Alex Blaze

Ted Haggard wishes he knew how to quit... tax breaks

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 02, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Media
Tags: Gayle Haggard, oprah, st. james church, tax, ted Haggard

Pastor Ted Haggard (who got outed by a male prostitute a few years back) had a big, surprise announcement yesterday. ted_haggard1233333532.jpgIt turns out he is starting a new church, something he knows about since he built one of the biggest megachurches in the country only to be kicked out of it for being gay.

This isn't really news even though it finally got reported yesterday - Ted Haggard was talking about the formation of St. James Church back in mid-May:

In April, Haggard's wife, Gayle, registered St. James Church as a nonprofit located at their home address on Old Ranch Road, according to documents filed with the Colorado secretary of state's office.

Haggard told the Colorado Springs Gazette on Tuesday that St. James had been incorporated for accounting purposes, because the couple gives paid talks around the country.

It's registered as a nonprofit, and it's put together for "accounting purposes" to account for all that money they're making in speaking fees. Now I know a few people who get checks for speaking here and there, but none of them that I know of have incorporate a church in order to be able to account for that money. Tax law doesn't require anyone to form a church to speak for money.

Unless he wants to have a church collect that money tax-free and then run his expenses through that church so he saves a few shekels.

Now, he wouldn't be the first person to abuse church's tax-exempt status for his own personal gain. Just the way this country works. If anything, church's should lose their tax exemption on all income not actually used for charity (like feeding and sheltering people kind of charity, not getting them into heaven kind of charity), but they're another industry like the military industrial complex and the health care industry with so much money and entrenched power that that's not going to change any time soon.

Ted Haggard still seems excessively confused by his sexuality. On his bizarre appearance on Oprah last year he refused to be pinned down to any sort of label - even the "my sexuality doesn't have a label" label. Here's what I wrote about him at the time:

Half of what he said made no sense at all. If God loves him the way he is now, and he thinks that sexuality is something that can't be changed, then why does he think heterosexual, monogamous relationships are the "ideal" and that he should try to change? If he thinks he should accept himself the way he is now and that lying and self-denial are wrong, then what's up with the "heterosexual with issues" line, instead of saying that he's gay or bi or queer?

It doesn't make much sense to analyze him from the perspective of what he says. The man's a liar, a smooth liar who lies like he talks. He didn't mention the latest accusation against him which came out a couple days after the show was taped and said he didn't because of "privacy concerns." (Uh-huh, that's why the young man he molested got paid hush money and Ted called him up to make sure he destroyed evidence.)

It's easier to understand him from the perspective of what he wants. The clip from the HBO documentary on him in which he called himself a "loser" because he was poor (after getting $300K from the church and not having to cover his own housing), was pretty revealing: he was able to blow through that money quickly to maintain a certain lifestyle and he attached his self-worth to having those things. The wife, the family, the respect, the fame, the fortune, all of that seems like what he wants, and he seems to be willing to do whatever he needs to do to get those things.

Oprah did a good job with the interview and tried to clear up some of the confusion, but of course what he's saying will be confusing because he's pretty confused himself. Gayle, though, seems to be in a different place in her understanding of what her husband is going though, which indicates to me that they don't talk much about it.

And now he's saying that everyone is welcome in his church, no matter their sexuality (so long as gay people know their place since he won't bless same-sex relationships), but said:

I don't judge people anymore. Sexuality is very complex and very confusing.

It is, but it isn't. Ted Haggard is probably closer to a fame-and-fortune-sexual, and that's not too hard to understand.

Here's video from the press conference.

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1. Admitted we were powerless over tax exempt status, that our lives had become unmanageable (and unintelligible as well)

This looks like a in for our comunity, maybe quietly, but a possible in. The story should be followed up.


Joe-Allen Doty | June 3, 2010 2:02 PM

Ted Haggard was graduated with a Bachelor's in the Bible or Theology degree from Oral Roberts University in May 1978.

I was probably in some undergraduate theology/Bible courses which I took as leveling courses when I was in the Master of Arts in Theological and Historical Studies degree program during the period of fall '75 through spring '78.

I didn't know him personally but, I have local friends who had known him personally.

I know quite a bit about his personal history and the fact that his father wanted him to become a preacher.

I would like to confront him or a person like him and ask him about how he experiences his sexual attractions towards other men. I sort of think that he's just a heterosexually married man whose sexual orientation is exclusively homosexual. His excuses of being sexually molested making him like he is shows how ignorant he really is about human sexuality.,

Joe-Allen Doty | June 3, 2010 2:10 PM

Oh, I was very much in denial of my sexual orientation when I was a student working on a 2nd Masters degree at ORU. I got a M.Ed. from a state college.

I even dated women and was looking for someone to marry at that time. That's a long story of exactly why but it had to do with becoming a missionary with the Assemblies of God denomination.

In the summer of 2000, there was a group of guys who had gone to ORU in the Pride Parade here in Tulsa. They wore T-shirts with on them. I joined the group after that day and I was on a float in the 2001 Pride Parade the next year after that. I even helped decorate the top prize winning float, too.

ORU Out no longer exists and those of us who live in Tulsa who belonged don't know why the group disbanded. The founder had been an ORU grad and his father was a professor there. Jeff lived in the Dallas area.

I was pleasantly surprised how many closeted guys I actually knew when I was an ORU student. I believe that there was more than 300 people on Jeff's update email list.

diddlygrl | June 3, 2010 3:41 PM

Ted Haggert is doing what he is trained to do, lie, cheat, and steal for a morally bankrupt and absurdly out of touch ideology. If you think he has saving peoples souls in mind, well I am sure you must realize the out of pocket costs to do so have to come from somewhere.