Monday, 15 February 2010

Pastor Haggard And Mrs Robinson: Two Most Disgusting Bigots And Hypocrites Of The Century

I do not want to appear very judgemental here but bearing in mind that the measure you use to measure for others would ultimately be used to measure for you, I would entertain no excuse if I eventually appear to be judgemental. When the bible says that thou shall not judge so that thou shall not be judged, it was not meant to be a joke; it was being damn serious and when it placed a curse on the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees, it was not meant to be a child play; in fact it was meant to be warning to all hypocrites and a lesson for all of us on how repulsive and repugnant, hypocrites are to the founder of Christianity.

Having said that let us now listen to the tales of the two most disgusting hypocrites of this century. It is the tale of one Mrs Iris Robinson, the wife of the First Minister of the Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard the disgraced founder and former presiding pastor of the 12,000 member strong New Life Church in Colorado Springs in the United States. He was also the founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches and later the leader of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 till November 2006.

Mrs. Iris Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard have got many things in common. Both are very good conservative Christians; I mean those that sleep with the Holy Bible as their pillow. Their Christianity is so deep that they are ever ready to condemn even with their life whatever is not in accordance with the dictates of the Holy Bible. But the greatest tragedy is that both of them are hypocrites of the first class order. They are the likes of those whom Jesus Christ the founder of Christianity warned his followers of. They are wolves in sheep clothing; whitewashed walls who have the name of God all the time in their lips but within their heart is a complete opposite of what they are preaching; hatred, hypocrisy, lies and whatever have you.

But while they were busy hypocritically condemning and damning others, the hate-filled Mrs Iris Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard also have dark sides and scandalous secrets they were hiding from the public. They did everything possible to hide their hypocritical side from the public but the fact that we are in the internet age did not help them to hide that dark side for too long. Their stories are simply unbearable, a shame on good Christians and testimony to the fact that all judgements should be left for God alone since He made it very clear that vengeance belongs to Him alone. He does not share the prerogative with no one for all of us have sinned and fallen short of His glory and therefore could not boldly come forward to be the first to cast our stone or to look for a speck of wood in the eye of our neighbour when we have got a log of wood in ours.

Let me begin with Mrs Iris Robinson. Early last year Mrs Iris Robinson made a very insulting homophobic remark and refused to apologise citing the Holy Bible as the reason for her statement. Quoting from the book of Leviticus, she described homosexuality as an abomination on a par with paedophilia which makes her nauseous and called upon homosexuals to seek help from psychiatrists and Christianity. She was unrepentant in her remark and despite all entreaties to retract the statement and apologise she vehemently refused. While she was busy resisting every attempt to apologise for such a cynical remark a similar drama was taking place in the United States of America. Pastor Ted Haggard, a pastor of a mega church of about 12,000 faithful was busy in his church condemning homosexuals and homosexuality as an evil that would end them in the deepest part of the hell fire. He too was unrepentant about his position and also vehemently refused to apologise. I do not want to go into his own story right now. I would come back to him later in this article.

Back to the holy and immaculate Mrs Iris Robinson. Despite being vocal in her condemnation of the homosexuals and her suggestion that homosexuals are paedophiles who need both psychiatric and Christian help, Mrs Robinson was in actual fact indulging in same ‘sin’ he was condemning in others. She was having an affair with a teenager young enough to be her grandson. She began the affair with the teenager when she was 59 years while the teenager was just 19 years. The teenager later identified as Kirk McCambley who is now 21 is a family friend of the Robinsons. The affair is not only the issue at stake; Mrs Robinson also fraudulently extorted about 50,000 pounds from donors to set up a business for the youngster. By the way how did the affair began?

I think we should first of all look at how they met and that would throw more light on how the affair began. Mrs Robinson an MP for Strangford, a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly as well as that of Alderman of Castlereagh Borough Council and wife of Northern Ireland's First Minister, Peter Robinson was a frequent customer of William McCambley's butcher's shop in Ballyhackamore in east Belfast and that was where he met his young son Kirk and apparently started her contemptible plans of seducing the poor boy. She succeeded and the relationship took another dimension when Billy McCambley died in early 2008. As a family friend, Iris made a promise to look after his only son, Kirk. It was a well executed ploy that sealed her evil intention towards the teenager. By summer 2008 they were having an affair; a great shock considering that Peter and Iris Robinson are vocal evangelical Christians from a deeply religious and conservative unionist culture.

