Ted Haggard's Second Coming (Redux)

Paul Harvey

Just a little followup to Phillip Luke Sinitiere's previous post about the second coming of Ted Haggard. On CNN Belief Blog, Stephen Prothero and Susan Wise Bauer (whose twitter feed has been sending a lot of readers this way lately -- thanks!) have an engaging conversation on Haggard and the art of the public apology (takeaway: Haggard's apology = good and effective, in contrast to some others we can think of, not to name names John Edwards). Check it out there, but here's a taste:

Stephen Prothero: Ted Haggard is Reverend Ted again. As public grovels go, how did he do in his 2006 admission of "sexual immorality"?

Susan Wise Bauer: Haggard's confession was almost picture-perfect. A leader caught in scandal has to reassure his followers that he doesn't intend to go on misusing the power that's been handed over to him. He has to offer his followers a chance to demonstrate their own power, by taking part in a forgiveness ritual that allows them to hold the leader to account. If he can manage to use language that suggests he's on the side of good in an ongoing struggle against evil, so much the better.