In recent weeks our good friend Pastor Ted Haggard has made new headlines when he announced he was moving away from Colorado and that after three weeks of intensive reparative therapy had concluded he was completely straight.

Haggard the spiritual leader of Colorado Spring's New Life Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals was forced to step down from these posts when allegations of homosexual sex and drug abuse were made by Mike Jones, a former male prostitute and masseur. Jones claimed Haggard had paid for homosexual sex with him for three years.

These accusations were made in early November 2006 and Jones stated they were in response to Haggard's political support for Amendment 43 on the November 7th Colorado ballot that would ban same sex marriage.

Haggard at first denied all of Jone's allegations, “I have not, I have never had a gay relationship with anybody.” Yet on November 5th Haggard wrote to his parishioners, “I am so sorry for the circumstances that have caused shame and embarrassment for all of you...The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality, and I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I've been warring against it all my adult life... The accusations that been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry.”

When a high-profile Evangelical who has the ear of the President of the United States is exposed for the hypocritical fraud he is it's time for massive reparative therapy. But where on Earth do you find a therapist good enough to covert a closeted, prostitute-paying, hypocritical preacher from gay self-loathing to straight self-loving? The answer could have been Pastor Donnie Davies.

Davies made headlines in January 2007 when his ministry Love God's Way decided on a new strategy to reach-out to gay men and women who were struggling with their homosexual sin. The pastor decided to create an MTV styled rock video and post it on His video “The Bible Says” was quickly removed from and Google Video due to its hateful message which included the lyrics, “God hates fags.”

Pastor Donnie Davies of Love God's Way

The heart of Davies work is the CHOPS program, Changing Homosexuals into Ordinary People. On the church's website Davies writes, “It is a long, lonely, desolate road, homosexuality. I've been there, friends. I know how horrible and rough that road can be. I have been called a "Faggot". You are not alone and guess what, God Loves You even if he hates your Homosexuality. You just can't stay that way. Let me help you love yourself. Follow me and together we'll C.H.O.P.S away the Gay.”

Yet unfortunately for Haggard, Davies' ministry is made-up, it appears to be no more than a viral marketing effort for an upcoming movie.

But what Davies highlights, and Haggard now claims to have benefited from, is the obscure use of reparative therapy to cure gays.

The history of reparative therapy and the “ex-gay” movement began in the early 1970's when John Evans and Rev. Kent Philpott co-founded Love In Action on the outskirts of San Francisco. Their message was simple: gays could be converted to heterosexuality through the use of prayer. Within a few years dozens of similar ministries organically sprung up all across the nation.

However it was not until the late 90's when the zealous Religious Right jumped on the “ex-gay” bandwagon that the ideology entered mainstream religious circles. By embracing the “ex-gay” theology, religious zealots could claim they loved homosexuals and were just trying to help them.

The methods used by “ex-gay” ministries have evolved from simple prayer to the use of an intense psychotherapy called reparative therapy. The program attempts to find a justification for homosexual feelings, a trigger for “acting out” which can be suppressed.

From the very start, the “ex-gay” ministries have produced failure, defections and scandals. The biggest example of failure would be John Paulk, Chairman of “ex-gay” ministry Exodus, who was featured on the cover of Newsweek under the headline “Gay for Life?”. Yet in the fall of 2000, soon after his Newsweek cover, Paulk was photographed cruising a gay bar in Washington DC. Proving that it may be possible to change a person's behavior, but efforts to change a person's sexual orientation do not work.

Which brings us back to Pastor Ted Haggard who has announced to the world that he is now “completely heterosexual” thanks to reparative therapy (what Davies would call “CHOPS away the gay”). Haggard even goes on to suggest he was merely “acting-out”, it was not a constant thing and he was straight all the while.

The sad truth is reparative therapy only serves to make people hate themselves for being gay – there is nothing therapeutic about the therapy! Reparative therapy and the “ex-gay” movement only serve to justify and promulgate hate.

Haggard, however, having CHOPS away the gay can now lead his ordinary life – his fraudulent, straight, ordinary life.