Saturday, November 29, 2008

Focus on the Fundies: Ted Haggard is preaching again

For some reason, disgraced, defrocked religious leaders always seem to be able to attract new or old followers by allowing the suckers to "forgive" them and thus feel virtuous. And in America, there has never been a shortage of either. Disgraced Colorado Springs megachurch leader Ted Haggard, whose outing as a meth-snorting, gay prostitute-paying hypocrite played a role in 2006's Republican election debacle, and in the disillusionment of right-wing Christians with the Republican party, is preaching again, appearing at a rural Illinois church.

Then the 50-year-old president of the National Association of Evangelicals and a symbol of the relationship between the Christian Right and the Republican Party, Haggard was outed by the male prostitute whom he had patronized and bought drugs from over several years in Colorado. His very public fall, coming just days before the 2006 election, was preceded a month earlier by the fall of Mark Foley, and marked the beginning of the end of Republican domination of electoral politics in the U.S. for several years.

Be sure to read to the end of today's story where an elder of Haggard's former church compares him to a "mouse" in his present state.

Update: Courtesy Jeff Sharlett, here's an ABC News story -- with audio excerpts from Haggard's sermon if you play the video.

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