In scandal discussion, Dobson and allies omitted Haggard's admission that he purchased drugs

In scandal discussion, Dobson and allies omitted Haggard's admission that he purchased drugs

››› ››› MAX BLUMENTHAL

During the November 6 broadcast of Focus on the Family, James Dobson and a group of allies did not mention one of the allegations surrounding Rev. Ted Haggard: that Haggard has admitted purchasing methamphetamines from self-described male prostitute Mike Jones.

Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson devoted the November 6 broadcast of Focus on the Family to a discussion of the scandal surrounding Rev. Ted Haggard. Dobson convened a panel of allies to address the matter that included Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler Jr., syndicated radio host Ravi Zacharias, and Focus on the Family vice president for ministry outreach (and Dobson's first cousin) H.B. London. But no member of Dobson's panel mentioned a significant aspect of the Haggard scandal: that Haggard admitted purchasing methamphetamines from self-described male prostitute Mike Jones.

Moreover, while Dobson acknowledged that Haggard engaged in "homosexual indiscretions," he avoided discussion of Haggard's confession in his November 5 resignation letter to members of his New Life Church that he has been "warring" against "repulsive and dark" thoughts for "all of my adult life."

On November 3, Haggard resigned as president of the 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals and stepped down from his post as leader of Colorado Springs megachurch New Life Church following allegations by Jones that Haggard engaged in a "sexual business relationship" with him for three years and repeatedly purchased methamphetamines from him. In a November 5 letter to New Life Church members, Haggard conceded, "I am a deceiver and a liar."

On his broadcast, Dobson also stated that he has "reluctantly" joined a panel of conservative Christian leaders in charge of "working with Ted [Haggard] designing the disciplinary process and the restoration process." In his letter, Haggard wrote that his "church's overseers have required me to submit to the oversight" of Dobson, Rev. Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., and Rev. Tommy Barnett, pastor of Phoenix First Assembly of God in Phoenix. Haggard wrote that "[t]hose men will perform a thorough analysis of my mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical life." The Denver Post reported that the counseling process for Haggard could include "drug tests, consulting with a clinical psychologist and a polygraph test."

From the November 6 broadcast of Focus on the Family:

DOBSON: Well, there's such damage that can be done through this kind of disclosure to the cause of Christ. You know, the media is just salivating out there, it seems, over yet another example of what they see as hypocrisy. And it takes me back to the Jimmy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart period of time, when all of Christendom was condemned, it seemed, because of the misbehavior of those two religious leaders and what they did.

[...]

DOBSON: What a note on which to end. And I do reach through these microphones and put an arm around Ted. He is my brother, he's my friend. I said in the press release that he will always be my friend. But because homosexual indiscretions have occurred, they must be dealt with, and they will be. And I ask our listeners to be in prayer for Ted, for Gayle, for his family, especially his children, for New Life Church, and for the three of us -- Tommy Barnett, Jack Hayford, and myself -- as we oversee the restoration process.

Person
James Dobson
Show/Publication
Focus on the Family
Stories/Interests
Religion
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