Ted Haggard, the megachurch pastor who abandoned his ministry after the revelation that he had sexual relations with a male prostitute, admits in a new documentary that he “still struggles” with his sexuality.
The married father of five stepped down as leader of the 10,000-member New Life Church, Colorado Springs, CO, in 2006. After three weeks of counselling, associates declared him “completely heterosexual,” but in a new HBO documentary he says his sexuality has been a lifelong battle.
“The reason I kept my personal struggle a secret is because I feared that my friends would reject me, abandon me and kick me out, and the church would exile and excommunicate me,” Haggard said.
Although he is no longer in full-time ministry, he resumed preaching recently, and told an Illinois congregation that his struggles could be traced back to sexual abuse as a boy – an explanation for homosexuality widely disseminated by the ex-gay movement.
Haggard now makes a living selling insurance in Arizona, apparently unsuccessfully, and describes himself as “a loser.”
XGW hopes that the new revelations will pave the way for total honesty for the wayward preacher. Haggard could go one of two ways – become just another “ex-gay” statistic, or embrace who he is and live with integrity. Truth Wins Out’s Natalie Davis speculates how that might look.
Alexandra Pelosi’s documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard airs on Thursday, January 29, on HBO.