January 7th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Disgraced pastor Ted Haggard returns in cable TV special

Ted Haggard, the former megachurch pastor and former National Association of Evangelicals chief whose career was undone by a sex and drugs scandal in 2006, will appear in a cable TV special this month.

"Ted Haggard: Scandalous" will explore his fall from grace, he said. "It shows the drama and the intrigue" that exploded following revelations that he had engaged in sexual encounters with a male prostitute and purchased crystal meth. Haggard described the scandal as "highly embarrassing and shameful for me."

The show is scheduled to air on TLC on January 16.

In 2006, Haggard acknowledged having received a massage from a Denver, Colorado, man who said that the prominent pastor had paid him for sex over three years.

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. NL

    I think that the best proof that Satan is actually real has to be TLC! If Hitler were still alive they'd give him his own show. As it is, "The Real Lives of Dictators" is about the only profession not featured on that channel, although Cake Boss comes close. 😉

    January 8, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  2. Gary

    Haggerd, You were born gay. Be yourself and be gay. Nothing to be embarrassed about. No one learns to be gay or straight. I was born straight. I did not choose to be attracted to women I was born this way. You seem to be attracted to men so enjoy it. The only thing embarrassing is the ignorant weak minded religious idiots who demonize gay people.

    January 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Yep! Well said.

      Except, Haggard once bad mouthed gay people with the best of the religious nuts. I don't trust him, even a tiny bit. I think he goes were the money is.


      January 8, 2011 at 7:31 am |
    • NL

      Ever since Jesus was executed prematurely Christian leaders have had a knack of being able to parlay, or even redefine, a crushing defeat into overwhelming success. Sure Haggard will bounce back. Christians love the struggles of prodigal children far more than the steadfast believers who never seem to back slide. Seeing somebody humbled and asking for your forgiveness seems to be very alluring to them. I wonder what Jung would make of that? 🙂

      January 9, 2011 at 1:08 am |

    No doubt the guy really blew it and he deserves some of what he got because of it. I've spent time with the guy and his wife. They are very genuine and they aren't in it for the money or notoriety. The money sucks and they get slammed by "Christians" as much as from those who are not.

    I would simply as the question, "do people deserve a chance to change, and in what arena?" The Haggard's are well down the road to healthy recovery as individuals and as a family. But, they chose the most difficult arena to do it in and they are taking hard hits for it. That takes guts and it is encouraging to others who have to make hard choices to overcome big issues that would otherwise sink their lives; substance abuse, infidelity, whatever.

    January 7, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Scamming the faithful is what haggard does best. It is the only trade he knows.

      I saw a doc_umentary on him, on HBO (I think). It showed how much trouble he was having, getting a decent job. His notoriety alone, was a huge detriment to his efforts.

      I don't trust him. The reason I don't, is not because he is gay, or takes/took drugs. I don't trust him is because he hurt a lot of people I love – My gay friends and their families.

      If Haggard had not been found out, I believe he would have continued his hurtful anti-gay speech toward gays. Apparently, Jesus loves hypocrites. The Evangelicals produce so many.

      Haggard claims to be cured of the horrible "gay", after 3 weeks of treatment.

      Gays are born gay. They cannot be cured.
      To spread this lie, is to hurt the gays even more than his anti-gay speech.

      I do not wish him well in his return to the pulpit. I'm sure he will keep trying to worm his way back into the Evangelical mainstream. That's where the big money is.

      The fundies have no gag reflexes. They can swallow anything. I'm afraid he might be successful.


      January 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  4. Jeff in CO

    so this brings me to question... what is life about then if there is no good or evil, only death and then nothing? Sounds like a pretty meaningless existence to me.

    January 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • David Johnson

      It is what it is, dude. You live on through your family and your friends and especially your children.

      January 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • jeff

      @David – and in Reality's case, clearly through the blogs. He/she actually may have died several years ago after starting up a 'repost" cron job...

      January 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      Well I do not believe that we dies and rot in the ground .. I believe in a next life. I do not thing w come this far only to rot in the ground. It's grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home. I just do not believe death is finality. And since I do not believe it I turned to Jesus a long time ago .. because He says "come with Me." He offers the alternative. Who but Jesus gave us that miracle. Not Moses..we had no alternative in Moses; no next life. There is no alternative in Buddah or Shintu or Dao. Yogi? How to bend your leg over your head? Forget that. Jesus is the way .. the only way. Look at the others. (empty). Look at atheists – a dead dog rotting in a hole.

      January 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said: "It's grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home. I just do not believe death is finality. And since I do not believe it I turned to Jesus a long time ago .. because He says "come with Me." He offers the alternative. Who but Jesus gave us that miracle. Not Moses..we had no alternative in Moses; no next life. There is no alternative in Buddah or Shintu or Dao. Yogi? How to bend your leg over your head? Forget that. Jesus is the way .. the only way. Look at the others. (empty). Look at atheists – a dead dog rotting in a hole."

      Well, the Buddhists and Hindus (Yoga) believe we are reincarnated until we have learned what we must know. The followers of Judaism believe in heaven. The Muslims believe in heaven.

      Virtually all the religions allow their members to not really die. Death is an illusion. LOL

      That was how the god(s) came to be. Man feared death and they didn't understand the world around them.

      What do all these religions, including Christianity, have in common? There is NOT one tiny bit of evidence that they are true. They are all based on their respective holy texts, faith, and that feeling EVERY BELIEVER gets in their hearts.

      It is flummery. Wishful thinking. Pie in the sky. B.S.

