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Haggard Apology, Take Two

Rev. Ted Haggard preached that homosexuality was a sin  until Nov. 3, 2006, when the founder and pastor of the 14,000-member  New Life Church  in Colorado Springs, Colo., was fired from his pulpit over a sex scandal  involving a gay male prostitute named Mike Jones, from whom Haggard also bought methamphetamines. Although Haggard at first denied much of Jones’ account, telling reporters he’d received only a massage and had thrown away the drugs (“I was tempted. I bought it. But I never used it”),  Haggard later made a fuller confession to church leaders. On Nov. 5 a  letter from the disgraced pastor (see below and next page) was read aloud to his assembled church members, along with another letter (see page 3) from Haggard’s wife Gayle addressed to the women of the congregation. Neither letter spells out precisely what Haggard has confessed to, but according to this press release  from New Life Church, its board of overseers was able to conclude “without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.” Among those friends of Haggard who stepped forward initially in  support of Haggard was Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family.  Dobson was briefly set to counsel the fallen religious leader, but he backed away from the restoration effort a few days later, citing a shortage of time.

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