Ted Haggard Shares Shocking Details in New Interview
From Christian Post:
In a new GQ magazine profile, Colorado Springs pastor Ted Haggard disclosed shocking details about his drug use, sexuality, and pornography viewing.
Haggard told GQ reporter Kevin Roose while on a camping trip that he still believes that the Bible is clear that "homosexuality is not God's best plan for people." But Roose reports that a few days later when Haggard was back at home, the former megachurch pastor shared that he would describe himself as “bisexual” if not for his belief system and family.
"I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual," Haggard said in the February issue of GQ magazine.
But he added, "I'm 54, with children, with a belief system, and I can have enforced boundaries in my life. Just like you're a heterosexual but you don't have sex with every woman that you're attracted to, so I can be who I am and exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied."
Only a few years ago, Haggard was among the most prominent evangelical leaders in the country. But he fell from grace after a drug and sex scandal involving a gay male prostitute was exposed in 2006. The scandal forced him to resign as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs and as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
During the scandal, Haggard confessed to "sexual immorality" with Denver male escort Mike Jones, but denied having sex with him. In the GQ article, he reasserted that, "We never had sex sex. I bought drugs and a massage from him, and he masturbated me at the end of it. That's it."
But contrary to prior statements that he bought methamphetamine from Jones but never used it, Haggard confessed that he has used the drug.
"Sometimes I'd throw it away," he said. "Other times, I'd go someplace and masturbate and use it. But it was for masturbation. And that's one of the reasons why I haven't been real clear. I don't want to stand up publicly and say, 'Hey, I'm a masturbation guy!'
Haggard said he would use the drugs while watching heterosexual and gay porn.
The Christian Post contacted Haggard on Thursday, but he declined to be interviewed.
The GQ interview comes about two weeks after the TLC premiere of "Ted Haggard: Scandalous," a one-hour special documentary that allows Haggard to share how the scandal strained his relationship with New Life Church, which he founded. The documentary also follows him and his wife Gayle for several days last summer as they prepared to launch their new church, St. James
In an interview with The Christian Post earlier this month about the TLC special, Haggard commented on the skepticism that some people may have of his current role as pastor of St. James Church.
"All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God," he said. "All people have some form of self-righteousness in them and some form of depravity in them. That's why our process to grow in Christ continues through a lifetime."
Haggard also said that he was very grateful to God for His faithfulness and how God's word has been working in his life.
"My family is together, my marriage is strong, we have a gorgeous, beautiful church, and we have warm fellowship with the saints and with the community," he said.
"I don't know how life can be better at this point. Well, I do know, I shouldn't have sinned and the consequences of it. But Jesus has done a miracle in my life and I'm grateful."
Katherine T. Phan
Christian Post Reporter