Major Right-Wing Evangelical Leader Accused Of 3-Year Relationship With Male Prostitute

Hmmmmm.

A male prostitute alleges that he had a three-year relationship with prominent right-wing evangelical leader Ted Haggard, who has said that homosexuality is a “sin” and “devastating for the children of our nation and for the future of Western civilization.” Haggard denies the allegation.

Haggard is president of the National Association of Evangelicals, representing more than 30 million conservative Christians. Time Magazine ranked him as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals and Harper’s contributing editor Jeff Sharlet noted, “No pastor in America holds more sway over the political direction of evangelicalism than does Pastor Ted.” Watch the report from Denver 9News:

But does he have any proof?

Haggard”s accuser, Mike Jones, says “he has recorded voicemails and a letter from Haggard, and that he had also witnessed Haggard use methamphetamine.”

Update:

Haggard is stepping down temporarily. Hmmmmmmm.

Update 2:
I almost forgot about Richard Dawkins’ debate with Haggard that was featured in “The Root of All Evil”. Be sure to at least watch the end when Dawkins and his crew is thrown out by the good minister Haggard.

Update 3:
An email from Pastor Ted last year instructing his congregation how to act normal in front of television cameras which would be filming in his megachurch for various news shows:

Now we’re heading back to the United States and will be in church on Sunday, but I wanted you to see this e-mail about some upcoming media attention that was just forwarded to me so you can help me. Why? Because it indicates the importance of all of our doing a good job. The Lord has sovereignly placed all of us, as a congregation, in a position where we are representing born-again, Bible-believing Christians to groups outside our normal spheres of influence.

Here are a few tips:

1. If a camera is on you during a worship service, worship; don’t dance, jump, etc. Secular people watching TV are touched with authentic worship, but jumping and dancing in church looks too bizarre for most to relate to. Remember, people watching TV news are not experiencing what you are experiencing. They are watching and thinking. Worship indicates sincerity, dancing and jumping looks like excessive emotionalism.

2. If reporters want to interview you, talk with them, but use words that make sense to them. Speak their language. Don’t talk about the devil, demons, voices speaking to you, God giving you supernatural revelations, etc. Instead, tell your personal story in common sense language (I was a drunk but God changed me and now I’m sober, I’m grateful, etc.).

3. Don’t be nervous. Be friendly and open. Reporters typically don’t have an agenda, they authentically want to know what we do and why we do it. For example, Barbara Walters is working on a story about heaven and will interview me and get some supporting shots from the church. She might not use any of it, but she wants to put together an interesting story. Since we believe in heaven, we are, in fact, a good source. So, if she talks with you, don’t be spooky or weird. Don’t switch into a glassy-eyed heavenly mode, just answer, “Heaven is real. It’s the place where God will be fully present with his people. He will reward people in heaven. Heaven is better than Colorado Springs.” Say it straight and clear. Don’t worry (Yeah, sure!).

Bush Says Republican Loss is a Win for Terrorism

From Business Day:

WASHINGTON — A week before key midterm elections, US President George Bush was in Georgia yesterday to bolster his Republican Party’s chances even as the soaring US death toll in Iraq undercuts his claim to be winning the war.

A day after Bush charged in Texas, his home state, that “terrorists win and America loses” if opposition Democrats capture the November 7 legislative elections, the US October toll in Iraq jumped to 103, the fourth-highest monthly toll since the March 2003 invasion.

Bush said Democrats had no plan on how to win the Iraq battle.

But polls predicted Democrats would overcome the heightened rhetoric and recapture control of the house of representatives after 12 years, and possibly the senate, which could hobble the Bush administration’s last two years.

Republicans, however, have the upper hand in organising supporters and may yet win the day with a strong anti-Democrat rallying cry.

The Boarding Pass Brouhaha

Bruce Schneier’s latest piece in Wired:

Last week Christopher Soghoian created a Fake Boarding Pass Generator website, allowing anyone to create a fake Northwest Airlines boarding pass: any name, airport, date, flight.

This action got him visited by the FBI, who later came back, smashed open his front door, and seized his computers and other belongings. It resulted in calls for his arrest — the most visible by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) — who has since recanted. And it’s gotten him more publicity than he ever dreamed of.

All for demonstrating a known and obvious vulnerability in airport security involving boarding passes and IDs.

This vulnerability is nothing new. There was an article on CSOonline from February 2006. There was an article on Slate from February 2005. Sen. Chuck Schumer spoke about it as well. I wrote about it in the August 2003 issue of Crypto-Gram. It’s possible I was the first person to publish it, but I certainly wasn’t the first person to think of it.

It’s kind of obvious, really. If you can make a fake boarding pass, you can get through airport security with it. Big deal; we know.