Civil Liberties

Haggard Defense


As Tim Cavanaugh noted while I was writing my post on the same topic, the Rev. Ted Haggard resigned yesterday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after a former male prostitute, Mike Jones, told a Denver TV station he'd been having a sexual affair with Haggard for three years. Haggard is married and has five children; his organization views homosexual sex (not to mention adultery) as a grave sin. Jones said he came forward because of Haggard's vocal support for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. "I had to do the moral thing in my mind," he said, "and that is expose someone who is preaching one thing and doing the opposite behind everybody's back." Haggard at first said he's always been faithful to his wife and denied ever meeting Jones, then admitted calling him for a massage and buying methamphetamine from him but added that he never had sex with Jones and never used the meth. Haggard missed a chance at mitigation when, in response to Jones' charge that he'd used meth, he denied using drugs of any kind, including tobacco and alcohol.

Sounds like a good opportunity for Jeremy Lott to make the talk show rounds.  I confess I have not read Jeremy's book yet, but I suppose he might say that it's better to uphold moral standards rather than attack them (assuming the standards are valid), even when you privately fail to practice what you preach. Haggard's misbehavior is certainly not conclusive evidence that his stance on gay marriage (or adultery, for that matter) is wrong. But like, say, the weight of an anti-fat crusader, it is not only interesting but fair game given the subject's publicly stated views.