The Spectacle Blog

Shakespeare on Haggard

By on 11.3.06 | 9:58AM

Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.

Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3

Yes, I know, thus far Ted Haggard has only been accused of having an affair with a male escort, but it's a great quote to keep in mind as the story unfolds. I think the fact that Haggard resigned without denying the allegations and said he would "seek both spiritual advice and guidance" makes it likely that the allegations are true. And according to one report, he has already admitted at least some of the allegations.

This story will get a fair deal of attention because of the hypocrisy angle and because it fits into notions about people who publicly condemn homosexuality being privately homosexual. But I've yet to see a good argument for how it could affect any elections. The idea that Bush consulted him on occasion doesn't mean much politically, as the President consults with a lot of people. It would be a different story if Haggard were actually part of the Administration of if he held some other official political office.

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