Shortly after they started sleeping together Mrs Robinson showed her young lover a new cafe development for which Castlereagh Council was advertising for tenants. Being only 19 with little or no business experience and limited capital, McCambley needed help. Her sugar mummy provided the help by coning out £50,000 from two developers with affiliations to her party and passed on the sum to McCambley. There was one more thing; McCambley was to give her a £5,000 kickback in cash so that she could pay off her own debts. He did. When a debate on the lease came to be decided at the Castlereagh Council meeting, McCambley was judged the only candidate suitable for the lease. Mrs Robinson was present but did not declare any conflict of interest.

By the end of 2008 the relationship was over. "Just cut links with Kirk. God's word was very clear on it. He was reasonably OK on it. I am not," she texted a friend. But despite her belated invocation of God, the real reason seems to have been money; Mrs Robinson wanted the investment back. "It seems cruel but I am not going to soften until he has paid back the 45k and he has got until Christmas," read another text.

By this time the damage has been done. The news of the affair was leaked to the press by a whistleblower. In a damage control Mrs Robinson after unsuccessful bid to take her life released a statement saying that the affair was the worst thing she has ever done. "I grieve that I have damaged my profession in Christ, but I am comforted that He was able to forgive even me," she said. The husband Peter Robinson said he had considered leaving his wife but she "would certainly have been less likely to recover if I had left".

As the Robinson-McCambley scandal in Northern Ireland is concluding, a similar one that started earlier in the United States was also nearing its conclusion. Ted Haggard the pastor we met at the outset who fell from grace to grass in a 2006 sex and drug scandal is already making efforts to redeem himself using a documentary in which he reveals new details about sexual abuse he claimed he suffered as a child that led to the scandal that brought him from grace to grass. An interesting excuse common with bigots like him!

To put his picture in perspective, we need to go down the memory lane. In November 2006, Pastor Ted Haggard disgracefully resigned from all of his leadership positions after he admitted soliciting for homosexual sex from a prostitute named Mike Jones. He also admitted to buying and taking the illegal methamphetamine drug. Haggard initially denied ever knowing Mike Jones but as the media became interested and launched an investigation he acknowledged that some allegations such as his purchasing of methamphetamine were true. He later added "sexual immorality" to his list of confessions.

Prior to 2006, Pastor Ted Haggard was one of the main homophobic pastors in the United States and a big opponent of the same sex marriage. As is common with hypocrites like him, Haggard used the pulpit and the Holy Bible to justify his action and even added that homosexuals have a special place prepared for them in hell fire. While Haggard was busy doing that, one thing his church and Americans did not know was that he was leading a double life. He was using the services of a male escort who was also supplying him with illegal drugs called methamphetamines. Haggard was busted when the male escort came forward to expose him in the media after hearing him lambasting homosexuality and homosexuals in one of his sermons. The male escort in question is named Mike Jones and he noted in his revelation that he has been servicing Pastor Ted Haggard who gave his name as ‘Art from Kansas City’ for years. For your information and benefit of clarification, male escorts otherwise called male prostitutes are often homosexuals paid supply sexual pleasure just as you pay female prostitutes.

Before the scandal broke out, Haggard was a powerhouse and a star in the evangelical world, rising quickly from the humble founding of Colorado's New Life Church in his basement in the 1980s. By 2006, the church was 12,000 members strong and Haggard, as president of the evangelical association, was exchanging weekly phone calls with President Bush.

In the new documentary made by Alexandra Pelosi the daughter of the United State House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Haggard says he is angry with the New Life Church for expelling him even as he begs for forgiveness blaming his struggle with his sexuality on being molested by his father as a 7-year-old.Though he had repeatedly damned homosexuality in the pulpit, Haggard says he has struggled and continues to struggle from time to time with same-sex attraction. When the story of his dark side came to the open Haggard said he was struggling with a "dark, repulsive side" and was "a deceiver and a liar." Later he admitted that he was afraid to tell the truth because of his role as the president of the 30-million-strong evangelical association and pastor to 12,000 faithful.

The temptation to condemn and stereotype others is very enticing and mouth-watering, but when it comes to practicing what we preach and keeping the faith till the end, it becomes obvious that we are all humans capable of falling. The lesson here is never to judge others. Everyman carries his own secret like a hand bag. The feeling that we are better or holier than the Pope is just a fantasy. Nobody can claim superiority or holiness over others based on sexuality. Each person is made in his own way to give God glory in accordance with the way he was uniquely made. God has a purpose for each person and yes for the homosexuals too for there are wonderfully and fearfully made by God after His likeness and image.

As for Iris Robinson and Pastor Ted Haggard, it is very difficult to sympathise with bigots, liars and hypocrites whose utterances have gone a long way to put the life of many homosexuals in jeopardy especially in countries like Uganda, Nigeria and Jamaica. However as a human and Christian I sincerely extend my sympathy towards them and their plight and ask that they be given the opportunity to reform which by their utterances they denied to the homosexual. And may the good Lord forgive them!

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