,000 member mega church, assume a pretty meager income of 35K (especially for Colorado Springs), and that’s 490 million. Is my math right? They’re not all going to church, they’re not all giving tithes, but some might be giving more too.
    I sense my next degree in theater, I mean divinity…

    Reply
  • 8. Beth  |  August 23, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    oops, 49 million. Well, forget the career change then…

    Reply
  • 9. PB and J  |  August 23, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    beth

    i think you make an excellent pt. the problem i have is not giving 10% (or more) to the church. but it is to the church to help other people, not to help the ministers. in fact, i think ministers should voluntarily have the lowest income of their parish.

    for instance, if there is a person in their church who makes below the poverty level, and the minister is making just say 60K, then the minister can easily afford to take a lower salary and let the church help the needy family instead.

    honestly, this is something that REALLY bothers me about many pastors in USA today.

    peter

    Reply
  • 10. Brian  |  August 24, 2007 at 6:36 am

    First, I found Haggard’s behavior a stain on the Christian name. Not only did he abuse the power he had, he lied about it and appears to continue to lie. In my opinion he has no place in the public arena of Christian leaders. Now with that said, I find some of the comments regarding how a minister should live both naive and simplistic. First, Colorado Springs is not a cheap place to live. Is it neccessary to have a 700K home? Probably not. However it isn’t hard to find many very unassuming homes in that area for that much money. Second, the comment that a minister should take a pay cut, assuming they are not already getting paid a very high salary by any standard, is beyond simplistic. With that logic, all ministers should receive no more than the minimum government assistance. The cold hard fact is that all church employees have to still pay the mortgage, electric bill, and buy groceries. Plus, just like everyone else, at some point they will retire from the paid workforce. Peter, can I assume then that you will provide for your ministers in their old age? I thought not. Any church paid job is just that, a job. While we can spout off wonderfully pious statements about lowest salary that misguided thinking quickly flies out the window when your local church/parish/synagogue can’t get a minister or music director or even office manager because you think all church employees must live at the poverty level. Sorry kids. Unless you are willing to be lead by uneducated but well meaning lay leaders this is the reality of the church today.

    Reply
  • 11. saintlewis  |  August 24, 2007 at 7:39 am

    Honestly, I’m surprised his home ONLY cost $700,000, given that he ran an ‘organization’ of 15,000+ people (church or not, that’s still significant). It all depends on WHERE you live, honestly – my home is around $250,000+ and it’s only 1,100 square feet…one home nearby – not a very large one – just went from $20,000,000. Yeah, he made some bad choices – he may even be deceptive – but lay off the salary and the house…that sorta stuff is just too relative.

    Reply
  • 12. saintlewis  |  August 24, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Of course, it should be noted that he clearly isn’t choosing the same route as “John Piper”, who gives anything above what he needs to live to missions, doesn’t receive any royalties from his book sales, drives old cars and he bought used, and lives in a very modest (from what I’ve heard, surprisingly so) home, in spite of pastoring a mega-church. I don’t, however, believe that choosing such a lifestyle is absolutely necessary to being a Christian, or a pastor.

    Reply
  • 13. startlingmoniker  |  August 24, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Regardless of whether he ends up making a lot of money or not, he’s a gay man trapped by his own cowardice, and hemmed in on all sides by the fundamentalist intolerance he’s created. By any real measure, that’s got to hurt. The irony is that this is the only life he’s got, and he’s wasting it.

    Reply
  • 14. maliha siddiqui  |  August 24, 2007 at 9:23 am

    i think a man like who was a religious figure and he did all of this shouldn’t be entitled to any of this at all … and he should peacefully raise his family away from all this and live a respectful life at least the little bit that is left from it.

    Reply
  • 15. Bloggernista  |  August 24, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Haggard played a huge role in promoting anti-gay bigotry and intolerance. Even has he was consorting with gay hookers, he was castigating anyone who speaking out against LGBT civil rights. He is continuing to lead a life of dishonesty.

