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Religion Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

Is there methamphetamine in Ted Haggard's heaven?
By Paul Loeb
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Nov 6, 2006, 00:23

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Is there meth in Ted Haggard's heaven? Does it rot your teeth? In his 2005 Barbara Walters interview, Haggard says you can eat all the food you want in heaven and never gain weight. Can you shoot all the meth you want and never lose your teeth or grow emaciated? What about unprotected sex with gay prostitutes? Do you get divine protection against AIDS or only if you give regular spiritual advice to the president, and help the Republicans blame gays for America's family problems?

Now that Haggard has been outed by a gay prostitute for having sex with him and buying meth, and has resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, I wonder what it will take for the good people in the pews to call leaders like Haggard, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson to account for their mean-spirited hypocrisy? And maybe even to approach the world with more forgiveness and less vindictiveness? I hope they won't just move on to other seductive leaders who similarly project their fears and flaws on whomever they chooses to demonize.

It's might be too much to hope, but maybe this is an opportunity for the rest of us to reach out to those who call themselves born again Christians and challenge them to listen a bit more closely to the Jewish preacher whose vision men like Haggard, Falwell and Dobson reoutinely profane. Maybe they could even find some other lessons in those Biblical texts to set their course by.

Lessons that genuinely prophetic voices like Desmond Tutu, Jim Wallis and Martin Luther King have made the core of a vision that actually promotes human dignity, instead of trampling it.

Paul Loeb is the author of "The Impossible Will Take a Little While" and "Soul of a Citizen." See

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