Who's Who: Fallen Religious Leaders

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1. Ted Haggard (evangelical Christian)

Ted Haggard

Offense: Three years ago the people of New Life Church in Colorado Springs grappled with what their pastor, Ted Haggard, revealed to them: He is guilty of "sexual immorality," he is a "deceiver and a liar," and he purchased methamphetamine from a gay prostitute who claims he had a three-year relationship with the evangelical leader. In round two of the Ted Haggard scandal, New Life Church officials admitted payments were made to a young male church member who said he had a relationship with the former pastor before he was fired.

Consequence/Punishment: In November 2006, Haggard resigned or was removed from all of his leadership positions at New Life Church. He then entered counseling, overseen by four ministers aimed to reform his homosexual tendencies. Six months later, one of those ministers, Tim Ralph, said that Haggard "is completely heterosexual." As of early 2009, Haggard continues to receive counseling, and now he says that he is a “heterosexual with issues.”

Effect on Community: Haggard's actions left his church community in a wake of grief. Beliefnet's former Christianity editor, Patton Dodd, chronicled the effect on his community in an article published on Beliefnet. An HBO documentary also featured Haggards post-scandal life.
 

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