— Larry King to fallen evangelist Ted Haggard
Leave it to Larry to find a Freudian way to ask Ted Haggard if he's over guys.
Haggard led a huge Colorado Springs congregation and headed the National Association of Evangelicals, before succuming — oh, now I'm doing it — to unGodly urges that were exposed in 2006. He's back, promoting an HBO documentary on all the networks.
All evangelists of his stripe creep me out, but Haggard out-ranked even Kenneth Copeland on the Hypocri-meter. In his reincarnation, Haggard acknowledges his sins and uses the word "process" a lot like a man in recovery. He's still a flawed person who remains at the center of universe Ted. His fundamental embrace of the bible doesn't make it easy to be a normal, tolerant human being, but he's trying.
When his wife Gayle can get a word in, she talks how they better understand the Christian message of love and forgiveness, and Ted seems to have repudiated his past compulsive behavior without renouncing gays. I find myself hoping they make it.
But I also found myself wondering how a disgraced pastor with a big house can make a living. It's not as if he can just move his act to an evangelical church in another town. Love and forgiveness haven't quite made it that far. In fact, just today, I read a story about a small town doctor badly injured in a bike accident who readers criticized for not acknowledging god for saving his life.
Another writer wonders if the Haggards might be angling for some kind of media deal. I did check their web site that has been named in most of the TV stories. It's not about redemption; it promotes insurance sales and debt consolidation services.