    Reply
  • 16. Dangerous Dave  |  August 24, 2007 at 10:38 am

    I find any evangelist that lives excessively disgusting. The pastor at my church drives a ’94 Camry with peeling paint and lives in a very modest home.

    Once my wife asked if she should send a check to the 700 Club.

    I told her that the day when our own pastor was tooling around Lake Tahoe on a powerboat and Pat Robertson had to fix the water pump on his own 10 year old car would be the day that she could send a check to the 700 Club.

    I have a friend who works in sales that can justify anything, but even he can’t come up with a reason for an evangelist to live in a mansion and drive around in a new Caddy every year.

    Reply
  • 17. School Teacher  |  August 24, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    I soo agree with you Dangerous Dave. I’m so tired of the hypocrisy among so called Christians……and this is coming from someone who grew up in the church.

    Did anyone see the expose on Paul and Jan Crouch (founders of TBN) in the L.A. Times? What about the expose on Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar and others on Dateline NBC? The problem with these mega pastors living a life of excess is that many of their church members are struggling to make ends meet themselves, but are constantly “stepping out on faith” and “planting seeds” that only seem to benefit their pastors. Also, didn’t Christ live a life of simplicity? Doesn’t the bible speak of Christian men and women separating themselves from worldly things? But it’s o.k for the pastor to have a yacht, two Bentley’s, a million dollar house and access to any and all other worldly goods that he or she desires?

    In my opinion, a pastor should earn no more than the average amount of the total sum of the salaries of his or her members. And if they truly loved Christ they would be more giving than seemingly egotistic and self-serving.

    Reply
  • 18. millsapian87  |  August 24, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    >It takes some serious gaul

    The word is “gall”, but otherwise, yeah. Haggard, like the rest of ’em, is just another Elmer Gantry, only without the heterosexuality or athleticism. And Creflo Dollar? How much more obvious does it have to be?

    Reply
  • 19. engtech  |  August 24, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    what the hell is wrong with this guy?

    Reply
  • 20. Bloggernista  |  August 24, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Millsapian87, thanks for the spell check!

    Engtech, Haggard is living in a cesspool of self-hatred and delusion. Unfortunately, too many people are buying what he is selling.

    Reply
  • 21. Charles Wilson  |  August 25, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Something else to think about is whether Haggard is encouraging tax fraud by asking people who “need a tax deduction” to route their contribution through “Families With A Mission.”

    Some years back, I looked into establishing a charitable foundation. I recall that, when I checked the regulations, there’s a prohibition on using a 501(c)(3) organization to aid a single person.

    This is tax-lawyer stuff, but the phrasing of Haggard’s solicitation makes it appear as if “Families With A Mission” is nothing but a pass-through device, as opposed to a genuine charitable foundation.

    Ah, those wacky Christians. They’ve been washed in the blood of the lamb,so the rules don’t apply to them!

    Reply
  • 22. Ted Haggard: Tax Cheat? « Bloggernista  |  August 26, 2007 at 10:39 am

    […] the question Dan Savage asks over at Slog. I posted a few days ago about Haggard’s new fundraising appeal in which he asks you to pay for his continuing education because the $130,000+ salary that he is […]

    Reply
  • 23. drew  |  August 27, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    What ever happened to working at McDonald’s while receiving counseling?, but then again the whole food handling thing makes me nauseas.

    Reply
  • 24. PB and J  |  August 27, 2007 at 8:19 pm

    brian

    sorry i am just getting to your comment…i didnt notice it before…

    you said, “can I assume then that you will provide for your ministers in their old age? I thought not.”

    the problem is that you CANNOT assume that. in fact, i agree with supporting them in their old age entirely. and yes, i do think we can EXPECT higher standards for those who dedicate their lives to be “ministers”.

    peter

    Reply
  • 25. Ted Haggard’s Been Kicked to the Curb « Bloggernista  |  August 29, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    […] Haggard’s Been Kicked to the Curb 29 08 2007 Ted Haggard, the gay hooker loving, crystal meth purchasing “completely heterosexual” former head […]

    Reply

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