The Rant 

Hmmm. I was all set to write some really deep, thoughtful words about how we should not judge evangelical minister Ted Haggard, because he is human and we all do things we regret and how painful it must be to live with something so confusing that you condemn it in others on a national scale and preach about what an abomination it is and how we should all try to understand the sometimes fine line between talking the talk and walking the walk and so on and so on. But then, I am not that deep and thoughtful a guy and there is just too much here that is too surreal to let it go at that. Yes, while George Bush and party took a "thumpin'" during the elections last week, one of his weekly spiritual advisers was taking a "humpin'" from a male prostitute! Haggard, one of the most influential men on the religious right and a strong opponent of homosexuals, turned out not only to be a little light in his loafers but allegedly did his business illegally with a paid hustler and bought some crystal meth from the dude. He says he threw the meth away, but then he also at first said he had never had a gay relationship. And who would go to the trouble of buying it -- from a male prostitute -- only to throw it away? Now, it's true that Ted has always been a little obsessed with his weight. He published his Jerusalem Diet cookbook several years ago and wrote about his struggle with his weight and how he had managed to keep it down eating the way people eat in Jerusalem -- eating only fruits. Well, fruits and nuts! This is too good to be true. And can you imagine how awful his wife is feeling at this point, having written a chapter in the book that advises women to get a massage? I keep wondering if, during his Monday-morning phone calls to advise President Bush on spiritual matters (I feel like Beevis and Butthead here and really want to write "Heh, heh. BUSH. Gay spiritual adviser to a Bush. Heh, heh, heh," but I am above that), Haggard had just finished some hot, meth-charged man-sex with his male prostitute. Can you imagine? You're the hooker and you just finish turning a trick and the guy is sitting on the side of the bed talking on his cell phone and you ask him who he's talking to and he says it's the president of the United States. How awesome is that? I would have grabbed the phone out of his hand and started talking to George myself: "Hey George, you don't know what you're missing out here in Colorado with your buddy, Ted! I know you gave up cocaine, but are you into meth at all? We have some! We're going to do a few lines and then go line dancing at the cowboy bar! What's that, George? Ted's phone is breaking up. No, I didn't say to tell Ted Kennedy, 'Hello, ol' chap.' I said, 'Ted is looking might good in his leather chaps!'" My absolute favorite part of all this is that Haggard is going to go through a three- to five-year process of "spiritual reconstruction" that includes having men lay hands on him. Men lay hands on him? Uh, isn't that what got him into this hot water in the first place? He's probably kicked-back, thinking, Wow! And all along I've been paying for this? Now I get it free for five years! Somehow, the thought of seeing a bunch of men all laying hands on Haggard is more than a little creepy. I certainly hope no incense is involved in this practice. Or music from a boys' choir. Not to mention the song "Rocky Mountain High." This one is bound to go down in the annals of history. Okay, okay. Enough being mean. I do wish the man peace of mind and hope that he gets reconstructed. I just hope he is never allowed to get rich again by condemning an entire population of people for doing honestly what he has been doing in a "backdoor" kind of way all this time. Maybe this outing will give him a new lease on life. That way he won't have to rent men anymore.


Speaking of Ted Haggard


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