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Ted Haggard "over-repented" quote taking on a life of its own

Back on July 24, Ted Haggard, as part of his continuing rehabilitation campaign built around the launch of his new church, told the Wall Street Journal that he "over-repented" when apologizing for his extra-marital shenanigans with male escort Mike Jones. A week-plus later, the quote's hardly fading away.

A search for Haggard's name and "over-repented" scored nearly 10,000 hits, with one blog after another making sport of this astonishingly ballsy assertion, not to mention a name-dropping passage in which Haggard attempted to justify his return to the pulpit:

"Tiger Woods needs to golf. Michael Vick needs to be playing football," Mr. Haggard said as his new congregation joined him and Gayle in their backyard for a post-worship picnic. Little kids, shrieking with joy, splashed in the pool. Men grilled burgers. Women set out chicken salad.

"Ted Haggard," Mr. Haggard said, "needs to be leading a church."

Do these lines have the staying power of famous evangelical moments like Jimmy Swaggert's tearful declaration, "I have sinned against you, My Lord," or Oral Roberts's stories about talking to a 900 foot Jesus? Only time will tell. But Haggard's off to a good -- or, from his perspective, bad -- start.

Look below to see an MSNBC clip about over-repentance:

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts