Not looking so good

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Not looking so good for Ted Haggard:

Haggard, 50, initially denied the allegations, telling 9News Wednesday night that “I’ve never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I’m steady with my wife. I’m faithful to my wife.”

But KKTV in Colorado Springs reported that New Life Associate Senior Pastor Ross Parsley told a meeting of church elders Thursday night that Haggard had met with the church’s overseers earlier in the day and “had admitted to some indiscretions.”

Parsley told the elders that Haggard had said some of the allegations were true, but not all of them.

I’m guessing that to most readers Ted Haggard is barely known. But this is the conservative equivalent of Jesse Jackson getting caught wearing a hood at a Klan cross burning. The political implications are enormous.

While evangelical Christians have been a force in national politics for the last two decades, most evangelicals still harbor a deep disaffection with politics. It remains a predominately secular endeavour, in their view, and for many evangelicals there is a strongly held sense that politics, like other aspects of the pop culture, corrupts those who come in contact with it. That has always been the headwind facing Republicans seeking to rally evangelicals to political purpose.

Foley and Haggard are turning the headwind into a full-blown gale for the GOP.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

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