President of National Association of Evangelicals is accused of 3-year sexual relationship with gay hooker, and of taking drugs (by John in DC - via AMERICABlog.com, via Atrios)
UPDATE: This guy is reportedly as important as James Dobson: The press tends to regard Dobson as the most powerful evangelical Christian in America, but Pastor Ted is at least his equal. UPDATE: Here is how big this story is.
Christian evangelical leader Ted Haggard... one of the nation's most influential evangelical Christians, whose overstuffed agenda includes a weekly conference call to the White House.
He also claims to have direct access to George Bush:
"We have direct access," says Mr. Haggard, senior pastor of the giant New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. "I can call [Mr. Goeglein], he'll take my concern to the president and get back to me in 24 hours."
And he's virulently anti-gay. This guy was on TIME's list of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America. It doesn't get any bigger than this. And he's from Colorado. Wonder what Marilyn Musgrave has to say about this?
From 9News in Denver:
A gay man and admitted male escort claims he has had an ongoing sexual relationship with a well-known Evangelical pastor from Colorado Springs.
Mike Jones told '9 Wants to Know' Investigative Reporter Paula Woodward he has had a "sexual business" relationship with Pastor Ted Haggard for the past three years. Haggard is the founder and senior leader of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The church has 14,000 members. He is also president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an organization that represents millions of people.
Haggard is married with five children and an outspoken critic of gay marriage....
Jones started talking to 9 Wants to Know two months ago. He claims Haggard has been paying him for sex over the past three years, even though Haggard preaches that homosexuality is a sin.
Jones also claims Haggard used methamphetamine in his presence on several occasions....
Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw profiled Haggard in 2005 in a series on mega-churches. Haggard was also listed by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Evangelicals in America last year.
O Schadenfreude, O SchadenfreudeWie schoen ist deine Befriedigung.