      You said: "It's grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home"

      Why are you special? Because you have lived X amount of years, without suffering badly? Lots of people do that. Many really bad people live long, apparently happy, lives. Children often suffer greatly and then die, from one of god's creations, cancer.

      What a wonderful god we have in Jesus!

      Your belief is a delusion. You are using selective observation. You see what you want to see. Feeling what you want to feel.

      If you had been born to Hindu parents, in India, you would be of the Hindu faith. If you had been born to Muslim parents in Iran, you would be a Muslim.

      Love and Prayers!

      January 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  5. Reality

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).

    Current problems:

    Adulterous preachers, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals like Haggard and atonement theology!!!

    January 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Jeff in CO

      Your hatred of organized religions is readily apparent in your posts. I suggest keeping your rants to what words and hyphenated words are filtered by the moderators. Just curious... who do you not hate anyway?

      January 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • RightTurnClyde

      To Jeff: what you need to keep in mind is that faith In Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is not the same as "organized religion." One is a belief and the other is an enterprise. Back when Revelations was written and there were less than a dozen churches "organized religion" was already in trouble. Seven of them got chewed out by John (six anyway). Well it got worse and worse and they started having church councils and tried to get back on the right track .. but it never got back. Reformists who led the Reformation did some house cleaning but they went right back into trouble with "Calvinism" and witch hangings and one nut-episode after another. The TV nut cases only reveal the on-going nature of it. They are not like you and I .. but they are successful in raising money. Money IS a bottom line (always)

      January 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Reality

      Showing my concern by saving Jeff et al:

      from the Big Resurrection Con:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue, ( Professors Crossan and Wright are On Faith panelists).

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      So where are the bones? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      January 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  6. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    Sum Dude routinely updates the list of forbidden words/fragments.

    Two of the most filtered words are those containing the fragments "t-it" and "c-um". To quickly check your comments for these fragments, click on "Edit" on the Tool Bar and then "Find" on the menu. Add a fragment (without hyphens) one at a time in the "Find" slot and the offending fragment will be highlighted in your comments before you hit the Post button. Hyphenate the fragment(s) and then hit Post. And remember more than one full web address will also gain a "Waiting for Moderation".

    January 7, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  7. David Johnson

    OMG! Maybe Haggard will cry like Jimmy Swaggart.

    Evangelicals are always sorry when they get caught. But until they are exposed, they preach on sin and hell. LOL.

    I knew Haggard would be back. Peter Popoff came back after being exposed.

    Evangelicals have no gag reflex. They can swallow anything.


    I have to wonder why there is so much fraud and immoral conduct from Evangelicals.


    January 7, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • pete

      Do you really think that it is anymore than the rest of the population? I know you'll say that their supposed to be different because of what they preach, but aren't well all human. Capable of the same mistakes. I think most preachers who are on TV are trying to make money more than they're trying to bring people to God but i think their downfall is "news" and when Joe the Plumber (Palin rules....no, no she doesn't) does it, nobody cares.

      January 7, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Really?

      What a totally ignorant statement. Please post for everyone condemnation he supposedly spewed previous to his fall, and please post for everyone where he excused his behavior. Neither can be found. I know it's a lot easier for you to live in your little black v white self-righteous world where you can vilify the bad guy and feel justified in yourself. However, maybe you should try a bit of objectivity instead of just taking the spin you hear and using it to justify why you're so right and everyone else is so wrong. Again, awaiting your posting of video where he condemned others as Swaggart did... the clock is ticking (queue Jeopardy theme song here)

      January 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • David Johnson


      These high profile Evangelicals, ask for great quant_ities of money for Jesus.

      They cause a lot of misery for gay people.

      They tell people they will be healed by Jesus.

      They tell people prayer works.

      They are frauds. And they do their fraudulent tasks, in the name of Jesus.
      Seed faith, Prosperity Gospel and whatever new scheme they will come up with.

      I watched several of these snake oil salesmen a few nights ago. They sell everything from "special" bibles, to oils, water and prayer cloths.

      These televangelists take in millions. Often, from people who can't afford to give.

      Evangelicals should consider becoming Christians and join the Catholics, or any of the other main stream religions.


      January 8, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Really?

      And by your reply to Pete, you just proved how little you really know. He was never a televangelist, never had a tv show, was never an evangelist. He was a local church pastor. You keep speaking as if you know so much, but the more you speak, the more you prove yourself not to know. Seriously, stop with the stereotypes and learn to think for yourself. You're as full of hate, bigotry, and prejudice as those you accuse.

      January 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      I don't know if Ted Haggard was a televangelist or not, but otherwise, I think David Johnson's statements accurately describe high profile preachers, and to some extent all charlatans that suck sheep into believing man made tribal myths.

      January 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Really?

      @Hotairace... so you answer is basically, "truth be damned, here's my opinion." That's basically what you're saying. You admit you have no knowledge, but forget any need to have knowledge, your opinion of prejudice and bigotry is just fine. Wow, must be nice to live in a world where such ignorance is such bliss. Sorry, I choose to live in a world where facts matter, and I try to view things objectively instead of trying to be self-righteous like you and David Johnson who leave messages like you're high and mighty and able to judge others, but you both refuse to deal in facts. Sorry, I hate to make facts and logic a burden to you. I'll let your self-righteous judgment, bigotry, and prejudice mean more... you're right.

      January 9, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • HotAirAce


      What I tried to say, but failed, was that you may be/probably are correct about Ted Haggard specifically not being a televangelist, but that I agree with DJ otherwise. And yes, this is my opinion, just as your characterization of DJ and I is your opinion, not a fact.

      January 9, 2011 at 3:20 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.