Jesus Camp’s Father Haggard Steps Down After Being Accused of Soliciting a Gay Man for Sex

art1c.jpgWell here’s an interesting turn of events. Last week there were reports floating around the blogosphere that Ted Haggard, an Evangelical leader featured in Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady’s contraversial documentary Jesus Camp had spoken out against the film claiming that it was manipulative in its depcition of himself and his church. (read more about this here)This was later answered with a rebuttal by the filmmakers. On top of that Cinematical (via) reported that Pastor Becky Fischer had announced that she would be closing the doors on her ‘Kids on Fire’ camp which was profiled in the film. Reports of vandolism and hostility towards the organization had forced them to shut down and blame has been placed on the negative attention caused by the release of the film. Pretty crazy. Well guess what? THERE’S MORE!!! Apparently the previously mentioned Father Ted Haggard is now wrapped up in a scandal of his own! All These Wonderful Things brings us this (via):

A Denver resident identifying himself as Mike Jones said he had a sexual relationship with Ted Haggard, founder of the 14,000-member New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Jones also said during his appearance with Boyles that he was paid money by Haggard, who made frequent trips to Denver for sexual liaisons, that he has recorded voicemails and a letter from Haggard, and that he had also witnessed Haggard use methamphetamine.

Wow, does this story keep getting crazier and crazier or what? Of course Haggard responded:

“I’ve never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I’m steady with my wife. I’m faithful to my wife,”

Jones’ rebuttal? “”Yes he is (lying), he had a relationship with me. We had gay sex.” Well it doesn’t get much more blunt than that. Haggard must be cursing the release of this film. At this point he’s temporarily stepped down from his position at the church until this mess is sorted out. Half of me, the more cynical me, is thinking ‘figures’. The other side of me sort of feels bad for the people out there who might unfairly catch the fallout on scandals like this. When a priest is accused of child abuse, all priests are on the chopping block when it comes to public opinion. The question ends up being ‘why are priests raping our kids?’ rather than ‘how are these pedophiles sneaking into the ministry?’. For the full story, head over to The Rocky Mountain News.