Well I had planned on using my limited free time to post on the scandal enveloping Ted Haggard, the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. It seems that Pastor Haggard found the collection of erotic art in the church's buildings too arousing and fell into sin. An excellent article on the church appeared in Harpers earlier this year, and they have helpfully posted it on line today. It's a must read even before the scandal broke. A choice quote:
'He was always on the lookout for spies. At the time, Colorado Springs was a small city split between the Air Force and the New Age, and the latter, Pastor Ted believed, worked for the devil. Pastor Ted soon began upsetting the devil's plans. He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; his whole congregation pitched itself into invisible battles with demonic forces, sometimes in front of public buildings. One day, while he was working in his garage, a woman who said she'd been sent by a witches' coven tried to stab Pastor Ted with a five-inch knife she pulled from a leg sheath; Pastor Ted wrestled the blade out of her hand. He let that story get around. He called the evil forces that dominated Colorado Springs—and every other metropolitan area in the country—“Control.”'
So much for control...
His church revolves around subdivided groups (it's otherwise going to be impossible to manage a congregation in excess of 14,000 souls). The group list makes for some enlightening reading, and as the good pastor embarks on spiritual counseling he will be well taken care of by his church. Some of the groups include:
Tri Lakes Mens Gathering - ' to build Godly men of character'
Real Men - 'A real man is one who is REAL with other men'
In his Grip - for golfers
Soul Safety - sexual purity for men - 'for men struggling to remain sexually pure'
Soul Safety - sexual identity issues - ' biblically based study for men & women struggling with homosexuality'
Becoming Mighty Men - 'Male heroes of the Bible including their strengths & weakness, to help today's man become a mighty man of God'
Marketplace for Men - 'Start your week with men just like you from the marketplace to share ideas for life.'
Warrior Poets - 'Begin the Journey of A Warrior Poet...'
and, of course:
Men of Caliber - 'Guys and Gunpowder; Now there's a great combination(usually)!!!'
I had actually wanted to write something more inspired on these lines rather than pointing out the homoerotic undertones of all of these courses. But before I had the chance, and got too tired, this lovely bit of news hit the wire, and my limited amount of tolerance for hypocrisy was overwhelmed.
Back in the Spring, the Administration set up a website to post captured Iraqi and 'terrorist' documents to allow the general public (namely the 101st fighting keyboarders) to 'translate' them to help them find dastardly things. Quite a PR move. Although they apparently screwed that one up:
'Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.
But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.'
There's really not much more to say. That large nuclear sound you hear is the noise generated by a star turning into a black hole, collapsing in on itself because of its immense gaseous weight. The latest (too optimistic in my mind) predictions have the Democrats taking over both the House and the Senate. It can't happen soon enough.