Monday, January 26, 2009

Disgraced pastor Haggard facing new sex allegations


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- A megachurch paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about a sexual relationship he had with disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a senior church pastor said.

Haggard, who was fired amid allegations that he used drugs and patronized a male prostitute in 2006, had a sexual relationship with a second man -- a 20-year-old volunteer at his megachurch, the Rev. Brady Boyd, a senior pastor at the church, said Monday.

The church agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship, Boyd said, referring to a settlement reached by the man's lawyer and the church's insurance company. Under the settlement, the church provided the man money to pay his college tuition, moving expenses and counseling, Boyd said.

(full article)

The monumental hypocrisy of Haggard is only one facet of this story, and it's certainly a big one, particularly as it reflects on communities of repressive religions generally. Another important facet is the hypocrisy of the Christian community at large, supposedly a compassionate bunch, shunning and ostracizing this man they once purported to revere, not for his hypocrisy but for his "immoral behavior". That's it. They're really that shallow. Imagine how conflicted, how self-consumed this guy Haggard must have been all this time, to say nothing of what he must be going through now that the truth about him is on display before the world; yet that's the best the "compassionate" Christans can come up with. In their eyes, his terrible sin is having had homosexual relationships. Pathetic. The hush money was, ostensibly at least, meant to help the young man to move beyond this experience, but the net effect and clear intent was to try and shut him up, to sweep under the rug, to the extent possible, the fact that this incident happened at all.