They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Ted Haggard: 'I Over-Repented' For My Meth-Gay Prostitute 'Crisis'


The profile describes Haggard's new backyard barn church, which features bags of cement and a pulpit made of buckets.

Haggard, who announced his new St. James Church in June, told the Journal: "Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football. Ted Haggard needs to be leading a church."

Haggard was founder and leader of the powerful evangelical New Life Church, before he was forced to resign in 2006 after he admitted to buying meth from a male prostitute, with whom he also had an affair.

As recently as November 2008, Haggard's former friends in the New Life church expressed skepticism regarding Haggard's ability to lead, releasing a statement saying that "we cannot endorse his return to vocational ministry."

From the Journal:

Mr. Haggard said that is ridiculous. He portrays his encounter with the prostitute as a massage that went awry and said he doesn't have same-sex attractions. He dismisses as a "witch hunt" the findings of his former church that he engaged in a pattern of misconduct, including sordid talk and inappropriate relationships. (He said his only fault was cracking a few crude jokes.) But his assurances have raised some eyebrows.

Haggard now says his scandal is helping him reach out to people: "It's amazing. People tell me everything. That never happened when we were respectable."

"I cuss now," he also boasts.