Last week a 25-year-old former church aide told a Colorado Springs radio station that Ted Haggard, the disgraced former pastor and National Association of Evangelicals president—once one of the most influential Christians in America—had performed a “sex act” in front of him in 2006. What wans’t clear was why Grant Haas was revealing this info now? The AP reports:
The pastor’s dramatic fall began in November 2006 when a Denver male prostitute alleged a cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard. Haggard confessed to undisclosed “sexual immorality” and resigned as president of the National Assn. of Evangelicals and pastor of New Life Church.
The new revelations involve Grant Haas, who told the TV station that he met Haggard in 2005 when he was 22. He said he told Haggard that he had been kicked out of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for “struggles with homosexuality.”
“It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up and his whole attitude towards me changed,” he told the station. Reached by text message Monday, Haas agreed to be identified by the Associated Press. Haggard’s statement also identified him.
Haas said he contacted the church after the Haggard scandal in November 2006.
The church has said it struck a legal settlement with the man—it has not named Haas—in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship. Brady Boyd, Haggard’s successor as pastor at New Life, called it “compassionate assistance—certainly not hush money.”
Haggard hasn’t really left the limelight since his fall. Lately he’s been working the television speaking circuit, in the run-up to HBO’s documentary “The Trials of Ted Haggard.”
“Haggard certainly hasn’t been restored,” his former writer and editor wrote for Slate last week. Patton Dodd, now at Beliefnet, continued: