CU students are calling the allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct against the Rev. Ted Haggard “business as usual” for the Bush administration and its allies.
Haggard, who according to various news sources is close to the White House, stepped down Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and senior pastor of the 14,000 member New Life Church in Colorado Springs following allegations by a former male escort that the two used methamphetamines and had sex on numerous occasions during the past three years.
Haggard, a conservative Christian who is a vocal opponent of gay marriage, admitted to buying meth but said he threw it away and did not use it. He denies having sex with the man making the accusations.
Students say this episode is reminiscent of the scandal involving Representative Mark Foley, R-Fla., and his sexual messages to his young, male congressional pages.
“It’s telling of the hypocrisy inherent in our government that you see every day,” said Ashley Campbell, a senior linguistics major. “It’s do one thing and say another.”
“It’s like Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky,” said Ashley Cirullo, a junior psychology major.
“What he does in his free time doesn’t really matter to me,” Cirullo said.
Campbell agreed but added, “If you extend it to public policy, it becomes an issue.”
“Ted Haggard illustrates what happens to people who suppress their feelings and try to gain recognition in a field that doesn’t value individuals. It’s really sad,” said senior anthropology major Jake Miller.
“Personally, I don’t care if he’s having sex with prostitutes, but don’t lie about it, don’t lead a double life, and don’t persecute others for living an authentic life,” Miller said.
“It’s sad that his private life needs to be made public, but it just shows how corrupt this whole government is,” said Zack Gross, a junior anthropology major.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Gross said. “All I can say is, of course. Of course this happened.”