Ted Haggard, with his wife Gayle at his side, talks about the church that he is starting up during a news conference at their home in Colorado Springs, June 2.That’s the only way I can describe this. “Shamelessness personified.” Really. There aren’t words enough in the world to relate the colossal amount of hubris and chutzpah behind what Ted Haggard — the apparently no-longer-disgraced former pastor of New Life Church in Colorado Springs — has done. The AP (via USA Today) tells the sorry story of an unrepentant sinner (WebCite cached article):

Former megachurch pastor Ted Haggard said Wednesday that he will launch a new church from his Colorado Springs home, 3 1/2 years after he resigned from his ministry amid an embarrassing and devastating sex scandal.

Perhaps the prize moment of this article lies in this quote from Pastor Ted, who compares himself to none other than Jesus:

“This is my resurrection day,” he declared.

Yes, that’s right folks. Pastor Ted has declared himself “raised from the dead,” just like the founder of his own religion. What a marvelous touch. (Kind of reminds me of S.C. governor Mark Sanford, who compared himself with King David as a way of justifying his extramarital affair.)

Then there’s this little gem:

Without offering any specifics on the allegations against him, Haggard said his counselors told him he is heterosexual but that his behavior was influenced by a childhood incident when he molested by an adult male.

Haggard said he takes responsibility for his actions as an adult and does not mean to use the molestation as an excuse.

Gee, Pastor Ted … if you don’t mean to use this incident as an excuse, then … why the hell are you using it as an excuse!? Huh? Did you think no one would notice you doing precisely what you said you wouldn’t do!?

And Pastor Ted proceeded to nail the coffin lid down on what little remained of his own morality:

“I’m certainly not going to say no to people (who need help) because of my personal shame.”

I’m not sure how this is possible with Pastor Ted, since — by virtue of what he’s done — it’s absolutely clear that he has no shame at all!

An open question for any and all Christians out there: Have you finally had enough, yet, with these creepy characters? When are you going to kick them out of your midst? If you don’t, and if you refuse to stop them from speaking for you, then I can only assume they all speak for you.

Photo credit: Ed Andrieski / AP.

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