By Diana Hsieh
Ted Haggard -- the disgraced figure of the religious right from Colorado Springs -- has returned to the pulpit:
Earlier this month, a guest took the pulpit at Open Bible Fellowship in Morrison, Ill., a 350-member church surrounded by cornfields. The speaker was an insurance salesman from Colorado named Ted Haggard.Christian ethics are impossible to practice. Jesus explicitly demands that a person renounce all the values that make life on earth possible: reason, wealth, planning, pleasure, justice, and more. As a result, the worst kind of power-lusting fakers -- like Ted Haggard -- are sure to rise to the heights of power. Only they can maintain the necessary fraud. And like his disgraced predecessors, Ted Haggard can't seem to let go of his once-great power to bend people to his dishonest will.
The former superstar pastor, disgraced two years ago in a sex-and-drugs scandal, had returned — this time as a Christian businessman preaching a message that was equal parts contrition and defiance. Haggard linked his fall to being molested in second grade and apologized again.
His two sermons were posted, fleetingly, on Haggard's Web site under one word: "Alive!"
While his exact plans remain unclear, Haggard is unmistakably making himself a public figure again, nine months after his former church said he walked away from an oversight process meant to restore him.