The church has spoken:
We, the Overseer Board of New Life Church, have concluded our deliberations concerning the moral failings of Pastor Ted Haggard. Our investigation and Pastor Haggard's public statements have proven without a doubt that he has committed sexually immoral conduct.
Guess they looked at the weight of evidence behind the claim — something it would be nice for them to make a habit of before adopting their absurd views on homosexuality as some kind of disease and evolution as a myth — and saw that it came down in favor of the accuser.
I don't think it can be understated how damaging this is to the Christian Right's moral and political credibility, and the backscatter effect it could have on the GOP. They will, of course, recover, as they recovered after the Bakker and Tilton and Swaggart scandals — I predict some will adopt the "not a true Christian" stance — but in the short term, this will hurt them. Not bad, considering Election Day is in three days.
Speaking of which: remember I predicted that Washington would promptly start distancing themselves? Already happening...
On Friday, the White House sought to downplay Haggard's influence within the administration.
Spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters Friday that it was inaccurate to portray him as being close to the White House, insisting Haggard was only an occasional participant in weekly conference calls between West Wing staff and leading evangelicals.
"He has been on a couple of calls," Fratto said. "He's been to the White House one or two times."